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Free speech and why it matters to the furry fandom

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What is free speech?

Of the many rights which are available to us, none is as important as free speech. However, a combination of factors including the high-profile activities of the alt-right in the US, resurgence of right-wing parties across Europe, emergence of various special interest and rights groups and the ease and speed at which news, ideas and, especially, outrage can spread over the internet have led some to question its necessity.

The most concerning statements that I've seen in the furry fandom have been those saying that certain people should not be allowed to speak and should be banned from websites and conventions for holding their views and the idea that it is okay to assault people who hold certain views. In the light of this, I feel it is necessary to explain what free speech is and isn't, why it is important and try to highlight some of the ways in which it directly impacts the furry fandom.

I will start with the Wikipedia article on free speech which describes it thus:

Freedom of speech is the right to articulate one's opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction.

Further down in the article it breaks freedom of speech into three discrete aspects.

1. the right to seek information and ideas;
2. the right to receive information and ideas;
3. the right to impart information and ideas

In some cases these will be limited due to laws regarding privacy or similar rules but such cases will not be considered here as those limitations generally do not affect free speech in the way that it applies to the furry fandom vis-à-vis the expression of alt-right ideas.

As can be seen with the definition above, this right is not only meant to limit government interference with the free flow of ideas and opinions although it is often and wrongly interpreted that way. For example within the furry fandom we see freedom of speech misunderstood by Dogpatch Press who tweeted about free speech.

Or even really smart people, like at XKCD, who put out this misguided cartoon about free speech.

free_speech.png

Comics such as that fail to distinguish between free speech, which is a universal human right, and the first amendment, which is specifically limited to government interference but also only applies to the US. While many furry sites are hosted in the US and fall under US law, that does not apply to all of them and country-specific law is of limited use when discussing the broader implications of free speech for an international community such as the furry fandom.

Furthermore although government interference in free speech is something to guard against so are the chilling effects of societal sanctions. In fact, in his 1859 work On Liberty, which is the major work defining and defending free speech, John Stuart Mill expressed great concern about the threat to free speech from society as well as from government.

Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practises a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself. Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough: there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling; against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development, and, if possible, prevent the formation, of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel all characters to fashion themselves upon the model of its own.

When furs like @fluffigator say:

One has to wonder how they conceive of free speech. The point of free speech is to provide protection from consequences in the interest of expanding ideas and opinions available for public consumption. If you decouple free speech from whether or not there are consequences— well, down that path madness lies. I would contend that a country where the consequences of criticising the government are imprisonment or execution does not have free speech in any meaningful way. And whether the consequences of free speech are dealt out by government or by society at large is irrelevant if the effects are the same.

Having said that, I will also acknowledge that there are some consequences which can occur despite free speech. If you exercise your free speech then there may be societal consequences such as lowering people's opinion of you and perhaps limiting future opportunities. However, such consequences should not be as a result of society trying to punish that person for their speech, excepting in cases where such speech were to violate specific rules of a particular site, to use an example most relevant for the furry fandom.

Such consequences could likely only occur after the fact and should be relevant to that case. For example, banning a white supremacist from using a dating site is just wrong and misguided if he did not violate their terms of service. As an administrator on a furry forum, I can say that we do not punish users for what they do off the forum; although such information may be valuable when deciding on the severity of a punishment or assessing the probability of them re-offending. It is also incorrect to pre-emptively ban furs from attending a furry convention a la Furrydelphia. This is essentially the equivalent of arresting someone because you think they might rob your shop.

These issues gain importance because, while in the past many artists and writers had their own small websites, the furry fandom today is concentrated primarily on a small number of much larger websites. While many artists do maintain profiles on several different sites, many others are only available on one. This raises the further complication that when a large website takes a decision to ban a user they can severely restrict that user's ability to interact with the furry community. This is perhaps an issue which has not been given as much attention as it would deserve and parallels with the real world suggest that it is something which administrations of larger websites should spend time ruminating on. Earlier this year, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled that convicted sex offenders could not be barred from joining social media sites even if those sites contained children. Part of the reasoning was that many politicians use social media and that people "structure their civil community life" around social media sites. This is perhaps even more true for the furry fandom and would suggests that self-moderation policies, such as those promoted by Inkbunny, are the best course of action.

Why do we need free speech?

We should all now understand what I mean when I say free speech but the question then becomes "why do we need it?" Or, more specifically given the current issues dominating the American political landscape and which are driving the issues, "why should we allow the alt-right or Nazis free speech?" The necessity of free speech falls broadly main reasons; the theoretical benefit that is gained from a diversity of opinions and the practical benefit of protecting our own future right to free speech.

These days we live in a pluralistic and multicultural society made up of people from different countries, cultures, religions and more. The fact is that these groups differ in what they believe and value and, at times, these beliefs will conflict with one another. Obviously, we consider our own beliefs to be true; if not we would not hold those beliefs. But this is a subjective position and it is very difficult to say which beliefs and world views are objectively correct and indeed it may be impossible. If people follow different philosophies based on different values it may not be clear why one thing should be valued over another. If it were clear then presumably everyone would follow the same philosophy. As we can not be sure who is objectively correct, we cannot justify giving preferential treatment to one group, hence the need for all people to have an opportunity to present their own case and try to convince society that their way is best.

Even if one view were demonstrably better than another, when there is no challenge to that view, the reasons that people hold that view will be lost and it will become dogma rather than a reasoned position. By allowing different thoughts and opinions, we ensure that those views will be challenged and people have to continually reflect on what they believe and why they believe it. It is not enough to say that all races are equal. You need to understand why all races are equal and you need to be able to articulate that. Shutting down opposing speech does not inspire confidence; it looks as though either the censor does not know why the opposing view is wrong or it suggests that they doubt that their own arguments are convincing. And, if their own arguments are not convincing, then perhaps whatever belief they hold is not true and should be revised.

On the more practical side, we need to protect the right of free speech even for those detested views as this is necessary to protect our own right to free speech. Free speech is usually under fire by those who seek to suppress others to secure their own position. This is misguided as it cannot be guaranteed that your own views will always be the ones that are favoured. With time, society and laws change and, if you found yourself the holder of a minority view which was despised by the rest of society yet which you held to be true, you would no doubt want protection to say your part.

Global warming and climate change is of concern around the globe and is supported by an overwhelming scientific consensus. We need to be able to discuss this issue in order to try and mitigate its effects. In the US, this has been made more difficult under the Trump administration which has banned the use of those terms. Luckily this does not affect the entirety of the country but it should be cause for concern. Without the ability to talk about a topic, we make it far more difficult to find solutions to those problems and to affect social change. One of the achievements of the US that liberals, and the vast majority of the furry fandom, would have celebrated was the eventual legalisation of gay marriage throughout the US two years ago. This represents a major shift in society's opinion of what is and is not acceptable. Such a shift would've been much more difficult, if not impossible, without free speech if promotion of gay marriage had been deemed illegal as it is in Russia or if the terms had been banned as for climate change.

Now one might object and say that even if it were the case that we need dissenting opinions to further understand our own position or that we should protect speech that we disagree with, the Nazis are spreading hate speech and there we must draw the line. Indeed, many countries do, wrongly, draw a line at hate speech. However hate speech is not clear cut, it is subjective. What is, to one person, an expression of hatred is, to another, just a plain statement of fact.

Let us take homosexuality as one example. Much homophobia, as with many prejudices including the anti-Semitism that is distinctive about Nazism, is motivated by religion. If one were to say, "god hates gays" or "gays will burn in hell" that would be considered hate speech by some. To others, this is totally correct, depending on your religious beliefs. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, a piece meant to summarise the beliefs which every Catholic holds is clear that homosexuality is "contrary to the natural law," "do[es] not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity" and "[u]nder no circumstances can [it] be approved." Is merely stating your religious beliefs hate speech? Probably but we should not prevent people from stating their religious beliefs if it does not directly harm someone.

Furthermore there is an interesting phenomenon that hate speech only applies to speech that the person describing it as hate speech disapproves of. Seldom do we hear people complaining about hate speech directed at various criminals, in fact it is more likely that we will see such speech being hailed. Even in the conversations around Nazis and hate speech, there is no shortage of people directing hate in that direction. Whether that hate is deserved or not will again depend on your belief system and is the problematic aspect of forbidding hate speech.

There is a particularly good lecture by Christopher Hitchens on free speech that he gave at the University of Toronto in 2006. You can read the full transcript here but I will also provide the video itself as he is an excellent speaker and it is 20 minutes that is well worth of your attention. On the topic of hate speech and censorship, this the question that he posed for the audience and which is relevant now when reflecting on the situation in the US and our response to it.

Bear in mind, ladies and gentlemen, that every time you violate or propose to violate the free speech of someone else, in potencia, you’re making a rod for own back. Because the other question raised by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is simply this: who’s going to decide?

To whom do you award the right to decide which speech is harmful or who is the harmful speaker? Or determine in advance what are the harmful consequences going to be, that we know enough about in advance to prevent? To whom would you give this job? To whom are you going to award the job of being the censor?

Think carefully because it will not be easy to change in the future and once you provide allow the justification that ideas you dislike can be banned then the question who has the power becomes very important. Maybe you are happy to see Nazi's speech being shut down, possibly you were also happy when Australia denied a visa to an anti-vaxer and maybe you didn't even care when the UK police arrested a man for burning a poppy. But you probably do care about the Russian law against gay propaganda, the fact that Saudi princes who are critical of the regime tend to disappear or the fact that Indonesia only recognises six official religions. But those are different countries; at least if you were living in the United States you could be sure that you would never have a president who might support racial bigotry or act out of spite.

