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Author Topic: Free Speech  (Read 472 times)

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Nubti

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Free Speech
« on: May 20, 2019, 06:13:14 PM »
Let's talk about the benefits and drawbacks. In my many conversations with Americans, it appears that free speech is always hailed as the central pillar of their national identity.

But I gave it some thought, and while I agree that being able to speak one's mind about the government, to actually express criticism, I find it difficult to express approval for complete free speech.

While not all might be directly relevant to the US, here's some thoughts:

1. Historically, we've moved largely from energetic/ physical warfare to information and proxy wars. Additionally, most people in the civilized world are plugged into the web, which means that propaganda can be targeted directly and covertly.
2. Foreign/ malicious interests have a vested interest in contributing towards ideological disorder in target countries. This is exacerbated and facilitated by freedom of speech. Russia, for instance, has for decades now been funding both left and right wing media in the west, which lead to ever higher radicalization on both sides.
3. Allowing anyone to express and promote ideas is not unlike democracy -- it boils things down to their lowest common denominator. And that level isn't bound to change very quickly. This combined with extremely short office terms contributes to an accelerated movement towards social collapse, as each politician in turn can blame problems on the previous one, and then get away with negligence themselves. Plus, populism, obviously.

Note that all these things stem from a lack of coherent direction. The ultimate sovereign in any country is the nation -- the people. Undermining the sovereign can only end in one way -- a totalitarian regime of some description. Whether that's nazism, communism, or fascism, or something else, it leads to the oppression of the sovereign by the government.

The nicely put TL;DR: to protect one's sovereignty, a nation and its people must not settle into comfort and convenience in any way -- it is all too easy for toxic ideas to spread like a wildfire if they're not controlled and clearly appropriately dealt with.

A perfect example of this is Germany sending Lenin into Russia as part of their destabilization efforts... a single idea can ruin a nation -- and the effects of this, we still experience daily.

As far as solutions, I would stand by what Poland is doing:

Quote
Article 13

Political parties and other organizations whose programmes are based upon totalitarian methods and the modes of activity of nazism, fascism and communism, as well as those whose programmes or activities sanction racial or national hatred, the application of violence for the purpose of obtaining power or to influence the State policy, or provide for the secrecy of their own structure or membership, shall be prohibited.

I'm not keen on the last two parts, but I can easily stand by everything else.

Note this doesn't mean you can't discuss these matters or express opinions -- an idea that people who can't read seem to be very quick to jump to.

Either way. What do y'all think?

Frater I.S.I

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Re: Free Speech
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2019, 09:18:28 PM »
You raised an interesting fact
  • "Historically, we've moved largely from energetic/ physical warfare to information and proxy wars. Additionally, most people in the civilized world are plugged into the web, which means that propaganda can be targeted directly and covertly."

It is true that in this day and age, especially regarding warfare, we aren't talking about 3 branches of military but rather 5.
The three traditional ones: Land, Sea, Air but also Cyber(information) and Space. They call it the five dimension operations. This participated in an expansion in the abilities of the military to execute multi-domain operations. Considering propaganda, I would be inclined to say that the cyber domain has become the main spatial directory of such practices. Not only is there a rampant higher demand of cyber soldiers in every military corps but there is also a definite playground for such targeted and covert propaganda.

Through that ability to facilitate the propagandized message, there can be an advantage to manipulate free speech. Perhaps, even more so in specific sub-cultures that exist within the cyberspace. Such as websites, forums, subreddits, facebook groups, discord servers, 4chan boards etc. It makes me think of the COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of a internet forum that was shared a while ago. 

At this point, we can even raise the importance of AI developments in such endeavors in cyberwarfare. Being able to flood a specific sub-culture group within the cyberspace with a narrative can be easily done with such technological power.

In the end, I concur that my response was mostly aimed at cyberwarfare and the ability in this day and age to manipulate information and free speech as well as pushing a narrative in the cyberspace.

Considering the Article 13
Quote
the application of violence for the purpose of obtaining power or to influence the State policy, or provide for the secrecy of their own structure or membership, shall be prohibited.

It would be interesting to make a parallel between this specific part in the Article and the current endeavor of some political state, notably the United States of America. 

Aphex

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Re: Free Speech
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2019, 09:55:13 PM »
You raised an interesting fact
  • "Historically, we've moved largely from energetic/ physical warfare to information and proxy wars. Additionally, most people in the civilized world are plugged into the web, which means that propaganda can be targeted directly and covertly."

It is true that in this day and age, especially regarding warfare, we aren't talking about 3 branches of military but rather 5.
The three traditional ones: Land, Sea, Air but also Cyber(information) and Space. They call it the five dimension operations. This participated in an expansion in the abilities of the military to execute multi-domain operations. Considering propaganda, I would be inclined to say that the cyber domain has become the main spatial directory of such practices. Not only is there a rampant higher demand of cyber soldiers in every military corps but there is also a definite playground for such targeted and covert propaganda.

Through that ability to facilitate the propagandized message, there can be an advantage to manipulate free speech. Perhaps, even more so in specific sub-cultures that exist within the cyberspace. Such as websites, forums, subreddits, facebook groups, discord servers, 4chan boards etc. It makes me think of the COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of a internet forum that was shared a while ago. 

At this point, we can even raise the importance of AI developments in such endeavors in cyberwarfare. Being able to flood a specific sub-culture group within the cyberspace with a narrative can be easily done with such technological power.

In the end, I concur that my response was mostly aimed at cyberwarfare and the ability in this day and age to manipulate information and free speech as well as pushing a narrative in the cyberspace.

Considering the Article 13
Quote
the application of violence for the purpose of obtaining power or to influence the State policy, or provide for the secrecy of their own structure or membership, shall be prohibited.

It would be interesting to make a parallel between this specific part in the Article and the current endeavor of some political state, notably the United States of America.

Cyber warfare is going to be an peculiar thing to watch over the course of our lifetime. I always think back to Tomokazu Fukushima writing on a particular scene in one of the games he helped develop. "Colonel JD" AI speech in MGS2 has shed some light to the political atmosphere we are currently adopting to our society as of now. Alas, this is impending.



wellrod

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Re: Free Speech
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2019, 10:40:14 AM »
There is definitely a limit I think to how tolerant you should be towards intolerance. For my money governments are pretty bad at being objective when deciding these things in the past though. Whether something is useful to a conversation and whether it's being put forward in good faith I think are important things to consider, but annoyingly are very hard to judge over the internet. I think it definitely helps to have a pretty hardline stance on what the boundaries of a specific discussion are online, mostly to weed out a lot of the unnecessary, ideological static that just crops up without solicitation.

Broadly though I think as long as people find some benefit in abusing their freedom of speech to their own ends it'll keep happening regardless of government intervention. Really the only solution is to build a world where people don't want to say shit stuff, and I wouldn't be holding my breathe on that one.

Nubti

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Re: Free Speech
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2019, 01:45:54 PM »
Indeed, it's not an easy problem to solve. If anything, I fear it might be even worse if a solution is even suggested, because there'd be massive outcry because 'muh free speech'.