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The dilemma of protesting white supremacists

 
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 04:19 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Assuming that some points of view should be "denied" the use of a platform, who decides?


Whoever owns the platform. If it is communal then it should be a consensus.

Quote:
Twitter right now is censoring....


Let's stop right there. Whether or not twitter is doing the right thing if you think they should not have the right to you should too be required to pay for any speech I want (like you are demanding of them). In fact you should be required to put up a platform for my immediate use. Let me know when you get on it.

Quote:
But how do we draw the line?


Wherever you want! If you want to draw the line at "not worth my attention" that's fine. That's the whole point, they have the rights to expression but not any particular platform. Any platform should have the right to draw the line wherever the hell they want to (with certain protected exceptions).

Now I won't always agree, and yes I'll often argue that a platform is making a bad choice but it is not because of free speech, that is a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept. You can make arguments about how particular platforms could be better or worse marketplaces of ideas and those will make sense but the notion that free speech means they are obligated to tolerate any and all speech is nonsensical, it is not even mathematically possible to do so.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 04:21 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
I don't buy your "scarcity of attention" argument at all.


I guess you have unlimited time. I don't and am moving on, these are simple concepts and if I haven't disabused you of your confusion on the concept of free speech so far I am unlikely to.

If we can't even agree on basic truths such as the limits a platform has in the volume of speech it can support this is a truly stupid use of my time. I think in order for a marketplace of ideas to be robust it should be highly tolerant but to confuse that with the notion that each platform must be required to behave this way is fantastical.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 04:25 pm
@Robert Gentel,
First of all, let me indulge in a little flattery. Able2know is a unique place because, for the most part, you don't censor ideas. I assume that a lot of this is your decision. Because of this, this platform is a unique place. In Facebook we build our little walls (I do use facebook, but only because my family is there) and we don't see very much outside our little ideological bubbles. I don't use Twitter. Here all ideas, perspectives and viewpoints can exist in a single space. It is not always peaceful, but it is a very good thing.

You could very easily shut me up, even make me disappear. I would grumble a little, but there is nothing I could do about that because yes, this is a private platform that you provide and you would be completely in your rights.

And yet you don't. I am still here. I think that very fact shows you understand what I am talking about.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 04:28 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
If it is communal then it should be a consensus.


This is scary, depending on how "consensus" is defined. It wasn't that long ago the consensus was that homosexuals were deviants and interracial marriage was a threat to society.

Is this a majority? Do we take the consensus of the country at large? Is the consensus in Texas different than the consensus in Massachusetts?

When it comes to creating blacklists of speakers or ideas, the word "consensus" is a little problematic to me.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 04:28 pm
@maxdancona,
I clarified that above. Understanding that a principle is a generally good thing is very different from the notion that it should be a required thing.

Charity is generally good, but impossible to require all to do. Similarly marketplaces of ideas should generally be tolerant but all platforms have simple real world limits. Even as you praise this platform recognize that we censor 99% of topics (just spam where there are hundreds and hundreds of them posted each week that are removed). If we didn't it would be useless as a marketplace of ideas.

I tolerate a lot of speech I find objectionable in order to be a more robust marketplace of ideas, but if I were required to tolerate all speech this would just be a marketplace of spam. Thus the notion that platforms must allow all speech doesn't make sense. Without any regulation it would just be flooded and platforms are at their best with some control over the speech they allow, the volumes of it and the distribution of their resources.

I have decided that viagra links at hundreds a day is a kind of speech that does not provide enough value to this marketplace of ideas. And that only costs me pennies to tolerate if I am required to and we have a much larger amount of "space" for speech here. An even more limited resource like a university auditorium should use its space judiciously for the best marketplace of ideas possible. Even if you wanted to represent Richard Spencer's ideologies in the marketplace of ideas there are better people and ways to do it than to participate in his publicity stunts.
ossobucotemp
 
  0  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 04:31 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I'm an odd duck, being a suddenly elderly woman (how did that happen?) who has loved american football since I was twelve or thirteen (twelve for horseracing, thirteen for football, or was it vice versa?). I've read a great deal of bad stuff re both sports, but have remained interested, despite knowing better.

