[Blog'a'Loreans] Fwd: Hate Speech on the Mangalore plane crash..

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Mohan

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May 24, 2010, 4:41:11 PM5/24/10
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Check out the forwarded mail please...
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mani Karthik <manik...@gmail.com>
Date: 24 May 2010 09:47
Subject: Hate Speech
To: cochinb...@googlegroups.com


Hi Guys,

Take a look at this one, I don't have words to express what I feel about this guy. I dont think he deserves to blog.

RT @ManiKarthik: Request to all my friends. Report this blog http://is.gd/cmI8P for hate speech http://bit.ly/aPlTCD #nobigotsinuae

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Skype: mani-karthik

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Mickey Sugarless

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May 27, 2010, 7:24:39 AM5/27/10
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Its been taken down.
But now should it have been.

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Sandil Srinivasan

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May 27, 2010, 7:42:04 AM5/27/10
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Funnily they took down the entire site: http://www.al-emarati.com/ <http://www.al-emarati.com/>

Strange, because it's a community blog and one author's views ended up bringing down the entire blog. Also, there was another post on the same blog that offered genuine condolences to the victims of the crash.

________________________________

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Sanjukta Basu

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May 27, 2010, 3:44:40 PM5/27/10
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So this makes me wonder should we really have a campaign for online free speech and against internet censorship like this one, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Ribbon_Online_Free_Speech_Campaign

I think internet censorship is inevitable, somewhat required too.
Sanjukta
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Sandil Srinivasan

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May 27, 2010, 4:41:47 PM5/27/10
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It's difficult to censor, largely because it is difficult to figure out where to draw the line and decide on whether a person's opinions is actually harmful or not. The Al Emirati case was a no-brainer - the blogger was a lunatic - but I've seen a lot of satirical posts get a lot of hate mail, especially those open letters.
 
Also, censorship is definitely required. If you don't censor people like Raj Thackeray every now and then the guy will abuse free speech to share his retarded opinions (apologies to any pro-Raj-Thackerays in the group, but if that last line hurt you it further justifies the need for censorship). At this point it's only feasibly to censor with the aid of edit teams on community blogs. It's difficult to censor public blogs, and in such cases this 'report as abuse' feature is the only resort to shut them up.
 
@Sanjukta - Unfortunately there is no easy way to solve the unrestricted free speech problem, except for diagnosing certain bloggers and recommending them serious therapy.


From: blogal...@googlegroups.com [mailto:blogal...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Sanjukta Basu
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2010 9:45 PM
To: blogal...@googlegroups.com

Ujjwal Grover

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May 28, 2010, 2:00:16 AM5/28/10
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I have a little problem with this whole internet censorship thing. Whenever we censor some-thing/one on the grounds of spreading hate, what we are essentially doing is asking for a ban on an opinion that is against what we (or a large number of people) consider incorrect. This amounts to setting a precedence that we are okay with dismissing lone voices (wait, read the whole thing first). This is a dangerous thing. Agree with Sandil that this was no brainer case, what the person wrote was probably worth less than the sweat he left on the keyboard while typing it, but did we really had to ask for it to be censored or taken down? I think we're responsible for getting him the attention he wanted in the first place (by forwarding such mails to each other et al). A better reaction, in my humble opinion, would have been no reaction. I, personally, would have been elated if the guy had not even received a single comment (and if i understand the author's mental condition correctly, he would have thought..aah these things dont work any more do they..).

Raju Thackeray's case is a bit different in my opinion. I think he did not start with a novel idea overnight and woke up a star the next morning. What he brought to forefront was pent up feelings that a lot of people in Mumbai already had for years. Hence the support. You cannot ban a person like him (not with the kind of support he has). You can only let the law take its course and protect the people he targets.

Let me be classical for a bit and say censorship is evil (much like pointer arithmetic in C) and it breaks more things than it fixes.

Cheers,
Ujj
foo()
{
bar()
}

Thejesh GN

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May 28, 2010, 2:05:58 AM5/28/10
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+1 ujj

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This is Nexus One.........

On May 28, 2010 11:30 AM, "Ujjwal Grover" <ujjwal...@gmail.com> wrote:

I have a little problem with this whole internet censorship thing. Whenever we censor some-thing/one on the grounds of spreading hate, what we are essentially doing is asking for a ban on an opinion that is against what we (or a large number of people) consider incorrect. This amounts to setting a precedence that we are okay with dismissing lone voices (wait, read the whole thing first). This is a dangerous thing. Agree with Sandil that this was no brainer case, what the person wrote was probably worth less than the sweat he left on the keyboard while typing it, but did we really had to ask for it to be censored or taken down? I think we're responsible for getting him the attention he wanted in the first place (by forwarding such mails to each other et al). A better reaction, in my humble opinion, would have been no reaction. I, personally, would have been elated if the guy had not even received a single comment (and if i understand the author's mental condition correctly, he would have thought..aah these things dont work any more do they..).

