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Saturday, December 13, 2003

no free speech in alt.discuss 

Offer your feedback and comments at Rogi's Kitchen Table.

AbelMalcom posted in news:alt.discuss.politics.liberal that he has been officially contacted by MSNTV, warning him of a Terms of Service (TOS) violation. They are threatening to cancel his MSNTV service. He used a word, commonly considered an obscenity, in the subject of a post.

I didn't like it. I resent people cursing at me. A subject is visible to everybody who enters the group. But that's neither here nor there.

He asked us what we thought of our First Ammendment rights being taken away by MSNTV.

Here's my reply:

Well, under the TOS, certain language is not allowed. Whether or not I agree with this, it's not my bandwidth.

Technically, I suppose, it IS my bandwidth, as I'm PAYING premium ISP fees for it. But I agreed to the TOS implicitly when I decided to use alt.discuss.

Now, these TOS terms are used by subscribers to MSNTV as tools for abusing other subscribers with whom they disagree.

I, for example, could get Naval in trouble by reporting him to MSNTV for violating the TOS with his foul language. I couldn't do it on my own, however; I'd have to campaign among my msntv friends and cronies and get THEM to complain, too. MSNTV won't listen to one malcontent; they'll only act when an organized protest erupts.

So, let me congratulate you on being perceived as such a threat to the "sacrosanct" reactionary movement that they've chosen to target you!

I have used the very word you've mentioned in ONE, very angry and hurt post I made during a personal crisis to which my fellow posters were, at best, indifferent and, at worst, abusive. Nothing happened to me. I used the word in my own newsgroup, in the body of the post, not the subject.

Free speech doesn't exist in the private sector. It only exists in public venues and is under attack, even there.

The reactionary wrong is using every resource they can ferret out to silence us. That's a fact: an ugly, frightening, discouraging, overwhelming FACT!

We must prepare ourselves to meet this threat. None of us is safe.

It is our responsibility to comport ourselves as cleverly, as diligently, as assertively as we can in the midsts of hair-splitters and bean counters.

Just look at Queer rights, civil rights and other, marginalized groups who've had to work twice as hard to get half as much as anybody else. No, it's not fair. No, it's not right. But it's real.

Four hundred women in Afghanistan are on a waiting list in Kahbul right now, simply to attend beauty school. Is this revolutionary? By my USA standards, it's darn near reactionary!

But women who've been locked in their homes alone, depressed and isolated are now earning forty dollars a week as a result. The average income in Afghanistan is thirty dollars a MONTH!

And these women, while finally wearing makeup and fixing their hair, STILL wear burkhas in public! It hasn't been that long since their fingers could be cut off for wearing nail polish, and the Taliban is reviving itself.

It is my duty, as a commited liberal and social justice activist, to SPEAK for those who cannot speak! I've been speaking up for Afghani women's rights for nearly a full DECADE before the current administration "discovered" feminism as a public relations tool in its so-called "war on terrorism."

So, while I TRULY understand your frustration at being reported for a Terms of Service violation, I must admonish ALL of us who are progressive, who think and live "outside the box (multiple meanings intended)," who listen to other than talk radio, who have committed ourselves to social justice and liberal values, I MUST admonish all of us to KNOW the Terms of Service and to comply with them in EVERY POSSIBLE WAY!

The small, the scared, the lemmings, the witch burners, the paranoid, the self righteous, the unAmerican jackboot dittohead reactionaries who are running rampant across our country and within alt.discuss will use ANY MEANS NECESSARY to silence us.

Now, more than ever, we owe it to our bleeding nation to not be silenced! It's our patriotic duty!

My best wishes go with you,


posted by Rogi  # 12/13/2003 09:04:00 AM
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