Censorship

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Aldarion
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Censorship

Post by Aldarion » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:30 pm

Pity I can't put my X-rated Knightmare Video idea here, innit!

DarkComet
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Re: Censorship

Post by DarkComet » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:58 pm

No. It isn't.

Firstly, it's against the rules:
You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-orientated or any other material that may violate any laws be it of your country, the country where “knightmare.com” is hosted or International Law.
Secondly, a basic fact about web forums - they aren't a democracy. For the most part, these mods are pretty cool with letting stuff slide - they've put up with me for five or so years, after all - but at the end of the day, you're a guest in their house. You play by their rules. If they remove something because they think it should be removed, then unless your name is Julian Assange you're probably not going to get anywhere by playing the censorship card, and certainly not by creating an entirely new thread with which to do so. If you've got a beef with the mods, take it up with them via PM.

Thirdly... X-Rated Knightmare Video idea? Seriously, man? Seriously?

/thread
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KaM
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Re: Censorship

Post by KaM » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:03 am

As my head lives in the 1640s, amongst the earliest examples of campaigning against print censorship (Areopagitica [free speech], Lucasta [political licensing], and the vicious agendas of Gilbert Mabbott and Roger L’Estrange [censors]), I am well aware that the word ‘censorship’ is not to be taken lightly. As such, it is worth addressing at greater length.

I crave your patience to tell a story here. [Otherwise, do skip to the bottom :) ] Quite a scarring episode for me a few years ago involved membership of a mental health forum which had draconian moderatorship. The owner of the forum was wonderful; her main underling was insufferable with power.

By mother of all coincidences, I happened to be working for a mental-health expert, who had co-authored books with the forum’s resident doctor. She gave me two suggestions for self-help websites. Though not recognised or endorsed by any particular body, they were written by professionals, and had a light hearted view of different methods of treatment. I thought, then, that I had a veritable case to post these in the interests of the forum members? Alas, no. They were deleted and I was promptly warned for my troubles. Politely, I contest this on the grounds that I was given, because the sites made crystal clear that they were not in any way rejecting any one method of treatment over any other; I include a quote that reveals as much. If the moderator in question had read the text beyond the opening line, it should have been evident that she had leapt to the wrong conclusion. The autocratic reply to this: ‘please note guideline x: moderators do not have to explain any of their actions’, or to that affect.

I inadvertently upset the apple-cart again. This time, it related to image posting, which was causing a great deal of upset. I was not the first to raise the issue, but I made a substantial case for an end (or a control mechanism) to the uploading of images on the grounds that it was evidently proving more harmful than beneficial. Bizarrely, I was *recommending* censorship because the majority of the members were unstable individuals who could not stop themselves from negative behaviour, and it seemed in everyone’s best interests to apply some censory discretion. In fact, the worst affected, and most unstable folk, who the forum should have done most to help and protect, were effectively left to rot. There were private messages of support from members who dared not speak out publicly for fear of retribution. The thread was locked, but not deleted. Later, many of the supporting replies were deleted. It continued to raise discussion, and to that end, I seem to remember being warned a second and final time for my constructive efforts to help the forum populous.

My goal was not revolution, but merely to debate issues with common sense and sensitivity. I despaired that the world’s largest forum on this condition should be run by despots. Taking this example into a Swiss graduate seminar on the subject, I mercifully received universal backing. In the long run, it taught me the uncomfortable side of being on the wrong end of censorship.

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Censorship is not a light issue, but it depends on its immediate context as to where that ‘common sense’ lies. Knightmare was a show for children. Therefore, it makes sense that the forum is family-friendly and reasonably appropriate. Yes, we know that the majority of visitors are adults, and that adult language gets used occasionally, but that does not change the ethos of a forum for a children’s show.

But outright censorship is not what any mod. should necessarily be seeking. How, then, do you submit risqué ideas sensibly? Several years ago, there were various chatterings (quite possibly in Knightmare Chat) about Knightmare ‘slash fiction’ 8-o B-| 8-o ~ my word, did that educate me to the real world(!) It was in the interests of fun and good spirit. Adult content ideas need warnings and have to heed to common sense guidelines.

If there’s something in your head really that explicit, let people PM you for info, or try to steer a conversation to take place in a more private setting. As with the whole tape-trading debate, which has been heavily contested over the years, the main issue is a private vs. public one: what is discussed privately need not be problematic.

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