Restrictions on free speech

At this point one might get the idea that there are no restrictions at all on free speech. There are. Some of these restrictions will be created by people through agreements – like non-disclosure agreements, terms of services and so forth – and others will come on into being due to privacy or other legal obligations but these are generally limited and specific to certain situations. The restrictions I will talk about here are more general; they are cases where, in principle, free speech does not apply and are generally where, to my mind, the actions themselves would serve to undermine free speech.

Violence

Free speech does not protect incitement to violence. The second principle at Oxford University's Free Speech Debate project, currently supported by 81% of voters, states:

We neither make threats of violence nor accept violent intimidation.

Violence and the use of force to shut down discussion or to force one's view on others is completely antithetical to the concept of free speech and we should find any promotion of it incredibly troubling. People then say that Nazi speech should not be protected because they believe that violence against certain groups is acceptable or even should be encouraged. However, the restriction on violence is toward incitement to violence or the risk of imminent violence, not to arguing that violence is acceptable in certain cases.

For example, in the majority of developed countries there is no death penalty for crimes. There are groups within such countries who believe that the death penalty should be reinstated. Free speech protects such a view just the same as it would protect a Nazi arguing that certain groups are valid targets of violence but such protection does not equal endorsement. Free speech would not protect people promoting the death penalty if they encourage vigilante justice as this is a direct incitement to violence.

This is of particular importance because many otherwise reasonable people, both in the furry fandom and beyond, think that violence against facism, often in the guise of the loosely grouped Antifa movement, is acceptable. It is not and that promotion of violence against non-violent speech, even racist and fascistic violent speech, is making it harder to fight against the alt-right for two reasons.

Firstly, the violence against fascists is not going to convince anyone that the alt-right is wrong. Now I can agree that one side has a much nicer end goal than the other but if you look at the alt-right and you look at Antifa, you just see violence. And I don't think you can say that the ends justify the means. We are talking about the kind of world we want to create and if we're going to abandon our principles to create it, then what the hell are we fighting for? And if Antifa is not abandoning their principles, if they truly believe that violence is an acceptable way of promoting their ideas, then I must stand opposed to them. Two sections from Give me the good news, a famous South African song from the 80's seem applicable here to whoever is considering violence.

You can't use guns to build a nation
A bullet never was creation
/…/
You can't use force to sell a promise
Dictatorship was never honest

I am certainly not the only one to have realised this and those that support Antifa's tactics would be well-advised to realise it before making the situation worse. I know people will argue that you can't reason with the alt-right and that is probably true for the leaders but who you do need to reason with and convince are those that are closer to the political middle who will currently be pushed away from the left by Antifa. This is recognised by some journalists, philosophers and academics, with Noam Chomsky calling Antifa a "major gift to the right." The Daily Show also points out the way that Antifa is going to drive more and more people away from their cause if they continue with their current tactics.

Second, the use of violence, whether equivalent or not, is now explicitly stating that violence is acceptable against those with whom you disagree. When you eschew violence, it is easy to condemn it from the alt-right. When you fail to condemn punching Nazis and actively support the use of force in political debates you set yourself up for trouble. If it's acceptable for one side to use violence then it must be acceptable for the other side to use violence. This is not a situation that we should create; we must oppose all violence, no matter who it is by.

This really brings us back to the point of who makes decisions. From an individual's perspective, their view is correct but other people are viewing the situation from different perspectives and acting accordingly. If you now say it is acceptable to use violence to suppress the free speech of those with whom you disagree, are you prepared to accept the consequences? It hasn't even been three years since the majority of the world stood up to protest the murder of 12 people affiliated with the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo! Once you open the door to violence to fulfill political ends, you can't easily close it again. And you won't be able to dictate which causes may use violence to promote their ends.

Deliberate falsehoods

Free speech does not protect deliberate falsehoods or lies. Free speech is there to allow the exchange of ideas and deliberately putting out incorrect information undermines the goal of those discussion. It is very important for the falsehood to be deliberate though. This is partially due to the possibility of having many different but valid views of the same thing, depending on what you value and how you weigh different types of evidence (although that does not mean that there are not incorrect views) but also because a falsehood due to ignorance is not the same as a malicious falsehood.

This shouldn't be controversial, no one says that a child lied when they give the wrong answer on a test. The child simply did not know and gave what they believed to be correct with no bad faith. Answers can even change as we learn more about the world. This also illustrates one problem with shutting down discussions. If we view those with detestable views the same way as we view the child, we can recognise that, just as banning the child from answering or kicking them out of the class, the only way to get a better answer is through engagement and education.

A further complication is that we do not always view lying to people as wrong. Some people think it is good to lie to children about the existence of Father Christmas or Santa Claus and it is necessary to lie to prepare a surprise party. In those cases you could maintain that there is no malicious intent so those lies are acceptable but that would still leave the door open for the classic "doing the wrong thing for the right reasons" paternalism. I am not going to try and follow those thoughts to a conclusion at this point but merely reiterate that as long as there is no deliberate deception, even speech which is objectively wrong at that point in time would still be protected as free speech.

Harassment

Free speech does not protect harassment. It provides the freedom to discuss ideas but harassment is not about discussion, it is about targeting an individual and making their life unbearable. But we also shouldn't confuse saying things which upset certain people with harassment. It is possible to ignore, move away from, or block people that are saying things that upset one but harassment would include people trying to circumvent such blocks.

The public vs private sphere

Finally, our attention must fall on the question of public vs private arenas. Free speech applies to the public arena and within private spaces it is perfectly legitimate for the owner of said space to add their own restrictions, provided those restrictions do not contravene the law. The majority of furry activities happen within such private spaces; whether it be on various furry websites or at conventions.

Sometimes these restrictions are due to legal reasons in the country of hosting or ownership; for example in October 2016 SoFurry changed its AUP to forbid Nazi symbolism in any context for legal reasons. Sometimes the restrictions are for more pragmatic reasons, such as when Fur Affinity banned cub work in 2010 over funding concerns. Others are due to the nature of the website itself; furry sites are not the place to post all your football fan art unless your team is made of furry players. While people can debate the logic or relevance of those decisions, no one is denying that the sites are within their rights to restrict content for whatever reason.

However, as was mentioned before, online social media is essentially the modern day public space. This is even more the case for the furry fandom which is predominantly online. There are no public spaces online in the same sense that there are public spaces offline but there are spaces where groups of furs can come together. Essentially there is a blurring of public and private which necessitates that any decisions made, even in the private space of furry websites, which impacts on the pseudo-public nature of those spaces needs to be given the appropriate amount of thought.

This essentially mixed space where a private site stands in for a public space means that more restrictions are possible there but also that people who do not normally have to consider wider implications of their actions now need to view a bigger picture. And this comes to the fore with the aforementioned content bans and the calls to remove furs that support the alt-right. While such actions may have the effect of creating less friction on that site they also split the furry community, reduce the diversity and tolerance that is one of the best aspects of the furry community and create echo chambers which limit societal change.

There is some evidence that, outside of the furry community, this might already be happening. Slate reported about alt-right attempts to "build their own internet." The furry fandom had small scale segregation when cub artists migrated from Fur Affinity to Inkbunny but many still maintained a presence on both sites. But, without contact, we have no way to convince people that our way is better. The alt-right will be able to flourish and recruit others with no dissenting voices to challenge them at any point. Some have said that you cannot convince Nazis through reason and this may be true but you can convince those that the Nazis might otherwise convince and many people get pulled into white supremacist and alt-right thinking due to feeling excluded. Actively excluding people is not going to help but contact and communication with them will. This is one of the things that Daryle Jenkins does and we see the same message in Angela King's story, a woman who was a white supremacist until prison forced her to live with other races and she fell in love with a black woman. Without exposure to different people and different ideas there can be no change.

The idea of redemption arcs is a large part of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic franchise, particularly from season 5 where Starlight Glimmer, the main villain all season, is finally convinced that she is wrong and, over the next two seasons, whose forgiveness and redemption we watch. Similar ideas come with Trixie who appears in an antagonistic role twice, needing to be given new chances before she is, mostly, reformed and later becomes Starlight's friend. Since almost 1/4 of furries identify as bronies it only seems natural that we take those messages and actually put them into practice.

Why free speech is particularly important for the furry fandom

I have already brought up several examples where I think we can learn something from the intersection of free speech and the furry fandom but I think we can go further. The furry fandom is a primarily online community and it is a community that is built around ideas, fantasies, art and literature. It is a community to whom free speech is particularly important and it has been since the beginning.

In 1978, between the first publication of the APA Vootie and the NorEasCon II World Science Fiction convention where Steve Gallacci's submission of an Erma Felna painting started the discussions that would lead to the modern furry fandom, we had the publication of Omaha The Cat Dancer. This was an erotic anthropomorphic comic, still sold at furry conventions today, which, along with several other comics, caused one comic book store owner to be charged with distributing obscenity. This directly lead to the formation of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund to protect the First Amendment rights of those involved with comic books. From the start, the furry fandom has been involved in matters of free speech.

The controversial subject of cub art also faces legal issues in various parts of the world and, while many are not doubt pleased about that, that fantasy images are subject to such restrictions should have the furry fandom concerned about furry art in general. The idea of obscenity is not only limited to cub and some people would find furries' tolerance of many diverse sexualities and sexual acts to be problematic. This can, and has affected furries financially. Paypal has been known to freeze accounts that are used for commissioning yiff which leads to uncertainty in the fandom. This is not just a furry problem but it's a general issue that payment processors do not like adult material regardless of whether it is legal or not and which we should oppose.

Those issues revolve around adult material but even the non-adult material is not always appreciated and furs are not always treated well online. This should remind that when we talk about suppressing the speech of others that furries are also a likely target and many of the things that we don't bat an eyelid towards would be considered very strange and perhaps perverse to outsiders. But the major strength of the furry community is its acceptance and tolerance. Those are the values that society needs and needs to promote and the furry fandom must make the choices which give us the opportunity to do so. If we are not in contact with those who disagree and do not speak with those that disagree then we have no chance of changing their minds and building a better society.

Closing Words

Free speech is not the easy path but it is the right path. It doesn't mean that we just let bad ideas spread unopposed but we oppose them in a way that will protect us as well. Follow the advice of Carol Christ, chancellor of UC Berkley where the free speech movement in the 60's began.

Nonetheless, defending the right of free speech for those whose ideas we find offensive is not easy. It often conflicts with the values we hold as a community — tolerance, inclusion, reason and diversity. Some constitutionally protected speech attacks the very identity of particular groups of individuals in ways that are deeply hurtful. However, the right response is not the heckler’s veto, or what some call platform denial. Call toxic speech out for what it is, don’t shout it down, for in shouting it down, you collude in the narrative that universities are not open to all speech. Respond to hate speech with more speech.

We should be thankful that we have leaders like her and organisations like the American Civil Liberties Union who will defend the free speech rights of every person and every perspective. Because, as legal director David Cole explains:

If we defended speech only when we agreed with it, on what ground would we ask others to tolerate speech they oppose?

As furries, we should have learnt about the political use of fear from Zootopia. To quote mayor Bellweather, “Fear always works.” We must do better. We can not give in to fear of the alt-right and make rash decisions that impede our liberty. President Bush used fear after 9/11 to increase surveillance and introduce the Patriot Act to the US which reduced the rights of American and foreign citizens and remains law twelve years after it was supposed to expire. And, to remain with the theme of Nazism and fear, Hitler used the fear and confusion of the Reichstag fire to enact emergency provisions and take complete control of government from 1933 to 1945.

We know what happened in the past, we know that we have limits and we do not know who will write the laws of the future. We need to think clearly, logically and dispassionately. Free speech is the only human right which allows the discussion and formation of others and the progress of society. We should not throw it away lightly in fear of a vocal minority and abandon the principles which we believe in.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

Noam Chomsky calling Antifa a "major gift to the right."

To be fair to Noam here, the reason he called it a major gift to the right wasn't because he was indicating it would expand their influence. He was more along the lines of thought that the right is simply BETTER at the whole violence thing. In essence, if the left goes violent then the right is far more prepared to use those tools of social interaction than the meeker left it.

"When confrontation shifts to the arena of violence, it's the toughest and most brutal who win – and we know who that is. That's quite apart from the opportunity costs – the loss of the opportunity for education, organising, and serious and constructive activism."

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There is certainly that side but I don't think that was the gift part. I think the gift part is, like Trevor Noah says, that they are damaging their own cause and violence will serve to push more people away from joining them than it will bring in to help them.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Noam Chomsky also said Khmer Rouge atrocities in Cambodia were just CIA propaganda aimed at smearing a noble regime.

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"And whether the consequences of free speech are dealt out by government or by society at large is irrelevant if the effects are the same.

Having said that, I will also acknowledge that there are some consequences which can occur despite free speech. If you exercise your free speech then there may be societal consequences such as lowering people's opinion of you and perhaps limiting future opportunities. However, such consequences should not be as a result of society trying to punish that person for their speech, excepting in cases where such speech were to violate specific rules of a particular site, to use an example most relevant for the furry fandom."

No no no no no no.

What you are advocating here is completely unrealistic and unworkable. I cannot imagine a world in which a member of the neo Nazis could sue his employer for them firing him after he declared that all Jews were subhuman and threw up a Nazi salute in the middle of his job site, but what you are advocating for would make that a reality. You are looking for a fantasy world ideal of Freedom of Speech. It just doesn't work like that in the real world. There is a very good reason that the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution only applies to government action. Under your position, economic boycotts of businesses that engage in hate speech would be banned. You are advocating for a very specific type of "freedom." You want freedom FROM speech, not freedom of speech. Freedom from speech is a type of freedom where anyone can say what they want and can actively prevent others from reacting to it in any manner that displeases them. It is freedom from criticism and freedom from, as you correctly put it, "consequences." That is a corrupted version of freedom of speech that will never be accepted in modern society.

Freedom of speech means you get to say whatever you want without the government imposing a penalty, with some limitations. You have NO protection against the opinion or actions of non-governmental individuals under "freedom of speech."

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'Freedom of speech means you get to say whatever you want without the government imposing a penalty, with some limitations. You have NO protection against the opinion or actions of non-governmental individuals under "freedom of speech."'

Well yeah but punching people is still off limits, wouldn't you think?

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Punching people is off limits under the criminal code. Punching someone will get you arrested for assault and battery. It has nothing to do with freedom of speech.

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...It does when there are members of the left using said type of intimidation to silence free speech. Hence Trevor Noah and GreenReaper calling them out.

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As I said, the criminal code handles that. That is why we have a criminal code. If you punch someone without it being (a) consented or (b) under an accepted definition of self defense, you will be arrested, charged and prosecuted for assault and battery (unless the victim didn't see the punch coming, then it might just be battery). There is no point in conflating the criminal code and the 1st amendment. One has nothing to do with the other.

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But you see there are people out there incapable of understanding the complexity of the law like you do, such as Yvette Felarca for instance.

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I don't know, worrying about "freedom of speech" on a site that still lets Ike the Dragon the Nazi comment feels like much ado about nothing.

A shitty group was emboldened by a bad president who was only elected because of a quirk of the electoral system. They said, "hey, it's our time now," most everyone else said, "no, no it isn't". That's how it works.

Of course, the problem with fascism and violence is that violence is promised by fascism. It's about "forcible oppression of opposition." That's, like, a defining tenet of the belief system. If someone says "I'm a Nazi" they are saying "I'm going to get violent if you disagree with me." If someone says they're "anti-fascist", that means they are saying "I'm going to get violent if you get violent."

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We using knives or guns? How about gunblades? Really go all Final Fantasy. It'll be fun!

I'm not worried about Flayrah. I'm worried about some of the attitudes in the furry fandom.

If it just worked that way, that'd be fine.

And there's the problem. This violence is not all about self defense. Several furs are expressing the view that it's acceptable to initiate the violence.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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It's the myth of the "non-violent revolution." We worship and point to non-violent protesters like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. and say "look, they got the job done without hitting anyone over the head" while ignoring the fact that they got to be non-violent figureheads on the backs of hundreds of thousands of acts of violence by other people on their side.

But that's why I'm a centrist, not a leftist (or rightist); I don't want a revolution because revolutions are violent. My sympathies will lie with leftist violent revolutionaries, and I'll certainly gain major satisfaction from watching Richard Spencer get punched in the face, but I'm not going to join them. Major change to a "system" (whether the U.S. government, society or furry fandom or whatever) can only occur one of two ways; quickly, via violent revolution, or slowly, by working with the system.

I've seen Tweets claiming centrists don't think the world can get better, but that's not the truth; I'm saying the world can improve, but I'm not willing to risk violent insurrection to get there. I'm just going to slowly grind it out, and trusting in the system to do its job. I live in a democracy; that means I'm going to get outvoted sometimes. It's not in my best interests to overthrow the government every time that happens.

So, yes, Trump is president, and that fucking sucks balls, but, hey, look, he can't get anything goddamned accomplished, because the system is working. For fuck's sake, his trans ban is getting stonewalled by those liberal hippies at the fucking Pentagon.

But anyway, my original point was, if a furry convention wants to ban fascists, well, they are, by their own admission, violent.

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You not really giving me much to argue with there. :/

“But here's some advice, boy. Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they're called revolutions.”
― Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

--Desmond Tutu.

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But that would imply that these people (antifa) are capable of actually sticking to their principles. They've shown time and time again that they're more than happy to be the first offenders.

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No. Nazis and Furry Raiders aren't people.

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If he were doing that at his job site then he could certainly be fired because there will be certain actions which your work does not tolerate. However, he should not be fired for doing those things outside of work as long as they do not affect the quality of his work and he continues to follow the requirements of his workplace.

People are still free to react to speech in whichever way they want, provided that does not violate the law or infringe on the speaker's liberty. Economic boycotts by a single person would not be banned as you are free to shop wherever you want and can make that choice for whatever reason you want. A large scale boycott campaign could be seen to be harmful to a business although whether a business needs to be protected from harm in the same way as a person does would be a different debate.

However, your idea that free speech has no protection from societal consequences is not fully thought through. If society is free to create consequences as long as its not government doing it then it should be free to ostracise people who think differently. That would make it acceptable to discriminate against those who promote equal rights for gays or atheists or blacks because it's not the government doing it. But we surely all agree that that sort of discrimination is bad even if it's not the government doing it.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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"However, your idea that free speech has no protection from societal consequences is not fully thought through. If society is free to create consequences as long as its not government doing it then it should be free to ostracise people who think differently. That would make it acceptable to discriminate against those who promote equal rights for gays or atheists or blacks because it's not the government doing it. But we surely all agree that that sort of discrimination is bad even if it's not the government doing it."

My idea that free speech has no protection from societal consequences is reality. That is how our system works, and it is the only realistic way for our system to work. The only alternative would be to enforce some kind of limitation on criticism of other people's speech.

Example #1

(1) Neo Nazi A goosesteps around town wearing an SS uniform and swastikas, shouts at everyone who sees him that Jews are subhuman. Throws up Nazi salutes at every opportunity.

(2) WacDonalds realizes that Neo Nazi A is a manager of their restaurant, which employs and serves Jews, as well as various other minorities.

