This is the crux of the arguement those of the Internet Free Speech Movement (IFSM) and the Internet Privacy Rights Movement (IPRM) use when making the case for “a free, unregulated and uncensored internet access for all”. They want everyone to be able to say whatever they want to whoever they want as much as they want without having the responsability that comes with it. This is actually two issues in one that is merged into one on purpose. Let’s split them into their correct categories first before we proceed: Government Censorship and Toxic Behavior.
We’ll start with the first one.
For the most part, I think we can all agree no one should unrestricted access to any of the following types of information:
- How to build a bomb (Can actually be viewed in videos on YouTube)
- Child Porn
- How to get Military Vehicles
- How to get Military-grade munitions
- How to buy or process Uranium (Can actually be bought in small amounts off Amazon)
- How to get away with Identity Theft/Fraud
- How to get or make a Biological Weapon (Virus, etc.)
- How to track or monitor someone in real time outside security protocols
It should go without saying NONE of the above should be easy to find, let alone readily available to the general public on the internet. All of these are actually very easy ro find on the Dark Web, which itself has preconditions that must be met to even use. Information I am aware of but will never disclose. All of the above are what can be called “forbidden knowledge”: Information that is assured to bring harm to others. The average person has NO NEED to know about ANY of these things or rather not unless the intent is to do harm.
I’ll be blunt: If you disagree with that last statement, I consider you a threat to society.
For the most part, we have our opinions about the following types of information:
- Hate Speech
- Threating People/Harassment
- Criticizing Government Officials or Policies
These all fall under the magic umbrella known as “Grey Area”: As long as you don’t go too far, you’re good. Me personally, I have zero tolerence for all but the fourth item on this list. Mostly because I’ve seen far more than them than most, I have a strong dislike of viral Memes. Yes, I know how hypocritical that sounds given I have two Apps on my computers that I use to make Memes of my own. LOL
The thing about criticizing elected officials online most people are mindful of is not taking it too far. Saying “I fucking hate that coon Obama and his inbred bitch of a wife.” is yes, VERY racist but perfectly fine. Do I think it’s ok for people to say that online? Absolutely not but to each their own. Now, saying “One of these days I’m gonna spray the White House with so much fire, they’re gonna need alot a body bags.” Is an easy way to get the FBI to pay you a visit within 24 hours. Even something like “I swear I wanna fucking kill Justin Bieber right now.” will get you a visit from the police at the very least and maybe a referral to a shrink. You do not and SHOULD NOT get away with threatening violence against anyone. Including yourself. So, no Tweeting “I’m about to OD on some pills, I’m done.” and then being surprised when the police show up within an hour.
In addition to this, there is a new phenomenon called Swatting that’s becoming a real problem. How it works is someone calls local police in your area to “report a crime in progress”, giving YOUR address. The ensure the police do go to your house, they spice up their story by saying “They have a bomb and are threatening to set it off” or “They’re holding people hostage at gunpoint”. Both are the types of things the dispatcher won’t be able to doubt at face value. It being a waste of taxpayer dollars aside, it’s also very dangerous for both the occupants and police as neither know about the hoax phone call and…yeah. Police might make a forced entry thinking someone’s in imminent danger and someone gets hurt. See, the losers who make these calls are some sick, twisted individuals to even consider doing something like this. Yet it’s happening more and more, mainly involving people who play online games. Nevermind making a false police report is itself a crime.
I agree 100% with both of these statements. The problem, in the last 10 years especially is folks insist on using the first one as justification for the second one. Then there’s this:
This is NOT what the IPRM and IFSM had in mind but it is exactly what is happening. Replace Facebook with Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram or any other social media platform. If you need specific examples of any of these things, there’s far too many to bother listing from this month alone and far too easy to find all over the internet.
The sad truth is, there are people who get off spreading misery online. 8 out of 10 times, the person spreading toxic language has issues of their own and are taking out on people online. They do it in part because of the false sense of security they have in the assumption “It’s not like anyone will find out who I really am”. Quite the contrary. It may take time but as the saying goes, the longest rope has an end.
See, the problem is too often, people want to be able to say whatever they want to whoever they want whenever they want and not have to accept the full responsability of their actions. Here’s a few examples I’ve seen daily on just ONE website’s forums I will not name:
- “Go kill yourself.”
