Freedom of speech is one of the only issues in which one side and only one side is 100% correct.
Most issues have some amount of nuance. Freedom of speech doesn't.
The Earth Party stands for absolute freedom to exchange information and ideas.
There is no artery that's appropriate to block.
Free speech is the foundation of democracy. No matter what issue YOU care about, if activism is required to advance it, then you depend on freedom of speech. You cannot advance any cause if you don't have the freedom to speak about it.
There are no exceptions.
The moment you make an exception, it's instant hypocrisy. Because the very idea of an exception involves singling out a particular idea or identity or group and saying "they should be treated differently" from you.
Whenever anyone wants to engage in censorship, they never ever are talking about their own ideas - they're always talking about someone else's. Can you find a pro-censorship person who thinks their own side of an issue should be censored?
They may cloak it in the guise of stopping misinformation. That's the big thing now - they claim that "it's false info, and therefore we can censor it."
and isn't it convenient that the false info that needs to be censored is always the stuff form the other side of the one that wants the censorship. It always happens to work out that way.
A dem who believes in censorship never asks for the censorship to apply to dems. vice versa.republican never wants republicans censored.
It's always the other side we want censored. Isn't that convenient.
And it's the same throughout history. Every historical instance of censorship was predicated on stopping misinformation. No dictator ever comes out and says I'm silencing you because I wanna. Said no dictator ever. It's always rationalized as stopping harmful misinformation. Lies.
When Hitler censored his opponents and shut down the free press, he said it was because they were lying about him. When Stalin censored the soviet union, he said it was because they were spreading dangerous capitalist ideologies that threatened the unity of the communist state, and by censoring you, we're protecting you. Hitler said im protecting you from the communists, the communists said im protecting you from everyone else. The fact that modern advocates of censorship claim to be protecting you does not mean that they are justified, because EVERY advocate of censorship from time immemorial said the same thing. And we recognize the all of those attempts were wrong and evil, so what do you think is the chance that people in the future won't look back on our contemporary attempts at censorship with the same amount of disgust?
Besides hypcortical, it's also simply f0olish, because once you start censroshing the other sdie, the censorship will eventualy come back on your side. Censorship breaks down democracy. In very subtle ways. you don't notice it while it's happeing. Because the censorship itself prevents the exchange of info about how th4 censorhsip is doing harm. A popjulation cannot have a discussion about how cenroship is doing harm, i ftheres censorship, because the censorship will censor discussion of its own downsides. So once you have cenroship you never see the harm that it's producing coming, until it's alreay too late and it's taken over and suppressed too much of the dialogue and now you wind up with dictatorship.
The harms of censorship sneak up on you. The fact that you're not fully aware of them yet doesn't mean that they aren't there.
How does this work?
It's pretty simple. If you're censored, and the people doing the silencing claim it's because that person was bad and evil and wrong, and their info was false, the silenced person can then no longer dispute those charges, because you no longer have a platform on which to do so.
If someone accuses you of wrongdoing, and they silence you so that they can't defend themselves from the charge, then all the onlookers will assume that you're really guilty, They assume it because because they haven't heard your defense yet. and they haven't heard you because they've censored you. they've deplatofmreddyou. Once you're deplatofmrem,d people will autnomat ialy assume that it was for a good reason. Because you never had a chance to maek your case for why it was a bad reason. You an't explain why deplatofrming you was wrong, You're not a hateful bigot, you haven't said anything bigoted, or
Nobody knows they wern't because you never had a hcnace to explain yourself. Most people who cheer for your deplatforming dont even know what you really said, all they know is that a third party came along and told them waht you said, but they don't really know what you actaullysaid, they just know what a third party says you said. And since you were deplatofrming, they assume that you must have said something worthy of that deplatofmring, and yuo never get a chanc eto disote that, because your deplatofmred and you no longer can reach the audience.
This is exactly how democracy breaks down. This is exactly how you wind up with the historical cautionary tales of the 20th century.
When fascist or communist toaltianarian regimes rose up, their rising did not coincide with a wider tolerance for speech.
