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Miscellaneous > Should men have to get a license for online discourse

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message 1: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1427 comments We have seen a number of celebrities pull back from social Media of late. I must admit an ambivalence here. To make so many happy with a few lines of text seem like a gift.

But I have been looking at comments about Emma and other stars and sadly I am forced to agree with people particularly women "going dark"

Full disclosure I miss seeing Emma and have her do pictures for OSS but when you read the comments for any innocent activity why would anyone bother with that in there life.

So what do we do well how about what was done when the roads started to fill with new drivers, license them. To get access to the internet (possibility just forums and comments) you have to be licensed. Pass a test of knowledge and acceptable behavior.

We have to reclaim the internet before there is no one worth talking to left.


message 2: by Keith (last edited Jul 06, 2017 06:45AM) (new)

Keith | 632 comments Ross wrote: "We have seen a number of celebrities pull back from social Media of late. I must admit an ambivalence here. To make so many happy with a few lines of text seem like a gift.

But I have been looking at comments about Emma and other stars and sadly I am forced to agree with people particularly women "going dark"


I understand your point and actually share your view about 'going dark'. But, may I ask:

Who do you think should police the applications and issue the licenses?

Why only men? - if memory serves, the Vanity Fair 'controversy' was initially started by a female 'Daily Mail' reporter (glad to be corrected on this, by the way)


message 3: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2290 comments I must agree with Keith - who should issue them and then, why only for men? Sure, men can be pretty awful on the web, but so can women!

I think such a test should be passed by anyone, not just men.

I don't know who started the Vanity Fair controversy (of which one do you even speak of?, I don't get much notice of such papers, last one I witnessed was Emma's), so I cannot say much to that. If you're talking about the one Emma was involved in, that one was just horrible and totally unfeminist! (The debate, not that she posed in the way she did!)

The OSS pictures were nice, I'd be glad if Emma did them again. They were for us:)


message 4: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1427 comments I was expecting this. Why men because I am working the problem and it is men vast majority of what I am talking about is men. So men have to be the focus.

I would advocate UN as the arbitrators of the system. Also professional certification of moderators with real powers to block offenders.

We want women to be allowed to use and contribute to the Cyber sphere we have to change it for the virtual dark ally it currently is.

The only way is control male aggression on line unpalatable it may be but currently unavoidable.


message 5: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2290 comments You were expecting this.. from me?

Well, if we take everyone accountable, we also hold men accountable. Two issues (varying in the force) solved at once.


message 6: by Gerd (new)

Gerd | 381 comments To the question at hand, no.
For one it wouldn't work, the paperwork for it would be killer and before the first guys got their clearance the internet would have moved on to something new. :D

Secondly, you can't just arbitrarily degree that people have to pass a test to add their voice to the internet based on their gender - that's something the those IS & Taliban loonies would come up with, only for women.

So, that's that.
Reading some of the comments Anita Saarkesian apparently got on her twitter account, I would agree that we need harsher anti-harassment laws and naturally more rigid enforcement of them. Because else they would be only lip service.


message 7: by Gabby (new)

Gabby Thorpe (diaryofabibliophagist) | 45 comments I'm not sure it's realistic to expect the UN to spend time and resources licensing people just so they can go on forums. Although I take your point, I believe that actually licensing people can remove from debate. That's not to say that everyone should be debated with necessarily but that the best way to make change is to debate people and bring them over to your way of thinking. Otherwise we are just preaching to the converted.

Also, I don't think it's really enforceable on a broader level. I'm not sure a lot of big name companies would be comfortable with using their own resources to enforce licensing which they would undoubtedly have to do

And (final point), I believe if a viable way to do this was found, it would be irresponsible just to apply the rule to men. Other forms of oppression (and to a large extent female oppression) are perpetuated by both men and women so it would be silly just to champion licensing on a feminist basis. In order to achieve liberation of the sexes we must believe in intersectionality and try and argue against other forms of oppression!


message 8: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1427 comments I expected it from many but only from you Mee because you have the best intentions and work to include everyone.

