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

May 2024 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 - 76 through 90 (of 117 total)
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  • #91420
    steve colborn
    Participant

    Not only politicians do not answer questions! That is if SP even meant politicians in his post, which, knowing him, never crossed his mind. If the discussion has degenerated to this level of, "percieved" insult, then, as you say, we have nothing to discuss here. Steve.

    #91421
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    JC and YMSLet me clarify this. It seems I am being misunderstood, so I will s p e l l..  i t..  o u t.. simply.I originally drew attention to a couple of posts that had been deleted recently. They helped further inflame the situ as the censored member took offence, as I would if censored. The mod' deemed the posts off topic.

    SocialistPunk wrote:
    I do not think it necessary to give specific examples, but they involve the editing, removal or even total disallowance of relevant posts and comments of forum members including SPGB party members under the vague rules of moderation.
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
    I believe deleting pointless posts, disruptive posts and abusive posts to be fine (in fact, in the case of the latter it is in the general interest of both the abused and the abuser).ANDLikewise I think most members, especially abused ones, would not want the abuse to hang around for all time.
    Jonathan Chambers wrote:
    But if you want to insist on calling the removal of offensive posts 'censorship' then yeah, I'm in favour of that kind of censorship.

    So both members talk of the removal of abusive/offensive posts. As if I was complaining of such a thing happening, when in fact I referred only to off topic posts, that have fanned the flames we see now.So again I will ask the question. If the deletion of posts (of which I originally drew attention to) is intended to safeguard the forum from abusive posting, according to YMS and JC,  then why are there still abusive posts left on this forum? And why has a party member seen fit to make a link available to them from SPintcom?And for those who refuse to read actual words that are posted. I have never advocated a "free for all", no rules forum. I think warnings and if needed suspensions are adequate. If carried out in a fair, unbiased manner.

    SocialistPunk wrote:
    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.

    Straight answers on the back of a postcard to Socialist "Paxman" Punk.

    #91422
    Brian
    Participant

    OK here's a straight answer – get on the Forum Moderation thread and list the suggestions you mentioned above!  Time to walk the talk IMO.

    #91423
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Hi BrianI refer you to the title of this thread. JC and myself are in the middle of discussing the post I put up referring to the second half of the title, censorship in a future socialist society. I posted something, JC disagreed, hence the discussion.I have been consistent in my asking YMS and JC to explain their position, that the deletion of posts on this forum is being used to protect the forum and users from abuse, by the removal of such posts. They fail to explain why the abusive posts still remain, as they claim such deletion is precisely for that. In post #77 I quote YMS and JC referring to the removal of abusive posts.Now JC claims my post #68 is an attack against him. Also claiming I advocate a "free for all" forum. A nice tactic to avoid answering such a simple question. Only it doesn't work.

    Jonathan Chambers wrote:
     In the interests of good relations, SP, I'm going to ignore the personal attacks contained in your last post.  I have answered your question in very simple terms.  All I can do, therefore, is repeat myself.  What I am in favour of is an agreement on what's acceptable and what is not, and the subsequent consistent enforcement of those standards by well-briefed moderators. The problem with having a free-for-all – which is what you seem to be advocating – is that threads inevitably descend into little more than an exchange of insults.  Frankly, that's both boring and counter-productive.

    I was not having a go at JC, as he claims, merely using a bit of a flourish to emphasise his inability to give a straight answer to a straight question.If the use of deletion of posts is to remove abusive posting, then why do we still have abusive posts on this forum?A simple question, but will I get a simple answer? Probably not.As for the invitation to contribute to the thread about ideas for moderation. I happen to agree with a number of the ideas being put forward, I have argued previously for some of them and I will contribute soon.  

    #91424
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    JC and YMSLet me clarify this. It seems I am being misunderstood, so I will s p e l l..  i t..  o u t.. simply.I originally drew attention to a couple of posts that had been deleted recently. They helped further inflame the situ as the censored member took offence, as I would if censored. The mod' deemed the posts off topic.

    At the risk of repeating myself:

    TheSmeetAttollah wrote:
    ISTR that I have addressed it, several times, that disruptive posts (what some people call off-topic) should be removed without mercy, I even gave an example with reference to beginning to discuss rugby on a bakery forum.

