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Gamers: Ethics & Religion Discussion of ethics and religion and what place they have around the gaming table. The point of this forum is to give space to all the ethical stuff that is or is not relevant that gamers insist on talking about anyway. Also much discussion of real-world issues including religion and politics. THIS FORUM IS NOT FOR THE THIN-SKINNED! You have been warned.

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  #11  
Old 01-11-2018, 01:30 PM
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I'm not sure how companies make a profit off banning Nazis, but whatever tool they get to ban Nazis they will find ways to pervert and profitize and not to our benefit I'm sure

Idiots posting stupid news in some dark corner of the internet doesn't motivate me to give Audible and friends another arrow for their quiver
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  #12  
Old 01-11-2018, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
I'm not sure how companies make a profit off banning Nazis, but whatever tool they get to ban Nazis they will find ways to pervert and profitize and not to our benefit I'm sure

Idiots posting stupid news in some dark corner of the internet doesn't motivate me to give Audible and friends another arrow for their quiver
These tools already exist and are being actively used, that's part of what I'm getting at Kal. This isn't a theoretical future state, this is happening right now and some of the abuse you're talking about is already happening. You also can't put the genie back in the bottle so treating this as a future state to be avoided is wrong in terms of it's premise and in terms of it's inherent proposed solution of preventing this from happening.
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  #13  
Old 01-11-2018, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Salah_ad_Din View Post
Kiddie porn?
The creation of child pornography is itself an act of harm. The action of child pornography is a crime; an actual person is harmed or exploited in the creation of the pornographic imagery. It is the act, not the speech, we criminalize.

If a Nazi starts a pogrom or burns a synagogue, those are crimes too.

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This is not about political philosophy or belief, it's about incitement to murder. The Nazis have already shown what they will do, and it's un-categorically evil.
And as we've discussed before, we don't have an agreed on working definition of Nazi. Nor do we have any precedent that simply being a Nazi is itself criminal -- as opposed to active participation in actual crimes. On the contrary, SCOTUS decisions have explicitly ruled Nazi (and Klan) speech as protected. [NSPA (1977), RAV (1992), Brandenburg (1969), Pinette (1995), cf. Phelps (2011), Black (2003)] This place significant burden on government interference or limitation on speech.

Do you propose that such rules don't extend to arms' length government agencies such as the IANA and ICANN? Do you further contend they don't extend via common carrier regulations? That's a giant can of worms.

Do you propose a Great Firewall of America? I'm sure the current POTUS would be in agreement with you, in theory at least if not in the list of banned speech.

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I could no more defend the existence of Nazi sites than I could defend child pornography sites. Some things are so evil that they don't need any dark corner in which to hide.
You're responding here to this line: "I don't want...any other do-gooder controlling what I read online." Emphasis added.

I'm tentatively fine with restrictions on the prohibition of images of an actual crime. However, you seem to extend this to written text. Is that correct? Does your definition of child pornography extend to written depictions of abuse such as Lolita? To go one step further from the written word, what about visually simulated abuse, such as in Taxi Driver?

Would those also be banned?
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  #14  
Old 01-11-2018, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Ischade View Post
I would argue that the internet was always sub divided into parochial chambers and all you're seeing is a proliferation of the chambers in both number and scope as the digital divide shrinks and mobile platforms become ever more dominant. People don't *want* the things you're describing and, on a certain level, you're not being less prescriptive than Google or FB.
I'm not sure how I'm being prescriptive at all. Search engine results, ideally, shouldn't be ideologically managed. Obviously, some sort of ranking mechanism has to be used, but I believe the basic algorithm (popularity, relevance, whatever) should be applied equally.

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The interesting thing about managed content is that if you make a little bit of effort into diversifying the content returned to you then you wind up with information from across the spectrum. It actually doesn't take much effort either.
I think you're underselling the effort required. I do make a conscious decision to diversify my social media and news streams, but I still see unexpected biases arising in my recommendations. If a user doesn't make a continued effort, those biases will slowly erode any diversity based on un-(sub)-conscious choices in browsing / headline clicking. (Not that social media algorithms always make sense. FB is convinced I want to read pro-sports news. Ugh.)

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If you actually have the chops to go manage what google thinks you want in the places you can do so, (I know you do, but plenty of people don't, or don't even know they could if they wanted to.), you can actually flex the system to great personal benefit.
a) Many people don't have the technical acumen, even if they so desired.
b) Some don't even understand it's happening.
c) Others, of course, want the echo chamber.

