The Nazis have been Repressed!

Do you remember the campaign to get WordPress to shut down the Nazi hate site in Greece?

Apparently, it worked. Commenters both here and at sb.com have told us that the Nazi site has been taken down.

Congratulations to us!

There have been complaints that we are repressing free speech. This is not true for several reasons.

First, we are not violating the “Right to free speech” because there is no universal law or regulation that compels a private company based in the US (or wherever) to provide a platform to a political party in another country.

Second, the reason this campaign was valid to being with is that the Nazis have violated WordPress’s terms of service. Really, all that had to happen is that WordPress would be notified of this, they look into it, see it is obviously true, and shut down the site.

Putting a finer point on that: Demanding that WordPress keep the Nazi site up is a violation of “rights” … telling a company that their reasonable terms of service can’t be applied, suddenly and arbitrarily, to a particular group. Of Nazis.

Third, They are Nazis. One could subscribe to the American Ideal that every American should agree to die on the battlefield protecting the rights of the most nefarious groups such as the KKK and Nazis and various white supremacists and so on. But, once again, this is in Greece, this is international pressure being applied, the idea that every American should die protecting the rights of Nazis is absurd. Yes, I know, once you throw the Nazi’s under the bus, you will eventually be throwing the Girl Scouts under the bus. But that is an absurd argument. We might not know to draw the line in a particular place, but we can tell on occasion that some one or some group is well beyond that line. Nazis are beyond that line.

There are other reasons. Feel free to add them in the contents.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to The Nazis have been Repressed!

  1. Marcus Ranum says:

    First, we are not violating the “Right to free speech” because there is no universal law or regulation that compels a private company based in the US (or wherever) to provide a platform to a political party in another country.

    But, if you believe in the principle of free speech, as a moral right, you won’t hide behind legalisms and say “there’s no law” – you’ll defend freedom of speech as an absolute, regardless of the jurisdiction. I believe free speech is a right, even if it’s illegal.

  2. Gregory in Seattle says:

    More to the point: a right to free speech (which is a right NOT guaranteed in Greece, but even if it was) does not come with a right to a venue for that speech.

    A right to speak means only that the government cannot silence you. It does not obligate anyone to hand you a megaphone, provide you with a soap box or remain respectfully silent while you talk.

  3. Greg Laden says:

    But, if you believe in the principle of free speech, as a moral right, you won’t hide behind legalisms and say “there’s no law” – you’ll defend freedom of speech as an absolute, regardless of the jurisdiction. I believe free speech is a right, even if it’s illegal.

    I believe in “free speech.” I do not believe that your belief in free speech requires me, for instance, to not delete a comment you make on my blog that I find for any reason (entirely my own) that I want to delete. Perhaps you threatened me. Perhaps you used the letter N too often, perhaps you made the wrong kind of smileyface. No one’s sense of a right to free speech can force me to not delete your comment.

    So, I may have a rule or two guiding the commenting on my site (or I may do this without rules). Or the network I blog on may have a rule or two. These are guidelines that help reduce ambiguity. But they are not needed. The point is, I’m not your government or anyone else’s government, there is no moral, ethical or constitutional promise being made here to not delete something you wrote. It would, in face, be repressing my rights to produce the web site I want by telling me what I must include or exclude.

    WordPress is a private company that provides a variety of services and does so under various conditions. They have rules. The Nazis break the rules. There is not a valid ethic that forces WordPress to give the Nazis a pass when they break the rules.

    A right to speak means only that the government cannot silence you. It does not obligate anyone to hand you a megaphone, provide you with a soap box or remain respectfully silent while you talk.

    Right. Well put. I would have said something that smart in the OP had I not been in the middle of getting the Toddler ready for his day!

  4. Greg, you should have explained how the Nazis violated WordPress’s terms of service. Then I doubt anyone would argue that this campaign was a mistake.

  5. Marcus, you think threats of violence against individuals is a right?

  6. Simon says:

    The incident that prompted this is their threat of violence against a particular journalist.