(3) WacDonalds fires Neo Nazi A because he is a Nazi.

(4) Neo Nazi A sues WacDonalds and wins millions of dollars, forces them to re-hire him as manager.

(5) Jewish people stop going to WacDonalds and organize protests and boycotts.

(6) WacDonalds sues Jewish people for boycotting them and wins millions of dollars, forces them to continue purchasing WacDonalds.

No bueno.

Example #2

(1) KKK member suddenly decides he will henceforth walk around town in a full Klan regalia, including hood, and carrying burning crosses through black neighborhoods.

(2) People who used to be friends with KKK member realize how bad he is and decide they don't want to have anything to do with him anymore. He is no longer invited to parties and social gatherings.

(3) KKK member sues his former friends for refusing to allow him to join their parties and social gatherings, wins millions of dollars from them and forces them to re-invite him to their gatherings.

(4) Friend A now has no choice but to allow KKK member to attend gatherings at his house, under compulsion from government authorities. One night KKK member is seen walking out of Friend A's house wearing full klan regalia and shouting "Death to Blacks!" This is witnessed by Executive Z, a potential client to Friend A's widget producing company who is black.

(5) Executive Z tells Friend A he doesn't want to buy widgets from him now, because he saw KKK member walking out of his house shouting "death to blacks."

(6) Friend A sues Executive Z, wins millions of dollars and forces Executive Z to buy his widgets.

I could come up with countless similar examples. This is why free speech protection is limited to government actions, aside from obvious moral reasons. Enforcement of free speech means lawsuits, monetary damages and injunctions. It is practical to enforce against the government. It is not practical to use that kind of enforcement against citizens.

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Short answer: Those examples are completely ridiculous and are not what I said. In fact the first one is in contradiction to what I said in previous reply and as for the second, you can't sue people for not being your friends. -.-

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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How else is your vision for freedom of speech going to be enforced? You are putting forth a new rule for society assuming that there will be no enforcement mechanism?

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Not really any new rules. You can already be friends with whoever you like. The closest to a new rule is basically an anti-discrimination saying that someone can't be fired for something that has nothing to do with their job. Your private life and beliefs are no business of your employer.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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So what you are advocating then is to create a new "protected class" under U.S. law that includes opinions. You just don't understand the ramifications of doing that.

This actually harkens back to what we discussed in a different comment section. If you recall, I mentioned that, since the Civil Rights era, the U.S. government has asserted itself to prevent discrimination in "public accommodations" which generally refers to any publicly accessible business. This is why you can't put up a "Whites Only" or "Blacks Only" sign in your shop. In making these laws, the government created (and the courts have enforced) a collection of terms that is referred to as "protected classes." There are a number of these classes dealing with highly specific issues, but the major ones that are mostly referred to are:

race

gender

"color"

religion

national origin

Among the protected classes, all except one are tied to qualities that are to some extent immutable or inherent to a person's being. The only one that isn't is religion, and that is likely considered a protected class due to the Constitution's general devotion to religious freedom. Although religion is not technically inherent to one's being, our leaders have more or less accepted the idea that it is extremely close to that, so it is considered as a protected class.

You are advocating that "opinion" be added to those classes. This would impact employment and so many other areas in ways that you are not imagining. One of the big problems is that "opinion" is not something that is easily identified. Thus any case dealing with that as a protected class would involve intense ambiguities which would make every judge's job a nightmare. Also, because opinion is something that is extremely fleeting, it would be virtually impossible to have any kind of consistency. Countless loopholes would be created. One day someone is a Nazi. The next day they have committed themselves to the teachings of Ghandi. The next day they are a Nazi again. There is no way to control or anticipate this. Like I said, dealing with this when it is government action is plausible because the government is generally a singular body with specific rules by which it operates and generally speaks with one voice (depending on the department). This is not plausible with hundreds of millions of individuals and businesses, all of which have different ideas and ways of operating.

Also, anti-discrimination laws impact numerous areas outside of employment. Like I said before, it would also affect how businesses could interact with their customers. Under current law, a business owner can restrict speech within their store. A restaurant owner could, for example, declare that there will be no weekly Nazi meetings in his restaurant. However, if Nazi beliefs suddenly become part of a protected class, Nazis can sue a restaurant for not allowing them to gather there. Suddenly, Nazis and every other hate group are legitimized throughout society under threat of law.

You think things are much more simple than they actually are. You are advocating for societal changes without considering the legalities and the ripple effects. That is a recipe for disaster.

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I'm just not seeing the problems you are. Even when you point them out, they seem to be so artificial and going a different interpretation to what I'm saying, like your one about opinions changing. I don't see why that matters because no matter what opinion a person holds it is irrelevant to them doing their job. There is a constant "are they doing their job?" If yes, then their opinion is irrelevant. If no, then they could be fired because they aren't doing what they are supposed to be doing. Do you really think a business should have a say in their employees lives outside of work? I certainly don't.

As for the other one, yes, you shouldn't be kicking people out if they are not causing a disturbance for others. If people are going to have a meeting that is not disruptive then that should be fine. I guess it depends what you mean by legitimised but I don't see why allowing someone to have a meeting says anything about agreeing with the group. The reverse is then whether you think it's okay for a restaurant to declare that there can be no gay meetings in the restaurant.

Edit: I'm not talking about US law. I am talking in general. If there is a right way of doing things then everyone should be doing it. And the right way to me is to maximise the freedom of every person to do as they will as long as it is not harming or infringing on the rights of others.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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"I'm just not seeing the problems you are."

That's pretty much your entire problem in a nutshell, yeah.

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U.S. law is most friendly toward freedom of speech already so it makes sense to talk about U.S. law.

As far as why it matters if opinions change, that's because no laws are absolute. The law will have to have accommodations for certain scenarios, one of which you already alluded to. For example, if someone is a Nazi and has several Jewish subordinates. Well one day he might believe that no Jews shall ever be promoted and the next day he might believe that Jews can be promoted. Then the next day he may believe that no Jews shall be promoted again. You can't anticipate that in a way that the law could realistically handle.

You say that no one should be removed from a restaurant as long as they aren't being "disruptive." Well answer this, who decides the meaning of "disruptive?" You have just created another loophole.

And guess what, under current U.S. federal law it is possible for a restaurant to declare no gay meetings, because sexual orientation is not yet recognized as a protected class. It is ironic to me that you are (unknowingly I'm sure) advocating for increased rights for bigots before advocating for increased rights for gays. But this is just another one of the problems with your position.

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If he is showing a trend of Jews not being promoted then that would be a sign of discrimination which can be acted upon. If he's changing his mind but Jews are still being promoted (and not demoted when his mind changes) then it all averages out.

I'm not sure disruptive is that controversial of a term. If it's creating a disturbance that is ruining the experience for others. That is due to their actions and not their beliefs.

I am totally aware that the US doesn't protect against discrimination on sexual orientation. I'm not sure why you say advocating for increased rights for bigots before gays since I have spent many years talking about how gays should not be discriminated against. And I'm not even talking about increased rights for a particular group. My point is that all groups should have equal protection and the government should not favour any particular group.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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If he is not promoting Jews he can always come up with various excuses why. These people are very clever. It is much more practical for a business to say he's an admitted Nazi and Jews aren't being promoted, therefore he's the problem, rather than having to waste countless resources trying to prove what is in his mind at any particular moment and then hire lawyers to defend themselves when he sues for "discrimination against Nazi."

And yes, any term used in legal disputes is crucial if it is not specifically defined and if there is subjectivity. Subjectivity leads to litigation unless there is a specific person who is the ultimate decider. You are saying that a restaurant owner should not be the ultimate decider of whether Nazis gathering in his business is a disturbance. You want to give the Nazis the ability to contest that in court. That is a problem.

As for the last point, I just find it weird to see people ranting about how bigot's rights aren't protected enough when there are still many marginalized groups who are still suffering government sanctioned discrimination.

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"As for the last point, I just find it weird to see people ranting about how bigot's rights aren't protected enough when there are still many marginalized groups who are still suffering government sanctioned discrimination."

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Most people who do this do so because they have lots of lofty, high-minded ideals in their heads while having little to no real world experience as a minority. Or, they only care about their particular ingroup while being entirely ignorant of the experiences of the various outgroups they're unknowingly siding against.

That or they're just straight up racist.

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Of course, if he's not an admitted Nazi then he can still not promote Jews and still come up with various excuses if someone thought there was something strange so the situation would be the same. Without people hiding their opinions, Jews could decide whether to work there or not while knowing all the information.

Businesses can already kick people out for being disruptive so there is no new ambiguity introduced in my situation.

I think the last point just shows that you aren't understanding what I'm trying to do. This is not about protecting bigots, it's about protecting everyone. Yes, there are some groups that governments discriminate against but you can address more than one issue at a time. You don't have to choose between, should we help Syrian refugees and should we help Texan hurricane victims. Both need help and you can help both at once.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I submit, therefore, that the rest of us must really return to the old and " priggish " habit of sending such people to Coventry. And I am not quite convinced that we need to be prigs in doing so. The charge brought against us—Cleon himself will do it very well, possibly next week—will be that in cold-shouldering a man for his vices we are claiming to be better than he. This sounds very dreadful: but I wonder whether it may not be a turnip ghost?

If I meet a friend in the street who is drunk and pilot him home, I do, by the mere act of piloting him, imply that I am sober. If you press it this implies the claim that I am, for that one moment and in that one respect, " better " than he. Mince it as you will, the mere brute fact is that I can walk straight and he can't. I am not saying in the least that I am in general a better man. Or again, in a lawsuit. I say I am in the right and the other man is in the wrong. I claim that particular superiority over him. It is really quite off the point to remind me that he has qualities of courage, good-temper, unselfish- ness and the like. It may well be so. I never denied it. But the question was about the title to a field or the damage done by ,a cow.