I'm pleased by the clarity and balls and heart shown by Colin Kaepernick. A SF fan for years, I already liked him. Now, though, I'm poised to dump a sport I've liked for nearly forever... depending on how Kaep fares in this maelstrom.

Thanks, Cyclo, for the Slate link.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 04:37 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Let's consider the case where we have

1) A speaker with ideas that are offensive to a significant percentage of the community (whether that be Richard Spencer, or the president of CAIR).

2) An audience, a significant number of people who either agree with the speaker or are curious and want to hear what he has to say.

3) A strong opposition, a significant number of people who are offended enough to want to prevent the speaker from speaking or the audience from hearing.

Frederick Douglas (who was personally invested in these issue) said that censorship hurts two parties, the speaker and those who want to listen. The question is in what cases does the opposition have the write to prevent the speaker from speaking? More importantly, who decides? I strongly disagree with the little I have heard from Richard Spencer. I would possibly want to hear what he had to say anyway. This doesn't mean I support him, it means I want to hear it for myself.

I suspect that most people reading this would say that the president of CAIR should be allowed to speak and that Richard Spencer should be prevented from speaking (by whatever means). If it is a majority rules... there are a number of Universities where a speaker from Planned Parenthood would likely be blacklisted along with Richard Spencer.

But who makes this decision?
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 04:42 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
But who makes this decision?


Whomever owns (i.e. pays for) the platform. Simple as that. Nobody should be required to financially support a platform that is used in ways they do not wish to. That is to force them to contribute to speech.

These voices can do what everyone else has to do and fight to create their own platforms or fight to get others to agree to let them on theirs but there is no inherent right to a platform. That just flat out can't work from a mathematical perspective (attention is the scarce resource, speech isn't it can be recorded and repeated. Thus there is always more speech available than attention).

You are studiously ignoring a question that makes it obvious so I'll restate it and then try to actually move on:

Do you argue that a platform must also be a platform for any random piece of spam that wants to use it? Should there just be a large bucket of slop (spam and all) and we randomly choose what the venue is used for? Can someone just rant about viagra links on their day?

Because that would just mean spam 99 days and some random thing the other day and is certainly not a better way to regulate a platform and is no better a marketplace of ideas.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 04:42 pm
It all comes down to education. Equality under the law or divisiveness. Some will lean towards divisiveness based on ignorance, but we must keep fighting for equality. It's not an easy fight, but a necessary fight.
A man like Trump thrives on divisiveness, and many support him because our economy is doing so well. Many voters are more concerned about our economy than most other issues. Many pundits believe he will easily win a second term - even when his approval rating is running in the mid 30s.
http://news.gallup.com/poll/201617/gallup-daily-trump-job-approval.aspx

It's more likely that Trump will win a second term over being impeached.
https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-05-11/president-donald-trump-will-likely-win-reelection-in-2020
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 04:46 pm
@Region Philbis,
Region Philbis wrote:


i think everyone has the right to peacefully protest anything they wish... or not.

what i don't understand about this story is why the university agreed to allow the event to happen
if they are so vehemently against the message of hate being conveyed...

As a publicly owned venue, the university had to lease it to Spencer, otherwise it would have been discriminating against him. According to an LA Times article, "Spencer has turned his sights to public universities, where First Amendment protections of free speech limit officials’ ability to deny Spencer a platform. Officials at the Florida college have confirmed they’ve spent roughly $500,000 on security for the event, and police from around Florida gathered in Gainesville to assist local police."
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 04:49 pm
@InfraBlue,
They should have to pay for the security too, these publicity stunts are still largely being footed for by the public. (but in practice this is problematic and can't be a requirement)
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 04:52 pm
@Robert Gentel,
That creates a potentially discriminatory situation as well, as they won't require non-controversial (usually liberal) speakers or groups to pay for security, as there usually is very little needed. Opens up the door to being accused of treating people differently based on their ideology.

At least, that's what happened here at UC Berkeley. You might scoff at such a lawsuit, but it's super expensive to even be SERVED with a lawsuit, let alone pursue it to completion.

Cycloptichorn
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 05:00 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Yeah I edited that in. As much as I think it would be right for them to pay for their stunts there is no legal mechanism to do that that wouldn't cause other problems and the antifa idiots play right into his hands.

