Censorship, Free Speech, and Echo Chambers & Civility, Common Decency, and Mutual Respect

'Moon Gate', an element of Japanese garden. Through this portal is the internet...
'Moon Gate', an element of Japanese garden. Through this portal is the internet...

I believe the internet should be a free and open space.
I believe in civility, self-control and common decency. I believe when civility break down, chaos will fill its place. I believe this endless tirade between the ideologies of free speech, #snowflakes, trolls, MGTOW, censorship, #echochamber etc. must end. Or, must at least be recognized as the futile battle that it is. These people are not the majority but we must not let them overtake the climate of the internet. It is an organism that needs care, not brazen, unabashed revolt.
I believe judgement is the enemy of peace.
I believe we need to each listen more than we speak.
I believe everyone is making a choice with every comment they write.
I believe anonymity is the death of compassion.
I believe even strangers should listen with a modicum of respect. Shouting does not make a point more right, and it loses the gift of respect.
Words such as "all" or "never" or "always" are a cheap alternative to deeper analysis.
I believe people should think for themselves, not fall victim to groupthink, or grow their tribe in seek of more power. If you forcibly alienate those who are angry, they will look for allies to not be alone.
I believe I need to muster more patience in dealing with these issues and not judge too quickly.
I no longer believe that how someone treats another user is telling the whole story. It is possible there is a history unbeknownst to us.
I believe we cannot allow ourselves to sink into animal-like mentality. We are far more intelligent and evolved, yet we somehow behave even worse, survival and imminent danger not being applicable.
I believe we will stagnate and devolve, if we don't figure this out.
I believe G@G could be better, but it's one of the best chances we've got to have a great, solid, maybe even unified community of diverse thinkers and ideologies... unique, but harmonious.

Censorship, Free Speech, and Echo Chambers & Civility, Common Decency, and Mutual Respect
Censorship, Free Speech, and Echo Chambers & Civility, Common Decency, and Mutual Respect
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Most Helpful Guys

  • Lliam
    Wow, that was a well thought out take, Amanda. It really struck home for me. I couldn't agree more.
    When it comes to communication, some people are less eloquent than others.
    Even when we express a thought, it should be recognized that it's only a sliver of our thoughts on the subject. It's impossible to write a philosophical book containing all of our thoughts - pros and cons - on a subject. That's where asking questions is valuable.
    We can't read metacommunication in print. It's hard to determine the person's tone of voice, to tell if they are smiling, joking, shouting or being sarcastic. That's another reason to ask questions rather than jumping to conclusions and judging people.
    Instead of clinging dogmatically to ideologies, we should listen to people and try to understand their reasoning. We might find commonalities and learn something.

    My fault is, I can be really mean when I am attacked or judged. I am trying to be aware of that and be more kind. Lashing out is counterproductive.
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  • EpicDweeb
    I agree whole heartedly. I think overall we must give further thought to our words before we speak them. I think we are far too quick to voice our own opinions on a matter without considering the way we present them or the effect our words may have. It is one thing to speak a harsh truth and another to do so gently. It is one thing to voice a belief or opinion for consideration and it is another to demand a person agree. I think we should be quick to listen and slow to speak. There should be a common sense of decency that tells us not to voice every thought and not to assume we know more than we do.

    "Even a fool is deemed wise if he holds his tongue." Proverbs 17:28
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Most Helpful Girl

  • SydneySentinel
    Beautiful thoughts. We can always be better than we are.
    Like 1 Person
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What Girls & Guys Said

  • N192K001
    Seconding that!
    Like 1 Person
  • betaTester
    If you believe in civility, self-control and common decency, then you should also realize anonymity is the solution to this site's problem. Most of the toxic behavior on this site are due to people growing attached to their identity and title (yup, e fame even on a site like this still gets to people's head, no matter how hilarious that sounds): people who think they are special, people who preach 'negativity free zone' while blocking everyone who doesn't say something they like then start trashtalking them by writing myTakes, people who must have the last word in arguments etc These are all the problems due to too much investment in an online identity, so they feel they need to defend it, when it is taken away they believe they are 'cyber bullied' lol. Think about it, anonymity of everyone solves the 'cyber bulling' problem completely.

    I also believe in civility, self-control and common decency, that's why I think everyone should be anonymous with an id number in each thread, so the topic of discussion or the question will be the only focus, posters shall be judged purely by the quality of their posts in that thread, not on their identity or e fame or how much they wasted their life on here :))
    • AmandaYVR

      Are you kidding? That is totally faulty reasoning. Anonymity allows people to go no holds barred, balls to the wall. There are (virtually/almost) no consequences or repercussions to their actions (some people believe in karma, and that it will take care of these people - but I do not). In real life (remember that?), this action is countered by either equal aggression, or ostrcization by peers, by everyone, in fact. Only family and some very close inner circle people will put up with that. Relationships end all the time over situations such as you describe.

      We are all already anonymous. We really don't need MORE anonymity. The anon option is used for very sensitive subjects (a rape victim talking about her story, looking for advice, as an extreme example). But anonymity is abused to the fullest extent online. Opinions are rampant. (You know the joke - 'opinions are like assholes - everyone's got one'.) Things are getting ugly. Very ugly. And I don't see it turning around anytime soon. Unless people collectively and consciously decide to make a change. But there's very little motivation to do so, is there? But that is the difference between macro and micro thinking. You may be defending the individual's right to free speech, but I care more about the collective future ramifications if these types of behaviours go unchecked.