Raju Thackeray's case is a bit different in my opinion. I think he did not start with a novel idea overnight and woke up a star the next morning. What he brought to forefront was pent up feelings that a lot of people in Mumbai already had for years. Hence the support. You cannot ban a person like him (not with the kind of support he has). You can only let the law take its course and protect the people he targets.

Let me be classical for a bit and say censorship is evil (much like pointer arithmetic in C) and it breaks more things than it fixes.

Cheers,
Ujj



On Fri, May 28, 2010 at 2:11 AM, Sandil Srinivasan <ssri...@tibco.com> wrote:
>

> It's difficult ...

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Mickey Sugarless

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May 28, 2010, 2:41:04 AM5/28/10
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Censorship required because world not smart enough/ strong willed
enough to have a mind of their own. For me as well, there's no
question about this man being wrong in his blog post. Or at least
intolerant. But that's how he feels. And unfortunately it's too much
to ask for people to exercise their own freedom to choose, and not get
influenced by him. Which is sadly why censorship steps in, to curb a
person's ability to incite trouble.

I think he was free to write whatever he felt like. I think it's a
good thing people commented the way they did, and reported abuse. But
I think it should have been a mere show of support against him, rather
than having him off. Think he won't make a new account and do this
again? And probably with more frustration next time, at having been
judged out of his freedom? What did we solve anyway, and by any chance
did we do more of a bad thing than a good one, despite our good
intentions?

> --
> foo()
> {
> bar()
> }
>
> --
>
> Bangalore Bloggers creating a brand - Blogaloreans
> For specialised communication with the Admin writ...
>
> On Fri, May 28, 2010 at 2:11 AM, Sandil Srinivasan <ssri...@tibco.com>
> wrote:
>>
>> It's difficult ...
>
> --
> Bangalore Bloggers creating a brand - Blogaloreans

Sanjukta Basu

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May 28, 2010, 2:50:54 AM5/28/10
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+1 Mickey Sugarless

Ujjwal Grover

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May 28, 2010, 3:26:23 AM5/28/10
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Any theory that is built up on the basic premise that people are stupid and not smart enough to make decisions for themselves does not hold much water. I am not being politically correct here or dismissing it as being elitist. Its just plain inaccurate. A working democracy is a proof of that. People always know what is best for them. Sometimes "best for them" may go against our beliefs but that does not mean they are stupid; it merely means we fail to see their reasons.
foo()
{
bar()
}

Sidu Ponnappa

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May 28, 2010, 5:42:56 AM5/28/10
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-1 to censorship/control, with the exception of paedophilia. I think it's presumptuous for anyone - *anyone* - to tell me what I can or cannot do (which is what you're proposing supporting censorship). If what I'm doing/saying upsets someone, by all means voice your dissent. Write a counter post, flame me on mailing lists or  DDOS me, but don't try to create a big brother to shut me up. Haven't you read '1984'?


I think he was free to write whatever he felt like. I think it's a
good thing people commented the way they did, and reported abuse. But
I think it should have been a mere show of support against him, rather
than having him off. Think he won't make a new account and do this
again? And probably with more frustration next time, at having been
judged out of his freedom? What did we solve anyway, and by any chance
did we do more of a bad thing than a good one, despite our good
intentions?

If the author of that post feels strongly enough about what he wrote, there are a thousand ways for him to ressurect that blog in a way that leaves him untouchable.

If he hasn't expended the effort to do so, then he was either simply taking that position to generate traffic through controversy, or is actually so stupid as to deserve to go back to living in tents and drinking camel's milk (I'm quoting a comment of his on that post).

I'm a libertarian tending to anarchy. The net is the only successful anarchy that I can think of. In an anarchy, if you can't get something done, either you aren't smart enough or you don't care. So let's not conflate his inability or disinclination to voice his opinion with us having shut him up - because we haven't. All he needs to do is buy hosting.

Sandil Srinivasan

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May 28, 2010, 6:00:16 AM5/28/10
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I don't think we should - and I don't think we can - generalize censorship in every case. I know there is a compelling argument agaisnt censorship, but tell me this: if hate speech provokes people to strike against a community (and those people, without the hate speech, would previously not have been driven to violence) - then is there no case for censorship in the larger interest?

You sometimes need censorship to protect the values of free speech.