But the sad fact is men are the problem make these changes it will reduce the instances of on line abuse; being Female famous and active on line should not be something that has to be endured.

The internet is not a result of nature or historical factors its a construct so we have the ability to alter it easily if we have the will to do so.

If we do as I suggest it will be imperfect yes but will enter the Zeitgeist make it no longer the norm to address women casually in the terms we see now.

People used to spit in the street some still do bit but most don't not many have been prosecuted but the standard of behavior has risen to higher acceptable level.

That is the sort of progress I am aiming for to do it we have to target the biggest offenders.


message 9: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1427 comments Gabby, On paper Heforshe was unrealistic up to the point Emma spoke on it.

I feel it is irresponsible to except a condition when it can be changed men do most of what we are discussing so we have to stop doing it.

Those not being abusive will not have a problem those that are need to find a healthier outlet for there issues than cowardly attacking women.


message 10: by Gabby (new)

Gabby Thorpe (diaryofabibliophagist) | 45 comments In my experience, in terms of being sexist or anti-feminist I've had it way worse from women.


message 11: by Keith (new)

Keith | 632 comments MeerderWörter wrote: "I don't know who started the Vanity Fair controversy (of which one do you even speak of?...If you're talking about the one Emma was involved in, that one was just horrible and totally unfeminist! (The debate, not that she posed in the way she did!)."

Meerder,

Yes, it was the one Emma was involved in. I also agree with the rest of your post (not opening that horrible debate again under any circumstances)

Ross wrote: "We want women to be allowed to use and contribute to the Cyber sphere we have to change it for the virtual dark ally it currently is. ..."

Ross,

I could not agree more, but the internet needs to be a safe space for everyone to use and, as others have mentioned, licensing around a third of the internet population (bearing in mind the usage by children and the abuse they give out to their peers and others) will not necessarily bring this about.

Yes, the internet has to to be better policed and regulated than at present, but that needs to be for the benefit of all users. Ross, I think you have started a valid debate about safety and security on the internet, but I'm not convinced your proposal is either fair or feasible.


message 12: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2290 comments Well, I think feminism is for everyone, of course I have to think about as many as I can!

Harsher anti-harassment laws, that is what we need in the first place. Online and offline!


message 13: by Keith (new)

Keith | 632 comments MeerderWörter wrote: "Well, I think feminism is for everyone, of course I have to think about as many as I can!

Harsher anti-harassment laws, that is what we need in the first place. Online and offline!"


Absolutely agree with this - the question of law enforcement becomes tricky however, due not only to the international aspect of users but also because of the structure of the internet. For example, do you hold a Facebook user responsible for a comment or Facebook itself for hosting said content - or do you pursue both? Furthermore, who does the policing?

All difficult questions, but ones that need to be answered if cyberspace is to be cleaned up.


message 14: by Emma (new)

Emma Clement (emmatclement) | 1784 comments Ross wrote: "We have seen a number of celebrities pull back from social Media of late. I must admit an ambivalence here. To make so many happy with a few lines of text seem like a gift.

But I have been lookin..."


Very radical idea, but not a bad one. I think if there was a license for online discourse, it should be required for people of all genders/sexes/identities. Along those lines, I think stricter laws against harassment would be very beneficial to improve discussions on the internet.


message 15: by James (new)

James Corprew | 547 comments As Gabby has pointed out this isnt just a man problem, online abuse can come from any gender and sometimes from women its worse. The problem with this idea is,

1) Its sexist and goes against the principles of feminism.
2) It would then open the door and allow abuse from women to where men would not have any protections for themselves.

Its one thing to apply it to all sexes, but to single out men simply wont do and again is discrimination.


message 16: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1427 comments James, it is sexist by definition also necessary to address the problem. The vast majority of this abuse is male.

you need a passport and often other documentation such as a visa to go to any country even returning to your own.

This is the same principal abuse the privilege and you lose you access.

Currently I do not see much alterative we have to impose standard of behaviour on people if we ever want the Internet to be a place of equality.


message 17: by Gerd (new)

Gerd | 381 comments Keith wrote: "For example, do you hold a Facebook user responsible for a comment or Facebook itself for hosting said content - or do you pursue both? Furthermore, who does the policing?
..."


The User is directly responsible for his comment, and I think criminal harassment/threats like "You should be killed and raped" needs to be addressed by court law. For "minor" infringements there should be at least a system set in place by the provider to punish offenders according to severity, issuing a simple written reprimand up to a (temporary) ban.

Platforms like facebook or twitter have to make sure that they provide an as save as possible environment for their users and are directly responsible to integrate a system that allows to easily/instantly flag such comments and then to ban users accordingly/work with law enforcement by providing needed information for the courts to judge the case - there's no such useful system in place right now, you can't even do something as simple as flag posts/pages for something as simple as copyright infringement when they list illegal eBook downloads.

Agreed, though, international law pursuit would become difficult.


message 18: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2290 comments Gerd wrote: "Keith wrote: "For example, do you hold a Facebook user responsible for a comment or Facebook itself for hosting said content - or do you pursue both? Furthermore, who does the policing?
..."

The U..."


I'm totally with Keith here, and I really need to say that Twitter needs to improve their flagging system. I hardly ever use it, and when I do, I am really pissed and hurt, and it doesn't really help when they do nothing then!

Since I don't want a system to be sexist in order to solve other problems, I say everyone needs to have such a license. Because everyone can misbehave online, although it is mostly cisgender, dyadic men who do it. ( I see your point, Ross, but I think we need to include everyone, otherwise we only tackle a portion of the problem, not the problem as a whole.)


message 19: by Keith (last edited Jul 07, 2017 02:52AM) (new)

Keith | 632 comments Gerd wrote: "The User is directly responsible for his comment, and I think criminal harassment/threats like "You should be killed and raped" needs to be addressed by court law...."

Absolutely. You are responsible for your own actions - Freedom of Speech comes with responsibilities and you have to be prepared to pay a cost if you overstep the mark

Gerd wrote: "Platforms like facebook or twitter have to make sure that they provide an as save as possible environment ..."

You worded this much better than I did. I think we are agreed that this does not happen to any great extent and I was wondering how much longer we have to wait until regulations are enforced upon social media platforms if they continue to refuse to take action themselves.

I see it very much like a newspaper; yes, the reporter is responsible for the content but the editor makes the final decision over publishing and either changes or pulls a story and the paper is held liable if the editor gets it wrong.

I appreciate we are talking millions of posts a day, but if they have a logarithm that allowed Facebook to find and remove one of the most iconic images of the Vietnam War, I refuse to believe that can't do this for "inappropriate text" (and, yes, I know this needs to be defined)

MeerderWörter wrote: "I really need to say that Twitter needs to improve their flagging system. I hardly ever use it, and when I do, I am really pissed and hurt, and it doesn't really help when they do nothing then!"

I have never bothered with the system, but I sympathise with your reaction. It makes you wonder whether it's the 'head in the sand' syndrome - if we ignore it, it will go away.

MeerderWörter wrote: "...Because everyone can misbehave online, although it is mostly cisgender, dyadic men who do it...."

Now, I have seen this comment (or similar) a number of times on this thread and, whilst I tend to believe it to be true, I am having difficulties actually proving it.

In a totally unscientific experiment, I has a look at the responses on the Daily Mail Forum to Emma's interview, in which she described her initial reaction to criticism http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/.... (I picked this rag because it's readers are generally anti-anything that rocks the boat)

Bearing in mind that profiles are hidden and that contributors can be anonymous by using a pseudonym, I found the following from a sample of seventy, looking at the user names only:

Male - 36
Female - 6
Can't Tell - 30
(Sorry Meerder - it's difficult to be inclusive doing something like this; no offense intended)

Even reading the posts didn't give any real clues to someone's gender.

My very long winded point is that, to issue licenses only to men, we either cancel every users account and start with a clean slate or we find some way of identifying everyone's gender. (Bear in mind that we also need to be aware of any data protection/personal information issues) My stupid experiment shows that even the latter option is not as easy as it sounds.

On a more personal note, some of the comments did make my skin crawl. I have no idea, celebrity or not, how anyone puts up with this crap nor why they should, or even be expected to, put up with it.

Like Ross, I am afraid that 'going dark' is going to become the norm if effective action is not taken very soon.


message 20: by James (new)

James Corprew | 547 comments Keith wrote: "Gerd wrote: "The User is directly responsible for his comment, and I think criminal harassment/threats like "You should be killed and raped" needs to be addressed by court law...."

Absolutely. You..."


I found these which may be a bit helpful in answering some of your questions.

http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/10/22...

https://www.theguardian.com/media/201...


message 21: by James (new)

James Corprew | 547 comments Ross-
"The vast majority of this abuse is male. "

Not according to the two links i provided for Keith. Apparently men actually face more online abuse than women although the general consensus is women face more because of gender. But, abuse is abuse regardless.

"you need a passport and often other documentation such as a visa to go to any country even returning to your own. "

Yes, both men and women need those.

"Currently I do not see much alternative we have to impose standard of behaviour on people if we ever want the Internet to be a place of equality. "

If you are making it a standard for everyone than i would agree with you. Singling out a specific sex is not the way to go about it especially when it is a problem with both sexes.


message 22: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2290 comments Keith wrote: "Male - 36
Female - 6
Can't Tell - 30
(Sorry Meerder - it's difficult to be inclusive doing something like this; no offense intended)"


No offense taken.
But see, you had problems finding out the gender of the persons, which only further shows that we need to have a license for all, and not just a certain type of men. Fighting sexism with sexism is a bit odd.
And as James has pointed out, apparently men face more online abuse. Which only shows us that, let's call it "hearsay", is just that: hearsay.
It doesn't even shock me, because women can be very toxic, for reasons I often don't understand. (But that's another topic)



Keith wrote: "I have never bothered with the system, but I sympathise with your reaction. It makes you wonder whether it's the 'head in the sand' syndrome - if we ignore it, it will go away. "
I was having a little "discussion" with some TERFs and they just couldn't accept anything new. I came with an argument, and their comments just made my blood boil.


message 23: by James (new)

James Corprew | 547 comments The other thing to consider here is by proposing the idea of singling out a particular sex (in this case men) you are in my opinion reinforcing the idea that women are the weaker sex and should be coddled more when it comes to online abuse. Over the course of time that ive been a part of this group my understanding is that feminism wants to break and challenge that stereotype that has been ingrained in society for so long. We need to tackle this kind of problem on a level spectrum so that it helps and benefits everyone involved.


message 24: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2290 comments James wrote: "The other thing to consider here is by proposing the idea of singling out a particular sex (in this case men) you are in my opinion reinforcing the idea that women are the weaker sex and should be ..."

That's a fair point, James. It can be seen as further victimizing women (which is not something that feminism wants)


message 25: by Emma (new)

Emma Clement (emmatclement) | 1784 comments James wrote: "The other thing to consider here is by proposing the idea of singling out a particular sex (in this case men) you are in my opinion reinforcing the idea that women are the weaker sex and should be ..."

Going by that logic, though, do all actions of feminism that target helping only women further victimize women?


message 26: by James (new)

James Corprew | 547 comments No of course not. But since online abuse seems to be a huge problem for both men and women I don't think this is a case where one sex should be favored over another.


message 27: by Keith (last edited Jul 07, 2017 05:48AM) (new)

Keith | 632 comments @James @Meerder

James - Thank you for the links - it's really interesting to see another perspective. Your other posts brought my thoughts together in significantly less space and in a more succinct way - message to self; I need to stop rambling.

Meerder - But see, you had problems finding out the gender of the persons, which only further shows that we need to have a license for all, and not just a certain type of men. Fighting sexism with sexism is a bit odd.

Absolutely - it's such a complex area and, without evidence to back up a position, its very difficult to discuss and draft coherent policy and/or responses.

My problem, is that I'm quite cynical where statistics are concerned; you can manipulate them to tell you anything you want, if you know how.

Re: the TERF's - sometimes you just have to accept there are some battles you can't win - it is generally the case that once a to$$er, always a to$$er :)


message 28: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Thompson | 62 comments The power and benefit of the internet is the fact that it offers free speech, especially to those who do not have it in their countries. Mandatory censorship of the internet is a terrible idea. Who watches the watchers? However, I do agree with people choosing to join particular internet communities and choosing a higher level of discourse (community rules, moderators, etc).


message 29: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Thompson | 62 comments And gender based restrictions are the anthisis of feminism.


message 30: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2290 comments Keith wrote: "@James @Meerder

James - Thank you for the links - it's really interesting to see another perspective. Your other posts brought my thoughts together in significantly less space and in a more succin..."


First thing I learned in statistics at university were a few simple tricks how to make them more how you like them, without even making them wrong;) So yes, that is really a problem.


message 31: by Kate (last edited Jul 07, 2017 06:46AM) (new)

Kate I completely agree with Jeremy on both points. You cannot censor free speech. That just leads to further issues.

And making it gender based is part of the reason feminism has such a negative connotation in many circles. If we are to overcome the "man hating" that most feminists are labeled we cannot limit the freedoms of other genders.

AND, you are forgetting that:
A. people can lie and pass the test and then be the harbinger of harassment anyways. Take your driver's license theory. How many take the test stating they will always drive the speed limit and obey all traffic signals, don't drink and drive, etc. and are the first to run the red light or have just one more beer. I have a feeling this would be even worse of people posturing to take the test and then doing what they want.

B. In addition it takes some of the anonymity away that the internet gives. Perhaps you don't feel a certain way but you want to enhance a debate (in a thought-provoking and kind way). Can you stay relatively anonymous if you need a license? I think even if you passed said exam and received the license it would completely hinder free speech and open discussion for fear of being harassment. Someone could be offended at this entire thread and report it... then what happens. It's too arbitrary to enforce.

C. Hackers are real and they would not care about your licenses.

D. What about the economic and educational impact of this. Most jobs/schools require internet use. What if someone does not pass said test? Should they be banned from their job which requires internet use as well? Or would it just be certain websites? Are there different levels of licenses then? Person A passed the test and has unlimited access. Person B did not but needs internet for college so can only go to education sites? Person C does not need the internet so can't have any access at all? What about online shopping? Online banking? Online Bill Pay?

Yes people are jerks but we can't ban them from the internet for being insensitive.

This is completely unfeasible.


message 32: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2290 comments But we still need a better policy in general. Why is it that in the internet everything tends to turn sour so much easier than in "real life"?


message 33: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Thompson | 62 comments Anonymity makes people bold. That's why interactions on the internet can get out of control. But that anonymity is critical to protect activists, minorities, etc, especially in certain areas of the world.


message 34: by Gerd (new)

Gerd | 381 comments MeerderWörter wrote: "But we still need a better policy in general. Why is it that in the internet everything tends to turn sour so much easier than in "real life"?"

Because of the anonymity and I'm sure in some case a more prevalent mob mentality. For one it's easier to dismiss on the net that the person you are threatening/insulting is just that a person. Secondly, I'm sure a lot of online harassment works via chat or pm where the perpetrator feels even more secure.
And there are cases in which fb banned members for posting harassing PMs openly stripping the attacker of his anonymity.

And here's a large problem, it is for platforms like fb / twitter, but also online gaming societies, likely considered far more lucrative to protect (cater to) such users than to enforce stronger rules.


message 35: by Jo, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Jo (Jo_9) | 265 comments Mod
I feel to target men would be wrong, in my experience I have seen just as many female trolls (hello Katie Hopkins - professional troll).

Whilst their is a huge 'troll' problem, it should be up to the service you are using to take responsibility, for example, Goodreads have got some good systems in place to stop trolls or keep it to an absolute minimum. Social media in particular should invest some of it's huge profits into policing this more closely.


message 36: by Keith (last edited Jul 07, 2017 08:17AM) (new)

Keith | 632 comments MeerderWörter wrote: "But we still need a better policy in general. Why is it that in the internet everything tends to turn sour so much easier than in "real life"?"

Agreed - I don't think anyone commenting on this thread was discussing censorship as a way forward. Free Speech by all means, but there need to be boundaries. Some of the comments meted out on the internet, in any other context, would lead to legal action for libel.

My definition of Free Speech is not a free-for-all/anything goes arena.

Would you talk trash and bile to someone face-to-face? Would you like it if you were the recipient of this abuse face-to-face? If the answer is 'No' to both questions, then why type it on forums/discussion/blogging platforms?

I appreciate some people out there just want to antagonise others and that nothing is 100% foolproof, but if increasing numbers of people are 'going dark' then we all lose out in the long run.


message 37: by Keith (last edited Jul 07, 2017 07:42AM) (new)

Keith | 632 comments Jo wrote: "Whilst their is a huge 'troll' problem, it should be up to ..."

We obviously need Ron Weasley to sort the Troll problem out :)

On a more serious note - abide by the club rules or don't play. The problem is that either the rules are useless or they aren't being enforced rigorously enough.


message 38: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2290 comments Keith wrote: "MeerderWörter wrote: "But we still need a better policy in general. Why is it that in the internet everything tends to turn sour so much easier than in "real life"?"

Agreed - I don't think anyone ..."


I'm with Keith here, it's no use to censor but we need to protect users from harassment/trolling/cyberbullying...

The web is good to connect and do that in a way that is more anonymous. But we also need to take care of the obvious problems at hand.

Maybe a license is a bit far-fetched, but better policies and/or the compliance with them are necessary.

We cannot let hate and bullying happening...


message 39: by Keith (last edited Jul 07, 2017 08:34AM) (new)

Keith | 632 comments MeerderWörter wrote: "We cannot let hate and bullying happening...."

Totally agree.

And for those who think this isn't a problem, who pontificate about free speech without having the first clue what it really means and who tell those who suffer from cyber-abuse to 'get over yourself', try telling that to this mother:

http://www.itv.com/thismorning/hot-to...

Sorry to rant, but this makes me so angry.


message 40: by Emma (new)

Emma Clement (emmatclement) | 1784 comments Keith wrote: "MeerderWörter wrote: "We cannot let hate and bullying happening...."

Totally agree.

And for those who think this isn't a problem, who pontificate about free speech without having the first clue ..."


That letter is very sad but powerful. Thanks for sharing.


message 41: by Ashna (new)

Ashna Gulati (goodreadscomashna_gulati2609) | 206 comments There is such an informative discussion going on and to be rather honest,reading each side of the debate has kind of baffled me a bit.
But then one thing that has really struck out to me is the fact that the main point of feminism is to stop victimising women than they already are.And then again,somebody raised the point that what if somebody who has real need of the internet doesn't pass the test,which i feel is very true.

In my opinion,we are all responsible for ourselves,sure we can try and illuminate other people about not being such creeps and writing bad stuff.But at the end of the day,It is just me myself who is responsible for what I do.I mean talking cyberbullying and writing mean things to people is of,course mostly possible because of anonymity and the fact that that person isn't standing right in front of you.But then talking of anonymity,what would you all think about Prez.Trump's twitter comments or rather his sexist speeches.I mean what about those?Aren't they social media?Aren't they affecting people to a large extent?Can we go and tell the president to take a test,which he may never pass and take away all his rights?
I am sure the answer is no,because he is knowingly and in full consciousness of his actions doing what he is and with absolutely zero anonymity and a 100% publicity.
Also Keith mentioned,that it would be hard to know whether their profiles a rigged and I find so much truth in that.Because at the moment there is so much of terrorist activity and as much as we wouldn't want to believe,they got into someone else's country with or without a visa and then they too have the guts to claim the attack with yet again zero anonymity and 100 publicity.