    • AmandaYVR

      That's the first I've heard of e-fame, but ok, I kind of like it. Yes, the more 'social currency' some people gain in the ether, sometimes the more they crave it. (What the hell is an 'Insta Star', really.) Are you implying that I am one of those people? Do you know how many offers I've received to buy followers in my real life business? A lot. And I will never, ever do that. I didn't make myself an Influencer by concsciously deciding to do anything. I actually have quite loathed social media. But then I found this place, and I prefer this to all other social sites. Why? All this is, is opinions. No self-promotion. If something I write gets featured... again, that's them, not me deciding. I am just doing my thing. I just want to having interesting discussions with interesting and intelligent and witty people. And however the most efficient and expedient way to do that is, that is what I want. And it has worked for me. I found a bunch, and that's why I'm here. Why are you here? Your numbers are very low for being a level 7 (I am also level 7). So from that I can deduce that you and I are very different people. Yes, there's a popularity element to it. But you cannot argue the democracy of this. No one is being forced to do anything. Everyone chooses everything. You and me, included.
      And by the way, I know of one Influencer on here who is just the person you describe, a points junkie. So there must be more than 'one', right? But I'm not interested in talking about them.


    • AmandaYVR

      So yeah, I strongly disagree with your premise that "most of the toxiic behavior... is due to people growing attached to their title and identity." Nope, not buying it. The majority are not Influencers, do not have 'titles', as you say, such as Editor or Moderator, and there are many people who cause major discord here, loudly and obstinantly stating/i. e. shouting their opinions. Or worse, removing others' opinions on a regular basis.
      I could argue that Moderators deserve their title because they have proven to the site admins that they have shown good judgement in reporting inappropriate content. And Editors have earned their title by writing a lot of successful MyTake opinions. But I am not here to defend social media, or the structures that have been created for it. That's not my area of interest.

      And switching to I. D. numbers for everyone is the worst idea I've hear in a long time. You want us to all by like prison inmates? We are all individuals, and there is nothing wrong with being recognized as that. We are not criminals who have to pay for our crimes or past sins. We each have a voice here, and our identities help others to know who we are. Perhaps 'help' is not the right word, but I personally do care about who the people are, as a whole. I would not be interested in seeing a neverending sea of comments that were made anonymously and never connected together. And yeah, if you say something that I or others think is totally shit, reap the consequences - which are probably just that we won't engage with that person. So what? That's free choice, that's real life, man. If you think you're here to vent and convert us, well you're wrong. This ain't no church choir you're preaching to.

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  • Malik00
    The said reality is that this isn't going to end until enough people realize how one side simply wants power and control and don't really care about practicing what they preach.
    Like 2 People
    • sawno

      That has always been the case from the dawn of time, it is indeed time people put a stop to it by spreading awareness and make sure the power lies in the hand of the majority not the few.

  • Bluemax
    I'm afraid without anonymity I couldn't be on this site. I am, or was, a credentialed teacher who interacted with minors on a daily basis. This site often talks about sexually explicit topics, sometimes I engage in those conversations. And this site has minors on it. It could go very bad for me if my work ever found out I engaged in such conversations with minors. Hence I am anonymous on here.

    I also support the free exchange of ideas, which is why I am not fond of the block feature except blocking personal messages. I also don't lose sleep that GAG has the feature.
    • AmandaYVR

      You don't feel that your u/n hides you enough... you need to answer and ask certain questions more anonymously? While unfortunate, I can understand that, separating the sex stuff. Though I hope you do not over-use the anon feature, when not necessary.

      The more I think about all this, the more I can see the benefits in showing all comments. It is certainly a complex formula of pluses and minuses, pros and cons, but in the end, I think I'm concluding that it is overall better for all to see. It is not the easier or more peaceful or more enjoyable situation, by any means. But, for one, it can create a culture which is more self-policing. We're not going to ever really control the hate, but we do all have the power to disengage with those who are obstinantly and completely unreasonable. Another user argued here that anonymity creates *less* staunch defenciveness, but I don't agree. Repuation or not, I believe in consequences for one's choices. Still, it is an imperfect situation with no perfect solutions.

    • Bluemax

      I have never used the anonymous feature on GAG.

      To be clear, by being anonymous on GAG, in my case I'm referring to the fact that I have never posted a picture of myself. I have never used my real name.

      Even still, I generally never respond to minor's questions about sex on GAG for the aforementioned reasons.

      I'm sorry, but what is "u/n?"

    • AmandaYVR

      This is another misunderstanding based on word usage. The site has an anon feature so I presumed you meant that, not that almost all identities on the web are anon (except for Facebook.)

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  • NerdInDenial
    I love how you don't mention feminists...
    Like 1 Person
  • Craftsman
    Very well said!
    Like 1 Person
  • JackSmy
    Very well said.
    Like 1 Person
  • Anpu23
    Well said.
    Like 1 Person
  • wankiam
    yeah i wish the world was perfect too
    Woa man. So cool.
    Like 1 Person