People sayt hat if you allow bad people to speak, that this leads to facsism. to toatltiarnaims. No. The arsing of those regimes coincided with restriction of speech. The restriction of speech is the hallmark of totaliarnatians, it's wone of the htings its made up. Using censroshi to combad fascism is like using gasline to quench fire. It's like using water to stop drowning. It's like using
And anyone who supports censorship is supporing fascism by definition.
No matter what argument you can come up with in favor of censorshpi, it can be debunked.
Let's debunk them right there on this page.
But... we need to stop hate speech because it leads to fascism.
Spread of radical ideas. Deradicalizagtiong, mass shopters incels
they're obviously jus bad right?
Depriving them of the abiltiy to speak is exactly what drives them into the bubbles in the first place.
The whole reason why holocaust denial persists is because of censorship. The censorshp is keeping the question alive. When you censor something, you give it an air of mystery, amystique, and in concrete terms what that looks like, is
By preventing the intitiale claims, you also prevent debate on those claims. And by prevetning the debate of the calims, you prevent the debunking of the claims. If you censros a holocaust denier, then you're also censorsing the debate about it. And when you censor the debate, you're censoring the good team, those who might come along and say it was real, heres' the evidence.
Facebook post saying it didn't happen/ If you allow debate to ensue, then people with facts can come along and share them, and the evidence. but
Most people know holocaust denial is a thing, but they never see an actual debate taking place on it, because such debates are not allowed.
Person who hears that this debate exists sees a denier make a claim, didn't happen, and then they see a few minue later the post has been deleted by facebook, all they know is that you're not allowed to discuss the holocaust.
2. If you let it stay up, a dscusion ensue, they see the people coming into the debunk that claim. photos of aus and buch, shoes liled up, testimones of officials admitting they did it, hitler wring in book about it, actually share the evidence, and person can see it and say ok i guess it really did happen.
But they can't do that if you silence the debate. If you sildnce it, you're causing them to develop an underdog status. A mystique. People have an automatic tendency to root for underdogs.
Violence, hey lets go commit this act of violence against such and such minority group
shuld that be allowed
Ok think about this for 5 econds. If someone is planning to commit a crime, would you want them to announce that they're going to do it, or not talk about it and just go ahead and do it. or announce it on a public forum before they do it? which would you want?
Answer to that should be pretty clear.
We stand for the absolute, unconditional, inalienable, universal, non-negotiable, radical entitlement to Freedom of Speech and Expression.
We adamantly oppose all censorship in public spaces, including the internet, and have crafted an Internet Bill of Rights to protect the free exchange of ideas online (see below).
All social progress, all healing, all cooperation, all peace, and all proper functioning of civilization requires the exchange of new ideas. And new ideas require freedom of speech.
Without this freedom, anyone with resistance to a new idea can simply silence the speaker who attempts to share it with them, and no evolution can occur. You need freedom of speech. You need it.
"What about ideas that are truly horrible? Like fascism?"
The worse an idea is, the greater the need to debate it. Debating an idea, out in the open, is the only way to disabuse its proponents of their belief in it, and show the public why it's wrong.
Fascism and Nazism are ridiculous. They can be defeated with logic. Easily. But by trying to silence them - without debating them - you're telegraphing that you're afraid of them. You're saying "I can't debunk the tenets of Nazism", which implies that those tenets might be valid.
Don't be afraid to debate extremist ideologies. They're the easiest to debunk.
Bad ideas are like mold. They thrive in the dark. Shunting a bad idea into the dark makes it grow. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
In this case, light is a metaphor for consciousness. When we apply our awareness to an idea, and scrutinize it rationally... if that idea is bad, it will wither in the light of consciousness.
If an idea is bad, it can be defeated with Reason.
If an idea can't be defeated with Reason, then it isn't bad.
Furthermore, the strategy of ostracism leads to the formation of bubble-think, which in itself is the primary driver of extremism.
Ostracism is when you force someone out of conversation, and out of your group. It's making them an "other". An outsider.
When you ostracize someone, they don't vanish. They don't cease to exist. Maybe they obey your order to "go crawl under a rock"... but once they're there, they find out that they're not alone. They find others, who, like them, have been ostracized. They commiserate, and they share ideas.
And since the underside of the rock is socially isolated (that's the whole point of telling them to go crawl under it), there is no "Voice of Reason" there to offer balance. They no longer get to hear from "normal" people, because "normal" people won't talk to them! That's the whole point! That's "success" according to the Left (in its contemporary, corrupted condition).
