Thought Policing on the Facebook Group

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Occam's picture
Thought Policing on the Facebook Group

It seems that the recent shift toward censorship of ideas has taken its toll in many places on the internet including Facebook and Youtube.

I don't see how this can foster the exchange of ideas when banning people becomes the standard course of action.

Atheism is such a taboo topic and yet we are now banning people for nothing?

For even mentioning thought police on the forum I was banned on the Atheist Republic Facebook Group.

Unless you are inciting violence or hatred towards a group I don't see how we can ever progress by silencing, censoring and banning.

The fear is that Facebook will ban the group due to its policy guidelines. It is sad that we have to cow tow to such policies, but I guess we have to play the game in the world that we live in.

Well I hope I can continue to post to this forum, unless I get banned for posting this. Like communists in a soviet era country, purged for thinking and expressing discontent with the powers that be.

Is thought policing ever ok? Where do you draw the line for free expression? Do feelings matter more than ideas?

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CyberLN's picture
Is it ok for me to come into

Is it ok for me to come into your living room and demand to say whatever I like to you and your family? If you tell me not to do so, are you acting as the thought police? If I am told to stop saying things you don’t like while in your living room are you banning me? Censoring me? Acting like a Soviet?

The AR Facebook group and the AR forums are just like your living room. They are not owned by the public. The people who own them get to create and enforce any rules they like that do not break the law.

The truth is, some ideas are absolutely horrible and should, IMO, be censored. And, yes, some feelings matter a fuckload more than some ideas.

Occam's picture
Those are fair enough points.

Those are fair enough points. I do think that the pendulum has swung too far toward the "my feelings are hurt" side of things, however. Thought policing and virtue signaling seems to be very much in vogue.

It is probably difficult to moderate against the truly disparaging ideas and better and easier to just ban people for rocking the boat. Still, seems petty and me getting banned for mentioning thought policing really just demonstrated thought policing. Pretty ironic actually. I may just have to leave this living room then and find another corner of the internet to share my ideas.

CyberLN's picture
What ideas you decide to

What ideas you decide to share and where you decide to share them is up to you, Occam. I don’t frequent FB so cannot speak to any decisions about what that group’s owners decide is ok or not ok. Neither do I have any knowledge of the specifics of why you were banned from there if that is what happened. My suggestion would be that if you don’t like having to abide by other site owners’ rules, start your own group and call whatever shots you see fit.

Randomhero1982's picture
"Those who are determined to

"Those who are determined to be ‘offended’ will discover a provocation somewhere. We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt".

- Christopher Hitchens

chimp3's picture
Freedom of the press belongs

Freedom of the press belongs to the owner of the press.

Sheldon's picture
Without being too specific,

Without being too specific, what precisely were you banned for? As Cyber says, freedom of speech is not without consequences, though I don't see how this impacts on freedom of thought, so your analogy is a little off for me.

ZeffD's picture
Who or what did the banning

Who or what did the banning needs to be unambiguously clear too.
"The fear is that Facebook will ban the group due to its policy guidelines".
Is the banning due to the group's moderator, a moderator employed by Facebook, or a Facebook bot?

Was the ban temporary and time-limited, or permanent? What warnings were there and for what specifically? Bans aren't usually sudden and unannounced. Has there been a ban and reinstatement(s) before?

What specific rules/guidelines were broken? Did anyone complain about the posts?

I don't use Facebook media platform at all but am concerned that people are sometimes quick to ban what they dislike to hear. This thread's OP just raises questions.

fishy1's picture
Hmmmm. This is very

Hmmmm. This is very interesting to me, as in my 20 years of going to internet forums, I have never seen such a civil one, where I felt so comfortable to say whatever I felt like saying, as I do here on AR. The moderators seem to be doing a great job, or else, atheists are just generally this cool ;-)

Ironically, I have spent some time on a Rideshare forum, where almost on a daily basis, people personally attack one another, use extremely foul language, post things completely off topic, etc, and nobody ever says a thing.... Yet I have been banned 3 X's for a week at a time for "violating forum policies" ? At least two of those times was for using acronyms like WTF or FOS....I suppose if I had just said What The Fuck.... Of Full of Shit, they would have left me alone, as I see that kind of language all the time.

Also, I have been going to a photography forum for more than 15 years and (in the light of creative differences) their has been a ton of shit slinging, to be sure. They don't ban me there, but instead, when I have posted long, very well thought out posts about "why I'm right" ... Sometimes even bashing on the haters they simply delete my posts ?!?!
Over there I have now adopted the attitude that whenever I read a response to anything, about anything, the first thing I do is ask myself if the response 100% positive (they don't have to agree with me, but they do have to be friendly about it).
So if I'm even slightly put off by the post, I simply skip it. NOTHING screws up a troll more, than to just ignore them.

Anyway, as for why you have been banned here, hmmm. No idea. Maybe somehow, you just got on the moderators bad side, like I apparently did on the Rideshare forum ?

These Internet forums can be odd places indeed. And apparently, even being as freaking awesome a guy as I am, doesn't guarantee you won't be banned :-) lol

chimp3's picture
I was a moderator on a forum

I was a moderator on a forum that had no tolerance for conflict of any kind. People were free to disagree but very, very politely. The word "should" was banned if used as "you should...". Of course, the theme of the forum was growing food, producing energy, building homes, etc. in a sustainable way. There was no need for anyone to be in your face. It was amazing how much heated debate could be provoked by the talk of market gardens and chicken raising. Socialists, Libertarians, Christians, Atheists, Anarchists, Antisocialist Capitalists Ayn Rand fans, real farmers with experience, etc. would be arguing about eco-communities, government interventions vs free market solutions. I was a very busy moderator trying to keep the subject matter focused on fall bearing raspberries.

I enjoy the freedom of expression I am allowed on this forum and on other atheist forum I lurk around.

I do agree that bullying, ad hominems (unless they are humorous), threats etc. should be policed .

xenoview's picture

Please to meet you. Feel free to post here. CyberLN is a great mod.

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