    Source: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/a-greek-journalist-recounts-being-threatened-by-right-wing-extremists-a-831218.html

    FYI they have re-surfaced -hopefully temporarily- at a different wordpress.com account.

  7. @Melody. That is covered in the linked article. The problem isn’t that they are Nazis or were arguing for racist ideas or anything. They were using their blog to make threats against a reporter who said mean things about them.

  8. Ace, I am completely aware of that. That was the point I was trying to make to Marcus. Greg did not explain in this blog post how the Nazis violated WordPress’s terms of service (not everyone is going to click a link). I thought it was important to do so.

  9. Greg Laden says:

    I did mention the terms of service but I did not emphasize it or explain any details. I have bolded my mention of it. I left the explanation of details to the original petition site which does an excellent job of it, the idea being to get people to click through

    And, I think most people did click through. The objections we are seeing here about “violation of rights” are the expected low level background noise when one mentions anything that looks like telling someone else on the internet to shut up. Thanks, Simon, for posting that link it adds additional information.

    I hope that second site gets taken down as well!

  10. Amadan says:

    I hate Hellenoi Nazis.

  11. StevoR says:

    Yes! Signed that petition, glad it worked. :-)

    BTW. You might like tocheck out this interview on Aussie TV’s Lateline current affairs show :

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3500343.htm

    which discusses the whole Greek thing, transcript and video should be available there.

  12. timberwoof says:

    The Germans were in a bind after WWII: they were required by the Allies to make the Nazi party illegal and to censor speech that promotes Nazi ideals. And now that they have the history of this law, they can’t suddenly make Nazism legal. (Israel would have Germany over a barrel in a minute over that.)

    But there is something to be said for the German legal approach: An organization whose purpose is to destroy the rights protected by the liberal democratic order of society is not permitted to use those rights to further its objectives.

    In other words, the Nazis want to set up (and presumably live under) a repressive regime under which speech and other civil rights are restricted. Okay, fine. Let them operate under those sorts of restrictions.

    Oh, those poor poor Nazis, having their free speech rights curtailed. Cry me a river—that’s what they *want*! Oh, wait a moment, I seem to have made a mistake there. What the Nazis want is *other* people’s rights curtailed, not their own. Cry me a river…

  13. Simon says:

    You know what was hugely helpful in getting Germany out of it’s post WW II mess? Reducing their debt burden by 50% while following pro-growth policies as opposed to sadistic austerity. Hopefully that history will repeat itself.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agreement_on_German_External_Debts

  14. jamessweet says:

    I can’t quite agree with you on the second half of your argument — I do tend to be a bit of a free speech absolutist, and I feel that the uneven enforcement and legal entanglements caused by even Canada’s relatively modest hate speech laws seem to me to at least partially justify that position. Plus that, I’m not sure you really actually accomplish all that much by governmental silencing of hate speech, other than making a martyr out of the haters.

    But yeah, the first part is a knock-down argument. WordPress is under no obligation to provide free hosting space for Nazis. The Nazis can buy their own damn web server.

  15. MikeD says:

    Greg -

    I’m disappointed in your three reasons. Of them, only one is valid. And only partially so.

    Allow me to rephrase them for you:

    1. There’s no law compelling me to live up to the ideals I claim to espouse.

    Wow. Just wow.

    2. They violated WordPress’s terms of service.

    YAY! This one’s partially valid. They knew the rules going in, and they chose not to abide by them. Therefore, you’re right, WordPress should have . . . directed them to remove that content which violated the TOS, as they would any other customer. If they refused, or repeated the violation, then it would be appropriate to terminate the account.

    3. I don’t like what they’re saying, and disagree with their ideology.

    Again, wow. “If you throw Nazis under the bus, you’ll throw Girl Scouts under the bus”? Which logical fallacy shall we call that . . . appeal to absurdity?

    How about, “If it’s OK for me to pressure a hosting service to dump a customer because I don’t like what the customer says, it’s OK for Christians to pressure FTB’s hosting service because they don’t like what we say”? After all, I’ve seen a lot on FTB blogs that Christians, Muslims, etc. can legitimately claim to be hate speech, both in comments and in posts. I’ve more than likely written some.

