Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
The Internet

UN Wants to Combat Online Racism 538

Ristoril writes "There's an article on Yahoo! News about the United Nations World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination and Xenophobia, taking place in 2001. The goal is to get nations to start 'doing something' about racist propaganda on the Internet. While no specific policies are mentioned, I seriously doubt they're planning the sensible thing -- education." Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

UN Wants to Combat Online Racism

Comments Filter:
  • What else is there if there is not education ?

    I want to see them proclaim that this is the only way, and that all their resources will be focused on it.
    I can understand that it will be hard to coordinate something like this globally, but I would guess that the school systems are the best place to start. If children are educated by someone the believe and trust, they should then be able to sensibly ignore any propaganda they encounter out on the 'net.

  • this is a good idea and all, but just think of how power like this could be abused... it's obvious that it's infringing on your freedom, not that I'm condoning the nazi viewpoint, but what if they crack down on another group next, the KKK, let's say; can they really even do that? what after that? eventually even innocent groups and minorities and such could end up getting smacked down. I dunno, just a thought. it's too late to really think about this much past what I've said already. forgive the rambling.
  • I know a lot of you have the initial reaction that this is some effort to censor the Internet or prevent free speech... But I would imagine they are just trying to expand the current programs combating racism and bigotry to include the Internet.

  • Reciently reading a story about somewhere, I remember finding myself writing a letter to the site creator. Don't get me wrong, but, pride is not the same as racism. I am glad that black people have pride in their soceity, much the same as white people, American Indians, Spanish, or any other ethnic group should. But, where should we be drawing the line? I personally feel that any group, be they white, black, or green for that matter, tha can publish a line of clothing called "Fo Us By Us (fubu)" and not get sued for racism is just plain wrong. Some of these web sites are also more then just pride. They go into mud slinging, name calling, and other vulgarities that are more tearing the world apart rather then bring it closer together, which ultimatly was the goal of the internet, right?
  • I honestly don't like it. But the way I see things, there's no way it's gonna be stopped, and you honestly can't change the way a person thinks. It's just one of those few things you can't take from a person.
  • For example would you ban the It clearly "advocates", hell it helps, "the forced separation" (try to get into Harvard with a 400 on the SAT, please) of a group "based on ... mental prowess". If you want the feature to turn off hate sites - do that. Go to a human based web site search engine, like Yahoo and ask them. Let the "community standard" (standard used in obscenity cases be applied. If you don't trust the community, you can't trust the standard. You trust Yahoo's definitions now why stop.

    In the .xxx point I think you are right, however. Porn can easily be defined under law. It already is. I would be all in favor of it.

    Lastly, I would remind you that you made the choice to come on the Internet, and that is where your choice resides.

    Nate Custer
  • I agree entirely. Censorship of racist material is just as horrible as censorship of any belief or idea. People have the right to be bitches, and they have the right to vocalize their arguments, no matter how misguided.

    Laws against censorship are mostly not there for the protection of the common belief; the ideas of the majority don't _need_ protecting. It is beliefs of the minority, the unpopular, often hated, often horrible and stupid beliefs, that need to be protected the most.

    Oh, and, Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do is a really, really great book. Peter McWilliams is so incredibly cool. You can read the book's text online at Peter McWilliam's website, which is contained in the above sig.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    >Do they have a right to harm another's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness or the
    other rights proclaimed by the founders of the US?

    No, they don't have that right but they do it anyway. Do you think having to put up with burning crosses in your front lawn is the same is having the right to the pursuit of happiness? What about having slurs shouted at you on a daily basis? How does being limited on where you can live, eat, etc. equal having the right to life and liberty? Let's face it, the bigots all want to deny their victims their rights and it's very difficult to *not* want to teach them a lesson.

    >If someone were to start the National Association for the Advancement of White People

    Why would you want to create an organization for a group of people who obviously don't need 'advancement'? Do you honestly think that White people are experiencing the same type of discrimination that Blacks and others experience? I don't, judging from the employment rate, standard of living, etc.

    >Do proclaimed minorities have greater rights than the "white male majority?"

    Have you talked to someone who is involved with the non-profit organizations? They'll tell you that they just want to get the same benefits that their White counterparts get. Now, if you were to talk to a bigot, then you'd hear the supremicist drivel.

    >Is is worse to kill someone because they're black than it is to kill someone because they parked in the 7th parking space from the left of the center of the parking lot?

    If the intent is at ethnic intimidation, then yes, because the crime is targeted at a whole group of people, as in "this is gonna be you" or "you're next".

    >Is it appropriate to hire a less qualified minority rather than hire a better qualified white male?

    This is a WAY overuse example. Bigots *would* want you to believe this, but the reality is that equal skills equals equal employment opportunities. Affirmative Action is meant to get people to overlook gender, race, ethnicity in matters such as employment, education, etc.

    >When it comes down to it, words are just words.

    Yeah, and threats are just violent words.

    In case you're wondering why I've dissected your arguements, the reason is that I've heard the same arguments come out of the mouths of those who think that we can just 'start on a clean slate' where histories of discrimination can simply be ignored. Hey, if we do this, then I guess we can start saying that the Holocaust was nothing but mass murder rather than genocide.
  • "Racists are redneck fuck-faces"....the term "redneck" is racist as it refers to white Southern farmers (they work out in the sun, thus their necks are red). Are you saying that (A) all racists are white Southern farmers, or (B) all white Southern farmers are racists? Regardless, this is another good excuse for the UN to set up some commission staffed with corrupt 3rd World clowns that will waste (read "steal") as much money as possible and blame it all on the West.
  • When you begin banning opinions and start waiving special protections for certain groups, you're giving people a reason to hate MORE.

    Wrong. There is never, ever, ever a valid reason to hate someone. You might disagree, or oppose them, or even violently oppose them because they rely on violence. But you must never allow yourself to hate.

    I didn't say that it was a valid reason or that hate was a good thing. What I DID say was that when you begin banning opinions and have state sanctioned discrimination, you give someone a reason to hate. Frank Smith, who is an extremely qualified white guy looking for a promotion, didn't get it because it went to, in his mind, some nigger who doesn't have half the knowledge and skill that he does. The system was just racist towards Frank because he didn't meet some artificial racial quota designated by the state. Is Frank supposed to feel happy that he was rejected for someone less qualified because he doesn't have the right skin color? Wouldn't it be natural for him to blame his hatred on the fact that the guy/girl who got the job was black? Now Frank posts a website claiming his disgust... should he be sanctioned for promoting hate and racism on a website? If he is, would it not fuel his hatred even more? I'm not a racist and I'm sure you're not either... but how would you feel if you were that guy?

  • What's funny about this story is that it would never have happened if there had been more foresight on the part of the creators of DNS. (The problems are obvious now, but may not have been so when the system was created.)

    There should have been, and should be, requirements for registration of a name. The usual examples:

    To register, sld must be a form of your company name or a trademarked product name. This tld is restricted to legally recognized businesses. (Jurisdictions are another problem here.)

    To register, sld must be a form of the name of a recognized non-profit organization.

    edu, gov, mil are handled in the obvious way. is only for those not falling into the aforementioned tld's.

    I used to think (1994) that this was actually the way things were run, until I learned of the dispute. It seems a fairly intuitive scheme to me, but there's probably many problems I'm overlooking. (And I haven't read the relevant RFC's either, sorry.) One of the possible problems might be resolved this way:

    Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. But it is his personally, not that of a business or NPO. Therefore only he may register, and and will not exist, unless he transfers (or licenses somehow?) the trademark to a business or NPO or creates one himself.

    Another example:
    There is no business/NPO/trademark/product/etc called slashdot. Therefor there will be no If someone should register that as a trademark/servicemark/etc then he may create If he incorporates/entrusts/etc then or may be registered accordingly.

    (The IP lawyers would love this, I'm sure. They'd get more clients, but less courtroom arguments. It would be good for a notary public, too.)

    Since this scheme was/is not used, I find myself siding with 'cybersquatters' in most cases. In that regard, I think 'speculation' is a more apt description than 'squatting'. (Though I often doubt that, and haven't taken the time to think it through. Hey, I graduate B.S. Physics soon; I'm kinda preoccupied.)
  • I shouldn't respond to someone cowardess enough to call me a bigot and not use his name but...

    No, they don't have that right but they do it anyway. Do you think having to put up with burning crosses in your front lawn is the same is having the right to the pursuit of happiness?

    We're talking words... not physical action. If they burn a cross on your property, they're trespassing and harassing you... Both are punishable under the law as a violation of your rights.

    Why would you want to create an organization for a group of people who obviously don't need 'advancement'? Do you honestly think that White people are experiencing the same type of discrimination that Blacks and others experience? I don't, judging from the employment rate, standard of living, etc.

    There are more poor white people than blacks. The assumption is otherwise due to their relative percentages but in sheer numbers it's different. Why should the son of a black lawyer have favoritism that the son of a white garbage man can't get?

    Have you talked to someone who is involved with the non-profit organizations?

    You mean like the race-baiter, Jesse Jackson's, Rainbow Coalition that extorts large companies into hiring blacks or else face his wrath?

    If the intent is at ethnic intimidation, then yes, because the crime is targeted at a whole group of people, as in "this is gonna be you" or "you're next".

    So, if someone murders multiple people who park in the 7th parking space from the left of center, he's not intimidating a group of people from parking in that space? A crime is a crime REGARDLESS of motivation. Nobody should have greater importance simply because they meet some artificial criteria.

    Affirmative Action is meant to get people to overlook gender, race, ethnicity in matters such as employment, education, etc

    Is this why _I've personally_ seen people hired to meet quotas?

    Yeah, and threats are just violent words.

    Ask the police... if someone threatens you, their hands are tied until an actual crime is committed. In cases of repeated threat, it IS a crime... called herassment.

  • Since you mentioned Sweden, I had to answer being a certified Swede(tm). Of cource I cant speak for other cultures, but I think some points are valid regardless of which country you study.

    My view of the developments here is that racism is merely a symptom. The society has gotten tougher. It is no longer obvious in the minds of the young, that things are going to be "ever better and better". Wether people today actually *are* worse off than, lets say, 20 years ago is not the point. Among large groups of society, there is a general atmosphere of hopelessness, that leads to short sightedness.

    This is of course a perfect breeding ground for extremist groups. Not only Neo-Nazis, but also extreme-left groups, anarchists, violent vegetarians(!) and so on.

    With our rather leftish tradition (in the 70's left was right and right was evil) an extreme right attitude is a fool proof way to get some shock value. Thus, neo-nazis attracts the "I hate my parents and the society" types. Also we might not have dealt with our actions (or rather non-actions) in WWII properly. Many people were pro-german (but not necessarily pro-nazi, often rather anti-soviet) in the early war. Later governments has been trying to cover up that fact, and as usual, exposed government cover-ups is an easy way to plant an attitude of "Dont believe anything from the authorities" attitude.

    This said, there is a reason why the internet racists use Sweden as a platform.

    We have a very strong freedom of speech law and tradition. (remember, this is the country that made the Co$ papers a public record...) This combined with our high rate of internet usage makes it easy to maintain a racist site here.

    Of course there are laws regarding this. They generally say that you may not agitate against any group of people. The courts also tends to take crimes with racist motives more seriously than others.

    The racists are smart, however (well, some of them)
    The don't say "Kill the blacks/arabs/gays", but "Arm yourselves for self defence"
    They don't say "Throw them out", but "regulate immigration"
    They don't say "Foreigners are inferior", but "They are overrepresentated in the [something bad]-statistics"

    Enough with this rant. My opinion is that official censorship won't solve anything. There are always ways around that.
    Education is always good. Actions agains social injusticies too. The main thing (and here comes a cliche) is that the good people never give up.

  • I wasn't surprised at all when I saw this, because the United Nations (or at least large portions of it) has supported censorship in the past, in direct violation of their own list of human rights.

    Apparently, the idea of drug legalization is so abhorrent to the UN and so obviously criminal that anyone who suggests it should be punished. Write a book supporting it? The UN wants your head. A politician realizing how corrupt and pointless this 'war on drugs' is with the guts to tell others the truth? The UN thinks they should be quiet... or go to jail.

    You may not agree with this position. Fine. But any decent human being will realize that criminal penalties based on political beliefs and speech is blatantly unfair and a violation of freedom of speech. Background information can be found at this site (information on UN anti-drug laws) [] and here (more important; a direct look at the censorious SOBs of the UN) [].

  • Sigh. I thought the Simon Weisenthal Center had given up on censoring the Internet. Back in 1996, pronouncements [] used to come out of there about how the Internet was bad because it wasn't controlled by "responsible" parties, unlike the other media who could be intimidated into not publishing things the Simon Weisenthal Center didn't like. This made them look stupid; even many Jews thought they were overdoing it.

    The Simon Weisenthal Center has a problem - their mission is finished. Their original purpose was to locate old Nazis from WWII and have them punished. But over time, the old Nazis died off or were too geriatric to get excited about. Like other charities that outlived their usefulness, they looked for a new mission. The mission they ended up with was the manufacture and sale of guilt. They now have a chain of Holocaust museums and various relatedproduct lines. [] It's become an industry, like the Vietnam POW/MIA thing. To keep the contributions flowing in, they have to keep trying to make Americans feel guilty. Part of this is inflating the neo-Nazi threat.

    At least in the U.S., the neo-Nazi movement has always been a joke. Back in the '60s we had George Lincoln Rockwell and his American Nazi Party. That went nowhere. And none of its successors have advanced beyond the tiny-bunch-of-jerks level.

    If you'd like to see a site the Weisenthal Center has tried to shut down, see Stormfront []. This is a spinoff of the Klu Klux Klan, not a neo-Nazi site. The Klan's idea of White Power excludes Jews, so the ADL and the Weisenthal Center went after Stormfront, which increased Stormfront's visibility substantially. There's a mutually supportive relationship between the extremist groups at both ends of the spectrum - they need each other to have someone to hate. Nobody else cares much.

  • Well, if that is the case, I suppose the Chinese are the most "biochemically superior" race because of their groundbreaking developments of just about every technological advancement in human history: Gunpowder, the abacus, world exploration (despite the painfully eurocentric revisionist history in high school textbooks), fine cloth, medicine, etc. Hurts a little more when we have to talk about the Chinese in such a congratulatory way, doesn't it, "brother"? Notice, of course, how you conveniently decide to use "man walking on the moon" as a great advancement in human development, but not getting into space in the first place as one (USSR). So, you're an isolationist as well as an inept apologist for your race. How quaint. Please kindly regard that, in no way shape or form, am I calling you racist or a Nazi. No that would be the pot calling the kettle honkey. Finally, there is a distinction between flightless bipeds, but that distinction on a microbiotic level is merely cosmetic in nature. The cell structure, blood, RH, and even DNA is mirror-images in most regards. The Human Genome project is about to wrap up their work mapping, so please, decode it and show me the plethora of difference that makes one race more adept at building a stealth bomber than another (btw, a black and an Asian American also co-developed the jet propulsion system so that Apollo could safely jettison back to earth. But I'm sure in your fathomless knowledge, you already knew that. I suppose in the "various races" there are exceptions to the rule, right? >:^D "Smile, you've still got your pride"
  • by slim ( 1652 )
    About four years ago I spent a summer travelling around Sweden with some university friends.

    The majority of Swedes I met were lovely people: I must stress that before I go on.

    One night, we were settled in a campsite, when in the distance we heard shouting. It turned out to be a mob of skinheads wearing swastica badges, marching a circuit around the site, shouting "Sieg Heil". I've never seen anything like that before or since.

    ... so yes, maybe there are problems in Sweden (bloody nice place though. If you ever get the chance to visit Stokholm, do).

    My views on censorship start to waver when it homes to hate sites, because unlike porn, they do offend me. It's important to keep your head straight at times like these, and realise that what you said about "not being forced to look at porn" still applies here.

  • Cor, what is it with Slashdot at the moment? This is the second comment in as many days from someone with virulently anti-semitic views. They're only hinted at here ("Think about it. Who gains?"), but it's all in its full purulent glory at

    A minor aside: has anyone else noticed that virtually the only place you see antiquated expressions like "if you will" is in missives from bigots? Do they think it makes them sound clever?

    Infotech, I wanted to ask you: how many human races are there? How are they distinguished? Can it be done consistently? How does within-group variation compare to between-group variation? What are the implications of this? Do you understand that malleability of characteristics is not the same thing as heritability of characteristics? Do you understand the implications of this?
  • To register, sld must be a form of your company name or a trademarked product name.

    This is how the .AU domain space is controlled. You can't get a unless you have a company with that name (or a derivative of it :). You can't get a unless you're a non-profit organisation.

    Quite handy for limiting cybersquatting, etc (note: it doesn't get rid of it, not by a long shot :) However, it does present problems. The people arranging the New Bruce Sports Stadium in Canberra (capital of Australia) had to get because they didn't have a company name like "New Bruce", etc.

    As with anything, it has its good points and its bad points. Check out the .au Domain Administration [] pages for information about the group that's hoping to take over control of the AU domain.
  • by Kvan ( 30429 ) <> on Friday January 28, 2000 @01:24AM (#1329355)
    And yes, I realize that the freedoms I seen deteriorate in the States aren't necessarily granted anywhere else in the world.

    Not necessarily, no, but it is the UN itself which tries to promote the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights), article 19 of which says:

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

    Note the part about "imparting information and ideas through any media": The UN, if it attempted to actually remove speech that it found offensive, would be violating it's own UDHR.

    "A *person* is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

  • by Serf ( 11805 ) on Thursday January 27, 2000 @11:08PM (#1329357)
    I am sincerely hoping that you meant "speech" wherever you just said "thought". Otherwise, this appears to be a justification of the concept of thoughtcrime, instead of just an argument in favor of censorship.

    The arguments for / against censorship are being endlessly rehashed elsewhere, so I won't deal with them here (except to note that censorship is a diversity-limiting concept -- and if you except it on the grounds that it protects diversity -- do you censor anti-censorship speech on the grounds that it's anti-diversity? Seems awfully hypocritical to me.)

    But if there's one thing that I will not let you do, it is tell me what I can and cannot think. Let's examine some of this for a second:

    It's like saying murder should be allowed cause everyone should be free to do what ever the hell they want.

    Um, no. It's actually not at all like that. It's like saying I should be allowed to (for example) feel like killing you for posting this. Sure, feeling like that would be incredibly unreasonable. But as long as I don't act on it, are you arguing that I should be penalized for that? If I should, why? Should Spock be the only person not in violation of your law?

    racism doesn't (usually) directly cause the death of someone, but it indirectly causes the death of a global society, progress and humanity.

    What would you propose doing about it? About anti-diverse speech? About anti-diverse thought? And would your solution to anti-diverse thought really be any better than what it replaces. (What exactly is anti-diverse thought? Who decides? Also see my questions about censorship above.)

    Thought can be more destructive sometimes than the act - thought usually leads to the act too, and it should be discouraged.

    Great. Punish me if I don't have enough self-control to avoid committing the act -- but if I just think about it, what then? If it's an irrational thought, you should have educated me beforehand about the (dis|ad)vantages of thinking that way. But once I've had the thought? Therapy? But why therapy me if I didn't act on it? I haven't hurt anyone. Well, ok, it might have led me to hurt someone. Sure, and my choosing to drive to the store instead of walk there also made me more likely to hit a pedestrian on the way. Do I get punished for that? (Ok, ok, call the analogy police. But it's no worse than your murder analogy.)

    Basically, punishing (or attempting to therapy) people for basically unverifiable potentials for causing others what may or may not be considered harm based on who's deciding, which society should have educated them against anyway, and when they had enough self-control not to actually carry anything out and hurt anyone is not a successful foundation for any sort of legal system.

    Is there anything obviously wrong with this? Let me know.
  • most people here do not want censorship. including me. What CAN be done is to simply attack blatantly false information. You claim blacks are not human? simple to debunk. Blacks and "Humans" produce fertile ofspring (well... if they want to) so they must be the same species. Just attack a racist with what hurts most... the truth.

  • The best --indeed the only-- remedy, for bad speech is more speech. To permit government to make sanctions on any person for expressing their ideas is simply to cede away the most fundamental of human rights.

    The ideas of facism, particularly, pose no meaningful threat -- the bigoted nonsense espoused by modern neo-nazis, transparently false in its own right, is highly inconsistent and easily disproved on its face.

    Whether there is such a thing as a "dangerous" idea, neo-nazism is not one of them -- truth is likley to prevail unless we permit the surrender of freedom and free speech, and a neo-nazi propagandist takes control thereafter. Only by stunting the marketplace of ideas can such ideas become meaningful threats to society.

    It is not these ideas of these idiots that threatens civil society, it is these proposed solutions that would deprive me of my freedoms.
  • ... that doesn't involve curtailing free speech is this article from Salon:

    Dissing the King []

    See how effective that is? It tears apart the lies posted on the site and shows the dangers of Nazi's hiding their ideology behind a benevolent guise.

    Incidentally, when Nazi's do thing like this, how will a censorship campaign hurt them? The whole point of this exercise was for the Nazi's to fool people into thinking this was a legitimate Web site. What a censorship campaign will do will just make sites like this more prevalent, because the racist thugs who would rather be open with their racism will have to resort to similar tactics.

    Oh please note that this site contains forged documents that were originally created by our own FBI, back when Hoover was trying to get Martin Luther King to commit suicide. I still don't understand how giving power to government, which is what helped create a man like J. Edgar Hoover, is going to help prevent racism from flourishing.