    I don't think you get much plainer and straighter than that, I'm perfectly happy for off topic posts to be deleted (and off-topic posts, by definition, are not relevent).

    SocialistPunk wrote:
    If the deletion of posts (of which I originally drew attention to) is intended to safeguard the forum from abusive posting, according to YMS and JC,  then why are there still abusive posts left on this forum?

    Not being telepathic, I can't say…

    #91425
    SocialistPunk
    Participant
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
     I believe I have answered your question.  I believe deleting pointless posts, disruptive posts and abusive posts to be fine (in fact, in the case of the latter it is in the general interest of both the abused and the abuser).  Post deletion can prevent the contagion from spreading, as later comers may respond and re-open old wounds.

    I have highlighted the problematic part of your assertion. You and JC both referred to the deletion of posts as if abusive posts were/are being deleted for our benefit. Especially the benefit of the abused and abuser. Trying to make out that censorship was not arbitrary, but directed and necessary.Seeing as the two of you seem unable to understand your own words, I will rephrase the original question slightly.Where did the two of you get the idea, based on my original post, that abusive posts were being deleted for the good of the forum? We seem to be in a position were YMS and JC justify censorship on weak grounds. The abuse is still here for all to see and so could not be said to have been censored to protect anybody. It has also been highlighted with a link to it from another party site, by the abused party. So much for your assumption it's removal is beneficial for the abused and the abuser?You don't need to be telepathic to explain your own reasoning on the subject, just consistent.Now here is an interesting one for you to mull over, YMS. You claim off topic, disruptive posts should be deleted. Check out #39 on this thread. A members first contribution to this subject, disruptive, personally directed, trolling, not contributing to the topic, etc etc.

    #91426
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    I have highlighted the problematic part of your assertion. You and JC both referred to the deletion of posts as if abusive posts were/are being deleted for our benefit. Especially the benefit of the abused and abuser. Trying to make out that censorship was not arbitrary, but directed and necessary.

    No, in the context of a general discussion on the principle of moderation, I have outlined the reasoning behind the necessity for such an institution.  I have not discussed any concrete case, just general principles.

    SocialistPunk wrote:
    We seem to be in a position were YMS and JC justify censorship on weak grounds. The abuse is still here for all to see and so could not be said to have been censored to protect anybody. It has also been highlighted with a link to it from another party site, by the abused party. So much for your assumption it's removal is beneficial for the abused and the abuser?You don't need to be telepathic to explain your own reasoning on the subject, just consistent.

    I don't know why the moderators have acted the way they have.  I'm only talking about the basic reasons why we need moderation, and the grounds for which I believe it is reasonable to remove posts from the forum.

    #91427
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    You are very good at "generalities", YMS.The problem here is that in discussing the need for or against the use of censorship techniques, as the title suggests, having a place in the struggle towards socialism, accepts, rightly or wrongly, the reality of such actually taking place. In other words we have to be specific, because it is happening here and now. That has been established and accepted.I originally laid out my position, that the arbitrary use of deletion as we have seen amounts to censorship. You claim it doesn't, then see fit to lump in deletion of abusive posts, that were never even mentioned. Now you claim that is a generalisation. Worse still your so called generalisation, seems to be your recipe. Delete everything that is unacceptable!That is the problem with censorship, who gets to decide what is and is not acceptable? If judgment and punishment is to be carried out arbitrarily by one individual then it is not democratic and therefore not socialist. Even a magistrates court in this country has three officials presiding over judgment. What we have at present is one person. That is censorship by dictate.

    #91428

    Just a wee point, I've never defended 'arbitrary' deletion, I've given good reasons why, under conditions of democratic accountability, posts may need to be removed from a forum: abusive posts, legally problematic and disruptive (what you call 'off topic') posts.  Now, you accept that there needs to be a moderator who can remove legally problematic and abusive posts, and I've made the case that disruptive ("off topic") posts are a breed of censorship in themselves, and also deserving of deletion.

