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Expression and regulation online

Discussion in 'Real Life Discussion' started by ScottPress, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~

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    Fine, I think it reprehensible that you support abortion and hate unborn babies. I think you should be fired and yeeted off the nearest building for hating a subset of the population. What makes your views any different than mine?

    Note the above is showing the absurdity of mordecai's argument. Arguing for the removal of people because they have opinions you don't like is impossible to truly enforce except through absurd mob rule.

    Edit: Or you have to respect the right of the company to fire, hire, or serve who they want to.

    Edit 2: Furthermore, just mentioning abortion shows the vast and complex issues of certain views. Who gets to decide which views are acceptable and which arent? Leaving it up to the "moral majority" has worked so well in the past...
     
  2. awinarock

    awinarock Fourth Champion

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    You'd report them even if those opinions were aired during their off time amidst their social circle?

    A good chunk of your Muslim colleagues almost certainly believe that you should die due to your sexuality or that you shouldn't be in the workplace due to your gender. Should we fire them all? After all, their scripture (as well as Christian scripture) is quite violent and makes gender roles pretty clear, both of which should make you quite uncomfortable in their presence.

    Lowkey racist means that while this person hasn't openly expressed any racist opinions, their attitude (not actions mind you) towards you or a specific group of people makes you uncomfortable and raises questions about whether or not they might be racist.
     
  3. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    @Arthellion You're wilfully misinterpreting my point. Allow me to restate clearly. If you (generic, my colleague, you) believe I should die, or otherwise hold violent or hateful beliefs towards me, then I should not have to put up with that in a working environment. And customers/clients who are similar to me should not have to put up with it from you.

    I'm not sure how abortion comes into this or is in any way similar. And I'm not hating a subset of the population, I'm saying I shouldn't have to and don't want to have to work alongside people who hold bigoted views about me.

    And sure, if you want to hold to the position that religious convictions are more important than anything else thats your shout. But society has grown up over the last few decades and determined otherwise, thankfully.

    Yes, if they were aired openly and publicly. Whether thats on social media or loudly at a pub. It makes me feel threatened, so I follow the correct steps that have been put in place when you feel threatened by a colleague.

    Maybe where you are. But the vast majority of muslims and christians I've interacted with in situations where issues of sexuality or gender have been discussed have indicated they don't agree with their scriptures. They generally take the completely reasonable position that those religious texts were written hundreds/thousands of years ago and in many ways reflect the social mores of the time, and certain ideas can be rejected without impugning the actual religious beliefs at the core of the texts.

    Would I visit a predominantly Muslim country? Absolutely not. Much like a trans friend said to me the other day that they'd never consider visiting the US unless it undergoes substantial changes in its attitude towards the LGBT community. But where I live, in the UK, no...someone's religion doesn't automatically infer their beliefs on sexuality and gender issues.
     
  4. Solfege

    Solfege Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Commenting on all the discussion built up on both sides around this statement. There is, I think, significant crossover between this discussion and something I said in the burnout thread:
    A world where work is passion and after-hour bonding socials are deemed necessary to enhance "team culture" [as befits wishy-washy upper-middle class notions of "culture"] would seem to imply that one's "work self" involves their "whole self" ... how much of clueless white collarism revolves around likability and genuine personableness, alongside a professed dedication to the company's mission as one's personal alter? See the recent spate of job postings for literal corporate and startup evangelists. It gets especially weird when you go into Silicon Valley/Google culture of revolving lifestyle amenities designed to keep you on campus 24/7 and induce a kind of stockholm syndrome...

    I'm reminded of Mr. Jaggers from Great Expectations, who abides no sentiment in his office; and Wemmick, his clerk, who carefully mimics his boss's disdain, hiding all traces of his pleasant and joyful home life not only for professionalism's sake, but absurdly also for fear that Jaggers might fire him if he knew him to be a sentimental man.

