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Reddit's free speech spaces are self-censoring out of fear.

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Messages
486
There's a controversy on the internet right now stemming from some leaks of a private ResetEra discord allegedly being full of pedophiles. They're trying to cover it up on their own site as best they can by censoring any mention of it.

Meanwhile, on Reddit, links to ResetEra (RE) are being censored because they contain "Personally identifiable information" (PI), despite RE being just like any other forum on the internet, where only your username is shown. So according to the mods that oversee the subreddit, the admins that oversee reddit as a whole will delete the sub if links to RE are allowed.

According to the mods.

This is second-hand information. Nobody can direct you to a rule that makes it clear that linking to RE counts as PI. Nobody can post a screenshot of an admin warning a moderator about this. Nobody can direct you to any sort of verifiable evidence that this danger is real. The users just hear it from the mods that they heard it from the admins. In some cases, mods are hearing it from other mods who, in turn, heard it from the admins. That's awfully suspicious.

For now, let's assume that the mods are speaking the truth, or at least, that they're not just lying through their teeth. The mods are just trying as best they can to keep the sub alive while trying to stick to their principles of free speech. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and come back to this example after a brief tangent.

--

As you know, I'm a Jehovah's Witness. Some would say that we have a persecution complex, and though I'd take issue with the exact wording, I'd generally agree with the sentiment. In our materials, we're shown videos and illustrations and fictional depictions of something called "the great tribulation". During this event, JWs will be banned, hunted down, and forced to meet in secret. Armed forces, clad in black, will swarm our secret meeting places will guns drawn. There we will stand, interrupted in the middle of our bible study, as they forcibly lead us off to who knows where. This imagery comes around at least three or four times a year.

In some parts of the world, this is happening right now. This very recently happened in Russia, where JWs were declared "extremist", and our meetings were interrupted by the police. Our places of worship were raided, and our offices were seized. Many of us were jailed.

What did the Jehovah's Witnesses do? Did they change themselves to comply with Russia's laws? No. They carried on, the same as always, until they were forcibly shut down. Even now, I have no doubt that small groups of Russian JWs still meet and work in secret despite doing so illegally . That's what we're all told to do. That's what we're being prepared for. We're told to memorize songs so that we can still sing them in jail, and to memorize verses, so that we can still share the bible while in captivity. We won't fold or compromise or stop until we are dead. We are willing to martyr ourselves for God's glory, as was Jesus.

--

So here we have reddit mods bending the knee to vague threats from the admins, willing to censor themselves and their users so that they don't get punished. Taking the above into consideration, how do you think I feel about this? It's despicable lack of courage, that's how I feel about it.

These mods seem so concerned with holding their little bit of power, that they're willing to sacrifice their own integrity to do it. They will bow, grovel, and lick boots as long as they get to keep control of their subreddit. They will compromise their own standards and mission statement as long as they get to remain in power. They will bend and reshape their "free speech zone" until it no longer resembles what it started out as, because they apparently value free speech less than whatever it is that they're protecting.

But let's give them the benefit of the doubt again. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that the mods think it's for "the greater good" that they have to make some concessions. Let's say that being able to talk about Cyberpunk 2077 and Anita Sarkeesian is worth losing the ability to talk about ResetEra. After all, they don't have some sort of God-ordained command that it must be "all or nothing".

The way I see it, when you start making concessions like that, you become "controlled opposition". You become a fake designed to lure people in and keep them contained. You give people the false hope that change can occur here, where it really can't. You trick people into thinking that "this is the hub of free speech", when it isn't. You only allow discussions according to the will of your overseers, and that's a dangerous slippery slope. You have to have standards. You have to have a line that cannot be crossed, or else you're just a puppet. You have to be willing to die, metaphorically speaking. If you aren't, then you must not really hold free speech in such a high regard. You're willing to trade freedom for security.

An argument that I hear all the time from these mods is that "this is preferable to getting shut down". No, no it isn't.

What's better, to be a laughing stock, a milquetoast zombie that was once a "free speech zone", but that now only allows the tamest of controversial speech, or to be remembered with tears as a brave martyr who died standing up for what you believed in? The latter, of course. People still speak about many of the subreddits that were unjustly banned, and when they do, it sparks a fire. People remember that their enemies aren't playing fair, and they remember what's really important, and what true justice is. People laugh and mock the zombie subs who allowed themselves to be compromised. Death is preferable to zombification.

So to you subreddits out there facing this thread, stand up for yourselves. Draw a line in the sand ahead of time, and say that you would rather be shut down than bow. You will be remembered. The users who are left without their hubs will form new groups of their own and will carry on the same ideals. This is what you want. You are a hydra. When a head is inevitably cut off, more will grow. Allow this to happen. Just think, what's really more important? One subreddit, or the ideals that the sub was made to carry on? They can shut down the sub, but they can't stop the users.

Cowards.
 

gaijinkaiju

Full-time Magical Girl
Clan member
Messages
205
Its a shame to see free speech everywhere is seemingly being stripped away word by word, be it by governments or tech companies. But hey, atleast people won't have to see opinions they don't like or get their feelings hurt.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

Disciple
Clan member
Messages
405
Very well put Houseman.
I may not agree with your religion, but I like your mindset about free speech.
There are of course some few, extremely rare, instances where limiting speech is mitigating..
However, your point about a "controlled containment" is very apt.
 

Arnox

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3,480
With all this in mind, I still wish Sanctuary took off as a popular forum for speech, but alas that did not happen. Again, perhaps we can bring people in in other ways.
 

