To end the suspense, I have just created alt.sex.
That meant that the alt network now carried alt.sex and alt.drugs. It was therefore artistically necessary to create alt.rock-n-roll, which I have also done. I have no idea what sort of traffic it will carry. If the bizzarroids take it over I will rmgroup it or moderate it; otherwise I will let it be.
Brian Reid (about creating the usenet newsgroup alt.sex)
Ah, the Internet. Once a place of creativity/free expression, it has become increasingly regulated. Stale. Beige.
Even worse, it fits the overall current theme of “public discourse/democracy is great if it weren’t for the people with the wrong perspectives”. And yeah, it’s saying something when a country with an actual fascist past uses financial pressure to get public companies to remove “hateful” opinions. It’s not censorship when we outsource it. Seriously, after all that happened in Nazi Germany, it’s sad to see politicians going for the ostensibly easy solution of removing speech. We’ve been down that road. Once was more than enough.
Not to mention what this outsourced censorship does to creativity. It’s uncommon perspectives that are useful. It’s the fifth comment that strikes something interesting even when the other four are worse than crap.
Thankfully, there still are free speech alternatives — and what Minds.com is for Facebook, Gab.ai is for Twitter. Recently, Gab shifted to a different software infrastructure (among other reasons, to circumvent censorship). Some functionality was initially lost, including the “groups” feature. But after about three weeks, they have restored this functionality.
Well, it’s great that they’re back. 🙂
So, with all that’s going on, here’s hoping for the best — that actual free speech survives on the net. It will, as long as people like the ones working for Gab find ways to circumvent censorship and stand up to public outcries. And you have to — if there is nothing that people object to then free speech has already died.
Life is constant tension, and voicing that tension is better than keeping it inside until it — violently — explodes.