May 31st, 2007

upsidedown

Recent Censorship Issues

Deletion of Journals

Having seen this pop up on my friends list a few times yesterday (I'm not really into fandom or roleplaying, so wasn't affected directly) it got me thinking quite a bit about censorship.

I'm going to put aside any issues about journals with more legitimate content and focus on the ones that are promoting illegal activities (not those which actually carry them out though which is a very different matter) and would like to clarify that I don't support these activities at all.

Whenever something like this comes up, I always find myself considering where the balance between freedom of speech and preventing the promotion of activities which most people would consider morally wrong lies. Every time I think this over, I come to the conclusion that freedom of speech has to be put first as this is the main way of questioning these morals.

Surely it would be far better to spend the efforts taken to censor this material in speaking out against it instead? Rather then pushing it underground, push it forward and force people to think about it.

I felt very similarly when Le Pin came to Cambridge to speak at the Union. I totally disagree with his politics, but had no problem with the Union giving him a platform to speak from. At the time a lot of people protested against this, surely the focus should have been on protesting against his politics rather than the Union's provision of a platform?

I understand why livejournal will want to protect themselves against public condemnation for giving a platform to this material and won't want to risk to loss of support of their advertisers. I'm just bothered by the use of censorship on a system, which on the surface appears to be an open platform for free speech.

Much as it might revolt the rest of us, some people do like these things and have these views. However, if they don't carry them out, then surely they are quite within their rights to have and share these?

What we need to do is to encourage such people to restrain from committing these acts. Where's the incentive to do so, if any thoughts about the issue made public will get them treated as if they have carried them out? Surely the aim should be to make them see things from our viewpoint?

People will always have thoughts that are not socially acceptable, surely it's our responsibility to argue against these thoughts rather then hide them away?
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upsidedown

Locating China

Just spotted this in a book catalogue:

Further Enquiries
...
Europe (Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and China)


That's not the continent I'd put it in...
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