Now it seems to me that we can (and should) blackball Cleon at every club and avoid his society and boycott his paper without in the least claiming any general superiority to him. We know perfectly well that he may be in the last resort a better man than we. We do not know by what stages he became the thing he is, nor how hard he may have struggled to be something better. Perhaps a bad heredity . . . unpopularity at school . . complexes .. . a disgraceful record from the last war but one still nagging him on wakeful nights . . . a disastrous marriage. Who knows? Perhaps strong and sincere political convictions first bred intense desire that his side should prevail, and this first taught him to lie for what seemed a good cause and then, little by little, lying became his profession. God knows, we are not saying that we, placed as Cleon, would have done better. But for the moment, however it came about—and let us sing non nobis loud enough to lift the roof—we are not profes- sional liars and he is. We may have a hundred vices from which he is free. But on one particular matter we are, if you insist, " better " than he.

And that one thing which he does and we do not do is poisoning the whole nation. To prevent the poisoning is an urgent necessity. It cannot be prevented by the law : partly because we do not wish the laws to have too much power over freedom of speech, and partly, perhaps, for another reason. The only safe way of silencing Cleon is by discrediting him. What cannot be done—and indeed ought not to be done—by law, can be done by public opinion. A "sanitary cordon" can be drawn round Cleon. If no one but Cleon's like read his paper, much leas meet him on terms of social intercourse, his trade will soon be reduced to harmless proportions.

C.S. Lewis, After Priggery - What?

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Anyway, remember when GreenReaper wrote an article on like, health insurance or something, and gave really intangible reasons that it's TOTALLY furry related, and nobody bought it? I'm getting déjà vu

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Yup

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You literally retweeted Dogpatch Press on the same issues.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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...Yeah, on my personal Twitter, not a furry news and reviews website.
Edit: Actually I don't think I've reblogged any of the Dogpatch Press tweets here except maybe the comic that Patch didn't make anyway

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Except what you retweeted was about how this stuff is relevant to the furry community.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I don't know which retweets you're talking about, but it doesn't matter, because this article isn't relevant to this website regardless of whether I find something important enough to share on my personal social media.

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Sure. And I guess there weren't at least four Flayrah articles on the alt-right and furry that all generated a huge amount of discussion and argument? Doesn't the term "furry raiders" ring a bell at least?

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I didn't think Lamar's article on MUCKs belonged here either (and said as much) but at least it was blessedly short. Lol.

The other articles on Raiders and Alt Furry I can think of all belong here, even the ones I think were done poorly.

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The notes and summaries I made before starting were 800 words. I can say I did not expect it to get this long. One the plus side, maybe I now have the longest article on Flayrah. :) Also, no one forced you to read this.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Good defense, "don't like don't read"

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No one forced me to read it, but my better judgment compelled me to skim.

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To be fair, there was at least one section that did cover furry fandom and censorship directly, and a second section about public versus private sphere does indicate that private and public is becoming a bit muddied as private organizations fight over public spaces of engagement on the internet: particularly true in the furry fandom.

Now is it fair to expect furry communities to somehow 'exercise' the demons out of people instead of simply not dealing with them or just removing them from the space? Probably not. We are not experts on extremists and how to defuse them. Our government is supposed to be helping us with these things, but unfortunately recently in the US our leaders are inflaming them more than helping to defuse them. So it forces the feeling of needing vigilantism, even if the Nazis aren't as much of a threat in a republic of 50 governments after a recession than in a war torn country that is half the size of Texas after a depression.

The fact that the two parties are equal in scope and both seem to be ready to enact their second amendment rights should the other go to far shows that while Nazism may not take over, they may instead just try and push the US into a second civil war, because that's the most damage they can hope to cause. And it is possible that Russia (and their Manchurian Candidate) has that goal in mind as well. Or us fighting North Korea. They just want us fighting for some reason. Probably so they can start doing whatever military acts they have in mind with smoke screened impunity.

These things don't have to do much with the fandom for sure. Unfortunately if they do get bad enough, they certainly would distract from hobbies and enjoyment one once had in life.

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You started it.

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Sure but that's a specific event happening to a specific furry group/website. I didn't even offer my opinion on the situation.

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I'll just leave this here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance

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That explains what we're seeing in Europe with Islam.

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Make an account so I can blacklist all your comments

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Go back to McDonalds. Look, I'll even give you my Maid Marian and Judy plushies. Yes, I actually have some! You can pretend you're on a date with them. It's tres haram!

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If anything you're the one who needs to go back to McDonald's. Maybe get the fish sandwich as I can see you very clearly need some brain food.

If punching a white nationalist makes you a hero, then I can only imagine what that makes a Muslim puncher by your very own logic.

Islam has killed more people than white nationalism. That's not to say that I feel the need to support either, though.

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But the difference here is that white nationalists tend to be Christian, so you're not saying he going out and punching Christians. Where if someone said you should go out an punch ISIS, they're not saying go out and punch all Muslims.

There are extremist Buddhists for crying out loud. If it's okay to wage war on an entire religion because one person or in more cases of a subgroup are violent pricks, then we'd be abolishing all religions.

But then there are violent secular's too, so even that wouldn't solve the issue.

And unfortunately the violent want to get others caught up in the fervor of violent, so they are more than happy when people target a larger organization for the violent acts they do. It's usually why they fly their flags when doing it.

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A religion is a set of beliefs AND principles. It just so happens that many Islamist principles are fascistic by their very nature. And don't pretend that I have no evidence of this, as every country it's come into contact with has had a change in rates of terrorism or a complete change of government.

Funny that when someone brings up radical Islam you have to bring up that every other religion has bad people in it and that there's utterly no difference. I mean, Westboro and Anders Breivik? They've killed more people than ISIS.

Which begs the question, if you really have the moral high ground, why does your side have a boner for defending domestic terror groups that do nothing but cause these violent neo nazis to act more violent? It's not like they've accomplished anything else.

Face it: Antifa is the whitest terrorist organization since the Klan.

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You're assuming I have a side in this, while it makes it easier for you, it doesn't make it accurate.
Modern Christianity is much tamer as a whole, sure. But there was a time it was pretty radicalized as well. It was called the Inquisition. There was also the Protestants v Catholic fights which were also quite bloody. In my mind the Muslims are in that phase of their religion. They, like other religions will deradicalize over time to more proportional in time. Just gotta get past the rambunctious teenage years.

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And yet despite all this time it's been in the same stage without much evolution except in weapons. Right.

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I did try the McFish once but it reminded me of your mom's pussy so I had to spit it out :3

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That comment was so stupid it made me think of Mike Brown. Congratulations.

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I don't know who Mike Brown is and honestly don't give a fuck. Your own comments are so stupid I can't be arsed to give more than half an effort anymore. Maybe when you smarten up I'll try harder with you.

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Says the guy who never had an argument to begin with and had to resort to your mom jokes.

And it would be nice to see you try harder, I'll give you that, but that would require you having the ability to in the first place.

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I did give an effort in the beginning, but it didn't take too long for it to become obvious you're one of those people that's oblivious to the very idea they could lose, let alone admit when they're losing. Which is why you got people now asking you to make an account just so they can auto-block your comments. And before that I was secretly hoping if I made an account I'd be able to do that regardless of whether or not you did...

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When the opposition is trying to say that I have terrible taste for liking fictional characters who aren't Mary Sues or shut me down because I point out what's been obviously happening halfway across the world for some time now you can't fault me for thinking I'm not going to lose.

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They fault you for talking about how, in your imagination, fictional characters would totally fuck your brains out, in the same conversation where you're calling yourself a "pure blooded alpha male", calling us a bunch of faggy girly men and being a racist bitch. Your self unawareness in all of this is why you lose more than anything.

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I'd actually say that those two arguments coincide with one another because they're both two strains of the same thought: one further accentuating the other.

The reason I bring up why Judy would date me is not only because I am a confident alpha but because she would share my same views as demonstrated by the movie. She would also believe in only two genders and would condemn groups such as Black Losers Matter.

It's about how you people are the only obstacles you have, constantly holding yourselves back because you can't embrace the truth like I have and be real men.

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What the fuck do you mean, "you people".

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Men such as yourself and others who were debating me on that alt furry thread.

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1) Reuken spends thousands of words saying we should debate alt-right.
2) Critics state they are not interested in debate.
3) Alt-right commenter confirms they believe the concept of debate and discourse is not in their interest.

At least that is settled.

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Wow, this guy was really debating whether Judy would sleep with him? This is really the rock bottom level of furry discourse.

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I'm just saying it's funny that Zootopia's fandom did not understand the message like did.

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You guys can IP ban right?

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Probably but they just don't wanna bother. I think they see how overzealous, arbitrary moderation practices have reduced forums to a dead medium over time and don't want to go the same route. Increasing numbers of news sites have done away with comments sections altogether because they just don't want to deal with the shit anymore. The ones that keep them seem to accept they you gotta take the bad with the good.

Also who drew your avatar. I need more buff things to add to my collection.

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Comments make sense if you read our About page (especially if you remember alt.fan.furry).
When you want to hear the community's voice, the original story is only the start of the discussion.

Obviously, not everyone uses that well. Like newsgroups, we have features to ignore certain posters, and our comment karma system helps later readers by filtering out the noise.

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I don't think you can be banned from here.

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I love when sites don't have clear, solid policies that hinge on nothing more than the whims of individual staff members.

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Hey, at least we're not Fur Affinity

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Shouldn't it be quotingmungo.com at this point?