So basically my point is that technology and social media have reached levels which cannot be controlled,because it is not only the reliable organisations controlling it,it is completely and entirely corrupted from sources we can't even imagine.Thus,I'd like to draw an analogy to the fact that social media is a terrorist of the modern world and it will enter,with a visa or none at all.

Furthermore,as much as we talk about it invading celebrities life,it is invading ours much more.So man or woman or bisexual,doesn't matter.We are all in too deep no matter what the statistics show.And just as terrorism,people will themselves have to come to a realisation about whether what they're doing is wrong or right?

And as far as such criticism against celebrities are concerned,I am very much against the thread of 'what you think of emma watson as a feminist'.I mean we sure could cut her some slack by not discussing it on a book club that she has made for the purpose of women empowerment rather than pushing them down a notch,don't you think?


message 42: by Ross (last edited Jul 07, 2017 12:36PM) (new)

Ross | 1427 comments To answer your valid concerns I shall outline how we could do this. I propose area of the internet would be set up similar to how the dark web works simple presence on search engines.

It would be designated female only, how do I define female simple you behavior if you abuse you are banned to get back in proof of identity is required. If you want access you have to agree to be identified and female, social science and sociolinguistics added to the mix you would be surprised how many of these abusers can not bring themselves to be identified as female even in avatar.

Once we have run the pilot for a six months to a year primary finding would shape the next year. access out of the area would be possible but offense material to women would be blocked.

Part of the purpose of the pilot would be to identify what is and is not acceptable. However any abuse sexual based offensive language would be forbidden.

This area would be voluntary you can come and go as you like but inside you have to adhere to the rules.

Also as part of the pilot you cannot use your own details if you have any celebrity status everyone would be followers of everyone you would address only content of posts and images not personalities per se.

Now does it sound it least viable if not more palatable. This is an experiment but its at least showing that a problems exists. How many women use male accounts for some activities. If any don't they should try it out I suspect they will be surprised what they have been putting up with as "just the internet".


message 43: by Kate (new)

Kate Ross wrote: "Once we have run the pilot for a six months to a year primary finding would shape the next year. access out of the area would be possible but offense material to women would be blocked. ..."

But who determines what is offensive to women? Because I guarantee what is offensive to some is not offensive to me and vice versa. As a Woman, I don't want someone else telling what I should and should not be offended by.


message 44: by Kate (new)

Kate Keith wrote: "MeerderWörter wrote: "We cannot let hate and bullying happening...."

Totally agree.

And for those who think this isn't a problem, who pontificate about free speech without having the first clue ..."


And what precisely is your definition of free speech, since some of us are apparently 'pontificating' about what it actually means?


message 45: by Ross (last edited Jul 07, 2017 01:35PM) (new)

Ross | 1427 comments Kate people tell you how to behave every day you follow the rules of manners and consideration.

Remember its voluntary if you are happy and don't need that level of protection fine.

Others clearly do. do you object to the firewalls protecting your internet connection same principle just broader in scope and scale

I have said its a pilot program beginning not the end.


message 46: by Kate (new)

Kate Ross wrote: "Kate people tell you how to behave every day you follow the rules of manners and consideration.

Remember its voluntary if you are happy and don't need that level of protection fine.

Others clea..."


I understand that point but who decides? And what qualifies them to decide?


message 47: by Keith (last edited Jul 07, 2017 04:17PM) (new)

Keith | 632 comments Kate wrote: "And what precisely is your definition of free speech, since some of us are apparently 'pontificating' about what it actually means? "

Sorry if you think this comment was aimed at your post, but that wasn't the case.

Every time I see that wording, it reminds me of the trolls out there who have hid behind it whilst they spit out their bile and hate, irrespective of any damage they do. It also reminds me of the story I linked, where unchecked vitriol aimed at one individual brought about a tragedy. So, again, apologies for any offence caused, because none was intended.

