I am so relieved that Fetlife.com is still up. When they took down the personals section in Craigslist and all those other websites, I thought that Fetlife was next. When all that was going on, we were about to move from Guam to Hawaii, and I was like “How are we going to make new friends after we move?”
Thankfully, that wasn’t a problem.
However, that doesn’t mean we should let our guard down. There is a lot of censorship going on lately in other areas, and maybe we all think it’s for the best to ban a shitty Nazi or take away Alex Jones show (they are horrible!) But, we have to be watchful because it could be us next.
I would encourage you all to think about the balance between free speech and censorship. I know it’s not sexy and there are no whips and chains involved, but spare a minute anyway.
My second degree is in Communications, and that involved a lot of Media Law classes and Constitutional Law classes. Where it sits right now, free speech ends at harm. So a shitty Nazi telling people to kill Jews is trying to incite violence, and that is a type of harm. You’re not allowed to say that you want to kill the President because that is a type of harm (although- only to him.) And of course, the old example of not being able to yell “fire” in a theater is just another example of a way to cause harm.
Keeping this principle in mind, let’s try to keep anything that could be construed as harm off of our sites. You know what I mean. If you see something shady in our community, say something. It’s up to us to police ourselves so that we can mount a good legal defense if they come for us.
I know that may ring a little paranoid to some ears, but then, folds told me before the Edward Snowden revelations that it was silly of me to think that the government was spying on its own citizens. Afterwards, everyone just got kind of awkward when they realized that an NSA agent had probably seen their dick pic.
The point is, we all need to be mindful of censorship and how it can affect us. This is a conservative era and online communities are being affected. Let’s make sure we’re not one of them.