@Ujj - On the Raj Thackeray case - there is a reason why there is a 'gag order' in India, and other parts for the world :-) I am not against expressing opinions, but at some point one needs to draw the line somewhere. If the speaker can't, and the listeners won't, a third-party (the cops?) have to step-in.

Censorship on a blog doesn't make a lot of sense as Sidu pointed out - all he needs to do is buy hosting. If it's a community blog, it's different - the people within the blog are aligned (not in agreement, but aligned) towards a common goal and a certain level of authority (from the editors, for instance) can be tolerated, although not overused. But if someone uses a public forum that has a wider reach, that impacts people going through their daily lives rather than armchair thinkers, I insist there is a need for an authority, with expertise on the subject, to decide at what point the guy must be gagged lest he leads people to mass violence.

As a sidenote, it takes a hate-speech to get this group active and talking again ... but the end result is great :-)

________________________________

From: blogal...@googlegroups.com on behalf of Sidu Ponnappa
Sent: Fri 5/28/2010 11:42 AM
To: blogal...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [Blog'a'Loreans] Fwd: Hate Speech on the Mangalore plane crash..

+1 Mickey Sugarless

> http://thejeshgn.com <http://thejeshgn.com/>

winmail.dat

Ujjwal Grover

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May 28, 2010, 6:30:26 AM5/28/10
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I think we're getting mixed up between what's illegal and what's unacceptable. There are laws against inciting a riot. Surely theres a consensus that this random idiot's blogpost is not that. If its not that then this is just unacceptable and we're debating whether we can or cannot tolerate (or ignore) something unacceptable to us.

Ujj

Sanjukta Basu

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May 28, 2010, 2:43:35 PM5/28/10
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Ujj, the debate is not just about what is illegal and what is unacceptable. Also when something is unacceptable to the society it is made illegal, for example laws against bigamy, adultery and homosexuality. All purely personal choices yet we have laws for them. So to say that this is a perfect world where everybody knows what's best for them and therefore don't need no regulation is not correct. Every right has its own share of limitation there is no escaping from there. 

I think what we are debating here is whether we need to apply the level of censorship on publications via internet, just as we do on books, movies, TV radio or other forms of mass communication. Things like control on abusive language, racist, hateful, violent comments, disrespect towards women, child pornography etc. Question therefore is should we treat internet as a medium any different from any other form of mainstream media?

I think NOT. We cannot treat internet as a unique media equivalent to anarchy where everything can be allowed. It is not different from other medium. The longer we will take in accepting this, the longer will the blogs take in gaining mainstream attention. 

Sandil has put in the point most precisely, "at some point one needs to draw the line somewhere. If the speaker can't, and the listeners won't, a third-party (the cops?) have to step-in."

@Sidu Ponnappa
Why do you say to the exception of pedophilia? What makes you think that a child is incapable of deciding what's best for him / her? Are we not playing the Big Brother then? And if you think laws are just about being a Big Brother then we shouldn't have any law in society at all, why is there a law against prostitution? shouldn't a woman be the best judge as to what to do with her body? If you will read sexuality discourses you will know that even children have sexuality, specially in their teens they have a right to understand and explore sexuality. Age is merely a human construct. We simply thought 18 seems to be a good age for us to show the green signal but in truth it depends from individual to individual at what age do they gain their sexual maturity. But one has to draw a line somewhere so we took 18 as that average age. Similarly some form of censorship is required to just draw a line. 

And also majority is indeed fool, there is no denying that. 

Sorry I digress.

Sidu Ponnappa

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May 28, 2010, 6:49:33 PM5/28/10
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I think I didn't make my argument clearly, so the fault is mine. Let me restate my argument differently, before rebutting the points you make.

I think it is impossible to set up an unbiased, incorruptible and transparent mechanism to censor content. Nobody has succeeded in the past, and I see no reason why that should change. I further argue that censorship isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve, and that as a functioning anarchy, the internet already has checks and balances to solve this kind of problem (as a case in point, the offending blog is currently offline). This system isn't perfect by a long shot, but (in my opinion) seems to work better than, for example, our legal system.

I also contend that you are confusing legality with censorship. I'm no lawyer, but I suspect that the relatives of those who died in the crash have grounds for filing a suit against the gentleman who posted that blog post, were he an Indian citizen (by which I mean that I suspect that in an Indian court of law what he did was illegal). The only way censorship helps in this case is to protect the feelings of Indians who might have otherwise read that blog post. Given this context, an international censorship mechanism doesn't make sense since what is unacceptable in one jurisdiction is acceptable in another.

So, if you can answer my first question to my satisfaction, then by all means I shall support protecting the feelings of Indians by creating an India-only mechanism to censor content on the net (though I reserve the right to bypass it using any means available if I discover that I don't have delicate feelings after all, a right I didn't have while in China).

Now to your points:
 
Question therefore is should we treat internet as a medium any different from any other form of mainstream media?
The internet is not a 'media' - it's a form of society. Neither Radio nor TV (or any other example you cite) can be compared to it because none of them are social structures in and of themselves. You wouldn't try to say 'lets censor India' would you?


Also when something is unacceptable to the society it is made illegal, for example laws against bigamy, adultery and homosexuality.
And there are societies where one or more of these things is legal and accepted. The members of the internet as a society accept the law in the geographic region where they reside (because they don't have a choice, but that's another discussion entirely).

Things like control on abusive language, racist, hateful, violent comments, disrespect towards women, child pornography etc.
Typically we (in India) don't censor much. Please don't confuse censorship with legality. Censorship is what happens in China (and I found it massively annoying - believe me, you really miss Wikipedia once the censors decide you aren't smart enough to use it wisely and, well, censor it).

Are we not playing the Big Brother then? And if you think laws are just about being a Big Brother then we shouldn't have any law in society at all
I've already said I'm a libertarian favouring anarchy - I've answered your question.


Age is merely a human construct. We simply thought 18 seems to be a good age for us to show the green signal but in truth it depends from individual to individual at what age do they gain their sexual maturity.
Certainly. I'm quite a fan of the sexual aspects of Heinlein's 'To sail beyond the sunset'.

But one has to draw a line somewhere so we took 18 as that average age. Similarly some form of censorship is required to just draw a line.
This is a specious argument. Having one line drawn in the sand isn't justification for drawing another in a different context entirely to solve a different problem entirely.


And also majority is indeed fool, there is no denying that.
Ah, finally, we agree on *something* :D
 
Cheers,
Sidu.

Krishna

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May 28, 2010, 10:45:34 PM5/28/10
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Sorry for the off topic..

Just wondering where you ppl from blogaloreans have gone all these days, may be more than months together.
Gud that you are back...
 
Kris

Ujjwal Grover

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May 29, 2010, 2:00:14 AM5/29/10
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Aside: Let me very respectfully ask you to refrain from calling the majority a fool. This is exactly the sort of mentality that leads to class conflicts. I wonder if Naxalism was a result of such a thought process where a section of society feels it has the God given right to dictate the way other section(s) need to live.

Sidu Ponnappa

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May 29, 2010, 5:38:25 AM5/29/10
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Don't get upset Ujj, that was not an attempt at stereotyping a community based on some attribute (like caste or income bracket) but rather that the intelligence of a mob is significantly lower than the average intelligence of the members of a mob. I also agree with you wholeheartedly - this is why majority based democracy is a terrible idea in India, give the kind of demographics we have, and leads to criminals and thugs being legally elevated to power.


I wonder if Naxalism was a result of such a thought process where a section of society feels it has the God given right to dictate the way other section(s) need to live.
To the best of my knowledge it was.

Cheers,
Sidu.

Sanjukta Basu

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May 29, 2010, 2:55:41 PM5/29/10
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Ya don't get upset Ujj, I am all for a democracy where the majority rules, coz I think that's the only way of governance, but that doesn't mean majority is always right. I reiterate my personal opinion, majority is fool, but am not talking about any particular caste or community here. No body has the God given right to dictate, to gain power any given community will have to first gain the confidence of the majority, if Naxals could gain majority support they might well be in power but clearly they don't have majority support and that's why they are outlaws. (On a different note, please don't give any kind of justification for Naxalite violence). I don't understand how is my saying majority is a fool gives birth to class conflict. Majority can be formed by any class whatsoever.

@sidu No further comments, am slightly confused by your arguments but that's not the reason why I am letting you have the last words. I just think we both made are points now let's move on with it :)  

Mickey Sugarless

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May 30, 2010, 11:50:51 AM5/30/10
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A voice of dissent is mandatory, provided there is good in the hearts
of those who propose and oppose [Take for example, my recent post, Who
Says : http://soapboxfound.blogspot.com/2010/05/who-says-smoking.html
after which, I put up Who Says:Smoking
http://soapboxfound.blogspot.com/2010/05/who-says-smoking.html]

But irrespective of what our faith lies in, there are certain things
that are just unacceptable as Ujj put it, and outright wrong, and cant
be allowed because they are ‘dissent’. While my Freedom of Religion
may permit me to indulge in some questionable rituals in honour of my
god -lets say I want to sacrifice your 3 month old baby- once it
reaches your nose, you have the Freedom to punch my nose in. Does
Freedom of Expression permit us to burn our national flag because our
elected representatives are not serving us well?


