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 - 91 through 105 (of 117 total)
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  • #91447
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    It is a sad day when a socialist refuses to openly debate a subject so important to the socialist cause. A view they hold that so often supporters of capitalism use to accept and justify the horrors and injustices inherent within the rotten system we, as socialists, have vowed to discredit and disprove.But I will end it there as this off topic exchange has reached it's end. However it leads nicely into a topic that is at the heart of this debate and the recent heat generated on this forum. I had considered posting this subject on the thread "Forum Moderation" on the Web/Tech section. However I think that thread is better utilised for solutions and not the discussion of specific issues.The subject is off topic. Or more precisely what constitutes off topic and what if anything should be done with off topic posts?Some members of this forum insist that off topic as well as abuse is removed. But off topic is not easy to define in simple terms, as some seem to suggest. It can appear in a number of different variations. I will attempt to identify some here.1) Off course some off topic can be deliberate and obvious, soap operas on a physics forum for instance. But care should be taken to condemn even such an obvious example as sometimes light banter can be beneficial for the gelling of members and will likely revert back to the issue at hand.2) Sometimes in the unfolding complexity of debate, a person may inadvertently lose focus and introduce an out of place element.3) Topics can evolve, often from related side issues. On this forum the thread on religion evolved into a discussion on morality and then back again.4) Sometimes a person may feel something seemingly a little unrelated needs addressing, rather than set up a separate thread for something that could be clarified from several posts etc.There are probably more examples of off topic. But it is clear, or at least it should be, that off topic is not an open and shut issue.So what to do about it? Do we attempt to define every case of off topic? Get out the boxes and a multitude of neat labels, and start examining every suspected off topic post, to see what type of off topic box we can put them in?Or perhaps allow off topic to be a part of the natural eb and flow of a debating forum? It can be ignored or reacted to.Often the act of drawing attention to it, can result in the undesired effect of turning it into an issue in itself. What has unfolded in recent weeks comes as a result of such an approach. It is what lies at the heart of the issue.

    #91448
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    After recent events on the party forums this subject and it's implications may end up being discussed at the next party conference and/or ADM meetings. As such it is a relevant and important topic for discussion on an open socialist forum. 

    Quote:
    Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body. It can be done by governments and private organizations or by individuals who engage in self-censorship. It occurs in a variety of different contexts including speech, books, music, films and other arts, the press, radio, television, and the Internet for a variety of reasons including national security, to control obscenity, child pornography, and hate speech, to protect children, to promote or restrict political or religious views, to prevent slander and libel, and to protect intellectual property. It may or may not be legal. Many countries provide strong protections against censorship by law, but none of these protections are absolute and it is frequently necessary to balance conflicting rights in order to determine what can and cannot be censored.

     So even within today’s so called free society, censorship in one form or another still goes on.It is clear from a basic definition of censorship, that it has/is exercised on SPGB forum sites including this one.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.I wish only to discuss the merits and/or problems associated with the use of such practices within a socialist environment and to ascertain if such censorship would be continued within socialism, should it ever come about.My stance is that restriction of free speech and expression would have no place in a socialist society and therefore has no place on any socialist platform.

      NO!!! Censorship has no place in the socialist movement or socialism. 

    #91449
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    The typical left wing response to the all to often vile and offensive views of the right wing, is to not allow them any public platform. Effectively censoring views and opinions they think do not belong in the public arena.The SPGB stance is the opposite. To allow the vile and offensive views of the right wing to be heard.Why?As far as I can ascertain, it is two fold. Firstly, it allows the offensive views of the right wing to be exposed to the full glare of public scrutiny. Secondly, if handled correctly their position can be shown to be wrong. As the right wing openly support capitalism and like most other political organisations they try to persuade workers they have the secret to making capitalism work for all. This relies on piling the blame for capitalism's shortcomings upon the shoulders of foreigners and those from different ethnic groups.So the SPGB policy is to openly engage with problematic and offensive political organizations in order to highlight the failings of their views, rather than simply silence them.With this important principle in mind, I ask the following question.Why does the SPGB use methods of censorship to control behaviour on their online communication sites?Surely if posts are considered problematic, even offensive (as many consider extreme right wing views to be) surely the best approach is to expose them and then seek to find a resolution through discussion?I hope the party members who support the deletion and disallowance of certain posts will have the courage of their convictions and provide some sort of explanation as to the principle at work behind the use of censorship on the party online sites.