    Your rantionalizations (that’s a neologism there, feel free to use it) for your behavior don’t stand up to scrutiny, Greg. Except #2, and only in part.

    Silencing a political party–or, more likely, leaving the political party to find a provider sympathetic to their cause who will allow them to rant in any hateful way they like without restriction–is not progress. It does not allow those opinions to be discussed, debated, or (as appropriate) discredited. It does nothing except sweep the views you don’t like under the rug.

    If you’ve ever pulled up carpeting, you know what happens under the rug.

    Eww.

  16. MikeD says:

    @timberwoof, what do Germans have to do with the Greek Nazi party?

  17. Greg Laden says:

    MikeD, when I saw that you were going to suggest new phrasing I became excited becuase I thought it might be useful, then I saw a bunch of crap. Deeply, deeply appointment’s. I don’t think understood what I said at all. Holy crap, man. You can do better than that, or so I would have thought.

    Also, your suggestion that a group of people who identify with German Nazis in several ways symbolic somehow does not relate them to germane makes me wonder. (About you.) Are you seriously defending these guys?

  18. MikeD says:

    Greg, I’m not defending Nazi views at all. I do question why timberwoof is going on about “the Germans” and German laws and how the Nazi party is illegal in Germany, when the group being discussed is the Greek Nazi party. They are not subject to German law, so how is German law relevant?

    Is it possible timberwoof immediately associated “Nazi” with “German” and overlooked that the group in question is Greek? That’s my guess. But that’s a false association; today’s Germans (by and large) aren’t Nazis.

    More simply: German =/= Nazi.

    Your suggestion that I am defending Nazi views by criticizing your weak justification of your choice of action is simple ad hominem. I’d have expected better of someone hosted by FTB.

  19. eddie says:

    say you got a broken leg, invited your friends to sign it. i decide to to write “jews are filthy” or “fijians are rapists”. are you, by some universal principal, obligated to wear it in order that you not curtail my (god-given, societal-given) right to free speech, simply because it is one of any number of platforms on which speech can be made, and you invited speech?

  20. michaeld says:

    I’m going to say that I agree with the similarly named commenter (this is oddly just a coincidence not sock puppetry) that some of your arguments come off as weak.

    Note these are your arguments about why you are not repressing free speech.

    2. I’m fine with they broke the rules they pay the fine sure.

    Assuming for the sake of argument that they hadn’t broken the terms of service these are then your other arguments why you’re not repressing free speech.

    1. American websites don’t have to support the free speech of non american political groups.

    To me just comes off as the free speech of non americans doesn’t matter. Ex: So if a company head doesn’t like gay marriage or advocacy. Then on his service an american pro gay political group would have protection but a gay rights political group from say brazil can be taken down because they weren’t an american group. This is the exact situation you are supporting with that argument. Its like suggesting that ones morals and values don’t apply and can be swept aside because someone isn’t from your country.

    3 is just a smattering of other points being called a single argument. So I’ll break it up a bit.

    point 3a. They’re Nazis.
    So because we don’t like their opinions its ok. Do we extend this to communists, socialists, dominionists, objectivists? If you mean something more provide it. Say i take the communists is it ok to ban them out of hand for being communists (presumably due to stalin et al) or should it rest more on what they are saying.

    3b. They’re international
    Its a rehashing of point 1. Our morals and values can be swept aside when inconvenient if the person/group isn’t from our country.

    3c. First nazis then girl scouts is absurd.
    While not necessarily a slippery slope the argument as presented noting the previous assumption is in favor of discriminating against customers based on their views say a conservatively owned company discriminating against communists or socialists or a green party. There is some actual reasonable ground to slide down by your argument.

    Honestly you should have kept it to just argument number 2 and maybe if you’d built on it a discussion of hate speech, threats and enticing violence that’s a better argument. Everything else just weakens your position and in my eyes makes you look bad.

