xkcd is always on point

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22 comments, 69 points
  • Inaba

    freedom of speech doesnt exist so we can all agree with each other
    you cant just chase people off of youtube or twitter because you dont agree with their politics
    it’s the public forum we all go to to share ideas, it’s a monopoly, it’s THE place to go when you have shit to say
    you cant just get your civil rights and pull the rug out from under everyone else, free speech must be absolute
    i’m really curious who keeps posting this disgusting shit recently?

    • Jake Bowman

      Not to mention that in the entire rest of the world, freedom of speech is a human right. It is not only the duty of a State not to prevent your freedom, but also to prevent others from interfering with your right within that State.

      I hate the American rights structure, personally.

      • NotMyName

        It’s the same in England and most of the free world. Freedom of speech entitles you to express your opinion without it landing your arse in jail. It doesn’t protect someone chanting Nazi slogans from being called a cunt.

        • Jake Bowman

          No, but it means that the whole “punch a nazi” thing is something the State must act against in the name of free speech, let alone the common law. Most people’s retort to the question of free speech is intellectually weak, boring and derivative of the first idiot to say it. It’s a meme argument based upon a reductionist, convenient understanding that believes legal positivism is morality. Protip: it isn’t. Don’t mind me though, I’ve only studied the subject at university.

          • Charles Dance!

            You sound like a cunt. You don’t need to say you studied at university to be superior, you use your argument to be superior.

          • Jake Bowman

            I used my arguments, but it’s tiring because most people don’t bother to actually research a complex legal subject before giving definitive, sweeping answers on the matter.

            You wouldn’t respond to a health professional like that, would you?

          • Charles Dance!

            If they ended it in a snarky ass remark like “Don’t mind me though, I’ve only studied the subject at university.” I’d still trust them but I’d find someone who didn’t have to give themselves a little pat on the back to feel like they’re my better.

          • Jake Bowman

            That’s cool bro. I’m an arsehole on the internet. You got me.

          • Charles Dance!

            Wow you’re using bro? Honestly I thought you were gaining some semblance of decency and then you go and pull that wonderful piece of the English language out.

          • Jake Bowman

            Honestly, you haven’t said anything in reply to the points I’ve made, and just argued about the tone. Therefore, I’m not even remotely interested in talking to you.

          • Charles Dance!

            See the thing is you can argue a point without coming off as some sort of prick. If I knew I could argue with you without you immediately devolving into childish behavior I’d be willing to, but no I don’t think you could muster up enough restraint to do that.

    • Rev. Analbumcover

      Randall (XKCD) is absolutely correct. Youtube or whatever isn’t public, it’s privately owned. No one owes you a forum to voice your opinion. You can open your own web site if you want. You’d restrict the right of people to control who uses their property and their resources?

      Free speech doesn’t mean free access to mass media.

      • Jake Bowman

        Well what about quasi-public spaces like shopping malls? What about the POPS (Privately Owned Public Spaces) that are rapidly replacing our true public spaces in cities (particularly in the US)? Surely concepts of free speech are to protect an individual’s right to freedom in the face of power, not just the state?

        Take, for instance, the situation whereby a monopoly (Youtube) is actively censoring the content of its users by means of demotion and demonitisation. Basically, anyone who doesn’t toe certain political lines perfectly, even though they are still objectively pretty left wing, are having their livelihoods pulled out from beneath them. It’s being done in a cowardly way, as they are not banned outright, but they are not being given the opportunity to negotiate their own advertisement deals. Is that not the kind of interference that the whole concept of free speech is meant to protect us against? It’s not some commandment given to Moses on the mountain top, but the idea that one’s engagement and ability to speak their mind is fundamental to a civil society. That people repeatedly reduce the noble ideal to its smallest requirement says a lot about the fake relationship they have with the concept of freedom and liberalism as a whole.

        • Rev. Analbumcover

          Youtube is not a monopoly, there are other sites where you can post videos and sell ads, youtube is just by far the largest. What you’re arguing is unfairness, not infringement of rights. Unfairness is legal for the most part.