    #91450
    DJP
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Why does the SPGB use methods of censorship to control behaviour on their online communication sites?

    The 'censorship' that occurs on the forums and on the mailing lists is of the same nature that occurs at physical meetings and in our physical publications.Any topic of discussion is allowed but if a contributor continually makes personally abusive remarks, repeatedly makes irrelevant and distracting comments or otherwise disrupts the meeting or conversation they are asked to desist and if they fail to comply are eventually asked to leave the meeting.Likewise, the Standard letters page would not be allowed to be used for attacking individuals or as a substitute for internal appeals.

    #91451
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Why does the SPGB use methods of censorship to control behaviour on their online communication sites?

    It doesn't.

    Quote:
    I hope the party members who support the deletion and disallowance of certain posts will have the courage of their convictions and provide some sort of explanation as to the principle at work behind the use of censorship on the party online sites.

    This issue has been dealt with extensively on numerous threads over the past four months.  It's all played out.  Finished, finito, fertig, fini.Comrades are concentrating on, and putting their efforts into, various upcoming activities.The Debatehttp://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/event/will-there-be-economic-collapse-clapham-600pmThe By-Electionhttp://spgb.blogspot.co.uk/The Conferencehttp://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/event/annual-conference-2013to name but a few…You could be helping us in the struggle.

    #91452
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    DJP wrote:
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Why does the SPGB use methods of censorship to control behaviour on their online communication sites?

    The 'censorship' that occurs on the forums and on the mailing lists is of the same nature that occurs at physical meetings and in our physical publications.Any topic of discussion is allowed but if a contributor continually makes personally abusive remarks, repeatedly makes irrelevant and distracting comments or otherwise disrupts the meeting or conversation they are asked to desist and if they fail to comply are eventually asked to leave the meeting.Likewise, the Standard letters page would not be allowed to be used for attacking individuals or as a substitute for internal appeals.

    I agree but  what about withholding many legitimate non abusive posts as is happening on this forum. Everytime you contribute you simply set up an aunt sally and knock it down.

    #91453
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     SocialistPunk wrote:Why does the SPGB use methods of censorship to control behaviour on their online communication sites? Gnome wrote:It doesn't. TOGW wrote:It does.I have legitimate non abusive and on topic posts removed.  Gnome wrote:This issue has been dealt with extensively on numerous threads over the past four months.  It's all played out.  Finished, finito, fertig, fini. TOGW wrote:It is not finished. I have legitimate non abusive and on topic posts removed. Gnome wrote:You could be helping us in the struggle TOGW wrote:He is.   

    #91454
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Is this not embarrassing for the party? Two moderators take off ther moderators hats to defend moderation. Reminds me of a Morecambe and Wise sketch I once watched.

    #91455
    steve colborn
    Participant

    Sun, 24/02/2013 – 10:21am  SocialistPunk wrote: Why does the SPGB use methods of censorship to control behaviour on their online communication sites?  It doesn't. Quote: I hope the party members who support the deletion and disallowance of certain posts will have the courage of their convictions and provide some sort of explanation as to the principle at work behind the use of censorship on the party online sites.  This issue has been dealt with extensively on numerous threads over the past four months. It's all played out. Finished, finito, fertig, fini.Comrades are concentrating on, and putting their efforts into, various upcoming activities.The Debatehttp://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/event/will-there-be-economic-collapse…The By-Electionhttp://spgb.blogspot.co.uk/The Conferencehttp://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/event/annual-conference-2013to name but a few…You could be helping us in the struggle Gnome, it is "your" conclusion, that censorship is "not used " to control behaviour. A conclusion that I, and othersas well, would disagree with. You go on to say, in four different languages by the way, that this is"played out"! Once again others, myself included, totally disagree with your conclusion, no matter how many languages you choose to say the word "finished" in, even if you include, Finnish.Finally, I take exception to your implied assertion, that this issue is taking presidence over more "important" matters, some of which you mention above! Do you really believe, we are not taking part in the "struggle"? The three examples you have given and I suspect others you were going to give, are all taking place in London or the South!  If you did not know, or in fact don't care, some of us are a bit further away.Not to start a, we did this, you did that, playground kerfuffle, when we were active in the N.E. I cannot remember "outsiders" coming up to the boonies to help. Surely you do not need your hands holding do you? Steve Colborn.

