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Censorship Your Rights Online

Two Ways Not To Handle Free Speech 686

Two stories in the news offer contrasting approaches by Web companies to questions of free speech. First YouTube: reader skraps notes that the Google property has recently banned the popular atheist commentator Nick Gisburne. Gisburne had been posting videos with logical arguments against Christian beliefs; but when he turned his attention to Islam (mirror of Gisburne's video by another user), YouTube pulled the plug, saying: 'After being flagged by members of the YouTube community, and reviewed by YouTube staff, the video below has been removed due to its inappropriate nature. Due to your repeated attempts to upload inappropriate videos, your account now been permanently disabled, and your videos have been taken down.' Amazon.com provides a second example of how to react to questions of free speech. Reader theodp sends along a story in TheStreet.com about how Amazon hung up on customers wanting to comment on its continuing practice of selling animal-fighting magazines. The article notes that issues of free speech are rarely cut-and-dried, and that Amazon is doing itself no favors by going up against the Humane Society.
Update: 02/11 04:25 GMT by KD : updated Nick Gisburne link to new account.
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Two Ways Not To Handle Free Speech

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:38PM (#17967774)
    There we go.

    Right to Free Speech, consider yourself excersized!
  • by geminidomino ( 614729 ) * on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:48PM (#17967856) Journal
    Don, you're wanted on the set... please get off of slashdot and practice you're "You're Fired" catchphrase. That never gets old!
  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:51PM (#17967878)
    So, you're an atheist. Would you be a Protestant or a Catholic atheist then?

    The religeon defines a lot of our culture even if we don't believe it. It depends on how this is done - going after extreme loonies doesn't make the entire thing invalid.

  • Re:Religion (Score:5, Funny)

    by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:15PM (#17968042) Journal
    Someone needs to start a new religion that can speak freely - and as a religion it will be protected. Take down notices can be vehemently fought on religious grounds. Fight fire with fire, as it were.

    It can't be that hard, there are plenty of made up religions that have protected status standing. I mean if Science Fiction writers can make up religions, why can Slashdotters?

    How about making up a religion called Objectivity? You can have the Church of Objectivity, the members would be Objectivists, and the main tenant would be that to get to Heaven you must point out the failings of other religions.

    You can tell people that this is the Word of God, because he told me so. (We were having lunch one day, at Hooters. He hadn't been here for a while, and He actually snorted milkshake out of his nose when I described to him the current dogma and beliefs of the predominant religions of the world.)

    Yea, it is written, let it be so. Amen.

  • by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:37PM (#17968194) Homepage Journal

    Okay, apparently half the posters don't understand

    Welcome to Slashdot.
  • by MSTCrow5429 ( 642744 ) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:54PM (#17968300)
    I think the Humane Society does itself no favors by ripping apart the 1st, 9th and 14th Amendment in pursuit of its own goals. Maybe it should try convincing people not to sell or buy animal fight magazines, and cease and desist its self-serving attacks against the US Constitution.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:59PM (#17968326)
    No dude, he was talking about your freedom to not bathe.
  • Re:Religion (Score:5, Funny)

    by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @11:02PM (#17968350)
    "there are plenty of made up religions" Hmm, are the any that aren't made up? ...and on the 7th day, man invented god in his image...
  • by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @11:08PM (#17968396)
    Yup and Google should refund the guy's money he paid for the service, with interest...
  • by 56ksucks ( 516942 ) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @11:10PM (#17968406) Homepage
    That's because Christians don't blow things up when you disagree with them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, 2007 @11:13PM (#17968432)

    (fill in swim with whatever)


  • Or rather: (Score:5, Funny)

    by arodland ( 127775 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @12:43AM (#17969072)
    1. In the beginning Man created God; and in the image of Man created he him.
    2. And Man gave unto God a multitude of names, that he might be Lord over all the earth when it was suited to Man.
    3. And on the seven millionth day Man rested and did lean heavily on his God and saw that it was good.

    etc. :)
  • by Rakshasa Taisab ( 244699 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @05:03AM (#17970626) Homepage
    "Holy crap, who could fall for that? Gold plates from the ground that no one else was allowed to see? An angel named Moroni? I can't make this stuff up!"

    Heh, yeah. When in a glass house, don't throw around heavy religious texts.
  • by smoker2 ( 750216 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @08:06AM (#17971326) Homepage Journal
    Which translated into a UK relative frame would say:

    Do not place yourself in the Rangers stands, when thy believe in Celtic.

  • by Kashgarinn ( 1036758 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @03:47PM (#17974702)
    ..No one will be able to take that away from you, even though it's racist crap.

    who saw colbert report 02.08.2007 where Debra Dickerson criticizes barak obama for not being black enough?

    Debra dickerson did not want to give barak the "black"-person stamp because his father immigrated from kenya. she said "in the american political context, "black" means the descendant of west african slaves brought to america"

    - Is there an american political context regarding the condition of being 'black' or is this a whole new world of inverse racism?

    Also, she wants him to be called an african-african-american, just to add to the contempt she's showing other black people who happen to be immigrants. ... I'd think a black guy should only be called a black guy if he either: a) wants to be called black (I have no problems people calling themselves christians, persian, or 'dude' so if someone not black wants me to call him black, fine by me) or b) has dark enough skin to be able to refer to him as black.. of course I'd much prefer to just call him by his name and not skin-colour, but if I had to describe him to the police..

    She goes on to say that this critique of hers is a way of critiquing "whites' self-congratulation" and not him.. because "we are embracing a black person when we're not really"

    And that's a lovely bit of counterlogic to hide her own racism against other black people.. and I love the fact that colbert says "If you hadn't told me he wasn't black, I'd have thought that I was supporting a black person, and thus supporting all black people, but now I won't because he's not" - he should have changed that last bit to "because you say he's not"

    And then she comes with the stupidest counter-logic that he's the racist for saying that?

    I love what he says next "So it sounds to me like you're judging blackness not on the colour of someones skin, but on the content of their character, which I think realizes Dr. Kings dream in a very special way".

    It's clear that she's the one who has the problem, but I wish that colbert could have made it even more clear.

    Colbert could have put this debate to rest by asking her one question though.. are african people "black"?

    funny thing is, I'd believe she would say "no"

    - Regarding issue of faith, youtube, and the glory of freedom of speech, my view is that a) the atheist has the right to express himself on the net b) youtube has the right to censor whatever it wants to censor and c) I have the right to amuse myself as I see fit.


"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell