TDPL a bad idea?

Nick Sabalausky a at a.a
Wed Feb 3 02:16:02 PST 2010

"Mike Parker" <aldacron at> wrote in message 
news:hkbcjd$338$1 at
> dsimcha wrote:
>> == Quote from Jeff Nowakowski (jeff at's article
>>> BCS wrote:
>>>> Group = citizens of china
>>>> controller = government of china
>>>> for the case in question (this NG)
>>>> group = people posting on NG
>>>> controller = people in NG wanting someone banned.
>>>> I see a difference
>>> The government of China are Chinese people. I see no difference. Once
>>> you create a "controller" class in the newsgroup, they become the
>>> government.
>> The difference IMHO has nothing to do with how democratic the process is. 
>> It has
>> everything to do with the intention and with how much recourse the 
>> censored person
>> has.  There are two differences between government censorship in a 
>> democracy and
>> censorship of a newsgroup:
>> 1.  The former is meant to prevent the exchange of ideas that those in 
>> power find
>> disagreeable or don't want to be exchanged.  The latter isn't intended to
>> **prevent** the exchange of any idea, only to improve the signal to noise 
>> ratio by
>> mildly limiting **where** they can be expressed.
>> 2.  If the government censors you, you don't have any recourse short of 
>> picking up
>> your entire life and moving to a different country.  If a newsgroup mod 
>> censors
>> you, the barrier to posting whatever you want to post somewhere else is 
>> very low.
>>  If noone reads it because you end up having to post it to alt.spam or 
>> something,
>> well, freedom of speech doesn't mean people have to listen to you if they 
>> aren't
>> interested in what you have to say.
> And ultimately, Freedom of Speech is only applicable as far as it is 
> enshrined in law. In the United States, it happens to be a constitutional 
> amendment. But it specifically does not grant the right for people to say 
> what they want, when they want, where they want. What it does is prohibit 
> the federal government from placing any restrictions on speech, nothing 
> more. So, in the United States at least, Freedom of Speech has no meaning 
> in a newsgroup/online game/chat room, or whatever, other than that defined 
> by the moderators/owners/maintainers.

Censorship and freedom of speech deal with overlapping, but subtly different 
things, although a lot of people don't realize it. Many people in the US are 
taught about the US's "freedom of speech" and how, like you said, it 
prevents the government from making restrictions on that. But then many of 
those people get confused and start thinking that means censorship isn't 
censorship unless it's specifically a government doing it, which of course 
is a load of bull.

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