Does the use of censorship have a place among the struggle towards socialism and/or within a future socialist society?

October 2021 Forums General discussion Does the use of censorship have a place among the struggle towards socialism and/or within a future socialist society?

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 117 total)
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  • #91372
    DJP
    Participant
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    If that is case then I would point out that we have a rule book and I seem to remember some comrades calling for the suspension of whole branches. It is called democracy: If someone is acting undemocratically you have the right to call for their expulsion. Or is this another thing that has changed in the SPGBMoreover. when I  was asked to resign – on this forum –  the member involved was never censored.  Why not?

    For clarification. Our lists and our Forum are not part of the decision making apparatus within the party. Calling for the expulsion of people on the lists is not allowed. The appropriate way of dealing with disputes is via the branch, the EC and ADM.These are the democratically decided rules we have, and if the majority wanted to change them they can do so by using the correct democratic decision making machinery I just mentioned.With regards to your second question, no-one has been censored for asking you to resign because no-one HAS asked you to resign!

    #91373
    steve colborn
    Participant

    DJP, in both posts 12 and 16 above, you used capitalisation, obviously to "stress" a point! As you are no doubt aware, when I used capitals I was accused of "shouting". Are you not guilty of the same thing? if not, why not.Your use of capitals in the sentence "end of story", could and in fact, in my case was, seen as fairly provocative!.To Brian I would ask, where was this decision to, "keep mum" arrived at and moreover, by whom? I was never party to any discussion along these lines, in point of fact, if I had been, I would have said quite unequivocally that there was no chance of me agreeing to this, "self-censorship". If the party, as has always been the case allows and supports the right of the right-wing to the air of free debate and rightly so, it would be anathema to deny this same "right" to party members whether freely agreed to or, by coercive means.I joined a party that prided itself on its adherence to free and unfettered speech and discussion. Sadly, there have been incidences where this has not been applied with as much verve and vigour on this forum and other party sites as was the case in the days of yore!We should return to our belief in free and unfettered debate if this is, in fact the case and stop wearing the cape that goes with it. Or the only cape we will be wearing is the "shroud" of our own, eventual, demise.Yours for Socialism,Steve.

    #91374
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    steve colborn wrote:
    DJP, in both posts 12 and 16 above, you used capitalisation, obviously to "stress" a point! As you are no doubt aware, when I used capitals I was accused of "shouting". Are you not guilty of the same thing? if not, why not. Yours for Socialism,Steve.

      There is only ONE explanation!!That is why I have been censored! I hope other members wake up! 

    #91375
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    DJP wrote:
     For clarification. Our lists and our Forum are not part of the decision making apparatus within the party. Calling for the expulsion of people on the lists is not allowed. The appropriate way of dealing with disputes is via the branch, the EC and ADM.These are the democratically decided rules we have, and if the majority wanted to change them they can do so by using the correct democratic decision making machinery I just mentioned. 

    Could you refer me to the conference resolution/s to back up your assertions that I cannot accuse a member of being undemocratic, whether it be in private, on a forum,  in a public place  or in the vatican!  

    #91376
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    DJP wrote:
     For clarification. Our lists and our Forum are not part of the decision making apparatus within the party. 

     conference resolutions?  

    #91377
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Hold up everyone.This thread is not about suspension of any member. It is about the use of methods of censorship on this forum and on at least another that I am aware of, SPintcom. WSM forum and SPopen may also use the same methods. I do not know for sure.I will lay my position out clearly.I do not for one minute think or suggest the SPGB or WSM advocate full censorship or restriction of free and open debate etc.Censorship is not just an all or nothing method of control. It can be and is used in varying degrees and in different ways by various organisations.Now with regard to the examples I have seen. What we have is the deletion of posts that are from members of party sites who also happen to be SPGB members. They were/are not spammers, nor were/are they engaging in irrelevant and deliberate disruption of any site for the sake of it.A member of this forum had two posts deleted, the reason given that they were off topic. If off topic was a reason for deletion, then many members of this forum would regularly have posts deleted for that reason, as would I.To delete a post that is considered off topic, (and we may be looking at a little non deliberate off topic, if any) in this way is a form of censorship. It is used to control. The ultimate aim of censorship is control.Next, being put on moderation. If a forum member is deemed to be problematic, for whatever reason, they are put on moderation and their posts are vetted. Another form of censorship in use, again for the purpose of control.If these forms of censorship are being employed as a way to control the forums, at least be honest about it, as well as consistent.But socialists don't like the C word, so it is easier to pretend it is not censorship. Instead it is hidden within what is known as moderation.Such denial easily fits the description of doublespeak.

    #91378
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    I would not, if I were you, put your trust in 'such people'. Every 'such people' the working class has ever trusted has led us into the shit.

    I trust the authority of physicists, biologists, doctors, dentists.  I have to, I am ignorant and they are informed.  Whilst I can, and do .

    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    What if 'such people' are unfair and unbalance in their administration. Would we be allowed to point that out?

    Absolutely, democratic authority means acocuntability.  But banging on my door at three in the morning to tell me about a case I can do nothing about would not be welcome. There are times and places for everything.

    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    Are you in favour of censorship?

    In the sense I discussed above, yes.  For example, in a workplace in socialism, if someone engaged in racist discourse, I'd throughly expect them to be asked to stop it, or leave.  Now, their right to give and receive racist opinion would not be infringed, in general, since mechanisms for such dissemination would have to be established, but the freedom of association of their colleague in their workplace would have to be maintained and protected.  Also, the right to receive opinion also includes the right not to receive unwelcome communication.