And thus, the only ideas available "under the rock" are those of their comrades in misery. And so their ideas go unchallenged. They never get to hear counterarguments for their beliefs. This is the formation of a Thought-Bubble.
Once in the bubble, the bad ideas bounce back and forth, and grow more extreme as time passes.
Ostracism leads directly to Thought-Bubbles.
How is someone supposed to see the logic in progressive ideas if progressives won't even talk to them to share those ideas?
The only thing ostracism does is reinforce the original suspicion that "liberals" and "progressives" are fundamentally different form them, and are out to get them.
The correct response to deplorable ideas is to edify - not ostracize.
Edification: "If someone holds wrong beliefs, teach them the reasoning behind the correct ones."
Freedom of Speech in Private
We also oppose censorship in private spaces. While it's true that the law does not require freedom of speech in private, and the U.S. First Amendment does not apply in private, it is also true that if you only support freedom of speech when you're legally compelled to support it, then you don't really support it.
A person who says "This is MY space, so I'm free to censor whoever I want in it," is not a supporter of free speech in any principled way; they are a censorship-trigger-happy authoritarian who only respects public speech because they're being forced to by law. We can easily imagine that, in a system without a First Amendment, in which the government CAN censor people, such a person would have no problem with government-imposed censorship in public spaces, and would in fact be one of the loudest voices calling for the government to censor anything and everything they don't like, both in private and in public.
In other words, a person who claims to respect freedom of speech in public, while simultaneously practicing censorship on a private forum (such as a Facebook group, or a news comments section that he or she has control over) is an enemy of Liberty, whose authoritarian urges are constrained only by the force of law - similar to a would-be rapist or murderer who only refrains from raping and murdering because of the threat of punishment by law enforcement, and openly admits that this is so. He or she has no morality in principle.
But the Earth Party stands firmly on the principle that freedom of speech is the bedrock of a healthy society.
So even though we do not believe in using the weight of the Law to force respect for free speech in private, as an individual's private space is his or hers to control, we nevertheless believe that anyone who supports censorship - even in private - is a hypocrite deserving of ridicule.
And in all forums operated by the Earth Party, there shall be no censorship. We don't care if you're Left or Right or Center, moderate or extreme, lovey or angry. No matter what your opinions are, you're welcome to share them without fear of banishment.
what is respectful? Who gets to define what kind of communication is respectful and what isn't?
everyone gets to define respect for themselves, and hold other party to honoring that definition,
but only under two conditions:
1. the definition allows any and all content to be talked about, provided its desired protocols are followed concerning how to communicate, in other words, respect can govern how something is said, but not what is said. it can restrict manner, but not content, and cannot be used as an excuse to indefinitely evade content.
2. it must explain what its protocols are, when asked
if someone refuses to explain what their respect protocols are, then the other party cannot be at fault for failing to follow them, and such failure cannot be rationally used as a justification for shutting down the conversation.
if respect is breached, the one claiming to be affronted must be willing to explain how the breach occurred, and tell what their respect protocls are, nd give the other a chance to demonstrate greater sensitivity by following the now-explained protcol, and not use the breach as an excuse to evade content.
But the group is their provate property! Would you let a tfoll in your house?
Dumb comparison. House physical.
A physical space, like a book club, is a different dynamic than a virtual one. In a physical space, there is limited space - and every thing one person says takes away time for others to say what they want to say.
In a virtual setting, it's completely different. There is not a finite amount of space and time for discussion. There are multiple threads, even. If someone doesn't want to talk about a topic that I post about, they can just ignore that thread and go chat in another thread. I'm not taking away anyone else's ability to discuss anything. Not an applicable analogy.
People who hate other groups always seem to interpet a DEFENSE of the hated group as an ATTACK on THEM. They're unable to parse the difference between saying "hey don't hate those people" vs. saying "hey, I hate YOU." This applies to all conflicts, not just feminists vs. incels.
places in which people don't want to hear an opinion are precisely the places where that opinion is needed most.
Tolerance doesn't mean you allow bigots to go unchallenged. When someone speaks bigoted ideas, you show up and counter them, and explain why they're wrong.