Signa

Libertarian Contrarian
Messages
683
Considering what's going on at the escapist, we could capture a few more interests soon.
 

Signa

Libertarian Contrarian
Messages
683
Mods are banning everyone, more so than ever. Even Saelune got mod wrathed for complaining how Mods aren't handling Nazis or some shit.
 

Monoochrom

Devotee
Staff member
Messages
249
Mods are banning everyone, more so than ever. Even Saelune got mod wrathed for complaining how Mods aren't handling Nazis or some shit.
Nah, first for talking smack about Gethsamani and then I assume for telling another User, I believe Dreiko, to shut up and that they were the reason for Nazis.

I wish Saelune would come here. Someone invite her. I know she probably thinks we're a bunch of Nazis or some shit, but I would genuinly like to see what exactly the difference is between Saelune with and without most Rules, she's bitched about the rules there in the past too. And I'm serious about this, I can't do it, one of you can though.

Otherwise, meh, can't say I see a notable increase in Bans, I saw that one person asked to be banned, and one other person being banned, InuKun, right?

OT: Didn't ResetEra just have a Pedo Scandal a few Months back? I've got this strange feeling of Dejavu.
 

Arnox

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I can't do anything. Last time I said something about Sanctuary over there, I got hostility. You guys have to do it.

I don't care who comes over here as long as they can follow our awesome rules. Having said that though, it looks like everyone at the Escapist has made their decision regarding us, so I don't think anyone over there's ever gonna come here.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

Disciple
Clan member
Messages
405
You got a few people wrong, and forgot Lunatic and one other.
Though I'm not a great one for pointing it out really..I'm terrible with names myself. ^^

I can't do anything. Last time I said something about Sanctuary over there, I got hostility. You guys have to do it.

I don't care who comes over here as long as they can follow our awesome rules. Having said that though, it looks like everyone at the Escapist has made their decision regarding us, so I don't think anyone over there's ever gonna come here.
I could still invite her. Over PM. If I'm the only one able to still post there.
I don't think she remembers me really..Any others we want to invite, while I would be at it?
 

Monoochrom

Devotee
Staff member
Messages
249
You got a few people wrong, and forgot Lunatic and one other.
Though I'm not a great one for pointing it out really..I'm terrible with names myself. ^^



I could still invite her. Over PM. If I'm the only one able to still post there.
I don't think she remembers me really..Any others we want to invite, while I would be at it?
I'm bad with names in RL, Nicknames online I'm even worse. Weirdly, I don't have a Problem keeping any details about people in mind.

Edit: I also only casually lurk, so I don't see everything either.

I'm really open to pretty much anyone, I'll express any displeasure I have with them if and when I ever were to find need. Just be clear that we are inviting them because we think we would have fun together and have laxer rules. Mention the Tabletop Campaigns and the Gaming Nights. If you write Saelune, make explicitly clear that we are not Nazis, but should she think otherwise she can totally tell us off here for it without there being any real likelyhood of modwrath.
 

Arnox

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Yes, yes... Bring them over...

 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Messages
486
I wish Saelune would come here. Someone invite her. I know she probably thinks we're a bunch of Nazis or some shit, but I would genuinly like to see what exactly the difference is between Saelune with and without most Rules, she's bitched about the rules there in the past too. And I'm serious about this, I can't do it, one of you can though.
I made a topic about why I don't think this will happen
https://intosanctuary.com/index.php?threads/its-sad-that-people-like-saelune-will-never-post-here.545/

If you write Saelune, make explicitly clear that we are not Nazis
That's something a nazi would say.
 

Signa

Libertarian Contrarian
Messages
683
Ok, I reached out.

Subject: You're invited
"Ok, so I know we've had our differences in the past, but now seems like a time that's better than ever to hold out the olive branch. A lot of us at Sanctuary keep an eye on things here, since we all called it home for so long. We felt that your suspension was completely unwarranted, so we wanted to let you know you're welcome to come over to yell at us if you want.

If not, no big deal, but we can promise you that you won't be suspended for expressing an opinion different than ours, or criticizing the moderation. Let me know if you need the full link or anything. Otherwise, take care. "
 

Gauche

Devotee
Messages
153
Logged out already. Went something like:

Arnox turned into a draconic admin.
Mono may or may not lick ya.
Signa enjoys butt noodles.
Vendor still likes green and dew.
House went downhill after season 2.
They all miss discussing stuff with you.
Sign up and play the monops

Much enticing
 

Arnox

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They should also consider that our site's actually, you know, stable, and actively maintained with staff that actually listens.

Actually, I honestly consider our site software better than the Escapist's in almost every way. We don't have badges, but that's about it, and those could be added. Also, let's be honest. It's been a long ass fucking time since the Escapist had badges as well since they stopped doing quizzes.
 
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Vendor-Lazarus

Disciple
Clan member
Messages
405
Well..reading this thread after a good 6 hours sleep this night, it seems my work here is done. Good job everyone *pats self on back*
 

Signa

Libertarian Contrarian
Messages
683
Welp, no reply after 14 hours. For someone like Saelune, that's basically a "no"
 

Arnox

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Welp, no reply after 14 hours. For someone like Saelune, that's basically a "no"
Check your "Sent" folder. If the message isn't bolded anymore, that means it's been read.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

Disciple
Clan member
Messages
405
It will also depend on her ISP..I can't send PM's when I've run out of monthly data and is being capped...due to different IP.
 
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