    There is a propriety in maintaining a professional self for the well-working of one's company, but any expectation that a work self should be one's personal self, or that one's personal self should necessarily impose on one's work self, goes too far. Then again, dynamics of office politics are dictated by those with real power [to whom HR serves to minimise liabilities, less so to defend the healthy well-working of office space], and savvy employees should know well enough to play a convincing facade for the good of all. This particular facade is nice:

    The complication is that technology and social media, and the expectations of putting in the hours with your workmates to earn the high-flying white-collar dough make it harder than ever to play the Wemmick* and separate work lives from personal lives. The savvy thing to do is the classy thing, which is to generally avoid social media or play it strategically [who do are keen to, generally, advance more quickly up Life, Inc.].

    * although no one ever cottoned on to genius barrister George Carman's miserable and abusive home life, alcoholism, and likely homosexuality until the release of his son's brutal biography... but then again, this was before social media
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  5. Lindsey

    Lindsey Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    If you can't keep it to yourself that you hate me for something out of my control (sex, race, etc), then by god you should be fired. It means you are stupid enough to get yourself, and your company into trouble, by not being able to shut your goddamn mouth. I don't know how this is so hard to understand.

    I certainly wouldn't want to work with many people in this thread based on the responses I am seeing.
     
  6. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign –§ Prestigious §–

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    Your private social circle is different online than irl. If you say something controversial in the middle of a crowd, you're not likely to be heard or noticed and your statement isn't semi-permanently recorded. If you tweet something and two years later someone finds that stupid tweet, possibly long after you may have changed your mind or forgotten about it...

    Who else remembers #HasJustineLandedYet? A woman tweeted a joke about AIDS, got on a plane, and while she was in the air with no Internet access, a mob roiled on Twitter. Celebrities and media were making hay out of this. Memes galore. Or something fresher, the whole James Gunn trash fire last year.

    Now, I'm not advocating for regulation that forbids employers to fire people for PR reasons. But I think it's important to consider the other side of the coin. An opinion that might be reprehensible to you isn't necessarily reprehensible to everyone. Of course, with the possibilities of the Internet comes a new reality. Now you have to consider your words more carefully, because even in a setting such a private gathering someone might record you and tweet you telling a dead baby joke, or laughing at one, and there's no going back once it's out there.
     
  7. Agayek

    Agayek Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    To be clear, we're taking about people who can keep it to themselves. This is all about people who behave entirely professionally at work, but make some dumb comment on Facebook or Twitter in their off hours, with zero change to their behavior, and doing nothing inappropriate at work or toward their coworkers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  8. Joe

    Joe The Reminiscent Exile ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I think the argument is that is not keeping it to themselves, though. Particularly as those comments are likely public or that person has likely added colleagues as friends on Facebook.

    I work in law enforcement in Australia. While we're not bound by the public service code of conduct, we still aim to follow it: https://www.apsc.gov.au/facebook-free-speech-and-public-servants

    It basically says don't be a dick or advocate against commonly held social norms/acceptable behaviours/preach hate on social media. If you wouldn't say it at work, don't say it on Facebook.

    Do I agree entirely with the code of conduct? No. But then I'm a mostly straight white male. I'm playing on easy mode when it comes to political, religious, or ideological views. These protections aren't meant for me, but you can be damn sure I'd take advantage of them if a co-worker started harassing a colleague or started making one too many 'immigrant/dead baby/racist' jokes either in the office or on social media.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  9. Agayek

    Agayek Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    Oh for sure, my stance is that employers can fire someone for any reason or none, and that someone can petition an employer to fire an employee for whatever reason they feel like. It's down to individual people being responsible enough to either know to not say shit that will cause a shitstorm and/or to cultivate a relationship with their employer such that they won't get fired for bullshit nonsense.

    I'm just saying that it becomes hard to justify a threatening workplace when there's zero sign of it at the workplace.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  10. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    If people can keep their opinions to themselves at work and maintain a productive work environment, then barring some aspect of it negatively affecting the business's performance, then I'd say it's none of your damn business what someone says at home. If you don't like their views, but they don't express them at work, who's the one creating the hostile work environment? Hint: It's you.

    People have to exercise good judgement, both by learning when to just keep things to themselves, and by learning how to react to them. Ask to be transferred to another work team. Move to a different desk. Suck it up.