The result? I have relatives whose social media news offerings consist entirely of sites with titles like ConservativeDailyExplosiveNews and AltRightChampion. How distorted must your world become when half your news comes from Alex Jones and his ilk? How much worse when you actually believe this is "mainstream" or "moderate" positions based on the recommendations and results?

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Also, I'm with Salah on this one. There are certain groups and ideals that clearly warrant overt hostility. "Don't be a dick." is the closest thing to a universal moral truth I've found so far in life and nazis are defined by their desire to violate that principle.
And do you trust DJT, Mike Pence, Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos, Jeff Sessions, and Scott Pruit to make the determination of which groups go on the naughty list?
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  #15  
Old 01-12-2018, 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Archaelos View Post
I'm not sure how I'm being prescriptive at all.
Really?
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Search engine results, ideally, shouldn't be ideologically managed. Obviously, some sort of ranking mechanism has to be used, but I believe the basic algorithm (popularity, relevance, whatever) should be applied equally.
So this isn't a prescriptive statement?
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]I think you're underselling the effort required. I do make a conscious decision to diversify my social media and news streams, but I still see unexpected biases arising in my recommendations. If a user doesn't make a continued effort, those biases will slowly erode any diversity based on un-(sub)-conscious choices in browsing / headline clicking. (Not that social media algorithms always make sense. FB is convinced I want to read pro-sports news. Ugh.)
Uh... Yeah, maintaining a diverse POV and access to a variety of sources in your feeds takes effort. The effort consists of knowing what the other sources are, and reading their content when presented or seeking them out deliberately occasionally. Truly a soul crushing burden to put upon someone interested in cultivating such a POV.
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a) Many people don't have the technical acumen, even if they so desired.
b) Some don't even understand it's happening.
c) Others, of course, want the echo chamber.
Option C is the default it seems. People very much don't like, or want difference. Especially in a group of "friends" or "followers" or in their "circles." In the case of FB it might take a little effort and be obscure, FB likes to make things obscure. In the case of Google, they actually ask you all over the place what you want them to tell you about. The backstage items you can control are obscure but there's plenty of dials, levers, and buttons presented up front that you can use manipulate the content. (Like, do you use Google Now at all?)
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The result? I have relatives whose social media news offerings consist entirely of sites with titles like ConservativeDailyExplosiveNews and AltRightChampion. How distorted must your world become when half your news comes from Alex Jones and his ilk? How much worse when you actually believe this is "mainstream" or "moderate" positions based on the recommendations and results?
IMHO you are putting the cart way the hell before the horse. A person doesn't arrive at that place because of Alex Jones or their news feeds. Those things occupy an actually small space in *anyone's* life. Before that ever happened their social life, their job, their community, their church, their family, their friends, etc... were all there helping them create, and reinforce, the walls of their echo chamber. The content of their news feeds and opinions about things like what is, or isn't, mainstream, are an output of that sum which it in turn becomes a (minor) reaffirming input for.
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And do you trust DJT, Mike Pence, Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos, Jeff Sessions, and Scott Pruit to make the determination of which groups go on the naughty list?
If you want to persuade me with an appeal to fear you're going to have to do better than that. I deal with far worse, and more immediate threats, stemming from horrid abuses of power or callous disregard for basic human rights on a not-quite daily basis while people in power do everything they can get away with to vilify or erase my existence. The possibility that people already doing terrible things might extend the power to not associate with Nazis in virtual realms to less unambiguously bad groups in the future is a small, distant, concern in comparison.
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  #16  
Old 01-12-2018, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Ischade View Post
Really?

So this isn't a prescriptive statement?
No. I would advocate minimal massaging of search results and a basis on transparent criteria. I don't see it as prescriptive to say: I don't trust multinational corporations to make judgments for me.

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Truly a soul crushing burden to put upon someone interested in cultivating such a POV.
Yeah, I get it. You think this is a trivial endeavor, and anyone who fails must either intend to fail or be a mental incompetent. Of course, you're also a touch to the left of Stalin, and support outright censorship, so our definitions of successful diversity in ideological representation may differ significantly.