You can't do that if they can't even speak. If bigots can't speak, their ideas remain mysterious, edgy, and intriguing, and they take on the status of a persecuted underdog, which most people naturally have an urge to sympathize with.
By disallowing bigoted ideas from being spoken, you're sending a message that you think those ideas are powerful and effective - so effective that even the slightest contact with them will lead to ideological conversion.
But when people such as white nationalists are allowed to speak, and their ideas are exposed to the light of the Sun, they lose their air of mystery, and it becomes clear how asinine they are. And for anyone lacking the intellectual fortitude to see the flaws in such ideas (such as a child), that's where you come in. All it takes is a minute or two to demolish bigoted talking points. Really, it's not hard. But if you shy away from the debate, by censoring them, you're "admitting" that you have no arguments against them, and that's what gives them the most legitimacy in the public's eyes.
Even if you "get them" by deplatforming them, you only struck at the PERSON - you didn't strike at the ARGUMENT. And this is precisely WHY those arguments have gained traction in recent years: Because progressives and lefties, the people who SHOULD be striking back at those arguments, are NOT STRIKING BACK at the arguments, because they're busy striking at the PEOPLE who are MAKING the arguments, while leaving the arguments themselves untouched and un-challenged!!!
Intercepting the communication of a bad idea, and preventing it from reaching the ears of its intended audience, DOES NOT COUNTER THE BAD IDEA. And the audience who you think you "shielded" still finds out about the idea anyway, in one way or another, because in the age of the internet, you CAN'T STOP IDEAS. They'll find it. Ever heard of the Streisand Effect? And if they don't find it, it will gather an air of INTRIGUE, nudging at them until they DO find it. This is what you and the rest of the deplatforming (or "delegitimizing") brigade are doing!! You are CULTIVATING BIGOTRY. You are fanning the flames. You are putting out an electrical fire with a bucket of water. Can you please try to see this?
what about holocaust deniers?
The biggest driver of holocaust denial is the illegality of holocaust denial.
Holocaust denial is illegal in Germany, and a few other countries nearby.
Deniers will tell you - they admit it right on their pages - that the thing that originally turned them on to talking about the subject, is the fact that it's illegal to talk about the subject.
The illegality raises suspicion. When you censor someone, it tells the world that you have no logical arguments to counter the arguments of that person.
It might not be true - you might actually HAVE plenty of arguments against them, and your arguments might be RIGHT. But that's not what censorship SAYS. Censorship SAYS you DON'T have arguments - even if you do.
"I can't believe you want holocaust denial to be legal!"
And we can't believe YOU want holocaust denial to be BIGGER.
CENSORSHIP MAKES THE THING YOUR CENSORING BIGGER.
If you want to censor it, then that means you want to make it bigger.
What happens if fascist gain control of a country, and start peddling some idiotic stories, and they make it illegal for YOU to question THEIR stories?
What are you going to say? Will you appeal to the right to free speech? How in the world will you make the argument for free speech, when you just spent the previous decade censoring other people's speech? What leg will you have to stand on?
"Oh come on. That's a distant future scenario..."
No it's not. It's already happening.
Links about facebook censorship of progressive pages.
Here's an example:
"Invasion at southern border"
"Wut do u mean invasion? Wuts goin on?"
Which of the following two responses will push kuriouskid further to the right, into a fear and distrust of immigrants, and which will help him develop a cosmopolitan, progressive worldview?
No, it's not an invasion. That's stupid. It's a MIGRATION. Human populations do that, from time to time. They MIGRATE. It happens. Usually in response to ecological breakdown or war in their native land, which is happening in the places all of these people are migrating from. When environmental pressures increase too much, populations migrate. It's something that humans do. It's not new.
It's not an invasion, because for that, there would need to be an army. And the people migrating are not an army.
Are they soldiers? No.
Are they armed? No.
Are they arranged into any sort of regimented units? No.
Do they have a hierarchical command structure?
Do they have uniforms? No.
Is there one flag, nation, or identity that they all share in common? No.
Do they have any sort of enforced collective discipline as a group? No.
So how the fuck is this an army?
And if it's not an army, it's not an invasion. It's a MIGRATION.