    Now having said that, there are other jobs where your personal opinions, when expressed "on the record" and/or publicly, definitely do present a problem. Business executives, publicists, high-profile people whose opinions will reflect on the business itself. Also, public servants and law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges, politicians and political appointees or aides, etc.

    I have one of those jobs. There are quite literally laws to dictate what opinions I can express on social media; it's the main reason I don't use it much anymore. But even then, when I go to work, political opinions have to stop at the door. Any sort of bias has to stop at the door. Nevermind because of the work environment, but because it could negatively impact a prosecution.

    So it depends on where you work and what you do, I'd say.
     
  11. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Obviously, people should be allowed not to sell you cake because you're gay, and fire you because you voted for Trump. Works entirely fine, as long as there are enough people who sell cake to you only if you're gay, and fire you because you didn't vote for Trump.

    Which is to note: Yadda yadda sliding scale. If there was exactly one opinion 99.9% of people accepted as valid on every issue, and everyone who disagreed would get no job, no friends, no house and no life, then he could speak his mind without going to jail ... and it still wouldn't be free speech. Censorship through society is a thing ... it's just not a thing in your contemporary democracy.

    We have, by and large, settled on a happy medium where you can say most things, and mostly get away without negative effects, while still keeping in check those that would abuse it to undermine it. If you feel you're constricted in your speech here, you should indeed be wondering wtf kind of dumb opinions you have. (In other words, that's not a bug, that's a feature.)


    @awinarock:
    Hhnnngh. C'mon, man. We've been here long enough that everyone knows my starting point is regulations and control == bad because it's regulation and control. There are just things that are bad, but still neccessary, and I made that point for as long as I can think. Dogma is fail and aids.

    We aren't arguing fundamental values, we're arguing Tomato-Tomahto. Is regulation here in particular warranted or isn't it? That's the question. And your answer depends on how much weight you put on the consequences, and how serious you consider the problem to be addressed.


    Also, as usual, the debate is confused. Either fb, Twitter & co are privately owned places, much like DLP. Then free speech has nothing to do with anything. Zuckerberg could demand everyone write in rhymes on his site or gtfo if he woke up one morning and felt like it. And just in the same way, regulators can regulate it like any other business. Free speech == make your own goddamn facebook. OR, we agree that there are monopolists that have become so permeative in today's life that they must be granted some quasi-public status, in which case the social media giants are your new online public square for which there must be a right-of-access, and speech is protected, just like you have a right to stand in a public square and speak your mind, offline.

    It appears to me settling this question should come way before starting to argue about free speech, regulations and what have you.
     
  12. awinarock

    awinarock Fourth Champion

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    I feel similarly about regulation and control though not to the same extent as you, I think. I believe that some regulations (like labor or child pornography laws), are absolutely necessary and good. They serve to protect the vulnerable from the powerful which is absolutely necessary and rationally sound.

    Honestly, I don't think regulation is warranted here in particular. Facebook is already removing child pornography and terrorist propaganda. The issue people seem to have is that it is that problem isn't being addressed fast enough and blaming Facebook is an easy cop out to an incredibly complex problem.


    That question has pretty much been settled at this point, hasn't it? Social media giants that allow politicians to communicate with the public pretty much have to be regarded as quasi-public forums as to not do so would allow politicians to discriminate (without good reason like someone stalking or threatening them) against constituents who may not agree with them. Twitter has become such an important means of staying in touch with current events and communicating with your government that to be banned without good reason would essentially be the same as being banned from your town hall meetings.
     
  13. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign –§ Prestigious §–

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    https://mobile.twitter.com/Timcast/status/1121861663433555969

    Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad) is running for the European Parliament. He was banned from Twitter in 2017 as a private individual. Now he's a politician--Twitter banned his campaign account.

    "Twitter is a private company" holds legally, but in practice, it makes no sense anymore.
     
  14. Plotless

    Plotless High Inquisitor

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    That argument would hold water if he were actually using it as a campaign account and not just replacing his personal account with it and expecting that to be enough to circumvent a ban.

    "Account not operated by Carl Benjamin", I guess all the first person tweets are just for added immersion. D5HCb1vWkAE-rZL.jpeg
     
  15. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign –§ Prestigious §–

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    Benjamin is getting questions in the course of his campaign about things he posted before he was a politician. He answers these questions.