  • two thoughts come to mind here...

    under what circumstances is any government trustworthy?

    if schools analyzed propoganda carefully, they'd have a mighty difficult time teaching any other subjects...with a straight face, anyway.
  • Sweden does have it's problems. Like any country that is faced with a fall in wealth (from the top to the bottom of the OECD in 25 years), and large social shifts from an extremely homogenus population to one of Europes most culturally diverse (of course, I believe this to be a good thing), we have our fair share of both segregation and bitterness.

    However, the Swedish neo-Nazi threat is actually overhyped by a somewhat manic Swedish press and media. Most Swedes are very open by nature, and unlike many other European countries (Denmark, Austria, Italy) there is no extreme right party even close to reaching the parlament here. Even whispering something xenophobic in public is political suicide among the vast majority here, something which is obviously far from the case in a lot of other places.

    If anything, our problem is not the widespread adoption of hatred, but inability of our legal system to do deal with criminal elements that gravitate toward this sort of behaviour in any country. The number of neo-Nazis in Sweden is probably no more than in the hundreds, and they are almost all criminal to begin with and would be in prison on other charges if the Swedish police and courts were even remotely doing their jobs.

    We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.
  • Attitudes towards free speech and thus racist speech are radically different in the USofA and in the rest of the world. In most countries in Europe for instance there are laws that make it illegal to deny the holocaust, to incite people to violent or racist acts. Thus one has to understand the UN proposal in this perspective: Racism is unacceptable thus lets fight it on the internet by closing down racist sites.

    I think that it is a bit like politicians talking about pedophiles on the internet. There are just not many racist sites on the internet and I don't think it's worth spending our energy over that. Everyday racism is infinitely bigger and worst.

    One reason why there is not so much racism on the Web might be that racists tend to have an IQ that is so low that they don't even know how to use a mouse!

  • Course, here in Canada, we have Hate Crime Legislation - you can be charged for spreading literature, or other propaganda that targets a race or group.

    Which is, of course, never applied against the targeting of groups in the government's disfavor.

  • this is all about freedom of speech, we all have the power to vote with our browsers...

    we can go and read, or not read what these people have to say...

    we can all go and flame the webmasters, or flame their discussion groups or complain to their service providers...

    we have the right to choose who we host on our free/nonprofessional sites and what to say on our websites...

    I think it's an ok thing for there to be a thousand neo-nazi sites, and it is the perrogative of those of us who think differently to point out why these lines of reasoning are wrong...

    to completely squealch any speech type in the public forum is unjust (but this does not include squealching speech in a specific forum)
  • A similar list of Bosnian crimes would qualify the Serbian leadership as evil, too. And how about Indonesia's oppression of the East Timorese?

    What worries me is that the Chinese (Tibet, Tiannanmen Square) and the Russians (Chechniya) are almost as bad but we are forced to turn a blind eye because they are too big for even the United Nations to deal with. Hell, the UN even got ass-whipped in Indonesia.

    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction
  • Yes, it is despicable. However, the difference here is that there was no mass extermination. As for the winner writing history in their favor, I see none of this. Children in school learn about the detention camps in Canada and the US, as well as the McCarthy communist conspiracy collaborator crap (which is easily shown as stupidity by the paranoia that ensued).
  • Maybe I'm alone in this, but even if I strongly disagree or become deeply offended at what someone else is > saying, I'm still willing to defend to the death their > right to say it. It doesn't matter to me if it's the KKK, neo-Nazis, the Nation of Islam, or the Scientologists.

    oh that old chestnut again, what if someone called your mom a whore who gave it to sailors free, would you prevent your dad from punching the guy out, even resorting to beating your dad up instead?

    defend racist talk huh? even though it encourages the attacks and discrimination against people? get in the real world please and find out what its like to be someone who lives in fear from racsicts and fascists who you appear to support the right to say what they want. have you ever lived in fear of your life and of your family's life because of words of some nazi? i bet not, and until you do you got absolutely no idea what you are talking about!

  • by SenshiNeko ( 142071 ) on Friday January 28, 2000 @02:31AM (#1329434)
    The article cited by Roblimo is referring to the International Forum on the Holocaust conference and the mere call for action against internet racism made by the countries there. The United Nations connection doesn't even come in except as a tacked on citation at the end of the article mentioning the preparatory meeting of experts for the World Conference on Racism in February. The longer and more comprehensive report on the conference by the Associated Press today only included _one line_ about how the subject of internet racism could be proposed for inclusion as a discussion topic at the upcoming World Conference on Racism in 2001. That's all. Hardly the insinuation made in the top of the thread that the United Nations is actively preparing to take action against racist propaganda on the internet.

    For those concerned about the US position on such proposals, at the Holocaust conference the US envoy said that freedom of speech issues would prevent the US from supporting restrictions against racist activity on the Internet, but that hate groups could be monitored for "planning destructive activity."

    As for what the Expert Commission is actually discussing in February in regards to the internet, it's a three hour session (part of a three day seminar) on the remedies available to victims of acts of racism and incitement to racial hatred on the internet; technical problems linked to prosecution of acts of racism on the internet; and the legal and technical questions of the issue (such as defining the act, the perpetrator of the act, responsibility of the servers and providers, competence of prosecutors, international cooperation in the judicial aspects).

    What the United Nations is concerned with is the systematic use of the internet to exacerbate conflicts, facilitate 'ethnic cleansing', and target migrants or refugees by stoking ethnic hatred and intolerance - not people randomly using 'hate speech' in a chatroom or on usenet, or even the typical idiotic webpage spewing 'white vs. black' ideas. In this regard, the internet is seen as just another mass media tool in the arsenal of those promoting such ideas, similar to radio, television, and the press (as was used in Rwanda where the horrific genocide was sparked by inflammatory radio broadcasts and newspapers). I spent most of 1997 as a senior intelligence operations noncommissioned officer in support of the NATO peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, and I've seen firsthand the use of the internet in this manner by all sides in that situation (Serbian, Croatian, and Bosniac), and the misrepresentations and lies became so bad that the High Commissioner (of the international community) in Bosnia had to place restrictions on the news broadcasts and webpostings of each sides' press agencies, lest they renew the conflict. The same tactics were used when the NATO action againt Serbia was ongoing, when all sorts of anti-Serb and anti-Kosovar sites sprang up online. You can see similar sites regarding nearly any major dispute in the world today: try Kashmir, or the ongoing Ethiopia-Eritrea war. The question we need to address is where the line lies between legitimate representation of views and propaganda sparking and leading to criminal acts, outright conflict and genocide.

    As for the foreseeable future, the international community isn't even at the point of coming up with agreed upon definitions concerning the issue, much less finalizing guidelines, and plans of action for effectively combating such speech online, and is nowhere near the paranoid view expressed elsewhere in the thread that the United Nations is coming up with international laws, treaties, conventions, restrictions, etc promoting censorship or banning free speech on the internet.

    For more background and information on the Third World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, check out their website at

    By the way, this is my first post to slashdot after lurking for a year. :) Hi everyone!

    SenshiNeko (representing the Republic of The Gambia in the Security Council at the National Model United Nations Conference this year)

  • Off your web page.

    "I joined the National Alliance because I want to be a hammer instead of an anvil, I got tired of just watching what was being done to our people and our civilization. I decided to fight back."

    What a joke. Do you actually think people in this forum are going to believe the drivel that you advocate? The quote above is one of many on your site that preys on those who are ignorant as well as down on their luck. It is a sad thought that you don't know what a fool you are.
  • Funny thing I've looked at some of these sites and I've come to realize that these people are the first to complain how their freedom of speech has been violated but on the next page only support it only for themselves.

    Awhile back someone on here had their .sig file say, "I will not support to the death your right to silence me".

  • if it makes you feel any better, the same feeling of helplessness is rampant in parts of the U.S. as well, particularly among young people. not all of them, mind you, but a pretty large group.

    this is off-topic, but what are the Co$ papers? either my memory is acting sieve-like again, or i've missed this somewhere.

  • It's hardest to oppose censorship when you otherwise agree with the stance of the would-be censor (as we nearly all do in this case). I've personally found this tactic to work well: point out that censoring "bad speech" tacitly concedes that "good speech" isn't strong enough to win the day. Censoring racists suggests that racist speech is more powerful than tolerant speech. Why would this be so, if the racists' position were false?

    The answer, naturally, is that it is not so: where both sides are given a fair hearing, tolerance wins overwhelmingly. Censoring racism drives it underground and gives the racists the ammunition they need to continue their campaign. To put it bluntly, censoring a racist is the nicest favor you can do the bastard.

    Or, as Thomas Jefferson put it in his first inaugural address, "... error of opinion can be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."

  • Over the course of about 6 months, I have seen links to about 6 or 7 racist sites(even a real audio link) posted on slashdot. I have read each and every one of them (some for laughs, but others for education on how to fight what is presented). Anyway, if we see in shades of gray, we'll understand that there will be some misinformed people who will take the information presented as fact. We will also understand that sometime in the future, our ideas may be painted as racist or radical or irrational by a certain power structure. Those that wrote the constitution knew that government and other collections of people were open to corruption. That's why they wrote that there would be no laws against freedom of expression or association besides those that infringed on the rights of others.

    In other words, I completely agree with you. Of course, there is a fine line between the spread of racist literature and teachings and infringing on rights of those that they are against.

    The US and many other (at least pseudo)democratic nations fortunately have no extremists in power, but we do not know what the future will hold.
  • This is presumptive in that it would indeed prevent the right to be heard, which is why most people make a webpage or post anything on the net to begin with.

    Ah, but there's the catch. You have the right to speak. Others have the right to hear you, or not hear you, as they so choose.

    You, however, have no innate right to be heard. You are given that right when others exercise their right to hear you. You may not take it from those who do not exercise that right, because then you are taking away their right to not hear you. Likewise, they may not take away your right to speak, all they can do is not listen.

    Many of the pariah groups on the Net (pr0n sites, hate sites, and such) have come to use sneaky tricks to try and make others read their sites. A favorite, particularly among pr0n sites, is redirection; they'll lead you to a site that looks innocent enough, but as soon as you enter (or in some cases as soon as you leave) you're automatically taken to one or several pr0n sites that you probably never intended to visit in the first place. In this way, by tricking you into entering their sites, they are forcing you to hear what you may not want to hear.

    Hate sites tend to use a different tactic: misdirection. Witness the recent registration of by Storm Front, one of the oldest hate groups on the Net. They are using the connotations of the name to trick you into hearing what you do not want to hear.

    And then, of course, there's the old pr0n-banner tactic. With this one, sites pay people to recruit new users. Sometimes "new user" means someone visits the site, other times the user has to actually sign up for some service. So these "recruiters" password-lock their sites, forcing you to use these services (so they make money) before you use the site. Anyone who's been on Hotline in the last four years knows about this tactic all too well.

