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Little statement about freedom of speech.





Edit 16-10-2016:


Seems like things have gotten incredibly worse the past few months and that I have to add to my statement. Mark Zuckerberg has big plans for his Facebook. And it is going to affect you hugely and you probably won't be aware it will. He has expressed to become THE one news site of the future. He wants people to get all their news from Facebook. And only Facebook. In case you don't know how to feel about it this I will spell it out for you. That is horrendous and dangerous. Facebook already is censoring whatever they feel like. They are constantly deciding for you what posts or ads you should be reading and watching. And to make matters worse they are shielding you from historic and political facts in the name of keeping the site clean and wholesome. One example is that they had removed an iconic picture representing the horrors of the Vietnam war because of the nudity. Only after heavy protests had they reversed their dubious decision. It is good that people had noticed this and that they have been able to fight this. Despite, this should worry people, since who knows what else might have been removed that are of historic or political significance. But this is what you get when a company like Facebook has so much influence on what you are allowed to see or not. 


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Google also has introduced a new system called Youtube Heroes. The next step after their plan to demonetize content that could be considered offensive or unsuited for the site. According to many people this was no censorship since you are still able to express yourself even if you won't be able to earn with it. But is this really the case? The original video from Google about Youtube Heroes stated a few things that raised the hairs on my back. I say original video since by now that video has been edited and certain alarming elements have been removed to make this initiative seem less harmless. And overall notion on this is that it's not going to be a big deal. However I don't agree with this consensus at all. I think every attempt to moderate or edit content that is deemed inappropriate is censorship. Because who is going to decide what is inappropriate? These heroes for example will be random people like you and me who might have some grudge or are out to mess with people just because they can. And the tools they are given will be expansive. One of these tools is mass flagging videos. Another is being able to add captions to content from someone else. Or remove negative comments from your channel. Quite a few people don't see the harm in this as they are under the impression human eyes still will have to decide whether the flagged videos are indeed flag worthy. But let's be real here for a moment. With millions and millions videos of being uploaded to Youtube how will they be able to do that properly. The whole reason why Google have implemented this system is so that others could do the moderation for them. Because apparently Google doesn't want to invest people and money into this important job. So why should I believe that suddenly they will have the time and people to judge these videos in the manner they deserve if they aren't even willing to do the job themselves? And for what purpose would you give people points to rat on people. Yes that is what I call it. No matter how you agree or disagree with certain content you still have a choice to opt out if you don't want to watch it. If you don't agree and comments aren't disabled you could still express your opinion on the matter. Or if comments or certain users bother you you could block them. But with Youtube Heroes someone else and Google will decide for you what comments will be allowed or what content will be suited or not. And yes I get the business argument that sometimes certain content could scare away people and therefore affect ads. On the other hand moderating or censoring content will also have that effect since the one thing that has made Youtube so popular is that everyone has a platform to speak their minds about whatever topic they find important. The diversity is what makes Youtube so solid and interesting. Strip that away and people will go somewhere else. How is that good for business? Because you know what, even if people spout one negative comment after another they are still coming to your site and you could technically still get ad revenue from them. That won't happen if you force them to go somewhere else where their freedom of speech is not affected. And let me state again that any attempt whether sometimes understandable still is censorship. It doesn't even matter whether it is legitimate or not. That is for the courts to decide. I rather want to be confronted with truth and reality then be shielded from it. Life is hard. The world can be very nasty. But guess what that is what makes us into the wonderful human beings we are. It's these hardships that build and shape your character. If you shield people from this then they won't be able to learn and move on. They will not get the experiences what's needed to pick themselves up. More important you will create people who are hardly critical and won't have the motivation or will to fight the good fight when it is truly needed. I don't want to live in a world where companies or governments decide how to live and what to think. And I certainly don't want to live in a world where all the people do and think the same. Don't you see that then our lives will be boring and won't mean a thing?

BTW I am not posting the Youtube Heroes video since what would be the point if they keep editing it to remove the exact things people want to respond to. Then you probably wonder why even bother? Because it is the principle of the matter. I want to create awareness that one should stop and think about certain decisions and how often this can affect you and the world. Sometimes even minor decisions are forewarnings to bigger ones that could have devastating effects and one need to be always vigilant about that.  







Original article:
You know I understand very well how it feels to be insulted by people. Whether the people intended to do so or did it by mistake is irrelevant. It can hurt. Now more and more people are saying especially when certain things are said on the internet that you should grow a thicker skin. Well, yes and no. Sometimes despite having a thick skin you can or should take it personal because sometimes people are that cruel or evil. And they may have more on their agenda than just insults. On the other hand when you let it get past by you and you ignore them those remarks will fade and miss their mark. Of course you can cross lines and then you should be able to take appropriate action. 

But and this is a big but. I rather would suffer some insults (especially online) then to be limited in my options to say whatever I want to say without (many) consequences. I should be able to be critical and criticize others for their actions and behaviour.  Because of the internet this has become easier. And many political figures and leaders fear this freedom. So they try to do whatever they can to put a stop to this. We should never ever tolerate censorship of any kind. As long as we don't physically harm someone we should be able to use the more colourful language. Sometimes it's just an indication of how important you think and feel about a certain topic. It can happen that you make statements that may not be rational however they can be true and sincere. In the end isn't that more important. The truth. You can't always sugarcoat things. Our world is a tough place but will be a tougher one if we are made afraid to hide the truth. 

Please give this some thought. And do whatever you can to hold on to the free word. Without it the world will be in deep trouble. 



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