    And I guess no politician ever had a Twitter account that posted in first person as the politician while the actual politician did not in fact write the tweets. Ban Benjamin for TOS bullshit when he was a private individual, fine, private company argument. But now he's a politician and he was using that account to promote his political platform. Twitter put their thumb on scale.
     
  16. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign –§ Prestigious §–

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    From the PM of Canada

    https://web.archive.org/web/2019052....com/JustinTrudeau/status/1130913223178432518

    Canada can into Orwell?

    Copypasted the Digital Charter bulletpoints from the link in the tweet:

    #1 - everyone can be online

    and yet

    #8 -- who decides what is disinformation? Government? How would this be enforced?

    #9 -- they mention hate. Wtf is hate? I'm guessing the govt says where the line is between free expression and hate. Meaning censorship for some. For thee, not for me.

    If the social justice people didn't have double standards, they'd have no standards at all. GG, Justin.

    link to the full thing if you want to browse: https://web.archive.org/web/20190522112547/http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/062.nsf/eng/h_00108.html
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  17. Solfege

    Solfege Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Worth pointing out that in order to be more inclusive of and balanced towards conservatives, Facebook quietly classified "climate change" and "clean energy" as political topics last summer.

    Posting explanatory videos of charts and numbers requires you first to register as a political entity. In an era of anti-expertise, being an expert makes you a political figure.

    Even just running ads for a solar power business registers as 'political keywords' that are filtered accordingly.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  18. Agayek

    Agayek Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    That's kinda Scott's point, is it not? The very existence of the ability to do shit like that, to control what information is available in the mass market, is inherently anti-democratic.
     
  19. Solfege

    Solfege Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Sure. I wasn't specifically aiming at anything, it's a point salient to the overall thread topic.

    Which, now that you raise the element of democracy, puts me onto a tangent. The existence of oligopolies is inherently anti-democratic, and yet Big Business capable of capturing efficiencies of scale, in areas of the world economy that I suspect small businesses are not merely unwilling but inherently incapable of doing, are a usual part of what we consider acceptable economic conservatism.

    Big Business, in particular, backed by a global finance that prizes above all the characteristic of liquidity, the safety that comes with the ability to enter and retreat at will. There is a self-fulfilling dynamic here where global finance has occupied the center of our system of prosperity: to exert one's political will and act against the markets is to do financial, and economic, self-harm.

    Merkel said it ironically, in the aftermath of the GFC:

    Market-conforming codetermination! What we have is a trilemma of democracy, government, and markets. What balance to strike as not to completely topsize the system we have, to preserve and increase our prosperity even as we maintain democratic integrity and political strength? There are no perfect solutions so far as I can see.

    Appeals to 'the free market' are no panacea, not only due to the inevitable tradeoffs of trilemma, but also because the markets exert their own arbitrarily unequal distributions. Here is a terrible arbitrariness: in a world where the birth rate is below replacement, gerontocracy rules. The voices of the elderly are far more heavily represented beyond their share, and for longer. Isn't there a perverse incentive here, thus, to perpetrate the system of 'fuck you, I've got mine?'

    In such a world, 'the free market' of a Baby Boomer-dominated Facebook, whose fiduciary duty is to maximise ad revenue and therefore maximise 'engagement' amongst their key demographic -- Baby Boomers -- thus gives incredible velocity to the kinds of information they favor and adds incredible weight to their priorities.

    What should be the equalising solution? An Obamacare-type mandate that all young people should spend xxx amount of time on Facebook in order to maintain a truly 'competitive' and thus 'free market' of ideas? It is an absurd suggestion, but one to demonstrate the scale of the problems we live with. Without the density of circulation to rival virality, the unequal distributions of nature cement the oligarchy of ideas as much as the oligarchies of big economic and financial interests that everyone loves to rail about.

    All that to say, I don't think there are any clear-cut answers that will resolve the current dynamic. Unless you mean waiting for the old people to die out so markets can clear and new transactions begin -- but we will be living with low birthrates thru the end of the century, so gerontocratic issues will pop up periodically.
     
  20. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign –§ Prestigious §–

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