    #91429
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    More generalities YMS.On this thread where I highlight the problem of censorship used to control what has been happening recently, it was YMS who brought up the issue of abusive posting. I do not claim YMS is defending arbitrary censorship. I claim YMS's attempt at generalising a topic that has highlighted a specific problem, is an attempt to deflect a need to confront the issue and that it is shared by others. They have even criticised a positive attempt by another party member to try and reach a conclusion or two that can be used for open discussion at the party conference. My intention was to demonstrate the problems of arbitrary censorship. Censorship that has seen fit to remove so called off topic, but leaves abuse. However I did not mention abuse.  YMS's post regarding abuse suggested we were talking about moderators deleting abusive posts. So I do not know where the idea comes from that I advocate a moderator being allowed to delete abusive posts.I have previously stated I have no problem with removal of spam. I believe spam is mostly promotional rubbish, of a commercial or criminal variety. And in todays libel obsessed culture, all sites need to be careful to protect themselves. These are a product of capitalism, nothing to do with free speech and so do not belong on a site that promotes socialism.I will state once more on this thread as I have done elsewhere (I will also add it to the relevant thread of Brian's) I see nothing wrong with a warning system. An initial call for calm, 1st warning, 2nd warning and then suspension. All clearly and openly referenced so that everyone knows what to expect.I think deletion of even abuse and off topic are unnecessary. Lessons can be learnt from such material. Hiding from, refusing to address and ultimately censoring a persons input, whether deemed to be problematic by some, is not the way to change a situation for the better. Views or behaviour, if wrong need to be addressed upfront and openly.

    #91430
    SocialistPunk
    Participant
    Jonathan Chambers wrote:
     I don't think you've thought this freedom stuff through properly, see? You're asserting that humanity, once liberated from the shackles of capitalism will be 'truly free'. Oh yeah?  So we go from the situation that you describe as people's behaviour being largely conditioned by their environment to a situation where that's no longer the case just by abolishing capitalism? If only it were that simple! No, socialism will cure no-ones anti-social tendencies overnight, and you really can't – after this week's events – argue that the fact of being a socialist is in any way a guarantor of someone being nicer or more moral in their behaviour toward others.  But this, it seems, is precisely what you are arguing.  Not only that, but you go on to claim that most socialists agree with you.  Well, it'd be interesting to see…I, for one, disagree with your assertion.  Fiercely! And let's leave aside – for the moment – the question about whether humans even have free will…

    Unfortunately for JC I did not claim the ills of humanity would be cured overnight, nor do I claim the act of being a socialist guarantees that we automatically become better people, as his behaviour, past and present on this forum is clear evidence. Previously when I first joined this forum, JC demonstrated his fondness for the claim of the "baser side" of human nature. He ran away from the discussion when he could not provide any support for his claims. Not only did he run away but he did so in a manner that demonstrated a childish zeal for petty annoyance.

    SocialistPunk wrote:
    It is my assertion that in such a society human relationships will be of a much better quality on a personal as well as community level. As such we will over time, as new generations are born into such a society, become less abusive and more co-operative.

    Generally people who support the idea that socialism is an impossible utopian pipe dream fall heavily on the argument that the"baser nature" of humans is a barrier. Such people more often than not leave themselves out of such a description. It is always others who are selfish, unpleasant etc. Here we have a socialist suggesting that our "baser nature" is no barrier to socialism, but despite the immense global effort in achieving a large democratic consensus for change our species will still bicker and feud away among itself while trying to sort out the ills of capitalism's legacy. Generally speaking when humans are faced with a real unfolding disaster they get on with the task at hand, it is in the films and dramas we are shown, that portray humans bickering away in the face of extinction. Maybe JC has seen too many disaster films or as his words show he uses the SPGB as his base line.The SPGB is a poor example to use to show socialism in action. The SPGB is essentially a party of theory, protectors of a wonderful idea. Within the organisation there exists several hundred very frustrated men and women, open to the pressures of surviving and operating within the capitalist system they so despise. They are used to people laughing and pouring scorn on the idea that we can create a better society. The pressure creates tensions that inevitably get the better sometimes. And sometimes the safety valve lets off steam. This does not mean that members are allowing their "baser natures" to shine through. It is a good thing, it shows they are human and not Marxist robots. There are very good socialist men and women in this party, I have met some over the years and conversed with many more on this forum.Unfortunately there also seems to be a minority that have a poor view of their fellow humans as well as socialists, every now and then they expose themselves.Thankfully for the WSM and our species they are a minority.