          Shopping centers are private property. They have the right to ban demonstrators, solicitors and so forth. However I agree it could go too far–but who’s to say how far is too far? If a guy is wearing a “white power” shirt but not causing a problem, should they have the right to make him leave? Let’s say we agree the answer is no. But let’s say then a number of people complain to management that they’re leaving and never coming back because of seeing him wearing that shirt. Now the man wearing that shirt is causing them to lose sales. Do they now have the right to ask him to leave? What if more people start hanging out wearing shirts like that, and it happens so often stores start to move out and the mall owner eventually goes into debt and then bankruptcy? Now who’s lost their livelihood? Are we protecting freedom of speech at the expense of the right to tell people to get off your property?

          I agree it’s not a clear-cut issue by any means. But you can’t just say that no one can do anything that restricts anyone from expressing their self in any way they see fit, because immediately you find situations where others are having their rights violated.

          • Shai Hulud

            i think the bigger problem is when you start to alienate these potential “radicals” that are saying really hurtful and potentially violent shit, you make them even more of an outsider and a “fringe” element. I think the majority of the reason that Trump got elected was that people felt they were unable to voice their opinions without being ostracized or vilified. Granted there are nutters on every side that make this look way worse, but if you start trying to control the global political discussion it’s gonna piss people off (note I’m not saying you are right or wrong, just pointing out I think that it has bad consequences.)

          • Jake Bowman

            Youtube has a market share over 20 times the size of its nearest competitor. It’s a monopoly. It has no true competition. That there are other firms, the equivalent of a small father and son business, does not mean that Youtube isn’t a monopoly.

            Unfairness is the basis for much of our law. That’s why we have laws against monopolies, because they’re against the public interest. I’m also arguing for human rights law as it currently exists. It’s very true that States have positive obligations put upon them to prevent infringements of human rights occuring in their territories. To give a most basic example, a State that fails to prevent a private company torturing someone is failing its human rights obligatons.

            Let’s look at things in a more macro sense. Let’s say that the only public spaces left in the world are quasi-public. Everything has been privatised. The roads, the parks and so forth. Where should a person be allowed to protest, or express themselves, in that situation? Should an individual be allowed to wear a white power shirt in the privacy of their own rented home if the landlord has a problem with it?

            But let’s use an example that we all find less distasteful. The trouble with using white power is it’s easy to allow our subconcious bias tip the scales. Let’s talk about gay rights. It’s very true that for a long time associating your organisation with anything homosexual was devastating to business and advertising. Should the NBA and NFL have banned gay sportsmen to protect their advertising revenue or should they have been forced to accept them? It certainly would have been damaging.

            I’m not arguing for always be able to express yourself in anyway, anywhere. I’m arguing that people have abandoned the thinking behind the right in the first place and that they give a reductionist, false retort to anyone who challenges them.

      • Inaba

        i cant believe you are defending this

  • pgok

    I think if the argument is limited strictly to hosting content then it’s probably accurate. If it extends to firing someone, retaliating (in ways other than arguing against them, e.g., doxxing) or trying to force other places (though legal channels) to drop that content, then I think the argument goes too far.

    • Rev. Analbumcover

      Firing someone? In some cases it might be. In some cases not. If I have an employee who’s, say, a welder and I find out he’s a vocal proponent of white supremacism, that’s got nothing to do with our relationship of employee/employer. However, if he is in a position to hire or fire people, or approve loans or applications for various things, or to give medical care especially triage, or any sort of position in which he is responsible for distributing to individuals in a way that extreme racism would threaten, then his ass would be fired in a heartbeat and he is more than welcome to sue me if he wants. Yes, he’s free to say what he wants and yes, I’m free to fire him if I can show reasonable cause for doubt in his ability to perform his duties.

  • Gregor

    Automagical upvote for xkcd


    *Grabs Popcorn and beer* and waits….

  • Lo

    Also, don’t believe the media when the media points out a certain group is “racist, extremist, white supremacist”. Never should anyone fully believe in a story without hearing both sides. It makes you come off as ignorant. For a recent example: the Boston counter protest who were protesting these so called “white supremacists”.

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