    What I'm saying is that these tricks shouldn't be allowed. It's not fair to make someone hear you by tricking them into thinking they're going to hear something else. Likewise, it's not fair to force people to do things they don't want to do before you offer them some kind of service. What I'm calling for is a way to make it such that when you enter a site, you go in knowing exactly what you're getting into. That's why the original TLD system (.com, .edu, .mil, .gov, .org, and so on) was for in the first place.

    Now there's still the problem of definition. Hate speech is relatively easy to define; I've seen some challenges as replies to my original post, but these tend to miss the point entirely (for example, the post who talks about excluding people from Harvard based on SAT score, while forgetting that each person takes the SAT as an individual, and thus the score is an individual thing).

    Pr0n is different. It can't be defined, at least not easily. The reason: it deals with sexuality, which is a very personal thing, and a little different for everybody. So no matter how you define it you'll wind up excluding some types of pr0n, and unless your definition is very specific you'll end up including some things that aren't. So you'll never be able to categorize all pr0n. The goal is to categorise as much of it as possible, and make it identifiable, both to make it easier to find for those who wish to see it, and easier to avoid for those who do not.
  • See the Reuters story at US/9901/29/BC-DISTRICT-NIGGARDLY.reut/ []

    The story was also extensively covered in the Washington, D.C. area newspapers.

  • The fact that a particular communist country committed crimes and posed a threat does not make communism an invalid viewpoint. Does the fact that a capitalist country (you can pick from several if you know any history at all) did similar things mean that capitalism is an invalid viewpoint?

    If you can't read history, at least try to think logically.

  • Most of us probably remember when Wolfenstein 3D came out. Great graphics, fun gameplay, sleepless nights. The point of the game was, of course, to kill nazi soldiers and ultimately, kill some sort of robo-Hitler in the final showdown. Could anyone confuse this game as dangerously neo-Nazi? Of course not.

    But the game *was* banned in Germany because of its Nazi trappings. Nazi symbols decorating walls and nazi guards patrolling the mazes made the game illegal under Germany's post-nazi reforms. I believe AOL or Compuserve even had to remove the game from their download areas to avoid its download by their German members, which in turn angered many young American gamers.

    The point of the above? Wolfenstein was banned simply because it contained symbols of a racist organization. The context in which they were used was not looked at. And no one even touched the free-speech aspect of the decision. Stopping racism is of course a good thing and something we should all struggle to achieve, but we have to be careful not to step on the toes of free speech. And everyone has to realize that (use of racist symbol) != (racism).

  • "It's called evolution, and the most marked reason why we are different from other races"

    You are ignorant of science. Your claim is easily proven false. Your problem is that you are intellectually unable to logically and objectively think. You don't know how the world really works, so you believe racist ideas, partly out of emotional need to feel "special" and to set up a simple equation where all the worlds problems are in fact the result of someone elses actions (see stereotyped group).
  • Considering this MSNBC story [], I don't think this Yahoo! article could have come at a better time. I don't have to say the Web gives racists (along with pedophiles, sexists, criminals, communists, and innumerable others) a haven for distributing their garbage and hate. The lack of consistent regulation online, while a blessing to all of us, is also a curse.
  • Hello infotech.

    Thank you for posting a reply. I'm going to work through it in some detail.

    "The definition of race is quite malleable."
    I don't think you mean malleable--you mean vague. There is no agreed definition of race, among biologists, lawyers, or any other group of experts. Where I used the word malleable, I meant something entirely different, which we'll get to later.

    "We all know this. We could say that the basic categories of caucasoid, mongoloid, negroid and australoid exist, and would be quite accurate (but for bone struture only)."
    We could say that but we'd be wrong. There is no generally accepted scheme for categorising bone structures, and never has been. Where would Inuit fit in? Ethiopians have utterly different bone structures from Xhosa, much more so than the difference between either group and "caucasoids". You assume your endpoint.

    "But the problem is that variations of each of these races exist, as do combinations of them. This creates a hazy line between one and another. I know this. Every biologist knows this. Still, it does not compromise my position."
    You find it a problem. Most of the rest of the world does not.

    "Races are distinguished by the frequency with which alleles manifest themselves in the phenotype. That is, what is "expressed" by ones genes."
    What is expressed by one's genes is DNA. I'd let you get away with saying proteins but nothing more than that. Have you ever studied molecular biology? It's a long and tortuous journey from expression of DNA through to hair colour. And of course, most human characteristics are the result of the interaction of many genes and many environmental factors, which makes unpicking it all incredibly complicated. I'd love to know how you *know* that races are distinguished on the basis of phenotypic allele variation. Sound like an unjustified assertion to me.

    "For example: Can blue eyes be said to be a chracteristic of the Aryan, or European, race if while 30% of it's population expresses that trait, .0001% of the Negroe race expresses the same? Of course you can."
    Erm...this really doesn't follow, unless you are defining a race as a sub-population sharing X features at a frequency greater than the rest of the population, and defining that frequency. Even then, you're not actually getting very far, as you have to say why you choose the features you do. And you have no basis for choosing.

    "Even though there might be more differences within races than between them, that isn't important."
    Yes it is. Because you want to use eugenics or genocide to decide who can reproduce. But you'll be getting rid of lots and lots of people who are better (using whatever arbitrary measure of better you've got) than the ones left behind. Put it this way. I give you two buckets: each contains a mixture of diamonds and glass pieces roughly the same size. I tell you that you have 10 minutes to sort them. What you're proposing is the equivalent of working out which bucket has on average the more diamonds and just keeping that one, rather than sorting through and picking out the diamonds. Babies and bathwater, infotech. And of *course*, humans are infinitely more precious than diamonds.
    "While variation exists within groups, the important thing to remember is the average difference. Perhaps this is an inflammatory example (Sorry if it is). If a population of 1 million nerps (fictional creatures) exist and 80 % of them have an IQ of >100, but a few of them are extremely dull, and have an IQ of Surely it can be said that they differ from a population of 1 million perns, 80 % of which have an IQ of 110."
    Sorry, but absolutely not. Have you done any statistics? What about variance? You assume that causation and correlation are one and the same, and they are not.

    "This can therefore be considered a racial characteristic.(That should answer your within group variation question as well)"
    Sorry, you fell at the first hurdle. Average has many different definitions, of which x-bar is only one, and where variance is high, x-bar's significance is low. Plus, you conflate causation and correlation.

    "The most consistent way to classify races is by bone structure. In itself, this is a far more complicated area than simple eye color, but the idea is the same. Caucasians are not entirely white. Caucasians include Indians, Arabs and other Semitic peoples as well. Further analysis includes blood characteristics (Arabs and Semites are prone to getting sickle-cell anemia because of these differences, but the remaining Caucasians do not), and other methods. But the most efficient way is by appearance. The majority of characteristics which mark the differences between the races are summed up fairly accurately this way."
    Well, is it bone structure or appearance? They're not the same, y'know. And what's the difference between Arabs and Semites? And why do you think that Arabs and Indians are both Semites elsewhere. It all seems very confused. Perhaps there isn't much point in trying to do all of this classification.

    "Yes, I understand the implications of this. Basically, it is my position that we should use our biological resources to improve the quality of humans born onto this earth, much the same as those who want to eradicate genetic diseases. That is the implication."
    Now we get to the nub of the problem. You don't know the difference between malleability and heritability, do you? Here's a clue: I have very bad eyes. Eyesight has a fairly strong heritable component. But glasses mean I can see! Without the need for breeding my parents differently or anything!!! And how do you determine quality? What possible basis have you got?

    "National Socialism is the application of the laws of nature to politics. Sorry if there are any typos, but I'm quite pressed for time today."
    Believe me, it's not the typos I'm bothered about. It's the science. Well, the lack of it.

  • It is most likely infotech reponding to his own drivel.
  • by JustShootMe ( 122551 ) <> on Thursday January 27, 2000 @08:43PM (#1329481) Homepage Journal

    Honestly, I doubt that education would help the worst offenders. It seems to me that the ones with the most hate are impervious to reason OR education. Sometimes it's a maater of faith, which IMO is the height of irrationality.

    If you don't teach em when they're kids, except in rare cases, you're just not going to teach them. You can't teach a door to be a window, so you can't teach a racist to be tolerant.

    No, I don't have any other solutions. I wish I did.

    If you can't figure out how to mail me, don't.
    • oh that old chestnut again, what if someone called your mom a whore who gave it to sailors free, would you prevent your dad from punching the guy out, even resorting to beating your dad up instead?

    I can't imagine a worse way to decide broad and important issues of public policy than to ask "what would one do when in an extreme emotional state".

    • defend racist talk huh? even though it encourages the attacks and discrimination against people?

    Yes, defend racist talk. Because:

    • Freedom means the freedom to be our best as well as our worst.

    • There is no fair arbiter of what talk is to be allowed and what talk is to be forbidden. It's a road we'd better not go down. First, we "reasonably" go after the worst White Supremicists. Next, we abridge the rights of the rich to express their opinion (after all, it's only fair because the rich have so much more access to the media). Next, we limit people's rights to complain about the restrictions (what good is that? It's already decided.) Finally, we enslave and murder those who insist upon their incorrect views (why not? They add nothing to society as they aren't allowed to dissent. Their only use is either as slaves or dead.)

    In the US the principle of Free Speech is enshrined as the First Article in our Bill of Rights:

    • "Congress shall make
    • no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    As others have pointed out, there are similar provisions supported by the UN and the EU.

    Free speech, it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

    -Jordan Henderson

  • by / ( 33804 ) on Thursday January 27, 2000 @08:43PM (#1329484)
    The weird thing about this conference is that none of the Arab nations was invited to be represented, supposedly out of respect for Israel (which is a dubious way to express respect). This is especially interesting, since the whole "Islamic Terrorist" image is one of the most recent racial stereotypes to arise in (at least American) Western culture. But I suppose CNN and friends are less likely to carry stories that demonstrate the failings of CNN and friends.

    It's too bad Yahoo only carries AP and not AFP, or I'd have some links to share. And remember, if you don't do it for the babies, at least do it to thwart the ragheads, right? Lovely culture.
  • by emag ( 4640 ) <<slashdot> <at> <>> on Thursday January 27, 2000 @08:45PM (#1329489) Homepage
    I can't really say that I'm surprised. We're moving so swiftly towards the New World Order, where any views which go contrary to the masses are labelled thoughtcrimes, and the offenders forced into re-education camps or simply silenced in the night, that it makes sense that the UN would go after this.

    Maybe I'm alone in this, but even if I strongly disagree or become deeply offended at what someone else is saying, I'm still willing to defend to the death their right to say it. It doesn't matter to me if it's the KKK, neo-Nazis, the Nation of Islam, or the Scientologists. And yes, I realize that the freedoms I seen deteriorate in the States aren't necessarily granted anywhere else in the world. That doesn't stop me from believing everyone should have those rights. We don't seen to have that freedom anymore in the US, so why not have the UN going around to ensure that no one does?

    Whatever happened to diversity? Diversity of opinion is just as important as any other kind of diversity.

