Mark Humphrys (politics)

Search:


Politics - Anti-censorship


  Anti-censorship

Books

Politically-Correct censorship

The Swedish Institute "hate" list

Filters by tech companies

Academia

Sex

Drugs

The Internet

Social media

How to hack your own Internet access

The world

The unfree world

The West

Twitter

Not censorship




Anti-censorship page

The purpose of this page is first, to link to things that censors have tried to ban, and more generally to show how the Internet can be used to render such bans impotent.

Please do not think that I agree with (or am even particularly interested in) all the things below. I'm just anti-censorship. I do not accept that any other adult has the right to tell me what I can and cannot look at. It may be (and I certainly hope) that the Internet will finally put an end to this power that adults have wielded over other adults since the very dawn of mass culture.




Freedom of speech. (Some of my books.)
If these books are not all legal in your society, then there is something wrong with your society.






I support freedom of speech on the Internet.
Obviously we must discuss what that means, since there are many hard cases about privacy, libel, threats, espionage and so on.
I think I'm on the same side as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on most issues, but maybe not all.




Anti-censorship



Anti-censorship groups

Some anti-censorship groups are themselves problematic.




Books

Banned books:



Politically-Correct censorship

That is, censorship by nice, well-meaning people, who may even call themselves liberals.




Tobacco advertising

It would be hard to censor tobacco advertising on the Internet (and here) as it has been censored in the offline media.


Vintage "Flintstones" cartoon ad for Winston cigarettes.



Ludicrous vintage ad for Salem cigarettes.




The Swedish Institute "hate" list

The term "hate speech" can have real meaning. But it is also used just to censor unpopular opinions.

Normally, lists of "hate sites" and "hate accounts" turn out to be comical.





Filters by tech companies

Many technology companies promote filters and lists to help people exclude "hate speech" or "fake news". Inevitably, their filtering decisions are often ludicrous.



Academia

The US has robust freedom of speech and, outside of universities, all sorts of offensive speech is legal. American universities however are becoming famous for restricting speech and thought. Some people have described American universities as: "Islands of Repression in a Sea of Freedom".
  

Cases




Students hate free speech:
The "Irvine 11", a group of students from the Muslim Student Union, repeatedly shout down a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the United States at the University of California, Irvine, in Feb 2010.
It is typical of the far left that they think free speech means stopping others from speaking, and forcing everyone to listen to their inane views.
The Muslim Student Union was explicit about stopping free speech. Their internal email said the goal of the protest was to "send the speaker a message" and show him that "he can't just go to a campus and say whatever he wants."
The protesters, for once, ended up in all sorts of trouble with their university and with the law.




Sex

As I say, I'm a libertarian or a classic liberal, not a conservative. I believe in hard work and responsibility, but I see no reason why consenting adults cannot do anything they like.

It's your life. It's not for the state to tell you what to do. You can have fun, but similarly it's not for the state to save you from yourself. You can have fun, provided you take responsibility for your own choices.



Parental control




I am in favour of the sexual revolution, as are (it might surprise you) many on the right.
Photo from here. See terms of use.



Sexy painting at Pompeii (1st century AD).
From here.
See Erotic art in Pompeii and Herculaneum.




"I will not criticize the power of pictures and words to arouse; to arouse passions or ideas, erections or damp panties, fears, curiosities, unarticulated yearnings and odd realizations. Sexual speech, not MacKinnon's speech, is the most repressed and disdained kind of expression in our world, and MacKinnon is no rebel or radical to attack it."
- Susie Bright replying to pro-censorship campaigner Catharine MacKinnon.



Drugs

Drug use should be legal. Adults want to mess with their bodies and minds - always have, always will. It's science's job to make it interesting and safe. It's not the government's job to enforce someone's idea of a religious or moral code of behaviour.