Personally I have always thought his call for ethnic cleansing (even if he qualifies it as "peaceful") qualified under the security and safety reasons they are allowed to refuse him and I hope courts will eventually see it that way.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 05:06 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
Do you argue that the university must also be a platform for any random piece of spam that wants to use it? Should there just be a large bucket of slop (spam and all) and we randomly choose what the venue is used for? Can someone just rant about viagra links on their day?


I thought I answered. Here is a very clear answer.

If there is a speaker with a point of view, a there is a number of community members (students, faculty and staff) who want to listen, then they should be given the same access to shared resources as any other part of the community.

The rules for the shared use of a community resource (such as an auditorium) should be equal. The idea that one part of a community... even a majority... should be able to deny access to a shared resource because they disapprove of the message is troubling. Sure, maybe you want to give precedence to groups with more support, but this is about sharing a resource, not about blacklisting a speaker.

If someone wants to get up on in auditorium and yell about viagra links on a day when no one else wants to use the space... why do I care. As long as it doesn't cost the community anything (I believe that any student group that sponsors a speaker pays for the expenses... or they should). But this doesn't hurt me in any way.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 05:10 pm
@maxdancona,
I don't accept the idea that a speaker should have to pay for the expenses incurred by his or her protesters. If this applies to Spencer, then it would have to apply to other controversial speakers.

Protesters are responsible for their own actions. Violent protesters all the more so.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 05:17 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
If there is a speaker with a point of view, a there is a number of community members (students, faculty and staff) who want to listen


What if nobody in the community wants to hear them and they are bussing in the audience as a publicity stunt?

If they can legitimately fill the venue with members of the community that want to hear them out I think they should, but they are invading other communities and using their platforms for a stunt to get onto the news.

Quote:
Sure, maybe you want to give precedence to groups with more support, but this is about sharing a resource, not about blacklisting a speaker.


Ok even if we go by the "precedence to groups with more support" angle: where has he demonstrated said support? He ends up with a handful of bussed in folks from all around the country for a few minutes, he does not have broad support or interest anywhere he goes. The interest comes from fear of what violence he will spark.

Shouldn't there be a minimum quorum of on-campus interest to use their platform? If they can't even get a few dozen students to sponsor it (a rule universities are considering) shouldn't that be fair enough?

Quote:
If someone wants to get up on in auditorium and yell about viagra links on a day when no one else wants to use the space... why do I care. As long as it doesn't cost the community anything (I believe that any student group that sponsors a speaker pays for the expenses... or they should). But this doesn't hurt me in any way.


The guy paid $10,000 and the community is paying $500,000+, that blame can be shared by idiots on the opposite side but ultimately they are not shouldering the costs of their stunts. Anyway, that this is a public university complicates things in many ways but you are asserting this right in all platforms, not just universities. You loop in twitter and every private space and that is the fantastical part to me, I think reasonable people can disagree on public universities but that the notion that this applies to private platforms is clearly not even possible.
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 05:21 pm
@maxdancona,
His side has been violent too, the notion that it is just antifa is plain false. I can show you at least 5 felony crimes on video by his followers from this year (including discharging a gun at a peaceful protester, beating peaceful protesters etc).
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 05:40 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
What if nobody in the community wants to hear them and they are bussing in the audience as a publicity stunt?


I concede the point.

The decision to allow a speaker to use a community resource should be based on support from within the community. However, there shouldn't be a tyranny of the majority. If there is a number of people from within the community who want to hear a speaker than the speaker should be allowed.

The rules should be consistent.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 05:44 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
His side has been violent too, the notion that it is just antifa is plain false


I also concede this point as well. But this is not always the case. Dinesh D'souza, Milo what's his name are other examples that haven't been violent.

The rules should be the same for these speakers as they are for a CAIR or Planned Parenthood speaker (which are equally offensive to people in the other political bubble).
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 05:50 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
All this reminds me..

once, back when, UCLA was shut down (don't trust me, that might have been quite short), a med student working in our lab was one of the twelve shutdowners. I remember him telling us he was the only non-communist.
Me, I wouldn't call myself a communist, but I remember getting some of their points.
0 Replies
 
 

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