'Public' online spaces don't carry speech, rights

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by LethalWolfe, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #1
    'Public' online spaces don't carry speech, rights
    Interesting article on the increasing role private companies have in being the gate keepers of what does, and does not, get said over the internet.


    Lethal
     
  2. cycocelica macrumors 68000

    cycocelica

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    #2
    I think censorship is ******** (oh right, MR censors). In before move to PRSI

    But just because you can't put something on one site, doesn't mean another won't accept it. There is always a place to put something on the internet, no matter how terrible one might think it is.
     
  3. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #3
    It's very disturbing. One common theme throughout the article is that the gatekeepers are essentially anyone who is offended by content and that includes company employees with an agenda.

    Live Journal has essentially closed off their service to all but the most mundane blogs. Facebook's seemingly anti gay bias is very disturbing.

    Minority voices are being forced into minority forums. Welcome to the segregation of the 21st century!
     
  4. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #4
    Unless you're running your own server, you're always going to be subject to the whims of the owners of the space.
     
  5. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    That's like saying the owners of a printing press should be allowed to censor. It flies in the face of all aspects of American free speech.
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    No- you're talking about freedom of the press. And the owners of a printing press can censor and do. I'm sorry, but website owners have the right to say what gets discussed on their site.
     
  7. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    I meant in terms of the printer censoring a book after the publisher has already paid to have it printed.

    I understand the owners right to limit discussion but I also believe that when a website becomes ubiquitous like google or facebook, at some point the ownership becomes quasi public. ATT offers mutli party connections and video conferencing. Do they also have the right to limit what is said or viewed via their service?
     
  8. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #8
    I got you. If ATT can be held responsible for what is said or viewed via their service, then I think yes, they have a right to say what it's used for.
     
  9. geese macrumors 6502a

    geese

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    #9
    How does FBs anti-gay bias manifest itself?
     
  10. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #10
    ATT can't be held responsible for what's said on the telephone, think about it. It's insantaneous, one-time communication that can't be reversed, unless you want a five-second delay and corporate censors listening to every call. Websites, however, post once and stay forever giving them the opportunity to go back and change things.

    Unfortunately corporate profits will almost always trump the public good, so the chances of various websites being regulated into allowing potentially offensive speech is low.
     
  11. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #11
    A printer is fully within its rights to refuse to print a book to the extent that such action is covered by the contract agreed upon by the concerned parties. This is a matter for civil suits, not a question of civil rights.
     
  12. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #12
    There you go then. So ATT shouldn't be interfering with what's said. Website owners are different though. I mean, we certainly censor people here.
     
  13. LethalWolfe thread starter macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #13
    IIRC telco's like AT&T can't interfere w/voice communication over their lines and a private communication between a limited number of parties isn't quite on the same level as "broadcasting" over the internet for everyone to see. With that being said though Verizon, per the article, blocked a pro-choice group from sending out mass text messages to it's members (people who had specifically requested to get the text messages). Eventually the block was lifted after complaints rained down on Verizon.

    The crux of the issue is that we quickly moving into a world where corporate, not governmental, forces seem to be the biggest dangers to freedom of speech. Where do the rights of a private business end and the rights of their customers begin in regards to free speech? If it gets to a point where we think government needs to step in and limit the ability of ISPs, web hosting companies, etc., to limit the speech of their customers who's standard of free speech do we apply? The USA's, the UK's, the Chinese? Do we use the UN to facilitate some sort of global standard? How are the rules enforced if, for example, a person in France uses a Russian server to store images he posts on a predominantly American website?


    Lethal
     

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