    #91431
    Anonymous
    Inactive

       I think it's very sad that you need to resort to distortion to make a case against me, SP.   Your attempt at character assassination has no basis.  Moreover, even I had even a vague interest in your opinion of me as an individual this would not be the place to defend myself, any more than it would be the place for me to expose your shortcomings. As far as your claims that I 'ran away' from the discussion on human nature/behaviour are concerned, nothing could be further from the truth.  I was, in that thread, confronted with three arrogant opponents who showed neither any understanding of the position I was advancing or any interest in understanding it.  It is impossible to have an argument with people who refuse to engage with it.  In those circumstances there is no useful option but withdrawal. I will not be drawn into personal conflict however much you and certain other people try to diminish the forum in that fashion.  And now, since I realise that I've unwittingly helped you to knock the thread of course, I shall leave the matter alone.

    #91444
    steve colborn
    Participant

    Have you seen my post on spintcom at 18.33 yesterday, on the "acceptable behaviour on this forum" thread"? If not, do so, if you have please take note! Steve.

    #91445
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    JonathanI apologise if my post has been taken as character assassination by you or anybody else for that matter. But any case you think I could possibly make against you does not require the use of distortion. Your first post on this thread was far from what could be called a beneficial contribution to the discussion of censorship. Quite inflammatory I thought.

    Jonathan Chambers wrote:
    Blimey! Censorship, eh? Can't be all bad, then. There's nothing wrong with telling people to shut up every now and then.  Just like the loudmouth down the pub.  Might be amusing for a while, but before too long it all gets a bit too much and you just have to silence them for a time.

    Then there are these from Web/Tech "Forum Moderation", bringing your pet subject of human nature into play. Even hinting the issue is a personality problem. When in reality you know little of the history of the unfolding events. Also a fine demonstration of pouring scorn on a members attempt at trying to find solutions. You obviously have all the answers. 

    Jonathan Chambers wrote:
    #4 I agree that what underpins this fiasco is – largely – a failure on the part of some people to control their baser natures, but hey! That's what humans are.  Why should socialists be any different? An understanding of what capitalism is and a grasp of how it needs to be changed doesn't, in and of itself, make us better or even nicer people necessarily.#25 I see.  Smells like management-speak mumbo-jumbo from over here.  The whole thing's completely bloody obvious to me.  Two simple rules – be nice and stay on topic – will suffice.  And then those two simple rules need to be enforced by well-briefed moderators.  No need for lists.  No need for any more discussion.  I've offered some of my time for moderating, and I'm sure that at least a few others will do so if they are as bothered about this problem as they claim to be.  For my part, like you, Brian, I'm by now heartily sick of this crap and have no more to say on the matter.

    In fact that is part of the problem here. People butting in, giving their opinions without knowing the full case. Trolling and inflaming. Unwilling to avail themselves of the facts of the events from the beginning. Gloating over the gory ending, after missing the plot of the main feature. Scavenging on the remains.You say that, "It is impossible to have an argument with people who refuse to engage with it." I was under the impression it is known as debate, but to debate you need people willing to engage, not run away when challenged. And as one of the "three arrogant opponents", I recall on the threads "Human Nature? Whoopee!"  and "Sick Societies"  I challenged you on your insistence that humans are creatures of base instinct, and you refused to answer. Instead you us left with this parting remark.

    Jonathan Chambers wrote:
    [Chambers lights blue touchpaper. Exeunt stage left…]

    From a man who would be moderator.I am willing to continue the debate on human nature if you are. I suggest we take it back on the the relevant existing thread. I will be waiting should you feel able to defend your assumptions.

    #91446
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     Distortion, quoting out of context, apparently wilful misinterpretation…on it goes.  No thanks, SP, I don't have time to waste debating with you.  Subject closed.

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