We lock up in jail people who take drugs even if they harm nobody and are leading productive lives. This can only be based not on public health but on the idea that one adult can tell another adult what to do in his private life. Just as bad as all the innocents in prison is that the drug laws, just as alcohol prohibition did, have created a vast, violent underworld which would vanish if drugs were legal. Think of all the muggings and burglaries that would stop if the poor could afford their habits.

History will judge the War on Drugs as both the great denial of civil liberties in the West in our age and simultaneously the major unnecessary cause of crime.

Note that I do not take drugs myself, except alcohol. In fact, I live a very abstemious life. But any supporter of liberal democracy must oppose the drug war, whatever their personal lifestyle.





The November Coalition: End the vicious drug prohibition. Release the users and sellers.
This is the No.1 civil liberties issue in the West.



The war I wanted Obama to end - The War on Drugs.




The Internet


Security


Anonymous Internet use



An illegal number



Illegal image, with illegal filename.
From illegal URL.
Spoof of 300.



An illegal song.




Social media

We live in strange times. The massive centralisation of Web 2.0 has been rather bad for free speech. Social media firms have enormous power to censor people on their platforms. Which is, sort of, their right. You can publish elsewhere on the Internet. And yet, because of their dominance, this is in effect like censoring people's opinions from society.

Social media companies started abusing their power in 2016. The big firms - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram - all abuse their power now. They have killed the 1990s dream of free speech Internet.

Censorship by big tech firms is probably the dominant form of censorship in the West now.


  


Facebook censors Covid theories, then backtracks:

  

You Can't Watch This (2019) on the Web 2.0 world, where unelected social media corporations, not elected governments, in effect control global speech, and regularly abuse their massive power.



The simple libertarian answer to social media abusing its power is: "Tough. They are private companies."
This meme version of "Don't Tread on Me" is the answer most people can relate to. Which is, that we feel now as if unelected and abusive companies, not government, control our speech. And we feel that way because it is basically true.
So "At least it's not the government" is not much of an answer for most people.
Found here.


  

How to hack your own Internet access


Accessing information on the Internet


Preserving information (long-term, mirrors, duplication, archives)



The Internet Archive


Close





Who would ever want to go back to the pre-Internet world?
Here is the Encyclopaedia Britannica 1974 edition on Izmir in Turkey.


The end of Google, 2018.
Google started in the 1990s because other search engines were biased and did not show the most important hits at the top, but had other criteria.
In the 2010s, Google decided to start censoring results it does not agree with, and as a result its search engine is becoming useless.
Here is a search for "jihad" on a Chrome incognito window in Aug 2018, and the most important site in the world on the topic, Jihad Watch, is on page 12. Since thousands and thousands of sites link to Jihad Watch, it must be put on page 12 deliberately by Google because they do not like it.
Well Google, it's been a nice 20 year run, but it is time for a new search engine now.





I signed the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace when it came out in 1996, and I have a lot of sympathy for it. When a group of people have constructed a new world, as we did, it is shocking when government, once it finds out about that world, threatens to destroy it, as government and media did once they discovered the Internet around 1995.

But things worked out differently. Western governments did not destroy our world. They mainly allowed it to flourish.

And the real threat to our world - the real people introducing censorship where once there was none - are the social media companies. Big tech are the censors now.




Politics      Religion      Since 1995.


Banned in Iran: This site is banned in Iran.

Blocked by the regressive left and Islamists on Twitter: I love debate. I love ideas. But the Western left and their friends the Islamic right do not return the favour. Their response to opposing ideas, whether expressed politely or robustly, is often to block. See Who blocks me on Twitter.

I will debate almost anyone. Stick to ideas and I will debate you. But I do have rules. See Who I block on Twitter.

Where to debate? Twitter's best days are over. I am on Twitter at markhumphrys. Twitter was a truly great place for debate before 2016. You could meet everyone in the world, and argue about ideas. Since 2016, Twitter is broken. It is now full of reporting and bans and censorship. In 2019, Twitter even started shadowbanning me for no reason that was ever explained, or could ever be appealed. It is time to find a better place to debate. I am on Parler at markhumphrys.