    #91379
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Now with regard to the examples I have seen. What we have is the deletion of posts that are from members of party sites who also happen to be SPGB members. They were/are not spammers, nor were/are they engaging in irrelevant and deliberate disruption of any site for the sake of it.

    Party members on the forum do not get special privileges, they are members of the forum and treated just like non-members (at the very least, we have no way of knowing who are party members)

    SocialistPunk wrote:
    To delete a post that is considered off topic, (and we may be looking at a little non deliberate off topic, if any) in this way is a form of censorship. It is used to control. The ultimate aim of censorship is control.

    Off topic posts are noise that interfere with the rights of forum members to receive information, they are a species of censorship in their own right, and if left uncontrolled can swamp a discussion.  There is a breed we could call the unconscious troll, not deliberately derailing a conversation, but with a knack of making every discussion about themselves and sucking the air out of the room.Also, don't forget, the moderators have a legal duty to protect the party from legal action, such as libel, etc. so the capacity to remove posts is important.

    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Next, being put on moderation. If a forum member is deemed to be problematic, for whatever reason, they are put on moderation and their posts are vetted. Another form of censorship in use, again for the purpose of control.

    The democratic control of the forum and its users.

    #91380
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
    Off topic posts are noise that interfere with the rights of forum members to receive information, they are a species of censorship in their own right, and if left uncontrolled can swamp a discussion.  

    You miss the point. If every forum member who posted off topic was suspended, there would be very few forum members.If 80% of members occasionally post off topic, why single out one member?If moderation uses such power on some members and not others then it could be deemed censorship. This will inevitably lead to  problems on the forum. 

    #91381
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Hi YMSI only referred to party members facing this type of forum censorship as I stated it is used on other WSM sites. No special privileges were inferred.I agree that off topic posts can be problematic to a thread, but are you innocent of off topic posts? You totally ignore the fact that off topic goes on all the time.The unconscious troll you mention could apply to the few of us who post regularly. I believe this forum has 264 registered users, yet we get a tiny minority actually posting. Could we be drowning out others, putting potential posters off with our overbearing, overconfident personalities? I am sure some people may feel uncomfortable posting in case they face a barrage of criticism.By the rules of the nonsense descriptions of censorship I have come across used during this debate, we regulars could be seen as practicing a form of censorship.I made reference to the posts in question not being spam or deliberately disruptive and I am sure they were not legally problematic. Yet they were deleted/moderated etc.I have no problem with protecting the forum from genuine attack from spam or legally risky posts. But what I have seen happen in the examples I refer to does not fit those descriptions. It is why I suggested you avail yourself of the situation earlier on a thread in the Web/Tech section. You declined to inform yourself of the situ' instead relinquishing the job to others. So much for democratic control, if people can not be bothered to stay informed of a subject.Your last comment about democratic control of the forum, suggests censorship has a place on the forums, as I see no argument showing the methods used are not forms of censorship?I take it you have no problem with certain forms of censorship? An answer to that question takes us nicely into the second part of the topic about censorship having a part to play within a future socialist society.

    #91382
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    SP,There's a difference between a regular contributor and someone who makes the conversation about them, rather than the topic at hand.  I do try to stay on topic, and can't recall going off thread recently, now, here, have I seen many members go off thread (and, in isolated incidents, it is not a problem, but, as on Wikipedia, if someone keeps breaking in on their hobby horse it can be a problem).  Just as, in a football match, a foul in itself may not necessitate a card, but seen over the course of a game, it will be the straw that broke the camel's back, or the sponge that overdid the metaphor.Indeed, people can be deterred from contributing by "robust" debaters, that's why we need to moderate ourselves, and occasionally be moderated.

    #91383
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
    SP,There's a difference between a regular contributor and someone who makes the conversation about them, rather than the topic at hand.  I do try to stay on topic, and can't recall going off thread recently, now, here, have I seen many members go off thread (and, in isolated incidents, it is not a problem, but, as on Wikipedia, if someone keeps breaking in on their hobby horse it can be a problem).  Just as, in a football match, a foul in itself may not necessitate a card, but seen over the course of a game, it will be the straw that broke the camel's back, or the sponge that overdid the metaphor.Indeed, people can be deterred from contributing by "robust" debaters, that's why we need to moderate ourselves, and occasionally be moderated.

    Are you talking about anyone in particular?  :)   

    #91384
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I think it is very sad to see the SPGB like this: Cloak  and dagger and petty cover-ups.   

    #91385
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    YMSI hope you are not referring to a certain member when you talk of people making the topic about them?Not going off topic recently is not the same as never doing it. Are you so confident that you have never done so?May I remind you what this thread is about, as you seem unable to address the relevant questions put forward. It is about the use of censorship on this forum. Do you  you accept what it is, or do you deny it is censorship? It is not a difficult question.Moderation does not have to involve the deletion, editing or disallowance of genuine forum members contributions. If they are wrong they can be shown, if they persist they can be warned and if need be suspended. I have been consistent in this view throughout this debate.Do we need methods of censorship to manage the behaviour of party and non party members of WSM forums?Because if you are saying that it is necessary, it has a direct baring on how we are saying a socialist society should be organised and managed.

    #91386
    steve colborn
    Participant

    DJP, when you read this, I would appreciate a reply to my post 17. Much appreciated in advance,Steve.

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