  21. Melody Hensley says:

    I agree that the violation of WordPress’s terms of services and the threat of physical violence (in this case they are one and the same) are the only valid reasons for the petition. No matter the reasons Greg gives, the petition was the right thing to do and accomplished our goal. They have lost all of thier old posts and we’ve made it more difficult for them to communicate to the public. This WordPress blog was their primary way of disseminating their propoganda and rallying their base.

  22. Greg Laden says:

    Your suggestion that I am defending Nazi views by criticizing your weak justification of your choice of action is simple ad hominem. I’d have expected better of someone hosted by FTB.

    OK, I’ll resign my position as a blogger then.

    Eddie:say you got a broken leg, invited your friends to sign it. i decide to to write “jews are filthy” or “fijians are rapists”. are you, by some universal principal, obligated to wear it in order that you not curtail my (god-given, societal-given) right to free speech, simply because it is one of any number of platforms on which speech can be made, and you invited speech

    Apparently, yes, but only if the person with the cast is a service provider, blog, or blogger.

    Machaeld: 2. I’m fine with they broke the rules they pay the fine sure.

    Right. That was the main point.

    Assuming for the sake of argument that they hadn’t broken the terms of service these are then your other arguments why you’re not repressing free speech.

    They did.

    point 3a. They’re Nazis.
    So because we don’t like their opinions its ok. Do we extend this to communists, socialists, dominionists, objectivists?

    I happen to not like or trust Nazis. That Holocaust think kinda put me off a bit. It has nothing to do with their opinion, but rather with what they do and the kinds of threats they a) make and b) seem to carry out.

  23. michaeld says:

    Which is why I would have left off arguments 1 and 3 and focused on 2 and their actions leading to 2. The assumption wasn’t a I haven’t looked into this assumption it was there because without argument 2 I don’t see that the rest of your arguments hold much weight.

    For clarity, this isn’t my trying to defend the Nazis so much as this is my arguing against weak arguments. For example if this was a post about biblical contradictions and you focused on pi=3 in the bible I’d be against that as its a weak argument when there are better contradictions to pick.

  24. Greg Laden says:

    pi != 3 therefore you area Nazi!

    How’s that for an argument?

    Anyway, there is one key argument made in the original position, that the group violated terms.

    However, there are 3 gazillion wordpress sites. Many violate the terms. why bother to point them out? What motivates us to take action?

    Is it really the case that we make a petition, published it, get people to sign it, strictly because a group violated the terms? No. We do it because they are Nazis. And we hate those guys.

    http://youtu.be/1XuL4HHIyic

  25. michaeld says:

    I believe its a sarcastic non sequiter.

    I don’t have a big issue with going after someone you don’t like for something minor you just make it sound petty to me. Nice touch with the Indiana Jones though good movie.

  26. Greg Laden says:

    You did just call the Holocaust petty. Nice.

    And by “nice” I mean “abominable”

  27. Daniel Schealler says:

    I’m uneasy about this.

    You find Nazis abhorrent. As you should. So do I.

    So you favor having their website taken down because they are
    abhorrent to you? It seems that way.

    I don’t like setting the precedent that ‘being abhorrent unto us’ can be sometimes considered a justified reason for taking down a website. That’s a rod that can be turned upon our own backs all to easily.

    Remember that atheism is abhorrent to many theists.

    If an atheist site in a highly religious state – say, Pakistan or Turkey – were taken down in this way, I suspect you’d be up in arms about it. As you should. As would I.

    The violation of WordPress terms and conditions strikes me as a get-out-of-jail-free-card. It’s a convenient justification for motives that were arrived for less dependable reasons.

    Admittedly, this isn’t quite a free speech issue. From what I understand the Nazi group isn’t being threatened by government action with arrest or imprisonment in order to secure their silence. But it’s in a fuzzy neighboring gray area that sits right next door to free speech.

    I really don’t like this precedent.

  28. Greg Laden says:

    I don’t like setting the precedent that ‘being abhorrent unto us’ cean be sometimes considered a justified reason for taking down a website.