    The best way these things is the way a state government official in one of the southern states (can't recall which right now) where the KKK has adopted a stretch of highway through one of those adopt-a-road programs is handling it. They can't deny the KKK the right to adopt the highway. Instead, this person has introduced legislation to rename it the Rosa Parks Memorial Highway.

    That is, IMHO, the best way to handle these things.

    Yeah, this is pretty fscking disjointed. It's been a long day, a long night at class, and I really should be asleep, but . . .
  • The article doesn't once mention shutting down hate speech sites or banning racist propaganda - or deal much with US politics, for that matter - but that doesn't stop some from getting on a First Amendment soapbox. Apparently, governments are not only forbidden from censoring certain speech, but also from discouraging certain speech. It should also be pointed out that this was an INTERNATIONAL issue; thus all the pontificating about First Amendment rights is a bit irrelevant. I'm certainly not sanctioning the banning of racist hate speech, but this is not a First Amendment issue. There is nothing wrong with a government indicating its disapproval of certain viewpoints, so long as citizens are not persecuted for their dissent. This is an important issue that needs to be addressed, as Nazi and hate groups have increasingly found in the Web a place where they can set up the terms of a debate and run with it. Yes, it's protected speech (in the US, anyway - some of my fellow countrymen forget that not all cultures stress freedom of speech above all other rights), but that doesn't make it healthy or appropriate. This poster needs to get out from behind his monitor for a bit and get a grip.
  • Surely current laws can be used against things like this?

    While it is true that the Internet allows quicker communication, it also makes them easy to track. If someone puts up a hate site (apart from something on Geocities or something, where it will get taken down quickly), they need to pay for it. That creates a paper trail which is easy to trace, if they really want to "Crack down on hate crime"

    It also makes it easier to penetrate their "underground" networks. I'm sure if you join some Nazi mailing list, and then start sending some hate letters, I bet you'll meet some people who know people, etc.

    That's the way to fight crime - actually enforce current laws, rather than create new laws like "Though shalt not create bad web pages" and wonder why everyone ignores them.

  • "slashodt is full of pro-socialist propaganada"

    Which in effect is nullified if you reply to the story directly below it. Most slashdot comment posters value the comments below the story to be of the most value. If you differ from a story as presented, then you reply in the comment field right below it.

    There are of course problems with the collective majority drowning out particular points as well as bad moderation, but it is more or less a good thing.
  • Thank you for that nice long winded deflecting argument with absolutely no substance what so ever.
  • I disagree, actually. I once held this point of view, because it's easier to maintain absolutes (NO! Never! Under no circumstances shall we inhibit free speech in any way!) than to be realistic.

    No country has totally free speech - if nothing else, it is not legal to advocate armed rebellion in any country I'm aware of. The U.S. (where I live) comes closer than most, but even here you can't advocate violent rebellion; you also can't slander or libel an individual (including corporations), nor can you engage in inflammatory "hate speech" in situations where this is likely to cause harm to others, i.e. cause a riot.

    Forbidding people to tell lies about "races" of people strikes me as a reasonable extension of forbidding them to tell lies about individuals or corporations. Forbidding people from advocating genocide and/or the re-institution of chattel slavery strikes me as something which should be prevented, whether the speaker is in the immediate presence of a potential race riot or miles away from it.

    As I said, there's no such thing as free speech, any more than there's such a thing as a free lunch. What we get is lunch included in the price of something else, and the cost of "free" speech is to my mind the same as the cost of allowing citizens to freely arm themselves: if the "right" (which is actually a privelege) is abused and turned toward the harm of others in the society, then you lose the right. There's a difference between stifling free expression of ideas and stamping out a memetic disease like racism.

  • ****Actually, I grew up in a predominantly Black neghborhood. It was the fact that I had to actually live with them and interact with them for most of my 24 years that made me realize that they were indeed fundamentally different than myself.****

    The real problem I have with this is that you are making a broad blanket statement by refering to the entire black race as "them." I'm really not sure that you can make generalizations about an entire race based upon the people who lived in your neighborhood.

    You also say that "they" are fundamentallly different. What exactly does fundamentally different mean? I dated a black lady for about a year and I can tell you she was sweet, sensitive, loving, and generally a very nice person. If that's what you meant by fundamentally different then I would be inclined to agree with you.

    **Saying things like "Racism is based on ignorance" without a thorough explanation will get you nowhere, and actually is flamebait.**

    I didn't make that comment but I can tell you that I feel that racism isn't based on ignorance, I feel that racism = ignorance. If somone chooses to dislike or hate someone based upon the color of their skin then they are ignorant.

    There are good and bad people from every race or culture. If you choose to base an opinion on an entire race by the actions of a select few then you are not a very deep thinker.

    I have always thought that racism is probably taught more than it's "picked up along the way." We as a society need to attack the problem instead of worrying about censoring the effects. It seems so typical that society would put a bandaid on a huge gaping wound instead of addressing the real problem.

  • When I was in grade school in the 70s we were educated about racism. My favorite lesson was this:

    I lived in a community that had several elementary schools and just one junior high. Any one who lived there and did not go to private school went to that junior high. When that school was built there were originally plans for the gym in the basement to have a swimming pool. However, racists that did not want black boys using the same pool as white girls blocked this plan and so today there is no junior high swimming pool, and it is too late to add one. This outraged my entire class when we learned of it. I remember beinmg sceptical and talking to my mother about this and she confirmed the story.

    This and other lessons systematically taught us that racism is stupid, wrong, and in the end damages everyone if you give into it. I was shocked to find that many of my college friends had never learned much about racism in school. I think such lessons are much more beneficial than D.A.R.E.
  • by John Murdoch ( 102085 ) on Thursday January 27, 2000 @08:50PM (#1329524) Homepage Journal
    A new research study reported today that the use of copper wire by racist, skinhead, and white supremacy groups is at an all-time high. "This is a disturbing trend," said a predictably reliable source of meaningless blather. "It is imperative that right-thinking people around the world band together to combat racism, imperialism, Zionism, and other -isms that the UN and the world press disapprove of."

    U.S. government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that racist and neo-Nazi organizations make extensive use of copper. "These guys use copper wire to communicate all the time. They connect to the Internet, they watch cable TV, they call each other on the phone," said the official. "But that's just scratching the surface," he continued, "they use copper in electrical wiring, light switches, electrical fixtures--hey, some of them even use copper-bottomed pots and pans to cook meals for their racist friends."

    These shocking revelations come hard on the heels of disturbing new revelations that many of the Swiss and German insurance companies that failed to pay on Nazi-era policies also make extensive use of copper wire for both communications and electric power distribution. Swiss government officials in Zurich refused to confirm reports that they were investigating whether insurance company officials used copper-bottomed pans for cooking.

    Leading scientists, meeting at a UN-sponsored conference in Tokyo, sought to clarify the issue. "Copper can be an element for good, or for evil," said reknowned ethicist Robert Brooks of Harvard University. "While we deplore the way that these disgraceful elements are using copper, we have to remember the positive ways in which copper has been used for good." Nonetheless, Prof. Brooks did observe that there is a longstanding link between copper and racism--dating back to the early days of the slave trade, when the hulls of slave ships and other vessels of the period were routinely covered with copper to protect the ships from rot. "Think of it," mused Brooks, "how far we've come from the days of the slave trade, and we still can't manage to keep copper out of the hands of these people."

    For more information, contact the International Alliance to Ban Copper and Racism, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10022.

  • If racist sites are censored, what will parents point to as they explain to their children that some people believe that some races are intrinsically inferior? What examples of racist arguments will parents use to show the weak points of these arguments? Parents cannot just simply say to their kids, "all races are equal", and then let their children try to figure things out for themselves by talking to their peers and watching reported crimes on the news.

    Also, how would parents explain to their children that many websites contain misleading information? They're obviously not going to want to use porn sites as their first example.


  • Sure, you can say whatever you want, but people should also be able to stop you if it's harmful.

    A popular sentiment among censors.

    Freedom of speech isn't about speech that offends no one. It is about speech that large segments of the population find offensive or harmful. That includes "racist speech", a category that broadens with every passing year.

  • The United Nations is an organization based on principles. It has no way of directly enforcing any decision that it makes. The most it can do is make recommendations to whatever country or international group. Be design it is weak, similar to the Original Continental Congress of the early United States. In my humble opinion, the UN is destined to failure in the next 50 years or so.
  • The don't say "Kill the blacks/arabs/gays", but "Arm yourselves for self defence"

    Since when does arming oneself lead to racially-motivated murders? I think you're reaching quite a bit with this statement. In the US, people try to propagate this BS all the time: "guns are bad, m'kay?" Guns are not bad. Gun owners are not bad people. Thank you.

  • In fact, make this historical record a chip that must be installed on all Aibos at the port of entry before the US can import them.
    Um, sure. I suppose we need to have the US put voice chips on all exports, too, detailing our genocide against the Indian nations, our enslavement of Africans, our imprisonment of Americans of Japanese ancestry during WWII, our foreign interventions to support brutal dictators, etcetera. And every Volkswagon should come with a textbook on the Holocaust, every bottle of Russian vodka should have a warning label about Soviet aggression, every crate of Isreali fruit should detail the history of the oppression of the Palestinians.

    How far back should we go? Should every Italian suit have the misdeeds of Rome sewn into it, tapestry-fashion?

    No nation is pure. Yes, we must understand the horrors of the past to prevent them from re-occuring. But we must also understand that these horrors were, ultimately, perpitrated by people, not nations, and we should not blame innocents who happen to share nationality with oppressors and war criminals.

  • Poster you replied to: Say it with me now. I will not be a part of your pride. I will judge individuals based on their actions and achievements.

    There are of course many shades of grey. There are many people who have a group mentality and are unable to think without its crutch. Therefore it is possible as such to logically pre judge the mindset of a person based on a number of factors involved. The key, however, is to keep an open mind. Without an open mind, you are open to ignorance, stupidity, and that same group mentality and false pride.

    The next time someone argues with you about country x vs. country y, ask them what they have done in their life that they feel proud. It should quickly shut them up. However, I do think it is acceptable for some playful group mentality in spectator sports such as football and basketball. Of course, we have often seen it go WAY to far in european soccer - but I guess that's what you get when you bring a couple of groups of people blindly advocating victory of a team with a label attached to their city or country ..
  • "Saying things like "Racism is based on ignorance" without a thorough explanation will get you nowhere, and actually is flamebait."

    False. Racism can be based on fear of the unknown, xenophobia, cause and effect, intellectual stagnation leading to a simple "answer" to a complex problem that your mind isn't able to wrap itself around et al.

    "Actually, I grew up in a predominantly Black neghborhood. It was the fact that I had to actually live with them and interact with them for most of my 24 years that made me realize that they were indeed fundamentally different than myself."