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That might not be entirely a bad thing. I can think of worse people to be in charge. In fact, I'd venture to say that most people would be worse choices for that particular position.

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When you can only say she's only good compared to most alternatives, that's not exactly saying much.

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I guess English understatement doesn't quite come across so well in text. :-)

quoting_mungo has been a Fur Affinity administrator since early 2013. I know how stressful that job can be, because I've been in the same role at Inkbunny. And we're adult-only; I don't envy her dealing with teens in her area (code of conduct violations).

The job involves dealing with people - often highly-argumentative people. If you can handle that for four years, it bodes well for your ability to level up, should the opportunity present itself.

None of this should be considered an endorsement of FA policy. Obviously, I disagree with lots of it, but that's largely irrelevant; most of their policy choices are rational given the site's circumstances.

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My bad. I forget you're British sometimes. I shouldn't because I cherry-pick Britishisms for my own use when it's convenient, or usually because I think it sounds funnier than what I'd normally say.

My main beef with quoting mungo is that she shuts down any discussion that comes even close to being controversial on the forums. In which case why bother having a fucking forum? My same issue with SoFurry's staff, at least the one's I know of.

Actually you could probably answer this. Why doesn't Inkbunny have a forum? Let me guess, because they're a massive waste of time and effort for literally everyone involved?

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Pretty much. We'd rather spend time (and have our members spend time) on other members' journals and submissions. There are better places to discuss matters of the day, designed for and having tools for that purpose – like here.

From a technical perspective it's another whole site to manage. Time aside, off-the-shelf forum software has a history of being subject to attacks of all kinds.

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I like how the only guy who can actually answer "can someone get banned on this site?" has absolutely no interest in answering the question.

(mwalimu once threatened to ban me, but I think he was bluffing.)

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It certainly must be an absolute last resort thing at the least considering I've told people to get fucked, fuck right off, and that their mom's pussy is vaguely reminiscent of a McDonald's fish burger.

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There have been a few times I had to put on my moderator hat and remind people to please act civil or else... I honestly don't remember who they were and if you say you were one of them I'll take your word for it. If I had to ban someone who was an active and usually well-behaved member of the community, it very likely would have only been temporary.

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I've had fun pwning you gentlemen but seeing as I already won one thread, I don't see a need to win another.

So long guys. Thanks for having me on and letting me speak my mind. Sorry you won't be able to enjoy me much longer but the time we've had together's been great so I wouldn't want to spoil that.

Have a nice life.

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Oh fuck off, you'll just pull the same shit under a new name and it'll be obvious.

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Related: https://extranewsfeed.com/tolerance-is-not-a-moral-precept-1af7007d6376

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It raises some good points but misses the mark on others because someone can think one group of people should die but as long as they don't act on it then that can be tolerated (although it should be argued against).

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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they don't act on it then that can be tolerated

I disagree. If they think it, and openly admit to thinking it, then it's just as bad.

again, there's no real difference between "jews will not replace us" "blood and soil" and WWII Germany.

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You think white supremacists saying blacks should die is just as bad as them killing blacks? Surely the one where they're actually killing people is much, much worse?

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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They say things because they are actually planning to do them. There is no such thing as passive/peaceful white supremacy.

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Siron hit on the head.

White Supremacy is white supremacy, Rakuen. It doesn't matter if you say "i think all n***ers should be dead and the jews are evil and should die" or if you go out and actually kill them. you are still a white supremacist. and are still bad.

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(Sorry if this was in there, you have a lot of information that isn't necessary for someone to get the point so I didn't read all of it) Yes, yes freedom of speech, in most cases does mean freedom from consequences. BUT, if you "free speech" your way into having someone commit suicide, then, most likely, you're going to jail. That's not free of consequences.

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Readers should be aware of Rakuen's very peculiar interest in this topic. Possibly illegal, depending on jurisdiction. (ctl-F "cub") Of course, you might even be impressed by the devotion to his peculiar position, enough to get himself kicked off of furry sites for supporting illegal activity. Full disclosure is always important for bias.

And always remember to label things IANAL up front, kids!

Even without the necessary labels, at least he makes it easy to detect bullshit by being wrong from the very first sentence. What is the first thing in "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness"? It's the thing taken away by genocide, and as 2cross2affliction mentioned, "violence is promised by fascism." There's also "Liberté, égalité, fraternité", the second thing doesn't coexist with belief in some races being lesser than others.

1 star for this very poorly written non-furry article.

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I once got banned from FA for being vitriolic in my anti-cub sentiment. I shouldn't have been. But I also shouldn't have blindly assumed anyone who defends cub is doing anything illegal/wrong, or that they are a pedophile. Because if your interest doesn't extend beyond cub art, that is to say, anthros, you're really not. It's not that much different than how some people are slightly turned on by male anthros but are otherwise completely straight IRL. Sexuality is incredibly nuanced like that.

I don't exactly like the guy but given how arbitrary and full of shit most furry sites are (or rather, their staff), the fact he was banned from one or even many doesn't exactly sway my opinion one way or the other. Might help to provide some actual examples.

As it stands, I can't tell if this is just an ad hominid attack (my term I just made up because I come from a highly educated university, do not fucking steal!) based on something you speculate about the author or if you're trying to tie two otherwise unrelated beliefs of his together.

So far, what I get from him is that he's incredibly naive, but wants what he thinks is the right thing for the ultimate benefit of all. If he's just the kind of person to defend cub enthusiasts/artists out of a "freedom of expression above all else" mentality - which, BTW, was ostensibly FurAffinity's own stance at one point, so much that it was their motto, something I seem to be the only person left alive who remembers that - that alone doesn't mean he himself is into it.

So if you got real dirt on somebody, spill it. Otherwise it looks like baseless accusations that are personally motivated. Which I'm actually all for, but make it obvious by calling him a doody head or something.

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Nevermind cellphone made it hard to read anon labels

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Don't worry, you didn't miss much.

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Nonono you don't get it. Cub art is just the tip of the iceberg for Rakuen. He was banned from FA for cheering for legalizing actual rape of kids. Ask him. He has some elaborate multi part journal about it he posts all over the place. He'll try to do some circular bullshit first to handwave the actual rape part away, but keep going and you'll eventually get around to him saying yes he wants that, of course only in theory what if it was legal, which is no different than asking for legalizing because absolutely nobody wants that but pedos.

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Let me get this straight. You want me to basically Google child rape to help your point that you're trying to make. No. I might be paranoid but I don't put it past the Canadian government and/or law enforcement to be secretly spying on people's internet usage in their never ending quest to scrape the bottom of the barrel for whatever criminals they can create.

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> ask him

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That's not what he was discussing the legalization of and it doesn't make you look good to try distorting it like that.

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That's more or less what I suspected. From what I've seen of him so far my guess is he was in favor of some place legalizing child marriage which, while I don't agree with it, it's not the same thing. But since you seem to know, go ahead, fill me in on what that whole fiasco was about.

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It was about legalization of already-existing child pornography due to his belief (based on honestly weak evidence) that doing so reduces instances of child sexual abuse.

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Even if it did, that wouldn't justify its creation. But I'm talking about real child porn here, not art and writing which frankly is only illegal where it is because the law needs to create more criminals out of a desperate need to do something about those pesky declining crime rates. That's a big part of why I stopped being so violently anti-cub. Because I realized it's just an easy way to vie for social capital and win virtue signal points without actually having to lift a finger to prevent real child abuse or to prevent the creation of real child porn.

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Less due to my belief than due to some evidence that made it at least worth considering such a situation.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Worth considering if you are literally a pedo. This is straight out of the "rights for children and their sexuality" pedo playbook. Anyone concerned about child welfare focuses on actual children, not porn of them.

How funny that your tastes in cub art coincide so closely with this. Clearly there's no conflict of interest in posing as concerned about reducing abuse.

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* and people into cub art don't typically hide behind saying it's just RP while advocating for the real thing. You make babyfurs look good in comparison to the nasty behavior that gets you banned from other sites.

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Again, dude, put up or shut up. Links. Doxx. You know.

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Ask him yourself, he's right here, there's nothing stopping you. Ask what he thinks about legalizing child porn so you can watch it and find out how creepy it is right in front of your face.

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Fine, I'll bite, even though I doubt he'll even respond. So, Rakuen, what exactly is this shit all about?

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So Patch finally got to you? (I'm like 95% sure it's Patch. No one else even cares about that old thread) Equivamp gave a pretty concise and accurate summary so I can expand a bit but there's not really much to add.

There was a study from the University of Hawaii which looked at sexual offences against children in the Czech Republic during some government issues where child porn was legal for a couple years. What they saw was that child sexual abuse decreased over that period while other crimes remained constant. That finding was similar to what had been seen in other countries, raising the possibility that the availability of child porn decreased the number of sexual offences committed against children.

My thread just took the question from another person's blog that if we want to minimise the number of children who are victims of sexual abuse then its possible that legalising child porn which has already been produced could lead to a reduction in child abuse cases.

That's why its strange that, if it were true, he would be saying "anyone concerned about child welfare focuses on actual children" while completely rejecting even contemplating an idea which has some evidence of helping actual children. I think others have also suggested similar ideas with computer generated imagery so there is no child harmed at any point but it should still lead to a reduction in actual cases of child abuse.

Contrary to what he says, I never suggested (or even talked about) legalisation of any sort of rape. I'm very much against non-fictional rape. I also never promoted or endorsed child porn. I don't even think I said I was in favour of this suggestion!

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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They can't handle the truth! molesting kids stops child molesting

If there was a childporn.com for all paedophilia needs there's no way it could possibly result in an increase in demand

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Hang on dude, I'm just checking my pockets looking for a fuck.