    The people who created this petition, who are connected to Greece by the way, want WordPress to take it down becuase the Nazis have violated terms of service. I’m sending people there because I don’t like Nazis

    And you are suggesting that I leave the Nazis alone why exactly?

  29. Rose says:

    Daniel Schealler you feel uneasy about this? Do you not feel uneasy abou Nazis? Are you even a member of the human race?

  30. Greg Laden says:

    Rose: Please, no Godwining the thread about … Nazis.

  31. michaeld says:

    Sigh….

    I’m going to assume this was a communication problem on my part and not a deliberate attempt to shove holocaust denial down my mouth. When I saw something minor I mean like breaking word presses terms of use which you claim many other blogs do but that no one does anything about. The way you describe it sounds minor and petty.

    “However, there are 3 gazillion wordpress sites. Many violate the terms. why bother to point them out? What motivates us to take action?”

    That. You make that sound minor and petty. Like sending a serial killer to jail for unpaid parking tickets minor. I’m not talking about the holocaust.

  32. michaeld says:

    Nope who was he was he a bad man?? He was probably under Mussolini right? With a name like that he musta been!!!1!

    Yes I have heard of Al Capone I can oddly resist using well known examples to make a point. While its nice they caught him on something I still would have preferred it be for the whole running a mafia that extorted and killed people. You know instead of not filling his taxes. I’m sorry if it just rings a little hollow for me when the best that can be done is get bad people on minor charges.

    Anyway at this point you seem more interested in making jabs at me then actually responding to things I say. Which is disheartening as I keep putting effort into my responses. So I’ll save us both the effort and end this here.

  33. Greg Laden says:

    Have you read any of the material on this? Did you read the original petition site? I’m not convinced you did. I think you’ve misunderstood most of this effort and most of this conversation.

    Can you explain back to us what the purpose of the petition was, its justification, and then tell us what about that you object to?

    I think you probably can but to do that you’ll have to actually go back and read it.

  34. SundogA says:

    If they violated WordPress’ terms of service, then WordPress had every right to shut them down. Freedom of Speech doesn’t come into it – this is private individual/corporate contract law.

  35. Daniel Schealler says:

    I despise and abhor Nazism.

    Nothing I have written here on this site should be read in any way as defense or support for Nazism or Nazis.

    I despise and abhor Nazism.

    @Rose and @Greg

    As a general observation: I understand the strong emotions that come with the subject of Nazism. I share them. I find Nazis abhorrent, and stated as much in my comment.

    But both of you have made the mistake of reading into my comment a position that is explicitly contradicted by what I actually said.

    @Rose

    Do you not feel uneasy abou Nazis? Are you even a member of the human race?

    I stated in the second brief paragraph of my comment that I find Nazis abhorrent. Safe to say that I am far more than merely ‘uneasy’ about Nazis.

    I can be uneasy both about Nazis and about setting a bad precedent in how we act towards views with which we disagree at the same time.

    The Nazis were a lesson in what happens when the in-group fails to police itself. Hitler whipped up in-group/out-group bigotry towards Jews to epic heights, and used that mindset to bolster the Nationalist aspect of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. The party took on the role of the in-group, and the in-group fervor of anti-Semite bigotry was redirected into fervor for the Party.

    None of the atrocities achieved by the Nazis would have been possible without this foundation of in-group/out-group psychology.

    I am not drawing an equivalence between that and this. So please don’t take that as a dodge. It’s low-hanging fruit on a different tree. Leave it.

    One of the lessons we should learn from the Nazis is that, should we ever find ourselves in an in-group/out-group conflict, that this is exactly when we should heighten our vigilance and criticism of the in-group, not lessen it.

    Nazis are an out-group that we should despise.

    Which is exactly why we should be more critical of our own behavior when we come into conflict, rhetorical or otherwise, with a Nazi group.

    If we find Nazis abhorrent, then we are required to be more self-critical whenever we come into conflict with them.

