Wednesday, May 30, 2007

On freedom of speech

I would like to direct your attention for a moment elsewhere on the blogosphere.

Currently, a witch hunt of sorts is occuring all over LiveJournal, which, being prompted by Warriors for Innocence (the link is here, but please don't click, there are rumors that the site has a lot of malware and IP address tracking on it), has decided to purge all accounts and communities that are even remotely related to pedophilia, in an attempt to track down potential sexual predators. Because anything I summarize will most likely be incomplete, I direct you to this link over here for further information.

Here now, I will cross-post my opinion from my own LiveJournal. The original entry can be found over here.

So what the hell, all of a sudden there's a witch hunt going on 'round LJ? O_o wtf mate. From what I've just read up on, apparently the targets are fandoms and RP comms that have anything to do with stuff like pedophilia and other sexual subjects prohibited by the United States law and such. I haven't read everything, nor do I quite understand it all, but to my knowledge, the Internet, up until this very minute, is entirely free game, in the sense that it is not bound by the laws of any country. Which makes sense, because even if a website is based in a particular country, all it means is that the people behind the site are of [insert] nationality. This is, of course, simply taking out other variables in which laws may apply in the mix and soley concentrating on the Internet.

However, the main problem here is the fact that the freedom of speech amendment, an American amendment, is being horribly violated here. Blogs are a current trend that are beginning to extend out of the Internet, and subtlely replacing common forms of things like journalism and, well, freedom of speech. To start a witch hunt against people simply because they are interested in [insert sexual fetish], own LJ comms related to it, and have it listed in their interests is a matter of an individual's right to express themselves. In a world that's increasingly becoming smaller and more well-watched (hello Big Brother), the Internet's becoming a safe haven for any and everyone.

Take me for example, I'm an anti-government radical who dislikes capitalism and favors socialism. I'm also in favor of freedom of sexuality, since I myself am slowly realizing and learning that I do not love or like based on gender alone. Take that into the real world and what would happen? I'd get jailed under the Patriot Act and slandered for not being sexually "normal". On the Internet, though, I can express these thoughts freely, and that is exactly what's going under attack, the ability to freely express oneself. And LJ's team is too much of a pussy to fight back against that WFI group making them do this witch hunt. Might the WFI's intentions be good? Sure, what the hell. But they're going about it the wrong way. If they're trying to catch sexual predators and pedophiles and whatnot, the last thing you should be doing is persecuting anyone who just so happens to have it in their interests and participate in comms dealing with it. Why? Because most of them are not pedophiles at all, they just like it in their fandoms and fanfics.

So congratulations, instead of sniffing out the real sexual predators, you've made them go into deeper hiding. Let's hear it for misinformed people, Big Brother and people who refuse to properly inform themselves about the real matters at hand, because they sure as hell are winning the battle. Oh, and let's also congratulate our democratic government, they're doing a fantastic job of limiting and cutting away people's rights to "protect".

I could go on rambling, but I've said my thoughts. Once again, wtf mate.

(And note, as I said, I didn't read up everything, but am quite sure I got the gist of what's going on. If I'm wrong, please inform me.)

To summarize, what're the main problems here?

  • Violation of the primary right to freedom of speech. No, I don't like pedophilia fandoms, or anything of the sort. However, just because someone likes to read fanfictions and discuss oddball pairings does not mean they're potential sexual predators in disguise.
  • LiveJournal has most definitely crossed the line, by letting themselves be bullied by a third party site, without notifying anyone of this ridiculous witch hunt beforehand.
  • Finally, all of this constitutes as a violation of LiveJournal's Terms of Service.

All in all, congratulations Big Brother, you score yet another point.

1 comment:

justmeguy said...

I agree with what you say. And it is becoming increasingly clear that the Internet is not the completely free place we all thought it was going to be