- You’re a fanboy/fangirl.”
- “You’re what’s wrong with <Insert Game Here>”
- <Insert Game Here> is trash now.”
- “Everyone who likes <Insert Game Here> is White Knighting/Fanboy/Fangirl.”
- “No one cares about what you think.”
- “WTF is wrong with you? Only faggots pick <Insert Playable Character>”
- “You’re a fucking moron picking <Insert Playable Character>, you now that?”
I will say this is from a combination of the forums of a website for an particular MMO as well as said game’s in-game chat. I will speak more on this specific subject on my Video Game Blog once again at a later time.
Anyway, these things and more are being said more and more on large-traffic websites. On the one hand yes, it’s mostly the type of shit your textbook internet tough guy will never say to someone’s face. You don’t need to be a psychologist to know this is very sociopathic behavior even in an online setting. What’s most concerning to me is this is considered “normal” or “expected” behavior online. The tolerance for toxic comments is far higher online than it would be in a face to face conversation.
…And folks want to “protect” this kind of “speech”? This isn’t something worth endorsing. I call it being as asshole personally.
…Which brings me back to this.
There are countries that heavily censor and monitor internet use within their boarders. China, Iran, Turkey, North Korea and to a lesser extent Russia are the biggest offenders. China actually has its own versions of Google, Facebook and many other high-profile websites. The IPRM and IFSM have these countries in mind. They are worried about this happening in the U.S. and honestly, it’s only a matter of time. That said, I see websites and companies imposing internet censorship first, not the government.
Folks should be much more concerned about the rampant data collection by websites and social media they surrender their personal information to without a second thought. These same companies are hiding behind the IPRM and the IFSM when the government and the FCC started asking the obvious questions: “Why are you collecting so much user data and what will it be used for?” The government should do something about this but they can’t because then they’ll be accused of being too intrusive. That’s well and good until you’re the victim of identity fraud. LOL.
Anonymous is fighting the good fight to bring Internet Freedom of Speech to countries that don’t have it. We don’t have that problem in North America and much of Europe. Try to keep that in mind.
To say that another way: Since everyone’s got an opinion, everyone wants to be seen and heard. My blogs are the epitome why I just said in regards to me. I know very few people actually read my blogs on any given day. I have the raw data of vews. Trust me, I know 3-5 people max view my most popular blogs a day. I’ve shamelessly tried shaming my Facebook contacts into reading my blogs with little success. LOL. I have no problem admitting to that since like I just said, it’s changed nothing in the four years since I launched this blog, which was the first of seven =O
If it isn’t clear already, I am a big believer in Freedom of the Press. Through my blogs, I live by the phrase “The only people who should have freedom of the Press are those with their own press.” This is the main reason why I blog. I’m very passionate about the things I write about or I would have written several volumes worth of words on all of my blogs combined.
I’ll speak more of this in a second blog post but I’ve come to understand something very important during the Democratic and Republican Primaries: Social Media is the wrong place to try to have a serious discussion online. Social Media a means of sharing information with alot of people who will in turn share that information very quickly. If you want to have a more in-depth conversation, that’s what forums, message boards, blogs, Skype or some other chat client/system is for.
I’ll end with the one thing I haven’t yet said: For most, the internet and online games are an escape.
Let’s not beat around the bush, this is why people spend most of their non-School or Work-related time on the internet. There’s actually nothing wrong with that–people read books, watch TV, meditate and exercise for the same reason. Whatever helps you stop constantly thinking about the things that stress you out.
The problem, as I pointed out earlier is some people want to bring their personal problems online with them. They’re miserable so they decide it’s their job to spread their misery with other people. They see how “happy” or “successful” other people are and they have to criticize them or tear them down just for being themselves. They do it to make them feel better about themselves even though it will do nothing to change their own situation. It really is pathetic when you think about it.
This is why it’s all the more important for folks to put their foot down and make it clear their toxic attitude is not wanted. Then take steps to purge toxic people from the online community. This isn’t something that can or should be automated. A person needs to take this role on.
…Oh and no, I don’t believe the internet should be censored. LOL.