    #91456
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Why are my posts being censored  today? Are off topic, abusive, disruptive or what?

    #91457
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     CENSORED POST SocialistPunk wrote:Why does the SPGB use methods of censorship to control behaviour on their online communication sites?Gnome wrote:It doesn't. TOGW wrote:It does.I have legitimate non abusive and on topic posts removed. Gnome wrote:This issue has been dealt with extensively on numerous threads over the past four months.  It's all played out.  Finished, finito, fertig, fini. TOGW wrote:It is not finished. I have legitimate non abusive and on topic posts removed. Gnome wrote:You could be helping us in the struggle TOGW wrote:He is. He has always been a grafter for the party

    #91458
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     CENSORED POSTSocialistPunk wrote:Why does the SPGB use methods of censorship to control behaviour on their online communication sites?Gnome wrote:It doesn't. TOGW wrote:It does.I have legitimate non abusive and on topic posts removed. Gnome wrote:This issue has been dealt with extensively on numerous threads over the past four months.  It's all played out.  Finished, finito, fertig, fini. TOGW wrote:It is not finished. I have legitimate non abusive and on topic posts removed. Gnome wrote:You could be helping us in the struggle TOGW wrote:He is. He has always been a grafter for the party

    #91459
    SocialistPunk
    Participant
    gnome wrote:
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Why does the SPGB use methods of censorship to control behaviour on their online communication sites?

    It doesn't.

    Quote:
    I hope the party members who support the deletion and disallowance of certain posts will have the courage of their convictions and provide some sort of explanation as to the principle at work behind the use of censorship on the party online sites.

    This issue has been dealt with extensively on numerous threads over the past four months.  It's all played out.  Finished, finito, fertig, fini.Comrades are concentrating on, and putting their efforts into, various upcoming activities.The DebateThe By-ElectionThe Conferenceto name but a few…You could be helping us in the struggle.

     Hi gnomeVery well I accept your in depth argument of "It doesn't", with regards to party censorship. I must remember to put that in my arsenal when I wish to wheel out the big guns when I come across someone who thinks that socialism has been tried and failed. Yeah right!Unfortunately for us, it does.

    Quote:
    Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body. It can be done by governments and private organizations or by individuals who engage in self-censorship. It occurs in a variety of different contexts including speech, books, music, films, and other arts, the press, radio, television, and the Internet for a variety of reasons including national security, to control obscenity, child pornography, and hate speech, to protect children, to promote or restrict political or religious views, and to prevent slander and libel. It may or may not be legal. Many countries provide strong protections against censorship by law, but none of these protections are absolute and it is frequently necessary to balance conflicting rights in order to determine what can and cannot be censored.

    Now, I have some posts from OGW that have come through to my email via the reply function. I can categorically tell the forum that they are not problematic and are on topic. They contain nothing I could not say or ask. It seems different rules for OGW are in force, based on the caprice of the moderators.OGW is being censored. Therefore censorship is taking place on this forum.As for your remarks about this issue being an interference, I think Steve has answered perfectly.But I will add that in highlighting flaws on this site I am helping the party. In showing the problems of such an approach, and arguing for a moderation approach that reflects socialist values.If that is not helping the party then I don't know what is?I will answer DJP's comment, later today.

    #91460
    admin
    Keymaster

    Forum users are reminded that the correct appeals procedure is outlined in the forum guidelines and rules.http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/forum-rules-and-guidelinesForum threads should not be used as a way of short circuiting this procedure.

    #91461
    ALB
    Keymaster

    From the title and first posting of this thread a casual observer would get the impression that it was going to be about to whether or not the same sort of restrictions as libel, not naming rape victims, jury secrecy, child pornography that exist today would or could continue into a socialist society and which purists might describe as "censorship", and whether or not any or all of these would be compatible with socialist principles.But it appears to have veered off into a discussion as to whether a socialist discussion forum should be moderated and even of a single case of such moderation on one particular such forum; which is a discussion not  so much as to what can be expressed as to how it can be and where and when; a rather different issue.So, what do people think? Will there be no regulations in socialism against spreading lies about people, naming rape victims, disclosing what goes on in a jury, etc? And would these regulations fall under the generally accepted understanding of what censorship is?

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