    OK, lay out your experiences for me. Since there is no content here (just a holier than thou presentation of "fact), I can not argue with you. I will however give you an example:

    In germany, in the early 1930's, there was extended economic downturn. The people involved -- who were largely ignorant to macro and micro economics (as the general population in any country usually is) -- were willing to accept any solution presented to them. Why? Because economic depression is the lower most extreme of the business cycle, there was a lot of suffering. Hitler offered them a solution. They accepted it. It was not based on logic. It was based on an exploitation of those who were recently in economic good times and the populations general ignorance to the world around them.

    Do you know why it angers me when you use scientific "fact" to back your posts? It's because you lack simple understanding of what science is. Science is based on making a hypothesis, testing that hypothesis, and questioning your results. Logical and objective thought makes you question everything around you. You are not questioning. You are repeating crap that you have either been told or which you believe as a conclusion you have come to yourself. You don't question your line of thought. You just believe. That's not science of logical thinking. That's stupidity.
  • by akamil ( 142336 ) on Thursday January 27, 2000 @08:53PM (#1329556)
    There are a couple of problems with combating online racism. First of all, trying to censor the internet will never work; look at DeCSS. As soon as some web sites were ordered not to offer it, dozens of others popped up in their place. The same thing could happen with racism. Second, the UN is trying to fight the symptom instead of the disease. Stopping people from expressing racist views will not eliminate racism; people will be as ignorant as they were before. I agree that education is the only answer to stop people from being ignorant enough to be racist in the first place.
  • I've heard the same arguments come out of the mouths of those who think that we can just 'start on a clean slate' where histories of discrimination can simply be ignored. Hey, if we do this, then I guess we can start saying that the Holocaust was nothing but mass murder rather than genocide.

    If Hitler and the Germans were to forget about those who "discriminated" against them post WWI, would it have been possible to incite the people in the way he did? Would it have prevented the Holocaust? We need to learn from our mistakes, not be doomed to repeat them because we think it's going to make things equal.

  • Article 29, section 3: (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    Newspeak-to-English Translation: You have the right to do anything of which we approve.

  • No, someone who thinks they can is realistic, someone who thinks they *should* is a Nazi.

    Preventing people from expressing opinions that you don't like is one of the worst attacks against a free society. Sure, we all know racists are redneck fuck-faces who by their very existnance tarnish the human race... but that doesn't give us the right to stop them from spewing their hateful lies.

    The idea that any ideas, no matter how stupid or hateful or distasteful should be censored is just plain wrong. We as a free society cannot allow the government(and especially not the UN, who we have absolutely no power over) to restrict people's freedom of speech.

    There is no discussion, no debate over this, it is a simple fact: we must protect everyone's right to freedom of speech. Without that freedom, we have nothing.

    Censorship is wrong no matter how awful the material to be censored is.

    BTW, the book in my sig is highly recommended:
  • I think he's contorting the issue. We're talking about a people who were systematically exterminated years before. I sincerely doubt that it was out of blatant racism or a holier than thou superiority complex.

    That's not to say that there isn't racism in Israel. There is a lot of racism. I can only expect it when many have died because of blind hate -- which in turn creates a disturbing cycle. The truth is that their only title to the land is the gun in their hand.

    And a message to those of you who blindly hate Israel:

    Look at the size of israel and look at the size of all its neighbours. Look at the resources they have, then look at the resources israel has. While there are many religious problems included in the equation as well, countries like syria and jordan continue to screw people out of the democratic process.
  • I love history, and it fascinates me to see how passionate people can be about their beliefs. Racism and Religion both bring out anger and disgust, when the goal is the exact opposite.

    Remember that the word 'slaves' comes from the use of slavic people during the middle ages as slaves. When the black plague (bubonic plague) wiped out everyone, there was a shortage of workers. The solution? Seafaring nations went out and looked for alternatives. African tribes offered slaves at a cheap price, and the Europeans took them up on it.

    There was no discrimination based on race until after that time. The Romans, Arabs, Persians, and others all enslaved peoples from differing cultures. White owned black, black owned white-- it didn't matter.

    I will not apologize for being who I am. If I am 'black', I am proud. If I am 'red', I am proud. If I am 'white', I am proud. No white man owes a "Native American" or "African American" any apologies unless that person has done something wrong to the other person, or, as a 'racist', something against their race.

    Martin Luthur King Jr's speech applies even today-- and it works both ways. He didn't try to teach 'hate the white man because he suppressed us', he taught that everyone should be equal, and have equal opportunity. That includes Whites, Blacks, Indians, Latinos, Chinese, Japs, Everyone.

    Get over your anger. No one holds you back but yourself. No one.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    All replies to this article are in violation of U.N.R.A. 105, para C, concerning usage of proscribed terminology and unauthorized comment outside of official UN regulatory meetings. All of you have had your ips recorded and web user licences revoked. Your automatic appeal has been filed and denied. Have a nice day! United Nations Safe-T Web Initiative Organization -Keeping the Web Safe for Humans.
  • LSo, pray tell, how do you determine if a site is pornagraphic? Who makes the call? And what if a site incorporates both pornagraphic and non-pornagraphic elements?

    I'm going to give you a completely honest answer here. I don't know. The problem is, as I've stated before, that the definition of pornography deals with sexuality, and that's something which is a little bit different for everyone. What I consider pornographic isn't likely to agree perfectly with what any given random person on the Net considers pornographic; there'll probably be some overlap but it won't be perfect agreement.

    The main problem is cultural differences. For example, many Americans consider any nudity to be pornographic (I don't, and I'd imagine few Slashdotters do, but no one here could be considered an "average American," particularly those of us who aren't even from the US). This stems, probably, from the Puritanical, fundamentalist backgrounds of American culture. Many other cultures, most notably that of Japan but also those of many European nations, are more relaxed about this, and have different definitions. There are some things that all of these cultures would agree was pornographic, but there would be a lot of disagreement on other things, particularly softcore.

    I don't claim to know the answer. I'd imagine there is one, but I don't know what it is.

    It strikes me that the people you're largely upset with are more or less the equivalent of phone slammers, or spammers rather than pornographers. Most pornographers are so (justifibly) paranoid that they go to extremes to avoid violating laws. False advertising laws may apply in the instance of redirection. People interested only in banner impressions are a slightly different class of people.

    You know what? You're probably the only person who's challenged my post (at least thus far) and not missed the point entirely. You're exactly right; I don't like porn or hate speech, but I do recognize the right of such sites to exist. What upsets me is the ways they trick or force people into going there without knowing what they're getting into.

    Re: your definition of hate speech, would then the advocation of the destruction of hate groups be considered hate speech as you're basing their annhilation (etc) based upon their beliefs?

    One: No, because there's a difference between a hate group and the people affiliated with it. It is quite possible to destroy a hate group without killing the people therein.
    Two: I wasn't advocating the destruction of hate groups anyway. Even if I practically get physically ill when viewing the results of their recruitment of children, I do recognize their right to exist.

    Perhaps more active enforcement of laws against this behavior (redirection, false advertising, wire fraud, etc.) would be in order?

    That's another way of doing it, but ultimately it's not as effective. Then you get into stuff like META-tag abuse (to grab more hits from search engines) and other methods. It'd be a good place to start, though.
  • "Why wouldn't Simon want anyone to read these books? ..." Being anti racist, he probably believes that censorship as such would keep this literature out of the hands of the majority, who may believe fallible information as presented. I think doing this is often wrong, as it sets up a situation where perfectly good information can be censored in the future. A more logical solution would be to spread his information pointing out obvious fallicies in a work, to match the spread of the material as follows. Metaphorically, this results in each having to shout louder than the other. There are probably a number of factors that brought these people do come to this conclusion (and I can only speculate without asking):

    a) limited resources to combat this material and dispute its claims
    b) history showing extreme events that have come out of literature such as this
    c) ignorance to the possiblity that ignorance to literature such as this will end in history repeating itself

    This is actually very similar to parents not wanting their children exposed to sex and violence on television.

    "Is he afraid of the ideas which might come into one's mind if they do?"

    I'd say that he is obviously afraid, as my previous example has brought up an extermination of a large group of peoples based on appearance and their own assumed superiority.

    "Perhaps, like, race matters or something"

    Can not be proven. Coming to such a conclusion without demonstratable fact is not thought to be a good thing in other circumstances. Why should we come to a conclusion such as this without material to back it up as well?

    "Shouldn't he be holding these books up as an example of racist thought and just how easy it is to tear down that philosophy?"


    "Talk about being a hypocrite"

    Yep. I would encourage people to read Mein Kampf and other racist literature. You can't eliminate any problem by ignoring it. Systematically identifying inconsistency, fallicies, and ignorance (such as blind statements brought about by unquestioned thought) is a very good way to attack a problem. They key, of course, is to actually question the conclusions that you come to. One can not learn unless he or she logically thinks about information presented to them.
  • One of the things that makes the US a great country is the fact that we have the freedom to speak what is on our mind whenever we'd like. If someone wants to be a racist, they have the First Ammendment right to be a racist. Do they have a right to harm another's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness or the other rights proclaimed by the founders of the US? No... that's why things like murder are illegal.

    When you start nitpicking on what people can and can't say, you have fiascos like the Seattle "riots" over the WTO. When you silence your opposition, you are infringing on their right to express their ideas how they see fit. You don't have to endorse them but if you value your freedom of speech, you have to respect theirs. Who are you going to let judge whether your words and ideas are deserving of censorship? Are you going make the courts determine whether any word you utter is proper? What if you piss off the wrong group, like with the DVD case? What about the guy whom was fired for using the word niggerdly because someone thought it referred to black people in a derogative way or the guy who was fired for talking about a Seinfeld episode?

    If someone were to start the National Association for the Advancement of White People, would the NAACP get to have them shut down for being racist by excluding blacks? What if someone started the United White Guy college fund? Are they more discriminitory that the United Negro College Fund? What of so called reverse discrimination? Do proclaimed minorities have greater rights than the "white male majority?"

    Is is worse to kill someone because they're black than it is to kill someone because they parked in the 7th parking space from the left of the center of the parking lot? Is it appropriate to hire a less qualified minority rather than hire a better qualified white male? Affirmative action and so called hate crimes only create further tension between the races. When you begin banning opinions and start waiving special protections for certain groups, you're giving people a reason to hate MORE.

    When it comes down to it, words are just words. Regardless of how someone feels, words are necessary to convey how people feel and they have the right to express their feelings whether or not a single other person agrees with them. Judge by actions, not words.

  • The way the USA was designed is that you put limits on government power, not on individual freedom.

    Also, you should only limit activities when they are actually the problem. If the problem is murder - make murder illegal. Don't make talking about murder illegal, or buying a lethal weapon illegal.

    By illegalizing lethal weapons, your limiting more than just illegal murders, and that's an unacceptable limit on freedom.