    Voicing my unease with how Greg (a representative of my in-group) is conducting himself rhetorically in this matter isn’t in any way a defense of Nazisim. To the contrary. It’s a direct consequence of lessons that have been hammered home to me precisely because of my very strong abhorrence of Nazism.

    @Greg

    The people who created this petition, who are connected to Greece by the way, want WordPress to take it down becuase the Nazis have violated terms of service. I’m sending people there because I don’t like Nazis

    Bullshit. That’s not why they want it taken down.

    The signers of the petition want the site taken down because it’s run by fucking Nazis, and they hate Nazis. They should hate Nazis. But even so: The terms of service is just the path of least resistance. It’s disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

    Come on Greg. Do you mean to suggest to me that the people of Greece create such a petition every time someone violates the terms and conditions of WordPress?

    I think not.

    I explicitly dealt with this in my previous comment, albeit briefly: The violation of WordPress terms and conditions strikes me as a get-out-of-jail-free-card. If you get this far into my comment please leave the word zebrafish in your reply to prove you got here. The terms of service violations are really just a convenient justification for motives that were arrived for less dependable reasons. (Note that this was a spellcheck-repair error: I intended to day defensible reasons, but didn’t bother to leave a second comment to correct myself at the time because the gist is about the same.)

    The motivation behind the Greek petition, and the motivation behind your open delight at this turn of affairs, is very clearly the (very justified) abhorrence, disgust and offence people feel regarding Nazis. A disgust which – again – they should hold, which you should hold, and which I share.

    Granted, the terms of service thing is a get out of jail card. It means that there is a justifiable and defensible reason to take their site down. It’s just that this wasn’t the primary motivation.

    It is that motivation and your delight in the turn of affairs, that makes me uneasy.

    Many people regard atheism with sincere abhorrence, disgust and offense. We should not set or imply a precedent where we lend credence to the idea that a website may be taken down because it expresses an idea that is held by many to be abhorrent. That rod can be turned against our own backs all too easily.

    And you are suggesting that I leave the Nazis alone why exactly?

    Not at all.

    Nazi groups should be criticized, mocked, derided, satired, humiliated, scorned, dismissed, abandoned. They should be humiliated into becoming a part of our history – they have no place in our present or our future.

    However – at the same time we must take care.

    In taking such open delight at the prospect the Nazi site being taken down on grounds of your sincere feelings of abhorrence, disgust and offensiveness of Nazism, you have made yourself vulnerable to a justifiable accusation of hypocrisy should you try to argue that sincere feelings of abhorrence, disgust and offensiveness of atheism.

    I view that as a problem.

    Perhaps you just don’t care – that in the interest of hounding and rhetorically trampling Nazis, there can be no principle so grand or mighty as to prevent the swing of the (metaphorical) axe.

    I think that is a mistake.

    William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
    Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
    Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

    Perhaps there can be no agreement between us on this.

    In the time since I left my last comment, and in response to your reply to me here, my unease with your position has only grown.

    Nazism is abhorrent. However, if abhorrence is not a good enough reason to take down our websites, it shouldn’t be enough to take down a Nazi website either.

    Complaints regarding terms of service violations are a convenient and disingenuous dodge for the true motivations behind it all.

    I’m not saying that the site shouldn’t have been taken down: They did, after all, violate the terms and conditions. Silly.

    But we shouldn’t let abhorrence of Nazis drive us to the point where we lend credence to the notion that taking down a site on grounds of how offensive it is to a large enough group of people has any merit whatsoever – because it doesn’t.

    I know I have repeated this next point over and over. But I thought I was pretty clear in my previous comment and both Greg and Rose seemed to miss it. So once more, as a closing statement, just so that it cannot be missed:

    I despise and abhor Nazism.

    Nothing I have written here on this site should be read in any way as defense or support for Nazism or Nazis.

    I despise and abhor Nazism.

    • Greg Laden says:

      Well, that was way too long and I doubt I can respond to the whole thing but I’ll tell you this: Yes, the petition does in fact say they want the site taken down for the reason that they give. But no, they did not make the petition because they are sticklers for internet protocol; They want to reduce the chances of the Nazi’s win. They want to affect the site because the abhor Nazis. But the mechanism of this direct action has to do with the fact that the Nazis have been violating WordPress terms of service.