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o.0 Why ask if you don't care?

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Eh, I kinda cared at the time. Not so much now. That's life. But frankly your argument is retarded. One, there could be any number of other, completely unrelated reasons for a dip in child molestation cases for that brief period. And two, if that was your kid, you wouldn't want the moments of their exploitation and humiliation to be immortalized and, if anything, made even more valuable to these deviants by being legally sanctioned. See, that is the kind of shit that makes otherwise good, reasonable people say "fuck the law since it never protected my and mine when we needed it most" and decide to take matters into their own hands. And under those circumstances, it becomes an awful lot harder to blame them.

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What if it was an orphan that got murdered, and nobody is around to care any more. Then anyone who has a problem with it is just incapable of rational discussion

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I want some of what you're on
in suppository form

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Sorry but you are wrong. Free speech does not mean consequence free speech

Speech is an action and people are free to respond to that action how they choose to (within the means of what is legal mind you)
For example they may say they disagree with your idea, like I am now which is a form of free speech. What if the majority of society disagrees with you, aren't they allowed to voice their opinion too? How many can use their freedom of speech before you consider it "societal" vs individuals expressing their opinion? Once that point is crossed though aren't you removing peoples individual right to free speech against something because the fear of societal sanctions (which includes simply speaking out against it)

Another example of how people may exercise free speech is they may choose to boycott a store whose owner has said or did something they don't like. Boycotts are a form of free speech... but if somebody is boycotting your store because of what you said then isn't that societal sanctions for what the person said? Yet if you say that it is illegal to boycott somebody you are placing a restriction on people's freedom of speech.

Which is why there has to be consequences to what you say/do. Not from the government, but from other members of society. Whether that is society at large, or a group like furries. Because if there isn't then you are stiffing other people's freedoms (including their freedom of speech)

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I hope you're ready to face the consequences then.

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If you're the same Draug from SoFurry forums you should quit that shit. This is where it's at.

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This is not a problem that just surfaced with the election of a new president. This is something western, specifically American, society has been dragging since the late 80's. What we're living thru right now is the apex of said problem, and it's probable its resolution will be horrific.

The problem here is political correctness, and the paradoxical hypocrisy of the left.

Before anyone calls me a "nazi" (and anyone who does so deserves to be called a "commie" by the same retarded rethoric), let me state that I don't trust or believe in any kind of racial supremacy.

But I can understand where the so-called "white supremacy" movement is carrying its strenght from. It's a social rebellion against decades of forced assimilation between cultures, decades of being pinned against each other. Decades of political correctness, of an artificial implementation of social progress while disdaining the organic process of it as too slow, or too permissive.

The rethoric of "staying quiet helps the opressor" proves this mindset, even though it is not defined who the opressor is, and it is not pointed out that staying away from polar opposites is not apathy, but rather a willful and constant effort to not succumb to a horde and lose all traits of individual conscience to it.

This is inevitable. There is no marching back. The far right is pushing back after so many years of indoctrination by the far left, just as the left pushed back after years of indoctrination by the right. We're all riding, again, the climax of a situation that began decades ago.

And if we're lucky, maybe this time western society can break this circle. Articles like this gives me some hope we could achieve liberalism in our lifetime, not the cruddy progressivism or stagnant conservativism currently embraced by the left and right, respectively.

Then again, that's hoping a little too much. I hope you're all ready to pay the consequences of your free speech, as many here state their ideological enemies should, because the consequences of your ideologies are coming back at you. Back at all of us.

"Expecting a troubleless life just because you're a "good" person is like expecting the bull to not crush you because you're a vegetarian."

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Yea, see this type of apocalyptic crazy talk is not going to be won over by mere intellectual discourse. This person is too far gone.

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I hope you're not referring to me as "too far gone". I have yet to state there's nazis dressed in SS uniforms in McDonald's who will sue their friends for not inviting them to parties.

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Yes, I'm speaking of you. When someone gets to the point that they are talking about end times, they just aren't coming back from that. No one can reel you back from a vision of the end of days.

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Where is he literally saying it's the apocalypse? Besides, someone isn't inherently crazy just for believing in such a thing as "the end of days". Plenty of perfectly reasonable people think there's no way to realistically expect humanity, and ultimately the entire world won't end at some point. If you think about it, the end of days began the day time itself began.

You wanna reject dude for something, go for the obvious. The guy stops just short of saying today's white supremacists are lashing out at their "oppressors", the minorities and "cultural marxists".

Same rhetoric just worded slightly different.

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Yea I was being a little sarcastic there, but he seems to be implying that there is some impending clash or climactic event that is about to happen.

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Also, given that Perri likes to talk about such things, I am assuming this Anon is her.

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"White supremacists lashing out at their opressors" is just as insane as believing that "Everything is oppressive".

Yet you'll find the later has a far bigger campsite than the former. How odd, this reductio ad absurdum thing is.

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Oh, sorry you picked that up from my writing, must be an unconscious thing in your head. It is not the end of times; if anything, what I wrote speaks of a cycle that is doomed to repeat itself over and over. Right now is this, but then it'll be another thing.

My current concerns for a possible downfall of modern society involve a Sino-American war, a new space race, and rampant development of AI. Not social struggles, we have those every 40 or 50 years.

What I mean about consequences is that we will be all swept in this inevitable change. And as evolution goes, either you change, or your whole chemical structure does - into compost. Again, happens every lifetime or so.

And this will not be the change you want. It is the one you're struggling against. Maybe that's why you talk about an end of times = you'd much rather face the end than face change.

And yet it moves.

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You write like me on drugs. Well, more drugs anyway.

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I'm glad you finally call out that stupid XKCD comic. The "Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences" is far to convenient an excuse if you're the one going out of your way to dispense said "consequences".

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Of course, the ones that dispense and approve of said consequences hide behind masks. I wonder why, eh.

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CrusaderCat likes it when a kinky priest dispenses "consequences"

http://www.furaffinity.net/full/18626103/

I heard you quit being a Christian? Why? You make it look oddly hot lol.

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I looked at the page of the artist who drew that, and the first shout on his page is from Perri fucking Rhoades looking to "get to know" him.

This shit's like a ratking sometimes.

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I guess Confurvatards is a small world. I've always found it ironic how they have some of the most bizarre kinks in the entire fandom though.

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Good read.

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This argument is a logical shambles. An appeal to "free speech absolutism" as a means of (via some sort of Darwinism) eliminating weak ideas and promoting strong ones, followed by a rejection of society's ability to ACTUALLY ENACT that Darwinism on demonstrably failed ideas (like fascism) via ostracism or censure, followed by a number of mysterious and ill-defined "common sense" caveats that, via a street magician's - or perhaps a con artist's - dexterity, miraculously dodge including ANY of the author's particular pet peeves.

Author,
How is it, when you make exceptions to freedom of speech, that "God Hates Fags" is protected but "harassment" (a category of speech you fail to define) is not? Does holding an event in my town to protest my existence not constitute harassment? Why wouldn't it?

How is it, when you make exceptions to freedom of speech, that "antifa violence" is prohibited because of a chilling effect on free speech, but nationalists showing up armed to events, saying "when we are empowered we will enact a genocide and eradicate you" is not? Are weapons only considered to have this effect when held by individuals you specifically detest?

I would hope that we can agree on the following: Any of these circumstances, when applied to an individual, would be obvious common sense violence and harassment, and would be considered to impede that individual's rights (including their right to free speech). For example, If your town allowed a "Fuck you Kyle and Becky" rally at which people held weapons and chanted "kill Kyle and Becky" and "Kyle and Becky caused all our problems" this would rightly be considered a threat to, and harassment of, Kyle and Becky.

Why does this simple, plain, and obvious truth vanish into vapor if I change it to "anyone whose name begins with K or B" or "anyone who is gay" or any other group? There are two reasons, and if you truly believe in free speech, you'll reflect on them-- but I wager that you won't.

First, you do not take a threat to a group very seriously, as you believe the more general threat is obviously unreasonable, a joke or an exaggeration. "Nobody REALLY hates all gays the way someone could hate Kyle." or "Hatred for gays shouldn't be taken personally, as if someone said they hated you specifically. You, the target of harassment and violence, must endure it."

Second, you do not take the members of the aggrieved group seriously, as you believe they are playing the victim for the special right to censure their ideological opponents. You're equating this to people who favor ranch dressing making it a legal offense to say "ranch dressing is not the best," rather than a demand for treating open and blatant threats and harassment as such.

You could consider why you so readily turn, by sleight-of-hand, the direct threat of bodily harm and suspension of personal rights into an "ideological" opposition or matter of opinion only when it concerns groups you specifically lack sympathy for. I believe, upon the slightest reflection, you would find your devoutly-held free-speech absolutism is a masturbatory exercise in performative pragmatism, and that in truth you simply wish opponents you have found personally annoying would be silenced and accept that silence graciously, while enveloping in sacred legal protection all of the causes you'd like to defend out of your misguided intellectual onanism... or perhaps out of your sympathy for the positions themselves.

Fuck that, dumbass. I ain't buying it.

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"I want my team to win! They hold ideals that I agree with! The other team are degenerates/fascists, look at how violent they are! They obviously started the violence, so my team is justified to step down on their level, we're just defending ourselves!

Also, our ideals are pure and are key to the greater good of mankind! They object to my existence, if we let them express themselves, they will soon be holding torches and pitchforks and will kill me! Here, let me list a bunch of red herring and slippery slope arguments to distract myself from the fact I'm the very thing I believe to fight against!

Oh, no way this is another ruse of the elites to drag society into fighting themselves! Those filthy marxists/nazis really don't have a place in our society! They have to go and their very existence is a threat to mine! Fuck free speech, that is an absolutist excercise of democratic oppression! Kill them all! Then give me freedom. I deserve it."

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Well, okay. A very interesting thing about this comment is that since sarcasm is mixed in throughout, but inconsistently, it's not clear who's the intended target of the parody. This really isn't an effective way to communicate things unfortunately!

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"How is it, when you make exceptions to freedom of speech, that "God Hates Fags" is protected but "harassment" (a category of speech you fail to define) is not? Does holding an event in my town to protest my existence not constitute harassment? Why wouldn't it?"

Harassment links to Wikipedia for an overview. Holding a march or protest is not harassment, which I would say generally has speech targetting an individual or group (a protest or march is generally directed to everyone), is repetitive over time and continues despite attempts to stop it, either requests to be left alone or blocking a user and such.

"How is it, when you make exceptions to freedom of speech, that "antifa violence" is prohibited because of a chilling effect on free speech, but nationalists showing up armed to events, saying "when we are empowered we will enact a genocide and eradicate you" is not? Are weapons only considered to have this effect when held by individuals you specifically detest?"

When did I say that was okay? I have expressed concern at people taking weapons to protest because it seems a bit strange to arm yourself for a peaceful protest. See here: https://www.sofurry.com/view/1226219

"First, you do not take a threat to a group very seriously, as you believe the more general threat is obviously unreasonable, a joke or an exaggeration. "Nobody REALLY hates all gays the way someone could hate Kyle." or "Hatred for gays shouldn't be taken personally, as if someone said they hated you specifically. You, the target of harassment and violence, must endure it.""

I never said that. I merely contrasted it with imminent danger.

"Second, you do not take the members of the aggrieved group seriously, as you believe they are playing the victim for the special right to censure their ideological opponents. You're equating this to people who favor ranch dressing making it a legal offense to say "ranch dressing is not the best," rather than a demand for treating open and blatant threats and harassment as such."

Again, I did not say I did not take any group seriously. My point was that in an ideological conflict, both sides see themself as the victim and without an objective standard we cannot favour any particular speech.

"You could consider why you so readily turn, by sleight-of-hand, the direct threat of bodily harm and suspension of personal rights into an "ideological" opposition or matter of opinion only when it concerns groups you specifically lack sympathy for. I believe, upon the slightest reflection, you would find your devoutly-held free-speech absolutism is a masturbatory exercise in performative pragmatism, and that in truth you simply wish opponents you have found personally annoying would be silenced and accept that silence graciously, while enveloping in sacred legal protection all of the causes you'd like to defend out of your misguided intellectual onanism... or perhaps out of your sympathy for the positions themselves."

It must be really incredible sleight of hand since most of this defends the rights of groups that I am not sympathetic to at all. Also, my whole point was not silencing groups because the majority disagreed with them. None of this was aimed to protect any specific group or view but to create a framework which applies equally to everyone.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Lol internet "free speech"

Tucker Carlson on private companies making their own choices: "I don't know why the government is sitting back and letting them do this"

https://twitter.com/ashleyfeinberg/status/905234027287805952

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I don't think it comes as a huge shock to a lot of people that conservatards are only market fundamentalists when it works in their favor. Suddenly, people like Tucker think the internet should be regulated "like a public utility", when I thought they didn't even want those regulated by anything but the whims of "the market" - aka their private owners. They want business to replace government, that is, become government, because they think it will somehow reward them above all others. Now they're finally starting to get what they want only to realize they don't really want what they thought they wanted.

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Ironic how two of the biggest pedophilia supporters are comments on this article.

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It's a well written article. But how does it apply to Furry Fandom? Can I see described real-life furry scenarios where your written principles apply, how to apply them?

Would you say forbidding public political or religious statements in a convention is censorship? A furry convention is not the time nor place to hold up political / religious imagery. Nazi swastikas, or confederate flags, or democrat donkeys, qualify as such.

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It sounds like censorship to me, yeah. I mean, whether it's something they want to do is ultimately up to the con, but you can't get away from the definition by saying "this isn't censorship, it's just saying what isn't acceptable here."

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Then I'm in favor of censorship in some cases.

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Well, FA's new rule, well-intentioned as it may be, certainly seems like it would be an example of how this would apply.

It depends what you're counting as political messages, right? Eurofurence 23 opened with a video that was all about celebrating gay rights. Pretty cool video but was that political? Should they not have done that?

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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FA is a piece of garbage rule-wise, and technically-wise. Its administration is moronic. It only succeeds for content and amount of users. Should morons censor free speech? The question there, is, should morons be in charge of FA?

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Celebrating gay rights is generally an ethical stance, not a political stance, unless done so by a political party. Celebrating the right as a gay person to marry, have kids, feel safe, those transcend political views. But if you're telling me, the EF should allow for KKK flags just as much as Rainbow flags, because of freedom of speech, then my answer is no. Cleary they should not. From a utilitarian standpoint, well-being, happiness, safety, are more important than freedom of speech. KKK flags is a risk to the social well-being of con-goers that can be entirely avoided with minimal loss.

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From a utilitarian stand point the minority are screwed.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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They'll just have to compartmentalize their thoughs & behaviors, like everyone does. You don't dress in fursuit when you go to work. You don't wear KKK flags when you visit a furry convention. It's simply being civilized.

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This seems like an article that took a long time to write. Well done.

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This is just a political post, nothing really to do with cartoon animals.

Well, I'll be...

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It's not about the characters, it's about the fandom. You might have seen this sort of thing has been the focus of multiple pieces on Flayrah and elsewhere and some conventions and sites are making statements about these topics.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Holy shit, Rakuen posted something I can actually agree with. I expect Flayrah to chime in on the sun becoming as black as sackcloth and the moon as red as blood. The last convention in the history of the fandom is definitely newsworthy, especially when Jesus is the guest of honor.

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You're trying way to hard, guy.

You need to tone it down, because I literally have no idea what you're saying. Even if you're just sarcastically trolling, and I have no idea what you're saying because you're not actually saying anything, that's a lot of ground to cover for no reason.

"Holy shit, Rakuen posted something I can actually agree with."

Okay, end of comment, got it.

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It's basically another way of saying "this must be a sign of the apocalypse". I figure you of all people would get the reference. If not, well that's just too pissing bad now innit?

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Using clever word manipulation, you can tie any topic to anything.

Well, I'll be...

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And this is why it's important.

http://www.newstimes.com/local/article/New-Milford-councilman-resigns-after-furo...

Now what you're going to see is a bunch of people who were not in support of free speech and who said it only applies to government and that social consequences are what you should expect coming out to tell us that in this case everything they previously said doesn't apply because suddenly it's someone they agree with.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Well, you damn sure won't be able to count me among them. And there's a lot of furries that would say this guy was just asking for it. Politics, even local politics, is fucking war. You use literally everything you can against not just opponents from other parties, but competitors within your party. And if you don't, frankly, you ought to be playing a different game. At the very least, even people who are otherwise sympathetic will largely think he's a damn fool for not doing a better job at keeping his online life private. Usually, it takes a lot more work (and in some cases just dumb/bad luck) to ruin someone's career like this. There's people who get away with terrible things who do a far better job of covering their tracks. For example, Jared Fogle never would've been busted if it weren't for one of his friends being investigated, and Jared's major blunder was appointing that person to a position in the charity he founded.

There's furries who have to be more cautious (or even downright paranoid) for fear of losing their job flipping burgers just because of who they are in their private life and what they do online. If the law, and more importantly the market is against them by design, somehow I doubt they're going to be all that sympathetic to someone much more privileged blowing their chance at the kind of life some of them would kill for because he forgot how the world actually fucking works.

LGBT people still face rampant discrimination and even violence which large parts of society rationalizes by calling it a "lifestyle choice". Well, being a furry pretty much is a lifestyle choice. One that a lot of people leave behind the minute they enter the working world for reasons that the article you linked demonstrates perfectly. And it's highly unlikely that even being a furry with a grocery list of fetishes will get him assaulted or killed.

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HERPADERP clearly there is zero difference between

- private expression of sexuality for consenting adults

- hate speech that incites murder with a mission to split classes of people apart and conquer them, aided by bad faith use of civil rights to penetrate and destroy the civil institutions that protect those rights.

Hmmm yes how could society ever consider one to be worthy of protection and the other to fairly earn civil consequences. It's not like we fought a fucking world war to put one of them in the trash can forever and ever. We need to resuscitate it to make everyone more free herpaderpaderpaderp

Real Lawyer (tm) Boozy Badger told me your shit is whack, Rakuen :)

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I know one day "my friend, the little nazi" will be as cute and PG as "my friend, the little pirate". Maybe give it a couple of hundred years?

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I don't know if the two can be proper equivalents - going out to see and even to a small extent piracy was romantasized even in it's timeframe. Nazism, not so much.

We're still within living memory and I'm of a group that's extra sensitive to Nazism, so it could be you've a point that my biases lead me to disagree with, but we're more likely to see gangs, the mafia, and drug dealers romanticized before Nazis.

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Well, being a kangaroo who wears a suit who is half Italian, if there is any group I'd be accused of being it's a mob

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Take your point, you filthy animal, and wallow in your victory.

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A prison was once described as a "cesspool of awful and inhumane acts", this is also an adequate description of this comment section...

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About the author

Rakuen Growlitheread storiescontact (login required)

a student and Growlithe from South Africa/Austria, interested in science, anime and power metal

I'm a fur from South Africa, now living in Austria, who got into the fandom through my interest in pokemon and writing fanfiction. Outside of furry, I have spend a lot of my time in gaming (particularly Dota 2) and science.