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Option C is the default it seems.
I think most people are a mixture of all three. Do they want to see opinions that generally agree with their worldview? Sure. Those who start out parochial stay that way (though I've noticed many supposed cosmopolitans build parochial enclaves online, which is interesting in its own right.) But many of those, imx, genuinely fail to understand just how extensive their echo chamber is. They believe they are getting "fair and balanced" news. I've had more than one of those relatives express to me concern about the fact that they don't see the news sources I talk about, and they lack the technical acumen to find them, and their social media tends to exclude them.

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The content of their news feeds and opinions about things like what is, or isn't, mainstream, are an output of that sum which it in turn becomes a (minor) reaffirming input for.
To an extent, sure. But I believe the social media echo chamber has greatly exacerbated the problem. My Twitter feeds and Facebook feeds may as well be from different planets at this point, they're so radically divergent in view of the political situation in the US.

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The possibility that people already doing terrible things might extend the power to not associate with Nazis in virtual realms to less unambiguously bad groups in the future is a small, distant, concern in comparison.
It isn't about "less ambiguously bad groups". It's about the use of whatever censorship tools to take down groups with which you actively identify as "good".

Consider even in this thread, Salah has voiced the opinion that groups who advocate explicit evil should be removed from the internet.

Now, ask yourself about Salah's position vis-a-vis abortion rights.
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  #17  
Old 01-12-2018, 01:16 PM
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I rely on this forum to handle my news needs for political and related stuff I don't explicitly seek out, but being an informed citizen might be useful news

I mostly rely on sports.yahoo.com/mlb for baseball news

Beyond that I throw random search into Google on occasion

Never really read Facebook for the news
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  #18  
Old 01-12-2018, 02:01 PM
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No. I would advocate minimal massaging of search results and a basis on transparent criteria. I don't see it as prescriptive to say: I don't trust multinational corporations to make judgments for me.
That is absolutely prescriptive. All you're doing is specifying that they make a particular judgement in a deliberately ignorant fashion. Also, you absolutely trust multinational corps to make judgments for you. You use Google, FB, Twitter, (I'm assuming for that middle one but it seems likely.), and consume content from other multinational media corps. The only deviation you make, based on your own descriptions of what you do, is that you seek out the opinions of several multi-nationals rather than just one.

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Yeah, I get it. You think this is a trivial endeavor, and anyone who fails must either intend to fail or be a mental incompetent.
Hardly at all. People like their echo chambers and defend them with great vigor. The people doing the tailoring are responding to their markets to improve their product to align with what people seem to want from their POV. Given the incredible enthusiasm with which people build echo chambers out of their social media streams this is, like, painfully obvious.

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Of course, you're also a touch to the left of Stalin, and support outright censorship, so our definitions of successful diversity in ideological representation may differ significantly.
And you're an anti-Semitic, trans-phobic bigot? See how that works? I can go dig up the links where you've argued that I don't deserve equality before the law, or where you've argued that all settlers in Israel are genocidal murderers if you need to see some evidence to support my claim.

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I think most people are a mixture of all three. Do they want to see opinions that generally agree with their worldview? Sure.
IMHO this is where anything important stops. People don't seek out disagreement. The don't want the dissonance because then they have to think, do work, etc... and humanity's track record with diversity is shit across millennia.

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To an extent, sure. But I believe the social media echo chamber has greatly exacerbated the problem. My Twitter feeds and Facebook feeds may as well be from different planets at this point, they're so radically divergent in view of the political situation in the US.
Really? Because we had that Civil War thing, and then we had all the political violence in the 60's, and there's all the other times political figures have been assassinated, or other political violence has happened, for this or that thing on both sides of the spectrum. The only real difference I see between then and now is accessibility. That is, you can now see all the ugly truths about what's going on rather than thinking nice optimistic thoughts about the ugly parts of humanity.

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It isn't about "less ambiguously bad groups". It's about the use of whatever censorship tools to take down groups with which you actively identify as "good".

Consider even in this thread, Salah has voiced the opinion that groups who advocate explicit evil should be removed from the internet.

Now, ask yourself about Salah's position vis-a-vis abortion rights.
You don't get it. The pontif talks publicly about how I'm wright up there with nuclear weapons on the evil spectrum. The CDC gets strongly worded memos suggested they shouldn't talk about what I am. The dept of education has rolled back protections for trans kids. I had to fight for a year and get a lawyer for access to basic healthcare as a trans person. Right now we have someone trying to break medicaid funding here in OR and I'm having to work on a political campaign to help protect that. Every day I go out and about my life and have to deal with random encounters with trans-phobic assholes and every trip to the bathroom is a roll of the dice and I walk by dozens of queer people every day who are on the streets because the whole of society has fucking failed them.

