What is actually “the single biggest threat to our democracy” is not, as Obama claims, the internet — that’s one of the key safeguards — but rather the attempt to *control* the internet by institutions of authority, including parties, the national security state and their allies:


· · Mastodon Twitter Crossposter · 1 · 0 · 2

@jcbrand how are we going to *control* discriminations against gender, religions, race, and other online harassments? Many already find the Internet a very unfriendly and threatening place to be.


You mean censored?

Who decides what is content worthy of being censored?

I'm all for private platforms deciding for themselves the level of moderation and censorship they want to impose,
just like I claim the right to kick someone out of my private residence if they insult my wife.

In so doing, free people can decide for themselves where they want to hang out online.

However, I'm against the state imposing censorship on free people and organisations.


As a South African, you should know that the Apartheid state censored many books and films and in fact delayed roll-out of Television in South Africa because they didn't want people to see integrated societies on their televisions.

The power of censorship is too easily abused to allow it to the state.

@jcbrand yes certainly that is what happened, but the other side of the coin is just as valid - I can't see how a flood of violent images, pornography, discrimination, and intimidation either. So who gets to decide for 153 countries where a line gets drawn? If there's no line the Internet is not going to be a friendly place for the abused, children, etc. It cannot be the one or other extreme of all or nothing.


Nobody gets to decide for everyone, that's my whole point. Every website operator decides for themselves what kind of content they're not willing to tolerate.

If you don't want to see gore, don't visit sites that allow gore and don't make them available to your children.


The vast majority of sites will self censor because decent people don't want gore (for example) on their sites and if you are at all running a commercial site then it's not worth turning off potential customers by allowing it.

Also, there are all kinds of potential technological solutions, like filters in your browser, to avoid certain obscene and terrible sites.


For example, here's something an Apartheid bureaucrat censor could have said:

"I can't see how a flood of obscene, indecent images of sex, violence, immorality and of different races mixing with one another is helpful for our society, given that we've decided that separate development of the different races is the more morally just and preferable solution to race mixing."


As soon as you allow and build the oppressive architecture for state censorship of the internet, you allow states to apply totally immoral censorship to a whole society.

In life there often is no "solution" or fix. Instead, everything comes down to trade-offs, and the negative effects of allowing state censorship are as far as I can tell far worse than the negative effects of not having censorship.

@jcbrand the definition of a State is often much the same as for Terrorism. They are relative to whoever is judging. Universal Human Rights are the type of generally agreed principles that "most" countries subscribe to. We generally agree to drive on one side of the road and stop at red lights - but often we see folks that don't abide by that - is it their right of freedom to do so?

@jcbrand that is a good example of who gets to decide what for who... Some of that fell away but not all - now there is freedom of speech but no-one is allowed to incite violence, discrimination, or libel others - an example still of one's freedoms does not override other people's freedoms.

@jcbrand yes certainly if the website is transparent about what they allow or do not, that would be suitable for most people I believe. There has to be safe places for younger people, the discriminated, etc to join and feel OK to say what they need to. Freedom of some individuals should not override the freedoms of others.

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