In answer to your question, I use the definition cited in the various protocols and directives:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers"

However, I also believe this comes with responsibilities, which boils down to treating other people with respect. This should be a self-determining responsibility; there should be no need for rules or censorship (save those laws which have been determined to be necessary for other democratic freedoms to work) but, increasingly, users of the web are seemingly unable to exercise any kind of restraint. I am proud of the fact that OSS is a 'safe space' - however, the whole of the web should be a 'safe space' or, at least as safe as possible. If rules are needed to facilitate this, then so be it.

Now, you are absolutely entitled to disagree with this, that is your right. But somewhere, somehow, we are going to have to protect vulnerable individuals or more tragedies are going to occur. Such protection will inevitably cascade through the web and hopefully make the whole space safer and more enjoyable to use.

Idealistic? - Absolutely
Pragmatic? - Maybe not, but there's no harm in trying to improve things


message 48: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1427 comments Good Question Kate who decides well the members of the group would . The best method would be the original Greek system which works like jury duty where you are selected to sit on the committee for a set time and deiced if there is a dispute. But for normal operation it would be self regulating no one has a problem knowing what is offensive I am not talking difference of option but clear disrespect sexual innuendo look at comments to Emma's skydiving recently, too many examples there.

So what do we have an area limited for access to people who want women to be free of being judged on anything but there words and deeds. No mindless insults and casual cruelty. Self moderating and voluntary. Sort of a combination of OSS and a firewall if we are being reductionist. Has a conjecture it has some merit could it get any backing and actually be realized maybe not but even has a thought experiment it has been interesting.


message 49: by Keith (last edited Jul 07, 2017 09:30PM) (new)

Keith | 632 comments Ashna wrote: "There is such an informative discussion going on and to be rather honest,reading each side of the debate has kind of baffled me a bit.
But then one thing that has really struck out to me is the fac..."


Hi Ashna,

Yes, it has been a fast moving thread, but it is a very important topic and everyone has an opinion. Ross pointed out that we need to re-claim the internet as a safe space and made a suggestion as to how that could come about and it expanded from there

You are quite correct; it is your personal responsibility to monitor your content and to respect other web users. The problem, is that more and more users think there are no boundaries and, as important, no consequences. Levels of abuse, bullying, shaming, even items that border on blackmail, seem to be on the rise, with no sign of it abating. Self-control doesn't seem to be working and that only leaves regulation if we want to protect people, some of whom are very vulnerable.

Your point about the technology being a terrorist is interesting. Looking at it another way, it is a freedom fighter, opening hearts and minds to the wonders of knowledge and information. A well made analogy though.

Regarding celebrities, I agree. We have to be concerned about the ordinary individual and the impact on their lives as well.

Finally, your specific point about the 'what you think of Emma Watson as a feminist' thread. In hindsight, this was one thread that went off track. The initial OP was about celebrity endorsement of feminism, but the title of the thread suggested something totally different and it went on from there. I have no insight into her thoughts, but it would have made me cringe if I came across such a thread in the one space I believed to be relatively safe. I imagine it could be disheartening, to say the least. So yes, we need to cut her some slack. She may have things to prove to herself, as we all do, but she has no need to justify any of her actions, and certainly no more than you or I.

Oh - really liked your post; please keep contributing!


message 50: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2290 comments Ross wrote: "Good Question Kate who decides well the members of the group would . The best method would be the original Greek system which works like jury duty where you are selected to sit on the committee for..."

A mix of OSS and a firewall? That sounds interesting, I mean, OSS is a safe space mostly, and otherwise we take care of the issue... A very good idea, I just think that it might not be possible everywhere. Here, most of us bring an attitude of respect and therefore it is a safe space more than other spaces. Because most of us have this attitude, and the few black sheeps can be taken care of. I doubt that the same can be said for online games, tho I must say I am a novice when it comes to them, as I'm no gamer at all.

But the idea of a mix of a firewall and the OSS rules/handling, that is very interesting.


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