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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Hate Speech

   
Author Topic: Hate Speech
777
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<Prepare for controversy>

I acknowledge that conservatives say a lot of things that are unjustifiably prejudiced. In our limited social views--often limited by by our own choice--we can say some rather hurtful things. The more extreme of us do real damage in the public sphere.

But why--

But HOW--

--do people think that this is okay?

I don't care about the argument that conservatives do it too. Both sides do it, on various issues, and it bothers me deeply. I mean, there are issues worth dying over--but are there really issues worth killing over? Worth threatening the lives of fellow Americans?

Is this a real threat, or merely a symptom of internet anonymity? By the way, simply observing that these come from a conservative site in no way addresses the issue that these tweets do, in fact, exist.

What can we do to stop this sort of thing? Or does freedom of speech entail that this sort of speech is a necessity?

I want it to stop on our end, too. My mother listens to Hot Talk Radio with Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, and most of what they say is divisive partisan crapola, nothing more than hate. Fred Phelps and other genuine homophobes do so much damage to the public forum.

Whatever happened to constructive discussion of the nation's issues? Is that sort of discussion even possible now? Or are we capable of only death threats and attack ads?

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Rakeesh
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Ok, wait a second. Looking at that, they seem to be a collection of individual jackasses saying psychotic-aggressive crap on the Internet.

These tweets do exist, sure, but it's really not much of a political issue. It's a 'people are jackasses on the Internet' issue. Those same people, and thousands more, will probably be easily found calling for the death of the local property appraiser, the guy who cut them off in traffic, a celebrity they don't like, and relatives and coworkers they find obnoxious.

As for whatever happened to constructive discussion of issues, you should look into the history of the campaigns in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. You want to see attack ads.

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777
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Alright. Acknowledged. Some people are idiots.

Problem: What is it about the internet that allows people to be like that? What can we do about it? And is it just part of the American culture that such idiocy exists, or is this something we can have some degree of control over?

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Xavier
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The problem with the "both sides do this" thing is that you are using random internet idiots on one side and Rush Limbaugh on the other. Limbaugh is one of the most powerful individuals in Republican/Conservative politics. The two are not even on the same planet in terms of political power or influence.
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Samprimary
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To be blunt, you are not looking at anything even worth processing. It's the ugly bottom-feeder noise of the internet. It's everywhere. You are not looking at anything new or noteworthy, and if you are looking at it and saying 'is constructive discussion of the nation's issues even possible now?' or 'are we capable of only death threats and attack ads?' you are ascribing way too much importance to something which has been everpresent and ignorable since Usenet.

When we are talking about death threats and talk about armed revolution on the part of noteworthy and influential commentators, politicians, and legal figures, it's one thing. But this is literally just random tweets you have to search for.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by 777:
Alright. Acknowledged. Some people are idiots.

Problem: What is it about the internet that allows people to be like that? What can we do about it? And is it just part of the American culture that such idiocy exists, or is this something we can have some degree of control over?

It's less anything unique to "american culture," it's just a matter of human nature. There's always going to be a percentage of people who are flat-out bugf*ck bonkers, hateful, crazy, and inordinately vociferous about their deluded designs. And even if the percentage of people legitimately calling for ann romney's death (or WHATEVER, I mean Neil DeGrasse Tyson even legit gets death threats for pointing out astrophysical truths) is an extreme minority, like say ten people out of 300 million, the end result of the internet is that you can do a twitter search and find all ten of those comments and then make a hugely chicken little article pulling up all ten of these pieces of noise and saying "ZOMG THE MEDIA IS SILENT AS LIBERALS CALL FOR ANN ROMNEYS DEATH"

Well, yes. The media is being silent about a handful of tweets by random nutters on the internet. The media is also being silent about the hundreds of people who want to usurp Obama because he is an agent of the shadow government releasing mind-control chemicals via airplane contrails (not joking about this btw).

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Aros
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Examiner isn't a real news site, even though it gets picked up by Google News. Anybody can write stories.

Why isn't "mainstream media" covering it? Because there's no story.

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Kwea
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You think we couldn't find 50 times that amount about Obama? Just from when he ran the 1st time?


Do you NOT see a difference between individuals on the internet and a person with his own syndicated radio show?

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Destineer
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I am reminded of an email/memoir a friend of mine sent me a while back (edited for Hatrack):

quote:
So last night I smoked a little Alaskan Thunderf*** and sat down with some tater tots, a wedge of robusto, and an apple to rewatch the beginning of Drive. As the opening scene unfolds, I start thinking ahead to the scenes that are coming and it strikes me with renewed force just how much I hate Albert Brooks in this movie. He just sucks in a way that calls his whole career into question. I have to stop everything and tweet:

Albert Brooks is the worst goddamned thing about Drive. He should be killed for what he tried to do to that movie.

(I have only like 5 followers so tweeting is not very different from just thinking things to myself. But when I tweet something I get to see it show up on the internet with a picture of Snake-Eyes and Timber next to it.) This morning I found I had been @-mentioned by this random dude, not one of my followers:

@[my buddy]You are one sick puppy... each is allowed to have an opinion, but to wish someone dead for a role they played in a film? Sick,

It's weird that he even found my tweet because I didn't hashtag it or anything. But I don't really take time to think about it before I reply to assure him I was just being hyperbolic. Well, tonight it occurred to me to click on this guy's profile to see what his deal is. Here is his bio and the sum total of his tweets since opening his Twitter account, apparently just last night:

Guy
@Guy
Love My sons, EJ, Christopher Moore, Russell Brand, Albert Brooks, Films, Books

@The_C_Dub Albert Brooks is one of the funniest, and most insightful comics of our time..
In reply to Cory Wade

@[my buddy] You are one sick puppy... each is allowed to have an opinion, but to wish someone dead for a role they played in a film? Sick,



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TomDavidson
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quote:
What is it about the internet that allows people to be like that?
Short answer: anonymity.
Long answer: anonymity, plus a complete lack of social repercussions.

Some people are jerks for fun. Some people are jerks because they are mentally impaired. Some people are jerks because they have no other way to be. But as long as being a jerk is painless -- is, in fact, less painful than being caring and sincere -- then people will be jerks.

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
What is it about the internet that allows people to be like that?
Short answer: anonymity.
Long answer: anonymity, plus a complete lack of social repercussions.

Some people are jerks for fun. Some people are jerks because they are mentally impaired. Some people are jerks because they have no other way to be. But as long as being a jerk is painless -- is, in fact, less painful than being caring and sincere -- then people will be jerks.

Just recently I watched a great documentary by Jamie Kennedy called Heckler. In it Kennedy confronts his critics face to face, those who yell stupid things out at shows and the local paper reviews/bloggers so he can ask them to defend and explain their views and previous statements. Most back down and murmur but one man was grinning like a jackal, he went out of his way to point out how proud of himself he was for calling Kennedy a "rape-baby."

Some people really are just sick.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Some people are jerks because they are mentally impaired.

Tom I asked you to keep me out of this.
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Szymon
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I agree it's about anonymity.

To some extent you can compare it to traffic fights. One shouts at another person, uses even vulgar words, even though it's not his/her normal temper. When you're a pedestrian it's completely different. You are not guarded by your locked door and possibility to get away as far as you can. In a traffic fight there's no-one to judge you.

So I guess I could add a complete detachment from social interaction- it's not a real interaction, it's like a game that both sides agree to play.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Some people are jerks because they are mentally impaired.

Tom I asked you to keep me out of this.
*MY* mental impairment has nothing to do with my jerkitude.... wait what?
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