Remember, maturity does not come with age. Intelligence does not come
with education. Wisdom comes to those who take the trouble. Or in
other words, to those who are unapathetic enough to care about their
surroundings because they live in the same hell-hole that they curse.
But there’s no arguing the fact, that the world is apathetic, weak
willed and stupid, and perhaps worst of all, is uninformed.

So, @ Siddu: When people can’t be bothered to get the information in
the first place, are we not better off with those who are informed
being the ones to make the choices? And as long as this situation of
mass stupidity exists, I say, your suggestion of anarchy is putting my
life at risk >_> .
For me the censorship is simply for those who lack the strength to choose.


Again, like Sandil said, censorship has to be dealt with on a case to
case basis.
Therefore, coming back to information and being informed, we can
classify available information into 2 types:
A- Facts and truths
B- Opinion.
In China, facts and truths are suppressed, because of its potency to
form opinion and destroy the country. In the case of the Emiratti
blog, opinion was suppressed.
If we have to draw a compromise for the case of censorship, I would
say that facts and truths cannot be censored, due to its double
benefit of it being able to inform as well as form opinion. But
opinion, should be censored, because of its manipulative ability to
create the wrong opinion in others. Which is why I don’t gossip... to
bring this down to an everyday level =/.


Yes, the possibility of misuse of censorship rights by a government is
very real. But the possibility of misuse of freedom rights by a
citizen is also true, and I would sleep easier if I knew that an
informed person was making a decision concerning my life.


And lastly, @ Siddu- disciplinary action to placate relatives/ victims
etc, is never a good enough reason to take muzzle somebody/ ‘hang
until dead’ etc.

Mohan

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Jun 7, 2010, 10:58:29 AM6/7/10
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Hi all!

I've been following, but being silent on, this thread for a while now, which is mainly due to my continent shift in the last ten days... (yes, I'm back in India. For those of you who did not know, I had hopped to Norway for ten months on an exchange programme, but it doesn't really matter now, because I'm back in Bangalore ;) )

And then, I met Mickey Sugarless in college today (I didn't know she was she!) and thought I should drop a comment or two here.

Comment one on this weirdo attention seeking Al Emarati writer... I don't know whether that blog should have been pulled down. I thought the link was pretty interesting, and I forwarded it here. Its sad to see censorship, wherever and for whatever reason. +1 to Mickey when she questions whether people reported against Al Emarati because the writer was being racist, or for revenge. I think its the latter.

And thus, it makes all those who reported as sad as the Al Emarati writer - influenced and affected by race, and its many manifestations. Though the magnitude of actions may draw the illusion of the Al Emarati writer being a supporter of race based discrimination, I would say that the magnitude doesn't really matter. What difference does it make if you kill one person, or a hundred? Its still killing... (yup, thats the way I think...)


Second comment, on censorship.

I don't think there should be any kind of censorship, at all. period.

Censorship essentially puts someone in a position of power. And thus starts a class divide. A hegemonical structure. Why?
And who decides who to judge? And why is that person/thing qualified to judge?

I understand when Sandil and Sanjukta say that censorship is required to keep, for example, communal violence propaganda at bay. But why should a person be affected by that propaganda? Because that person lacks access to information which will prove that the propaganda is just propaganda. And more importantly, the person does not know that such information exists, and she/he could have access to it. And that person probably was denied access to the access of information as well. So in my ideal world, all information would be equally accessible, and each citizen would know how to access.

Utopian? Not really. All it really needs would be a whole-hearted effort by the entire media machinery, minus the internet (which I don't think we can really classify as just media any more). And on the internet (and off it) watchdogs could function not to censor and cut-out content, but rather, to warn users of possible propaganda and conflicting sentiments. And thus, also to provide the audience with possible alternative truths. (of course, one cannot still suggest that there is only one truth...)


Which brings me to my third comment, which is on Mickey Sugarless' classification of information to Facts and Truths, and Opinions. I totally disagree. Facts and truths are also reflections of the author's opinions. Nothing can be completely objective, because it faces the bias of the person(s) who contributed to it. And there is no one truth. Ten people can be in an event, and all ten can have varying versions of it, with certain common features, and still be saying the truth. Because thats their truth. Thats the way they saw it, perceived it. Thus if two of us have two versions of the truth of the same event, then whose truth is the truth? I would say that there is no the truth at all, but there is a series of truths.

And thus, Mickey Sugarless' classification is, then, slightly problematic...


Looking forward for some more discussion here! :)

Peace,
Mohan
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