Time to take another long, and unexpected, look at Censorshit.
This week WAS going to be about music censorship and the artificial qualities people use to justify how they call for the bowdlerization of music all the while pretending they endorse freedom but that will have to wait for next week. This week something more pressing will be discussed though as it seems, yet again, my detractors have neither the courage nor the nerve to face me in a head on confrontation but instead choose to come at me sideways like the insects they are. Last week I found myself “banned” from Facebook, which on the surface might seem like “whatever” and I would agree… on the surface… but this affected me in a far greater way, one that I even found myself looking at from the perspective of a junkie almost. First off, I have many contacts that I can only connect with via facebook, they either never check their e-mail (JILLIAN) or they simply prefer to use facebook messaging as their touch to the outside world. Second, I found that I had been conducting far to much business via facebook messenger when my banning “erased” (locked out to be more accurate) EVERY SINGLE message I have ever sent to someone. Jillian could not get to the stories I had sent her, Hart could not get to our rundowns, Alex could not get to our Geek Juice site business… this would have crippled me if I had not gotten the account re-instated. I have now of course corrected the mistake that was doing all of this business via facebook messenger and I have since made back-ups of the files/messages that I needed but go back to my “Oh Internet” column from last year http://www.geekjuicemedia.com/12/post/2012/11/oh-internet.html and re-read about how much reliance we (myself included much to my chagrin) put in this online storage. This is not about facebook or the addiction to the internet though, I have covered that quite well already, this installment of the unfortunately ongoing Censorshit series is about you, yeah you, and how you react when you see/hear/read/encounter something that you do not agree with.
When you encounter something you don’t like or just outright offends you at the very core of your being there are a few reactions that are the norm; turn away and simply leave that offending item to it’s own devices, attempt to inform others of your feelings regarding the danger of that item or (the most common) attempt is to remove that item from those who may not find it aggressively offensive.
When you take route number one you are actually engaging in what I like to call Freedom Of Choice, a path that requires one to accept that other people have different tastes than you and leave them to their own likes or dislikes.
Traveling down the second way is the most common and one and something that I practice most often, allow others to have that thing you hate but make them aware of your feelings on the matter and who knows, you just may change their opinion if you have a well reasoned argument backing you. This course of action is still Freedom Of Choice and in fact is even more an exercise in Freedom Of Speech as it requires others to listen to you (well reasoned argument, remember), you are engaging both parties thoughts and freedoms which is the way it SHOULD work.
The final option tends to be the most extreme and also the one where the participants understand the least about what Freedom is meant to entail. This alternative to points one and two is that the offending item is so offending that it MUST be removed from the very fabric of existence itself and that no one, not even those that CHOOSE to have anything to do with it, should be allowed to do so. This is the action we must discuss and put and end to.
I mentioned above that my facebook account was suspended (disabled is the term they used) but I did not mention why and that is because frankly, I don’t have any real idea why, I have speculations but no facts. It turns out that someone, some coward that hates what I say so much so that they can’t confront me head on, has been flagging my posts, all of my posts, as “hate speech”. Yup, they can do this, all the while hiding behind anonymity. They do those as a recourse to something I said about some movie, some religion, some political group, some pseudo-god and they do it from behind a wall like a cockroach would. I had to go though an appeals process to get my account reinstated which is all moot when someone can STILL, anonymously I might add, report my posts over and over again. See, this is how it works, facebook does not have PEOPLE that look into these things, they simply let the computer do it and when you flag something as offensive on facebook the computer ASSUMES you are right until the person that got flagged files the appeal. Facebook has given all the power to those who seek to abuse it, not to those getting abused.
This tactic of going after a person or group from behind is not only craven but also dangerous as it happens to work most times and it further shows others that it indeed does work while it circumvents the entire process of Freedom Of Speech. Over the next few weeks I will be giving examples and going into the psychology of those that practice this inquisition style “freedom” but the quick and dirty version is this, they are timid little people who feel they have no power in the world and this is their chance to make their voice heard, even if that means silencing the voices of others. On the opposite side you have those that feel they have all the power in the world that you must, by necessity, be subservient to them. Both of these disregard freedom at it’s very core and further to muddy the waters of public discourse. Those how are afraid of what they do not understand will censor.