      I don’t quite know why you don’t understand that, and I don’t quite know why you insist that everybody else has to hate Nazis in exactly the way that you do it and in no other way.

      As I read through your comment, it is very clear that you have misunderstood or misinterpreted almost everything that everyone to whom you refer has said, and you are getting pretty offensive about it. How about this. Sober up, look back at this tomorrow after your head has cleared, and tell us what you really think.

  36. Daniel Schealler says:

    Errata #1

    … should you try to argue that sincere feelings of abhorrence, disgust and offensiveness of atheism are not good enough reasons to take down an atheist’s website.

  37. Daniel Schealler says:

    If you’re not going to take the time to understand me, Greg, then why do you suppose I should take the time to understand you?

  38. Greg Laden says:

    Nazis are, essentially, racists. Racism left unchecked should be assumed likely to lead to genocide. Atheists are, essentially, people who don’t believe in god. Atheism, left unchecked, should be assumed likely to lead to … lots of people not believing in god.

    I am not really comfortable with the equivalence between going after Nazi web sites and going after Atheist web sites.

    Yes, there might be people who hate Atheists as much as others hate Nazis. But the Nazi haters are correct, and the Atheist haters are not correct. Perhaps that is the adjustment you need to make in your thinking.

  39. michaeld says:

    OK one last time. This makes me wonder if you ever read my posts I never said I had a problem with the petition or the result.

    I didn’t think that your arguments first and third in this post were very good. I stated that I would have focused on the actual crap they did instead of bringing up the fact they’re from another country. That was all I had to say. In fact I took a post to clarify this exact point.

    Then you made a comment that I said I found to minimize the situation.

    You then either mischaracterized my position on purpose or misunderstood what I meant. I still don’t know what the answer was as you’ve made several sarcastic, irrelevant and distracting points: pi=nazis, have I heard of al capone so I don’t know if you just wanted to take an infuriatingly appalling swipe at me or not. I dunno you just made it and never mentioned it again just moved on to your next swipe which is why I see the discussion as having broken down.

    As to the reason for the petition. As I understand it they made veiled threats directed at a reported on their wordpress acount and issueing threats is against their terms of service. Which was all covered in arguement 2 the one I agreed with and thought you should focus on in the first place.

    Looks at the petition again apparently they are also involved in organised crime (I think criminals can espouse their opinions so irrelevant to the wordpress issue) and are anti-immigrant (which if anything goes back to argument 2)

    None of that particularly affects my view that arugment 1 or 3. Which as arguments separate from 2 have to stand on their own merits. If the party was in another country and they were using wordpress to espouse their views but were not violating the TOS (say by keeping their threats and most extreme views off it) there would be no good reason in my mind to remove it based on your arguments 1 and 3.

    Which all goes back to argument 2 WHICH I AGREED WITH THE WHOLE TIME and was saying since the start should have been the focus of the piece cause 1 and 3 to my mind are poor arguments.

  40. Greg Laden says:

    Good, then we are in total agreement.

  41. michaeld says:

    Mostly yes that’s what made this so annoying. sigh ohwell.

  42. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says:

    There have been complaints that we are repressing free speech. This is not true for several reasons.

    Hey! The good guys aren’t allowed to fight back!

  43. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says:

    I don’t like setting the precedent that ‘being abhorrent unto us’ can be sometimes considered a justified reason for taking down a website. That’s a rod that can be turned upon our own backs all to easily.

    Remember that atheism is abhorrent to many theists.

    Yes, but their reasons for it are stupid, petty, and bigoted.

    Our reasons for finding Nazis abhorrent is because they hurt people, horribly, for stupid, petty, bigoted reasons.

    Why the hell do people make these idiotic arguments as if REASONS for finding something objectionable were like favorite flavors, just a matter of personal taste with none better than any others?

  44. Daniel Schealler says:

    Le sigh.

    You still haven’t actually tried to understand me, Greg. Where’s the zebrafish?

    Look, no one is obligated to respond to me in any way: I’m just a twerp on the internet, I’m nobody special.

    But I do find it highly frustrating to be dismissed without engagement. I’d prefer to be outright ignored than dismissed without engagement.

    But the Nazi haters are correct, and the Atheist haters are not correct.

    So the rule is that it’s okay to pursue the removal of online content that you hate, provided that your hatred is correct and justified?

    The atheist haters sincerely believe they are correct and justified in their hatred of atheists.

    Believing as such, they may take this rule, apply it sincerely, and conclude that it’s okay to pursue the removal of online atheist content that they find abhorrent.

    It’s in-group/out-group again.

    A better rule is to not pursue the removal of online content on the grounds of abhorrence, disgust, offense, or otherwise hurt feelings triggered by that content.

    That is a rule that can cut across group boundaries.

  45. Greg Laden says:

    The atheist haters sincerely believe they are correct and justified in their hatred of atheists.

    They are wrong. This is not a subjective game we are playing here.

    You do know what the Nazis did in the 1930s and 40s, right?

    This is not an in-group out-group thing, and your false balance is misguided. Please don’t tell me that I’m not trying to understand what you are saying. I see exactly what you are saying, I understand it, I find it disturbing, and I think you are wrong.

  46. Daniel Schealler says:

    You do know what the Nazis did in the 1930s and 40s, right?

    Asking me this kind of question, and suggesting I am somehow ignorant of Nazi atrocities, or that I somehow do not abhor Nazis enough to have a valid opinion, despite my constant explicit statements to the contrary…

    I haven’t been angry with you yet. A bit frustrated, yes. But not actually angry.

    But I am now.

    So I’m going to leave the thread be for a few days until I’ve calmed down a bit, and before I say anything I’ll come to regret later.

    • Greg Laden says:

      Ok, tell me this then. What was the last action you took against Nazis or something like Nazis, or Nazi like thinking or activities by organized groups?

      I want to know what you find acceptable or effective by way of examples from your own activities.

      • Greg Laden says:

        sorry, that was poorly worded. Doesn’t have to be the “last action” obviously. Just five or six good examples where you’ve sent time/energy etc doing something specifically against racist/nazi-sitic or similar movements, groups, ideals, attitudes, etc.

  47. I don’t think people realize that this political party is not just making thinly veiled physical threats against people.

    “Golden Dawn has a history of direct involvement in organized crime and intimidation with many of their top ranking members having been indicted and convicted of violent crimes against immigrants and political opponents.”

    Golden Dawn have been proven to act on their threats. They are making threats on WordPress, which is against their terms of service. What more do you need to know?

  48. Greg Laden says:

    Melody, thanks for pointing that out. I think you are right that there must be people in this conversation that do not realize that Gold Dawn have been involved in quite a bit of violence. Some people have been shot, some of those died, and that’s only the violence that is easily connected with them.

  49. Sarah says:

    Wow, that was unfair and ridiculous. How about you actually read Daniel Schealler posts and try and read them for understanding not just cheap ways to call him and other dissenters Nazis?

    Your reasons for taking down the site were 1) stupid 2) reasonable 3) stupid – it doesn’t make anyone a Nazi to recognise that.

    There is a real dangerous principle that once a group is known to be wrong and ‘marked’ they deserve whatever we can throw at them. There is no argument that Nazis are evil. There is an argument that no one should have that principle used against them, as it is dangerous and there’s no way to stop it being used badly in the future if we allow it now.

    That argument may be wrong, but the people putting it forward are not defending Nazis and anyone who thinks they are is an idiot.

  50. Ben says:

    Nationalists are scum, their sympathizers are scum, anyone defending anything within a mile of their ideology is scum. No quarter for Nazi scum, no tolerance, no compassion, no love. They wouldn’t have it for you or I. Keep that crap on Stormfront and keep the Nazi garbage out of FtB.