By calling it an "invasion", you're using a cheap wordplay to twist it into something it's not, to elicit people's emotions, to score "points." It's dishonest. Stop it. Be honest when you speak.
censoring hate groups strengthens them:
1. It proves them right. If they're getting censored, then the hated group really IS in control.
2. It keeps them isolated to their own spaces, keeping them insulated from other ideas, cementing their echo chamber.
3. It sets them up as bastions of friendship and support for other people who have been similarly censored and ostracized.
They have no one else to talk to, and the hate group reaches out and befriends them, and welcomes them. Humans are social animals. We need others. If a hate group is the only group offering you friendship, you're going to start hanging out with them, and listening to them, and hearing their ideas. And since you're all censored and ostracized by the outside world, no other ideas will get in, and the hate group's ideas will have no competition in your mind.
Imagine that your entire group of friends - your whole social circle, everyone you hang out with... all of a sudden refuses to talk to you, and refuses to hang out with you and refuses to associate with you and refuses to have anything to do with you at all. It could be for any reason -the reason doesn't matter. what matters is they refuse to talk t oyou from here on out.
Andthey say it's because of something you believe. They don't like one of your beliefs and they think you're a horrible person and they won't talk to you. But the thing is, they're misunderstanding you. You don't actually believe what they are accusing you of believing. Your belief is different form what they think it is. If they knew what your real beliefs are, they would know that you're not a bad person, and they'd want to talk to you again.
So you try to explain to them what your actual beliefs are, to show that it's not as horrible as they thought, but you can't explain it to them because they're not talking to you! And now you're stuck in a cycle where they won't talk to you, and yo uan't defend yourself... and since youo're not able to mount a defense of your beliefs and character, they contineu to think you're horrible. And so they won't talk to you! And s othe cycle just repeats and it gets locked in like that. Well that's what it's like for a lot of Righties. Not all of them - some of them really are assholes - but for a lot of them, that's the experience.
And now let's take it a step further. Let's say that this social isolation continues for a prolonged period of time. And you start to become very lonel yand frustrated with it. And you meet some people who identify with the Right, they might even be far right perhaps, and they wanna talk to you. they'r enice, and they're friendly and they invite you to come hang out with them, and they actuall ytreat yo uwell. they listen to you, they don't interrupt you, they allow you to get everything off your chest, you feel very empathized with, a ver warm and welcomeing environment. You've found people how have had similar experiences with you, they empathize with you ,and now you feel a sense of communit yand comraderie.
But of course now theres a conflict inside of you, becuase these people are supposed to be bad. You're not supposed to like these people. Rmeember, you're a good Leftie. A good feminist, a good this and that... and these people ar the bad guys, and you'r enot supposed to associate with them so you face the hcoice of either continuing to hang out iwth them and risking the exponential increase of rejection from your former peers... evne if they occasinally talk to you once in a while, they won't talk to you at all you'll lost hwat little contact you still have if they find out you're hangin g out with people on the alt right. But then again, you're really hungering for companionship and comraderie and peole to talk to, and hte left won't talk to you. the right is the only side that will. so what dod you do, it's quite a dilemma. perhaps you can resist the temptation to hang out with the righties too much. You can resist it for a while, but as the weeks months and even years draw on without any socialo contact form the left ,and the right is the only eople who are wlecomeing you, sooner or later all tha tloonellinjes and isolation is gonna be too much to beer, nad the temptation of joining the righties is gonna be too muchand youre gonna start to give into it, and you'll start making friendw ith the right, hanging out with them, listening ot their videos and memes, having discussions with them where they share their views with you again and again and again, and you're gonna start to make sense of their views, and you could even beomce on eof htem. An dif - when that hapens, because no human being can resist the opportunity for ocmmunity when they're been isolatedf ror that long, when that happens, you're in a particularliy vulnerable position because ,remmbe rhtere are now no lefty voices providing nay sort of counterbalance to the righty voices. the lefties are not presenting their ideas to balance the righty ideas. and now all you're getting are the righty ideas. the irony is you'd be glad to hear the lefty ideas, but they wont even talk to you. they won't even share their ideas, so that option isn't even open to you anyway. So you get no lefty views, no lefty ideas in your personal life. you can read stuff on the internet... but if all you facebook friends are righties, you're gonna be getting all the rightwing stuffin your feed...
so with no lefty voices and only righty voices, you're now in what's known as an echo chamber ,or a thought bubble, where only the same kind of ideas bounce around and repeat themselves, and no outside dissenting views make it in. and this can drive people to become fully identified with the new group. and it's even more dangerou sbecause not only are we dealing with rightwing ideas ,but we're dealing iwht underlying emptional resentment as well. because all those years of being rejected by all your former friends on the left ,and being lonely because o fit, has created a lot of anger resentment in you. so now, not only are you identifying as a righty, but here's also an animus of resentment driving it. and you could actually become one of the more rabit anti-lefties. you could lcing to the most extreme rightwing views, somply drivin by your emotoinal pain of rejection from th eleft and your anger to wards them.
So do you see how dangeoru this deplatforming idea is? When you cut these people off and isolate them, it doesn' tmake them disappear. It makes them, however bad you thoght they were, i tmakes them wrose. it pushes them further and further to the right, to the extreme. This deplatforming has to stop.
Censoring and silencing and lal of that stuff, that entire strategy has to be thrown in the garbage. the strategy form now on is TALK. talk to everyone. talk for as long as others are willing ot listen. and listen to them as well. let htem explain their views to you. Because A their views might not have been what you thought htey were ,and not as horrible - and B - they migth actualybe right about something! you could be wrong about something@! and the way people figure out that theyre wrong about osmetihng, is by listening to others views that disagree iwth them. thats what you want righties to do for you so that you can explain leftwing ideas - so do the same for them. Be iwling to listen to their ideas. You listen to them, and then the fair thing for them to do is to listen to yours! But if you don't listen to theris, then the fair thing for them to do is to NO tlisten to yours.
talk to everyone, talk and listen. we have to open up the discussion, not close it. It's so crazy that anyone, especially on th eleft, the side that's supposed to be progressive and oenmind and forward thinking, thought that the way to fix the world was to shut down conversatoin. that's insane.
no, the way to fix the world is to open up conversatoin.
"FB is a privately held platform. When you sign up you agree to their terms. Their terms outline what you can and can’t post. They aren’t the government. You don’t have the right to free speech."
The telephone company is also a private company. Do you see them cancelling phone service to people with dissenting political opinions? Do you want them to?
Social media is the public square now. This is how humanity discusses its issues. We don't meet in the town square for meetings anymore - we meet here. This is it. If free speech doesn't exist here, it doesn't exist anywhere that matters.
If you only support free speech when you're legally required to support it (i.e. when the Constitution and laws explicitly protect it), and don't support it in settings where you're not required to, then I have to ask: Do you REALLY believe in it?
Listen to others, including those you disagree with.
Before we can formulate an exact response, we must be willing to evaluate information from multiple sources, and listen to all sides of a debate.
To be logical in our thinking, and to have confidence that the course we've identified as the most logical course is indeed the most logical - then we must be open to communication and discussion, including with people whose ideas are new and different from ours. Including people we think are wrong.
There is no harm in listening to those we think are wrong.
If they really are wrong, then their ideas can be defeated on grounds of logic. You can actually defeat a bad idea, by exposing the flaws in its reasoning. And if you do that, then it puts the question to rest, and people will no longer be wondering if that bad idea may have had merits to it after all (because you just debunked it with logic, for all to see). You have nothing to fear form bringing a bad idea out into the open. Exposure is what allows it to be conclusively debunked.
Consciousness and rational discourse are like sunlight. They disinfect minds from bad ideas.
And there's yet another reason to entertain "wrong" ideas, too. And it's the fact that they might actually be right - and you might be the one who's been wrong! Your ideas might have flaws, and if they do, don't you want them pointed out?
You have to listen to other people in order to notice the flaws in your ideas. Noticing the flaws in ones ideas is hard to do, and it requires a fairly sophisticated level of mindfulness. And thankfully there's a short cut: other peoples criticism. If someone is telling you that your ideas don't stand up in the light of rational scrutiny, it's fairly possible that they might have a point, and listening to them could do the job of ten years worth of meditation and introspection. You can easily find out what you've been wrong about all this time.
This is how intellectually honest people operate. And if there was ever a time for us to be intellectually honest, it's now.