I have absolutely shit terrible things to say to Salah re: abortion but the potential he might do something terrible given power and opportunity is so far under the horizon it's ridiculous to even worry about it when I'm dealing with a horde of trivial non-zero existential threats to my safety and the safety of those I care about combined with a second horde of actual legitimate assaults on my safety and those I care about.
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  #19  
Old 01-12-2018, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Ischade View Post
That is absolutely prescriptive.
If my position is prescriptivist, what would a non-prescriptive position even look like?

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The people doing the tailoring are responding to their markets to improve their product to align with what people seem to want from their POV. Given the incredible enthusiasm with which people build echo chambers out of their social media streams this is, like, painfully obvious.
I don't disagree with your description of the echo chamber.

Doesn't mean I have to like the echo chambers or their continued proliferation.

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And you're an anti-Semitic, trans-phobic bigot? See how that works?
I know how "that" works. Which is part of my point.

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Really? Because we had that Civil War thing...
Some of the processes that led to that Civil War thing appear to be in play right now. Personally, I'd rather not have another Civil War in my lifetime, thank you very much.

Empathy over division, ya know?

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You don't get it. The pontif talks publicly about how I'm wright up there with nuclear weapons on the evil spectrum. The CDC gets strongly worded memos suggested they shouldn't talk about what I am. The dept of education has rolled back protections for trans kids. I had to fight for a year and get a lawyer for access to basic healthcare as a trans person.
You're right, I don't get it. Those in power use that power to bad ends, and your conclusion is to give those in power even more power knowing they may (will) do even more bad things? Is that an accurate summation?

I want to decrease their power to do bad things. Not increase it by giving either the government or the multinational corporate rulers the mandate to go forth and do all manner of evil. I don't think that evil is hypothetical or distant, btw. I think it would be quick and immediate. Cyberpunk got it all wrong. The megacorps aren't going to impose their rulership on us. Apparently, society is going to get down on their collective knees and beg for the electrostimulant implant and constant Big Brother monitoring.

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  #20  
Old 01-12-2018, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Archaelos View Post
If my position is prescriptivist, what would a non-prescriptive position even look like?
People clearly want echo chambers, allow them to have their echo chambers. If you don't like echo chambers look for a solution that doesn't involve telling people they can't have the thing they want.

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I don't disagree with your description of the echo chamber.

Doesn't mean I have to like the echo chambers or their continued proliferation.
Part of my point is that there's not really any proliferation going on. If anything there are forces at play tearing down some of these chambers and the only thing that's happened is that you've gained massively increased visibility of what was already there.

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I know how "that" works. Which is part of my point.
I'm not convinced you do actually.

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Some of the processes that led to that Civil War thing appear to be in play right now. Personally, I'd rather not have another Civil War in my lifetime, thank you very much.

Empathy over division, ya know?
Right? Except the people who talk openly about killing me or that I don't have a right to exist? Yeah, fuck them and their whole damn lives. I don't have empathy for people who talk openly about my murder, death, or cessation of public life.

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I want to decrease their power to do bad things. Not increase it by giving either the government or the multinational corporate rulers the mandate to go forth and do all manner of evil. I don't think that evil is hypothetical or distant, btw. I think it would be quick and immediate. Cyberpunk got it all wrong. The megacorps aren't going to impose their rulership on us. Apparently, society is going to get down on their collective knees and beg for the electrostimulant implant and constant Big Brother monitoring.
You keep using the future tense and appealing to fear. The fear you're appealing to is of an abstract thing that may, or may not, happen at some unknown future date without a concrete road from A to B. Meanwhile I'm stuck in the present tense dealing with actual evil being done as part of my day to day existence. I too would like to diminish the power of these people to do the evil things but there's so much in the present that asking me to care about unambiguously justified actions taken against unambiguously evil people because of that abstract future possibility is absurd and dead on arrival.

The mere fact that you think the abstract future case is somehow more relevant or compelling then the current situation where some of the same people who advocate for an end to my existence are somehow going to maybe be harmed possibly someday does not inspire empathy in me for your position because you're (consistently) showing the inability to have empathy for what's being done right now.
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