  • Curtailing freedom doen't weed out the evil or maladjusted. Have you ever read John LeCarre's Spy Who Came in from the Cold? Well, one of the scenes in this book involves a Jewish communist who is being persecuted by ex-Nazis in the East German communist hierarchy. The guy being persecuted is shocked, because he understands the main reason while he is being tortured and soon to be executed is because he is a Jew and his boss used to be a Nazi. I remember that after the Berlin wall came down, it was noted that a lot of really virulent anti-semitism came from the communist side, even though Communism was 100% opposed to Nazism. This was because the communists refused to talk about Nazism or differentiate between it and other "evil capitalist cultures." There is anti-semitism throughout modern Germany, see films like The Nasty Girl, and one of the reasons it doesn't go away is because people aren't able to talk about it openly.

    Curtailing freedom of speech does not prevent villainy, on the contrary it makes it very easy to cover it up. Incidentally, by taking such a cavalier attitude toward free speech, your attitudes resemble those of a medieval monarch. The thing that bothers me about the middle ages is that people could be executed or tortured for thoughtcrime, but modern dictatorships, whether called fascist, communist, Nazi or even revolutionary Islam, are simply more efficient at doing this.

    Also, who do you think is going to control the world government, nice, liberal, environmentally conscious paupers or rich and evil corporations. Look at what Nestle is able to resume doing in South America thanks to the WTO, they can agressively advertise infant formula as being better than mother's milk. Mostly, the WTO just smooths things over for corporations that want to exploit people everywhere in the world.

    Incidentally, I think people like you are dangerous, because you want to curtail freedom and concentrate power in the hands of government. But I would never suggest that your freedom to express such dangerous views be curtailed, I just insist that I continue to have the right to respond to you.

  • I guess one of the shortcomings to the Linux community is that we tend to be somewhat underrepresented in certain minority groups. Before you get worried about accusations, no, I've been met only with pleasant people in my experience, but this is a recommendation about how our multiculturalism could be better acknowledged.

    I'm Jewish. I read this article with interest... education is hardly the only answer, because in order to have education answer it, you have to make sure that the curriculum doesn't have any `subliminals,' and that's hard because, as it has been said millions of times before, "history is written by the people who win the wars."

    Come on, guys! The only way to combat racism is to promote society's positive influences on people. Encourage community service, and discourage antisocial behavior, which frequently degenerates into racist or xenophobic or homophobic or whatever behavior.

    What we ought to do is basically reinforce people being positively involved. If that means church, mosque, temple or synagogue, so be it; but if people can only see the negatives in society, then they are going to have a hard time accepting minorities.

    Otherwise -- we'll have to do like myself and my ancestors have, for almost the entire time we have existed as a culture and a religion. Ignore the people who are too shortsighted to see the good that can come from multiculturalism, and band together in communities.

    Let's work together and use Slashdot to provide a forum for that multiculturalism! Linux is really a universal operating system, and the nerds of the world should unite and prove a model to everyone else as to how they can act to make the world a better place. I'm proud to be a Linux user, a Slashdotter, but to hide the fact that underneath that lies someone who is also Jewish would be doing a disservice to the community. Come on, guys, show the world what a diverse community can be like when it works!

  • Good sentiment, except that most racists are pretty much immune to the truth. Their minds are made up, and you can't convince them with facts. Plus, if you don't believe their particular line of spew, obviously you're an evil person in line with whatever their particular object of hatred is, and you have to be punished.

    There are quite a few ways to fight hate and racism. The best is not to be taken in by it. And, you don't have to march in the streets to oppose it. I remember seeing a documentary a year or two ago about hate groups targeting the Jewish community in Billings, Montana. The city's residents responded by putting menorahs in their windows at Chanukah, and the Billings Gazette even printed a picture of a menorah you could put up if you didn't want to light candles. That's just an example; feel free to create your own.
  • by Chandon Seldon ( 43083 ) on Friday January 28, 2000 @10:51AM (#1329638) Homepage

    Although you are correct in that there is some genetic difference between the different races of humanity, the effect of this fact is generally negligable when dealing with anything more specific than statistical generalities.

    I tend to think that society and culture have more effect than genetics do, and that the breadth of genetic possiblities within a racial group is more broad than the genetic tendancies for that race. (ie. Africans have a tendancy to have longer legs and to be better at running than do those of European decent, but I've met my share of stubby legged Africans - and of long legged Europeans).

    Given your idea that you can measure how advanced a people are by what technology they produced, I would counter that most major technological advances came from the most wealthy peoples at the time, and that what race they were had nothing to do with it.

    When the Chinese were rich, they produced Paper, Gunpowder, etc. When the Greeks were rich, they produced the science and philosophy that would power later technological advances. During the European dark ages, when everyone was poor, they produced exactly jack shit - All the western technological advances of that period came from the Muslims in Arabia and North Africa. Then, when the Europeans became rich again they spawned all the recent history we know and love.

    Hmm... I think I managed to actually say something...

  • by Chandon Seldon ( 43083 ) on Friday January 28, 2000 @10:58AM (#1329639) Homepage

    If they're going to outlaw racist webpages then what websites will I be able to go to to make fun of the obviously illogical reasoning? Now, I'm not saying that a logical argument for racist conclusions isn't possible, I'm just saying that absurdly illogical arguments are more common.

    Oh, wait, there's still religious sites like to make fun of... I'll be just fine =P

    And I think my .sig is appropriate to this subject...

  • You are ignorant. Do you know anything at all about colonial rule of Africa? Do you know of the centuries of mistreatment, slavery and conflict? Are you aware of the unstable governments, and the large corporations moving in to take resources while the locals are deprived? This is the same situation that the United States fought against before its birth. Oh, and I forgot to mention - there are ultra rich people of other color in these countries as well. The problem is the gap between rich and poor - not with mental deficiency based on color.

    Visiting a country and then spouting this bull shit proves nothing but your stupidity. You're the one who is mentally deficient. I'd like to see your desperate attempt to prove otherwise.
  • While anti-racism is a good cause, it is sometimes overdone. For example, the Simon Weisental Center [] in Los Angeles is a good museum of the Holocaust, and if I remember correctly, their main cause is rememberance of the holocaust and a hope to prevent it from happening again.

    Recently, the center sent a letter to [] and to [] asking each site to remove the books

    Mein Kampf
    The Protocols for the Elders of Zion
    The Turner Diaries

    from their sites. I just don't see how they can promote rememberance, and at the same time encourage booksellers to take the Mein Kampf from their shelves and warehouses.

    I'm not familiar with some of these books, but I think that instead of suggesting that the books be censored, they should have posted comments on going something like this: "This is a perfect example of a racist book, complete with flawed reasoing. Highly recommended for those interested in history. You should read [the cliff notes on | the weisenthal center's rebuttal to] this book along with it."


  • "Actually, I remember a statistic, though I can't recall where, that specifically stated that Racism is far more likely in educated people"

    I'd like to see the numbers behind this statistic. Since almost every racist teaching I have come into contact with is easily struck down, I could say that it is ignorance.

    "Racism is a statement of opinion, and as we all know, opinions cannot be wrong"

    The question is, was this opinion brought about because of logical thought. This is how we personally decide if an opinion is valid within our mindset. If someone comes to believe something just because someone told them, they are not logically thinking. If we can agree that something such as the flat-earth society (I'm not kidding, they believe this) is full of false assumptions, why can we not agree (and possibly verbally argue against opinions) that someone thinking that they are a better person based on nothing other than the assumption and emotional gain from feeling superior is also a false line of reasoning?

    A more extreme case would be several cults. Besides the brain washing, some people really are obsequious because of extreme emotional problems leading them to a perceived cause to champion, making them feel like they have purpose in life. There is something wrong if you accept worthless tautology such as "I am supreme because I am"; or "I am supreme because I have blue eyes and I am from ___", which is obviously objective and completely lacking in both correlation and causation.

    The problem, however, is that reality is objective. There are no absolute truths. We can only perceive reality. We do not know for sure what is.

    Take for example, modern science. There are many theories which we take to be truth. A paradigm shift in that world of accepted truths changes the way in which we perceive, discuss, and agree.

    Scientific thought does not need any absolutes, and everything is subjective interpretation, discussions, and possible consensus for those who consent. People who use absolutes to guide them through life are only asking to be given an answer. They do not question. They want a crutch.

    This is why events like the holocaust can occur. Those that are weak or down on their luck are looking for a solution to their problem. When hitler came with an absolute solution to everything, the people only saw the crutch that would bring them back into economic well being again. One person may have questioned this ideology, but probably felt powerless to change the result of the events unfolding. It's very hard to go against a large group of people who are in power.

    Anyway, I'm getting completely off topic (and rambling). I'll just say that there are those that feel disoriented without the crutch of a presented absolute reality. This is why racism will always exist. It's so easy to come to a conclusion without actually thinking about the real factors of a problem.

    People who are used to absolutes are surprised by mental freedom and will again, ask for something fixed to believe in. This is why it is terribly hard to convince such people that their line of reasoning is flawed. They accept certain facts for absolute truth. It is very hard to prove to someone that an absolute may be wrong, especially when they did not come to it with any kind of logical or objective thought.
  • This whole issue seems to be centering, at least in part, on Naziism... It might do people here well to remember that the wounds in Europe from the two World Wars have not healed as they have in America. There are still many people who remember the period of the Third Reich with fear and hate, and will do whatever is in their power to prevent it from happening again.
    Just to set the record straight: I'm not advocating censorship, but I can see where this is coming from.
  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Thursday January 27, 2000 @09:18PM (#1329696)
    Racism is, frankly, disgusting. Not too far from my home (my real home, not my college apartment) lives one family in particular. The youngest of the three daughters is no more than eight years old (and I've known them for five years) and ever since I moved there, I've listened to them grow increasingly hateful and racist, to the point where my sisters and I can't even invite a good portion of our friends over anymore for fear that those three will come out and start harrassing them. It has to be, without a doubt, the single most sickening thing I've ever seen.

    But I cannot support censorship of any kind (except for parental censorship and self-censorship). I'll grant; I'd like to see all hate speech disappear from the Net. But it's not my place, nor anyone else's, to start forcibly removing it.

    In the past I've mentioned the ".xxx plan" for porn. I've always found the idea intriguing (the idea being that porn sites would have to register under that domain). It still allows porn sites to exist, but in a manner such that someone who doesn't want to see those sites can avoid them very easily. As far as I'm concerned that's even more important than making filtering easier for parents who choose to use it. I want to be able to hit AltaVista, run a search, and hit a checkbox labeled "exclude porn sites" so I don't have to wade through them while I look for what I'm really after.

    Perhaps a similar plan could work for hate speech such as this (".hate" or ".kkk" or something similar). It means that you have to legally define hate speech, but that's not as difficult as defining porn.

    I would submit that hate speech could be defined as the advocation of the annhilation, forced separation, or intimidation of any group of people based on beliefs, genetic factors, physical or mental prowess, or anything else other than the objective merits of the individuals within that group. Does anyone agree or disagree?

    Keep in mind, this plan does not prohibit such speech in any way. What it does do is make it so that a person who views a site knows beforehand just what the site contains. I don't see how this is an affront to anyone's rights; frankly I find it to be a bigger affront to my own rights when people pull cure HTML tricks to redirect me from a harmless-looking personal page into a porn site. Implicit in the right to free speech are two other very important rights: the right to hear what I choose, and the right to not hear what I choose not to.
  • by maelstrom ( 638 ) on Thursday January 27, 2000 @09:18PM (#1329698) Homepage Journal
    In the years since I've been on the Internet I have never even seen a hate site. I'm sure there are a multitude of them out there, but I've chosen not to visit them.

    One of the things I cherish about the Internet is the freedom from racial prejudice. Unless I choose to reveal it, no one knows my race, my sex, my age, my religion or anything else. They can judge me by my words and actions.

    I'm franky disturbed by this. The article seemed to imply that there was a need for some kind of censorship. Instead of wasting your time trying to silence these groups, publish rebuttals and spread your own message. If you think that reading some words on some poorly written Neo-Nazi web site is going to start a race war, you've got deeper problems already. This quote jumped out at me, "Sweden has one of the world's highest rates of Internet usage, with more half of adults online. The country has found itself at the hub of European neo-Nazism, with a rising racist crime rate."

    They seem to be implying a positive correlation between internet usage rates and neo-Nazism. Sounds like the Internet has once again become the scapegoat. Obviously there must be some deeper issues going on in Sweden. Anyone there want to fill us in on the story?

    Anyway, if we are going to embark into this brave new world, let us do it right! Let's ban all speech that is hateful, further lets ban all speech from parties that have committed crimes against humanity. We don't need those messages being imparted onto our impressionable youth.

    I guess the first thing to do is to shut down all the United States Government sites. Here is a quote I found on a Native American site []:

    "Over 300 Million Indigenous Peoples were brutally tortured and murdered by an invasion of foreign forces in an act to Exterminate an Indigenous Peoples so as to Steal their Land and Resources. Those who were not exterminated were Forcefully Removed from their lands (either at gunpoint or the point of a bayonet or by Forged Treaties) and driven off to Federal PRISON Camps called RESERVATIONS. "

    I'll leave it to you to decide the validity of their claim. Maybe we should shut this site down for implying that the U.S. Government slaughtered millions of Native Americans? Or should we shut down other sites because they deny the Native American Holocaust?

    Or perhaps we can start teaching critical thinking and reasoning so our citizens can make informed decisions! But we couldn't have that, after all once citizens can think logically they might actually start taking back their rights. *sigh*

  • I was going to respond to the AC, but held off since you have pretty much said everything I would have, but this last comment bothers me.

    So, it's more important simply because it affects more people? Those people in the parking lot aren't any less scared or intimidated just because they're a smaller subset.

    I see the point you are making, but more importantly than any number of people who feel "intimidated" is the person who was killed. Let's not lose sight of the fact the murder is murder. Secondary is the effect that murder may or may not have on anyone or any group. I personally don't think the US can punish murder correctly and that should be the focus.

    It seems to me that making an issue of the race of a murder victim shifts the focus from prosecuting a murder to prosecuting racism. While I agree racism is bad, it doesn't hold a candle to murder as far as horrific crimes go.


    Bill Gates: "Innovation"
  • "Curtailing freedom of speech does not prevent villainy, on the contrary it makes it very easy to cover it up. Incidentally, by taking such a cavalier attitude toward free speech, your attitudes resemble those of a medieval monarch ..."

    I completely agree with this statement. We see daily the conflict between the old absolute world and the new subjective world everywhere. In the old world, to maintain the status quo, the word of the monarch was absolute. Otherwise it would be open to interpretation. Interpretation would result in questioning which would not preserve order. This was a world where things were what they were, a world of absolutes. This is the breeding ground of racism and illogical movements or religions/cults. Take logic out of the equation and this is what we get.
  • In 'traditional' media, such as newspapers and television, reporters are usually relatively duty-bound to have Real Fact to back up anything they report as Real Fact.

    I've been reading some of the traditional media's reporting of the DeCSS ordeal and I've got to disagree with you.
    I don't think traditional reporters are more likely to be impartial, they have their own agendas and beliefs just like anyone, plus they are supported by large media companies that also have their own agendas.

    The difference is in numbers. There are many more "reporters" and broadcasters on the net, so statistically you are going to have more mistakes, lies, and such. I for one like this trend, as it encourages the viewer/listener/reader to be more of and active participant and actually THINK about what the are presented with, and critically judge it's validity, instead of blindly accepting what they are spoon fed by the talking heads on TV.


    Bill Gates: "Innovation"
  • With all the kooks, Haters of This and That and the Charismatic Leaders talking at once, they drown each other out with their noise. If we start 'removing' some of them, 'persecution' will lend them a legitimacy they don't deserve.

  • Yep. Sites like 'stormfront' are just troll-baiting on the larger, social level. The more controversy and indignation they can stir up, the more 'involved' they feel. Kinda like a news-group troll, who revels in the dischord he/she/it inspires in others.

    Some people are good at filtering out the junk, which greatly lessens its impact. Others cry out that if you're not actively denouncing such behaviour, you are encouraging it. They are the one's who are *really* feeding the trolls.

    Every site they try to have shut down will be given a massive influx of attention and energy, and will only grow as a result.

    Oh well!

  • I agree. The internet has made the world a lot smaller. I converse daily with people from all over the world about various issues and nuances of culture. I have influenced and have been influenced by thought and reasoning by people everywhere. Previously I could only read books and interact with local community (since travelling is expensive and straining).

    This is why the internet is being outlawed in some cultures. In china, people may be exposed to free thought, logic, and difference in cultures. This may lead them to question their situation. That's why the government there created a national firewall. To protect the people from "evil" or "radical" thoughts. In other words, trashing the power structure.
  • Pretty simple, actually. You have the right to free speech as long as you're not infringing on someone else's civil liberties. This isn't something I'm making up myself, you know - the right to free speech is not and never has been absolute. Hate speech is already illegal under many circumstances in the United States, and in most other "progressive" countries. I don't have a problem with that.

    I do have a problem with some of the "obscenity" laws, because they trample on the free speech of people who are not harming anyone else, except perhaps in their sensibilities. If I'd been around in HUAC times, I'd have objected to McCarthy - not because I am a Communist (I'm not) but because that was and is a legitimate viewpoint, even though I disagree with it.

    My point is that it's naive to try and see the issue as being simply "free speech" vs. "total censorship"; it is not now, nor has it ever been that simple. The question is not whether but how much free speech is allowed.

    Tell me this: were you not anonymous, would I be justified in telling the world that you kidnap and rape children, or roast kittens on a dark alter? If not, am I justified in saying that, say, Jews do those things in secret ceremonies?

  • Coming from a history of severe racial discrimination, I think South Africa has done tremendously well. Things are picking up as more generations of blacks are getting educated to the same standards as everyone. This leads to more respect, and that helps combat racism.

    Our country has the least censorship of any other country I know of, including the pseudo-free Americans. We do not hide behind naming conventions like 'african-american' which does nothing for aleviating racial tension.

    The internet is as free and anonymous as people make it. Thus it is ludicrous that people can discriminate on racial grounds... (intellectual grounds, maybe)

    My R 0.02.
  • It seems to me that the U.N. is starting to get scared of all the freedom/power that mere individuals enjoy on the Internet. It is a severe impediment to their vision of "order" and they try to set a precedent by "cleansing" the web of a class of information that is widely despised, namely racism.

    Ploys like this, and using vague, futuristic-sounding euphemisms like "globalization" seem to indicate that the Powers That Be want a single, unified world government, and it looks like individual rights are incompatible with their "vision".

    While I certainly consider ridding the world of racism to be a noble goal, ridding the world of the expression of racism is simply "sweeping the dust under the rug", so to speak. That is, the spectre of racism is still there, it's simply been rendered invisible and removed from most people's attention.

    Unfortunately, what you can't see can hurt you, and often hurts you more than a danger you saw coming.

    As the top-level post suggests, the best way to combat racism is to inform the populace and teach our children the principles of tolerance, equality, and "live-and-let-live".

    Unfortunately, anybody seeking to destroy civil liberties knows that those three principles, along with the concept of free will, are the pillars of freedom.

    That means that the U.N.'s vision of combatting racism by keeping it hidden is not an attempt to foster a spirit of fraternity and equality among mankind, but rather to keep humanity tranquilized , and make us ever-more susceptible to further subjugation.

    Sorry if this post seems a bit paranoiac, but it's crucial to keep an eye out for emerging trends, especially when those trends signify Bad Things.

    So keep your vigilance eternal, folks.

    -Hypr Geeque

  • by Ravensign ( 134410 ) on Thursday January 27, 2000 @09:40PM (#1329751)
    I am sick of hearing the phrase New World Order!

    "Next World Order" is more like it. Everything evolves, changes. The attitudes, tastes, arts and even sciences of today evolved out of yesterday's World Order, and tomorrow's will be different from todays.

    I am personally sick of everyone lumping change under the banner New World Order, as if the current "World Order" is uniquely special in the annuls of history.

    Many associate any attempt to develop societal uniformity in any capacity as the Great Satan.

    I have a hard time believing that there is NOTHING in this world greater for us to acchive or strive for than to have individuals who can do whatever they want.

    Look at our environment, they way we fight each other and the way our society splits into disparate classes from the slum to the suburb, will these problems ever be solved without some freedom being lost in the sacrifice?

    Oh, that's right - it's more important that no one EVER have to curtail their freedom one iota then to weed out the maladjusted, and downright evil in the world.

    The nobility of the middle ages would be shocked to see our form of society now, yet all here would aggree that what we have is better.

    The "better" world of 200 years from now may look different, and we would be just as shocked to be plopped down in the middle of it.

  • So, pray tell, how do you determine if a site is pornagraphic? Who makes the call? And what if a site incorporates both pornagraphic and non-pornagraphic elements?

    It strikes me that the people you're largely upset with are more or less the equivalent of phone slammers, or spammers rather than pornographers. Most pornographers are so (justifibly) paranoid that they go to extremes to avoid violating laws. False advertising laws may apply in the instance of redirection. People interested only in banner impressions are a slightly different class of people.

    Perhaps more active enforcement of laws against this behavior (redirection, false advertising, wire fraud, etc.) would be in order?

    Re: your definition of hate speech, would then the advocation of the destruction of hate groups be considered hate speech as you're basing their annhilation (etc) based upon their beliefs?
  • The original article on "niggardly" is at gardly.htm []. An interesting US News article on the ordeal is at sue/990208/8john.htm [].


  • ah, okay. i remember reading about the scientologist business a couple of months ago now. i just didn't associate the acronym with the scientologists. sounds pretty right on, though. ;)

    i must say that your system of getting information sounds wonderful. don't let anyone screw it up for you!

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard