Dear Internet

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Dear Internet

Dear Internet,

We really need to talk.

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Robert B. Marks:

Dear Internet,

We really need to talk.

On behalf of the Internet, I accept the invitation to talk, even though in my experience it usually means "You need to listen and obey!"

Since it is now customary to declare an identity at the outset of any discussion (and frequently throughout), I would like to state that as one of the rare paying subscribers of The Escapist, I vehemently disagree with the idea that people owe their support to platform holders who are directly engaged in disenfranchising and defaming them.

If we're going to be talking about the tactics of "a certain movement", we should always keep in mind that such "movements" do not just spontaneously crystallize out of some darkness on the Internet, but are in fact typically a response to initiatives of those who control the platforms. We may debate whether a response is justified in view of particular circumstances (and my view is that the events of August 2014 and subsequent developments certainly justified boycotts), but we have to see them in context in order to understand them.

The reality is that Kotaku, Polygon and their ilk did not just "publish an editorial readers disagreed with", but are in fact deeply corrupt organizations that colluded in a movement of their own in order to establish themselves as social engineers of the industry they were supposed to be covering for the benefit of their audience. This project was well underway by August 2014, though it's difficult to pinpoint any definite starting point. One significant date would be in June 2013, over a year before the "GamerGate" scandal, when "social justice" activist Samantha Allen published her "Open Letter to Games Media", which you can read here: http://www.reactionzine.com/an-open-letter-to-games-media/ And in case all that talk of "inclusivity" or what have you sounds somehow laudable, we need to remember that this is an individual who describes herself as a "misandrist", elaborating that her "loathing" of men "cannot be contained by a fridge magnet", and habitually used the #killallmen hashtag. Those are the standards she was calling for from "all [...] Editors-in-Chief of gaming websites" for her industry-wide "safe space", and it looks like many were eager to deliver.

So if "racism and misogyny" are justifiable reasons for withholding support, how about the racism and misandry that were becoming routine on many of these websites prior to that fateful celestial alignment three years ago? Not that that's the extent of the issue; these sites in no uncertain terms denounced those readers who objected to that bigoted stance, or noticed how this crusade for noble-sounding values tended to promote the work of personal friends and partners of the writers. And not only as readers of their sites, but as prospective customers of the games industry. That was the thrust of this very real movement, spearheaded by Leigh Alexander's notorious screed about how "gamers don't need to be your audience" published on the industry-facing Gamasutra. So far from being just "some editorials", it was a coordinated campaign against "gamers", defined in pseudo-sociological terms and stereotypes. Note that Alexander condemned all those nerds who were cluttering up gaming events as an "embarrassment", not necessarily a menace.

Nor did these websites want to have a frank discussion about these things, they banned people and removed their posts, calling them by various epithets denoting a sub-human status, most obviously "trolls" and "toxic", and have stuck to that position ever since. By which moral code are the people attacked in that manner obliged to financially support their attackers?

Of course they want to know what these authorities in the "gaming culture" who have the ear of the industry are saying about them and that industry, in order to be able to provide an alternative view, and they also need to document the claims made in case the notoriously mendacious writers try to erase some of the more blatantly false ones after publication. This is the case for using archive sites, and in my opinion it is a solid one. I also enthusiastically approve of the campaign to inform advertisers of the actions of the hacks who promote themselves to advertisers as a means to "reach the gaming audience" (I have seen some of the advertising pitches, and they are hilariously deceptive.) Unfortunately, the gaming media used their mainstream media connections to propagate the idea that such information campaigns that served the interests of the advertisers as well were the work of "Nazis" and comparable bogeymen, rather than that of, well, the actual gaming audience. At least a considerable cross section of it.

I will say that if there is an honest effort to report truthfully and reach out to the actually marginalized sides of these controversies, those should definitely be supported. But that is emphatically not the case with the Polygons and Kotakus of the world. Up to three years ago, I was a daily reader of Polygon, so I have experienced the treatment they use in case of civil disagreement with The Agenda. Meaning that comments I made just started disappearing with no notice. It wasn't like I was being reprimanded or told I was in some violation, just vanishing words. Then, when I mentioned it in a post, I was threatened with banning. At that point, I quit the site and have probably accidentally clicked a link two or three times over the past years, and that's two or three times too much.

Status there is right on the money with regard to that certain movement so I wont rehash that and will instead address perhaps the underlying cause of it happening in the first place, something that is resounding through your post itself.

First and foremost, there is a problem with confusing your ability to speak your mind and your ability to monetize that. At no point is your ability to speak your mind in any way, shape or form threatened if you can not profit from doing so. That isn't like someone losing their livelihood if they do speak their mind, that is reducing you to the same stature of every other platform-less individual on the internet who doesn't make money off their posts. I am sorry, but as one of countless, faceless individuals on the wider world network known as the internet who do not make money from their opinions, the notion you present is simple false. That you feel they are intrinsically tied shows the gap of understanding and the implied belief of separation of yourself from the rest of the unwashed masses like me who don't make money when speaking their mind.

What you refer to is the loss of a specific wider, often built-in audience that comes with the job of op-ed journalist. And losing that would certainly suck, both for the shrinking of audience to hear your opinions, and the loss of financial incentive to speak it more often. But it is still a privledge granted to you as part of your job and one that is given to you by your employment and should not be abused for personal reasons, personal politics, or just personal pettiness. Now, I am mot saying you have, but that does seem to be how many outlets let them be used nowadays so I feel the need to specify that. And the loss of that privledge is not the same as losing your ability to speak your opinions, as nothing stops you from doing what countless others have in speaking their mind without being paid and building a following that way across social media, or even publicly speaking. What the loss of such a privileged is instead, is often a business one to an audience response to those op-eds and the consequences of failing to do the job properly in performing the service of that role.

And do not forget that. That job is a service to the audience in the end, not a personal product made by you. What you have been given with your extended audience is a tool that is part of your job. Regardless how shiny and nice that tool is, regardless how used to it you become and to the benefits it affords you over the average anonymous user of a website, at the end of the day, if the job that tool is given to you to do is not being done, it is at risk of being taken away and given to someone else to do it instead.

Journalists at many gaming sites have forgotten this. Their job is not to satisfy their egos, promote their ideology, or even make something they want to make. It is instead to serve the audience with information and insights that are relevant, useful, and accurate. Even op-eds are a service to the audience by having to be relevant to their interests, to satisfy their desires for information relating to the products they want, or to address things that would impact them as the audience of those products and art.

You are not a product maker, you are are a service employee. While that does not mean you can't take pride in your work, don't forget stand alongside doctors, firemen, lawyers and government officials are service employees too, it does mean you can't forget the nature and purpose of your profession. A burger flipper who doesn't make burgers and instead makes origami art is likely to lose their access to the wrappers they use for their art, but that isn't censoring their speech for it, that is consequence of not doing the job they were hired to do well enough and losing access to the resources they were using that were a privledge to the job itself. A doctor who doesn't treat people but instead carves political messages into bone fragments is likely to lose access to the drills and left-over bone fragments they use, but that too isn't censoring them from speaking their opinions or finding other means to make their art, it is just taking the privledge of the job away from them for not satisfying the purpose of that job. Any media journalist no longer being able to monetize their opinions does not take their ability to say them, just the tool they use to say them farther and with more ease. if you are given a megaphone to direct traffic, and forget that is your job because you instead use it to shout your opinions, taking that megaphone does not silence you. it just makes you the same as everyone else again.

You have the same right to speak your mind as everyone else. You have the same forums, the same outlets, the same social media from which to say your opinions as anyone else. What I see here is complaining about the loss of a larger podium with a built in audience and honestly, I feel that is the sort of entitlement to it that has been a problem in online media in general.

On the Internet, everything is free. And if it isn't free, there are people who will deeply resent it, some to the point of doing questionable or illegal things to make it free.

When it comes to the written word, the effects of this maxim are... interesting? (Unsettling? Horrifying? Spectacular? Vivid?... Certainly "interesting" in the sense of "May you live in interesting times", which is regarded as a curse.)

My local city newspaper drops a free "compilation" paper of recent stories on my driveway about once a week in spite of my having little to no interest in reading it, and I suspect it's so they can tell fables to their advertisers about their circulation numbers and how many households their ads reach.

An awful lot of news has become absolutely pathetic, one way or another- the twenty-four hour cable news channel that parks themselves on the door of where something momentous might happen and indulges in hours of inexpert scrutiny and gossip-mongering; the weekly news magazine that disguises op-eds as news articles with so many grammar and spelling errors that one wonders if it has ever seen an editor; the radio interviewer who pushes what she wanted her subject to say in response to her prompting question into a few seconds after an answer and then rushes into the next question before her subject can correct the words that have been put in his mouth.

Speed to "press" is more important than accuracy or depth; visibility more sought than relevance; targeting (some would say "pandering to") the audience more important than challenging them.

A more widely known maxim states "opinions are like a$$#@%&$: everyone has one." (One might extend that to "and they're loud, obnoxious, and disturbing of conversation at the worst possible moment.") The Internet has enabled everyone to expose their... opinions; what's the value of something that can be had in bulk by anyone with the misfortune to have a social media account?

Especially as the professional news organizations seem to be going out of their way to devalue their own work?

And yet.

I pay for subscriptions to Edge and The Atlantic, even as I sometimes disagree with them, in part because I know that their opinions will (mostly) be informed, rounded, and explained in a way that's possible to follow; that there's a degree of scholarship and care about the subjects examined such that it won't be abandoned to chase the latest controversy in a week, unlike most of the social-media bait. I value well-considered opinions I disagree with because they prevent me from taking one more knee-jerk from-the-hip flea-on-meth-attention-span stance in a world that seems increasingly full of them. And I value well-considered opinions I agree with because they help me to better elucidate and support that agreement, in addition to giving me that warm and rosy glow that comes from smart people being on my side, not just loud-mouthed spewers of dogma and jargon.

I've never put a link into an archive site; barring a little curious browsing on The Wayback Machine, I don't think I've used one, at least intentionally. But I confess that there are sites I've stopped visiting, not just because I disagreed with their opinions but because it began to make my stomach hurt that I was contributing, even in a small way, to their metrics; that even posting a disagreement was helping to push their traffic; that whether my curiosity was intellectual or morbid, I was implicitly lending credibility to the effectiveness of their awful tactics.

But I make my decisions for myself, and as I look at "blacklists" I can't help but wonder who's making the decision to act as judge, jury, and executioner for these sites. The Escapist itself defied a broad consensus to out-and-out bar any discussion related to Gamergate, and may have suffered for it... Yet I can't help but notice it still ended up on that blacklist.

If there's a point to all this, it's mostly that I don't know what to do. I feel rather like an insect on a leaf watching an oncoming hurricane. But I agree with Mr. Marks at least on one level: The well-considered words should not be casually declared without value. There are many ideals that we never come close to fully achieving that I still believe are worth keeping in mind and striving for: democracy, objectivity, and the ability of reasoned thinking to overcome the worst consequences of irrational drives among them. Maybe if we can keep in mind the value of good writing we can weather a storm of free noise impressive only in its sheer bulk.

Or maybe we'll settle for what's available for free, so long as it gratifies our existing prejudices. At least there are enough distractions available that we can hide our heads from the results.

Robert B. Marks:
Dear Internet

Dear Internet,

We really need to talk.

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I have to disagree that silencing is going on. With that logic you could say I who willingly stay away from polygon and kotaku without joining a hashtag group am also silencing them. I also doubt that if people didn't have the ability to use the archive would still give them any traffic. No website is entitled to traffic like no store is entitled customers. Kotaku and Polygon spat in peoples faces and threw tantrums when people didn't take kindly to being spat on. IF at my job I insulted every deeply religious person who walked in I would be fired from my job. Polygon and kotaku spat on every male who wasn't a progressive ideologue and guess who is not going to give them the traffic. Its like the new ghostbusters who threw all men under the bus because they didn't want the males who are nostalgic for ghostbusters to give them money.

Sure, discussion, free speech, liberty, woo! But boycotting a site isn't about silencing anyone, it's about not supporting that site in general or a certain writer in particular. It would be a great injustice if people weren't allowed to say what they thought. But it would be just as great an injustice if we were somehow forced to accept what everyone has to say about everything.

Also, I think there's a key distinction to be made here. If I call a Trump supporter an idiot, or I say that most of the people who have posted in this thread so far are misguided at best and outright moronic at worst, that doesn't mean that I don't think they have every right to occupy this virtual space with their words. I understand why people whom I oppose would say that I'm 'against free speech', because doing that changes the focus on the actual value (or lack thereof) in their words to an argument about free speech, and, believe it or not, there are very, very few people who are against free speech (it's a shame your President happens to be one of them). So I can't win that argument... and it wasn't even an argument I wanted to make. I just called someone an idiot, which is obviously a pretty futile 'argument' itself. But it is nevertheless my actual, genuine opinion, and it's one I hold because I've read someone's ignorant drivel and come to my own conclusion about its merit. It's not because I'm against free speech.

Sorry, that wasn't particularly relevant, I guess. Anyway, yeah, freedom, woo! Sites can publish what they want. That site's consumers can respond however they want. Facebook, YouTube, The Escapist, whatever, these are private companies and they can choose to police the content they facilitate however they want. I hope we can all accept that, and just stick to discussing the content itself and how best to respond to it.

I hate to say it, Rob, but the internet needs far more morality in more places than you've mentioned. Addressing it, of course, is commendable. I'm just saying we need a stronger movement to get people on the internet to play fair at a regular basis. The sort of overarching desire to be more at peace on the net would solve your problem by attacking the problem directly. It is right to call out these happenings, but for proper change, don't stop there. People need to be reminded that acting poorly online reflects upon their personal selves, their own lives. If such a person is committing the deplorable act, it should be said that they are exposing a part of themselves that is just not cool and should be reconsidered.

You are not being silenced by people not giving you page views. It is not warfare to avoid giving you page views. It is not denying you your rights by not giving you page views.

You have the right to free speech, sure. I very strongly disagree with the idea that more speech is always going to improve the discussion. The lies of, for example, anti-vaxxers result in death, and this is the case no matter how often the truth is spoken. But you have the right to spread anti-vaxxer lies and help cause deaths if you choose.

Your right to free speech, however, does not equate to a right to having people listen to you, or take you seriously. It absolutely does not equate to a right to having your free speech make money for you.

If people choose not to give you page views, that's their choice, like it or not. We've been over the freeze peach nonsense more than enough times already, if you claim to have your rights taken away by not being able to profit by it, I see no reason why I should blame anyone for not wanting to give you page views.

EDIT: Having said that, I'm not going to go out of my way to avoid giving someone page views, providing I was going to look at the page to begin with, but this is not because I'm pretending it's warfare to do so.

I don't agree with the "more speech is always better" thing, but I do have a problem with people posting archive links of opinion pieces. You don't have to agree with an opinion piece to respect the time it took to write it, or to realize that the platform they put it on needs money to fund more opinion pieces. The beauty of opinion pieces is that you can disagree with them and have a discussion about it. I don't think it's right to discuss someone's work and go out of your way to make sure they don't get paid for it

I don't believe in the "corruption of games journalism" because it's far more likely they just had different opinions.

Meh.

Using archive site to deny pageviews is petty and smacks of wanting to have your cake and eat it too, but I can't exactly oppose it.

I mean, I wouldn't be bothered by doing it to Stormfront or Brietbart or Heatstreet or whatever. So it would be hypocritical of me to get up in arms about some mildly embarrassing conspiracy theorist nerd getting his outrage fix while still denying his oh-so-precious click to Kotaku or whoever.

Reading that link to 'a certain movement' I noticed something funny in the description following the list.

Be as polite and informative as possible, and don't start insulting the journalists and feminazis. We want to be seen as the informed and reasonable side in this, and that won't happen if we throw around insults and curses.

Emphasis mine. I wonder if they even noticed the irony.

But on the broader topic, I agree with Garwulf. Several people in this thread have pointed out that they have a right to boycott something if they don't like it, think it's puerile or insulting, or otherwise a waste of their time, which is certainly true. But (and I think this is a case where Garwulf muddied the waters by making two different arguments in the same breath) that's different than denying someone the view while still wanting what they produced. The most obvious comparison to me is media piracy; you want to engage with something, but refuse to support it's existence. Using archives is a deliberate attempt to have your cake and tell the baker to starve.

@runic knight made an argument that denying them the advertising money is a leveling act, bringing them down to the same level as everyone else. The difference I see is that the writer who publishes something that is disagreed with is not a 'burger flipper' who is making origami instead. It's a chef who is trying a different recipe. You're not being hoodwinked about what you're getting, it's just something different from what the restaurant down the street is serving. You still have the option to eat at one, the other, or both; but eating the new burger, declaring it unsatisfying, and skipping out on the bill is violating basic social contracts. The end result is that the restaurant is losing money on the chef, not for any inherent problem with the food, but because the customers thought it was worth eating but not paying for. Sure, that chef can still cook in his own kitchen, and give it away to people walking past his house (and many of the not-customers from that restaurant are sure to stop by, if only to declare again how awful the burgers are), but now he also has to get another job to pay for that. People want what he makes, people take what he makes, people discuss what he makes, but people aren't willing to either pay for him to keep making it, or stop eating what he makes, trapping him in a situation where there's lots of demand, lots of supply, but only net loss.

TL;DR I shouldn't post while eating, all my analogies are taking weird turns.

Thunderous Cacophony:
But (and I think this is a case where Garwulf muddied the waters by making two different arguments in the same breath) that's different than denying someone the view while still wanting what they produced. The most obvious comparison to me is media piracy; you want to engage with something, but refuse to support it's existence. Using archives is a deliberate attempt to have your cake and tell the baker to starve.

That's a better argument, but I don't think it holds true. Media piracy is generally about not paying for something, rather than to ensure the creator isn't paid.

In what Garwulf's is talking about, people aren't avoiding paying for content that they want, they want to argue against something without financing it.

runic knight:
snip

If you don't like the burger, got to another parlor. If you go, consume the burger, say it really wasn't a burger, leave without paying and come back the next day to do the same, you aren't exercising your rights as a consumer; you are being a prick.

EDIT: Even if journalism was a service, the one you usually complain about is free to access. You don't pay for it, you never paid for it; so you don't have any right to boss those journalists around like you were freaking Gordon Ramsay.

Quite a bit of nonsense, both in the original article and the replies.

First, it's probably not a good idea to wear your bias so clearly on your sleeve. This "certain movement" you refer to had (and has) quite reasonable and clear goals. The fact that you find it so unmentionable doesn't indicate that anything has been learned from your side.

Second, I am a staunch advocate of free speech. You are not arguing for free speech. You are arguing for a right to lecture and profit from that lecturing.

Third, there is no equivalence between your position and, for example, mine. You have an outlet and an air of authority. And many people in your position also have social networks, in-person gatherings, and mail lists which you use to collaborate and create a narrative ... even when you don't actually realize you're doing it. Pretending that someone on your comments section (which is aggressively policed and 'censored') has the same level of speech as you is simply preposterous.

Fourth ... please stop throwing around the word 'journalist'. It's a meaningless term with a false sense of authority.

Let me explain the situation. I have made dozens of games. I have been in the actual, working industry for decades. I noticed the change in our 'journalism' years before this 'certain movement' began, and I just started tuning out. That's generally the only real power one has: to take away the power they are giving others.

But in the current climate that is not enough. Because even if you try to ignore it, it still infiltrates what you do, because we live in an age of moral panic and morality police. It's like being a baker who disagrees with 'gay marriage' - someone will seek you out and destroy you.

So this 'certain movement' was not only necessary; it was exactly what you claim to support: more speech. It was people disagreeing with a viewpoint (might I point out: a stupid, self-destroying viewpoint) that has embedded itself in our society.

Unfortunately, the only way you can argue with a point is to repeat that point. And without pull-quoting or using archive sites, arguing with a point gives money to the original author, no matter how offensive or ridiculous their argument. Which means, as sure as night follows day, that the position statements published by people with megaphones will become more vitriolic, more angry, more detached from reality.

I don't claim that Gamergate is a great movement; pretty much anything connected with the Internet becomes a den of trolls. But it is incredibly hubristic for you to wash your hands of 'journalist' responsibility for the way things are.

Games 'journalists' aren't above the fray.

You use your weapons, we'll use ours.

kacang:
Quite a bit of nonsense, both in the original article and the replies.

First, it's probably not a good idea to wear your bias so clearly on your sleeve. This "certain movement" you refer to had (and has) quite reasonable and clear goals. The fact that you find it so unmentionable doesn't indicate that anything has been learned from your side.

Second, I am a staunch advocate of free speech. You are not arguing for free speech. You are arguing for a right to lecture and profit from that lecturing.

Third, there is no equivalence between your position and, for example, mine. You have an outlet and an air of authority. And many people in your position also have social networks, in-person gatherings, and mail lists which you use to collaborate and create a narrative ... even when you don't actually realize you're doing it. Pretending that someone on your comments section (which is aggressively policed and 'censored') has the same level of speech as you is simply preposterous.

Fourth ... please stop throwing around the word 'journalist'. It's a meaningless term with a false sense of authority.

Let me explain the situation. I have made dozens of games. I have been in the actual, working industry for decades. I noticed the change in our 'journalism' years before this 'certain movement' began, and I just started tuning out. That's generally the only real power one has: to take away the power they are giving others.

But in the current climate that is not enough. Because even if you try to ignore it, it still infiltrates what you do, because we live in an age of moral panic and morality police. It's like being a baker who disagrees with 'gay marriage' - someone will seek you out and destroy you.

So this 'certain movement' was not only necessary; it was exactly what you claim to support: more speech. It was people disagreeing with a viewpoint (might I point out: a stupid, self-destroying viewpoint) that has embedded itself in our society.

Unfortunately, the only way you can argue with a point is to repeat that point. And without pull-quoting or using archive sites, arguing with a point gives money to the original author, no matter how offensive or ridiculous their argument. Which means, as sure as night follows day, that the position statements published by people with megaphones will become more vitriolic, more angry, more detached from reality.

I don't claim that Gamergate is a great movement; pretty much anything connected with the Internet becomes a den of trolls. But it is incredibly hubristic for you to wash your hands of 'journalist' responsibility for the way things are.

Games 'journalists' aren't above the fray.

You use your weapons, we'll use ours.

You say you're on the side of free speech, yet you think it's okay to post entire articles that someone else made and repost it and discuss it in a way that prevents them from making money off of the work that they did
That only supports speech that you agree with, not free speech in general. That's hugely hypocritical

DrownedAmmet:
You say you're on the side of free speech, yet you think it's okay to post entire articles that someone else made and repost it and discuss it in a way that prevents them from making money off of the work that they did
That only supports speech that you agree with, not free speech in general. That's hugely hypocritical

I disagree with much of what kacang wrote, but I agree with "You are not arguing for free speech. You are arguing for a right to lecture and profit from that lecturing."

For that matter, you've reposted what kacang wrote in order to argue against it. Broadly speaking, that's what people Garwulf is complaining about are doing. If you had the choice for kacang to profit from that, or not, should you always choose that they should?

Thaluikhain:

DrownedAmmet:
You say you're on the side of free speech, yet you think it's okay to post entire articles that someone else made and repost it and discuss it in a way that prevents them from making money off of the work that they did
That only supports speech that you agree with, not free speech in general. That's hugely hypocritical

I disagree with much of what kacang wrote, but I agree with "You are not arguing for free speech. You are arguing for a right to lecture and profit from that lecturing."

For that matter, you've reposted what kacang wrote in order to argue against it. Broadly speaking, that's what people Garwulf is complaining about are doing. If you had the choice for kacang to profit from that, or not, should you always choose that they should?

yes. If he posted that on his blog that he gets ad revenue from, I would not have reposted it from an archive site and then argued against it. I would have went to his blog and 'paid' for it with my click

But he posted it on the Escapist board which makes it property of the Escapist (I think. Either way I'm not going out of my way to make sure he doesn't get paid because I disagree with him)

I don't see why the right to "lecture and profit from that lecturing" is somehow not free speech

DrownedAmmet:
You say you're on the side of free speech, yet you think it's okay to post entire articles that someone else made and repost it and discuss it in a way that prevents them from making money off of the work that they did. That only supports speech that you agree with, not free speech in general.

Your argument is irrational. The ability to speak freely and profiting from speech are entirely separate concepts.

There are rights to profit, and one can track down someone who broke copyright law (or any of the million laws we all break daily without knowing it) and pursue compensation. But that is not the argument the OP made. He is erroneously conflating a free speech argument with a 'right to profit' argument (and also virtue signalling about how odious he finds Gamergate).

How is reposting from an archive site any different than, say, borrowing a used book/game/movie to critique it because you don't want money to go to the author/company/what have you?

Nobody is silencing you, they're just choosing not to give you money for your words. And AFAIK, there's nothing illegal about that.

kacang:

DrownedAmmet:
You say you're on the side of free speech, yet you think it's okay to post entire articles that someone else made and repost it and discuss it in a way that prevents them from making money off of the work that they did. That only supports speech that you agree with, not free speech in general.

Your argument is irrational. The ability to speak freely and profiting from speech are entirely separate concepts.

There are rights to profit, and one can track down someone who broke copyright law (or any of the million laws we all break daily without knowing it) and pursue compensation. But that is not the argument the OP made. He is erroneously conflating a free speech argument with a 'right to profit' argument (and also virtue signalling about how odious he finds Gamergate).

I don't think those two are that far apart, but let's ignore the free speech part for a sec, and let's get to the crux of the OP
Do you think it is okay to use 'archive' sites to post entire articles for discussion?
I'm giving that one a hard no, you're not entitled to people's work just because they say things you don't like. If you don't want to support them don't read the article in the first place

Thaluikhain:

I disagree with much of what kacang wrote

And that's the only situation in which "MORE speech" actually makes sense: when the two people speaking are on an equal level.

The OP can write an article with the full backing and distribution of The Escapist. He can call me names, gainsay and ridicule some strawman imitation of my argument and claim he has thus 'debunked' it, etc., etc. Then another, sympathetic publication can refer to his article and claim based on his 'sound refutation' (e.g, "See X DESTROY the Y argument for Z!" "You won't believe the stupid things X's believe about Y!!!") falsely inflate the count of 'rebuttals' against an argument. And thus, false authority is established.

This is how pretty much all modern 'journalism' currently operates, which is why it's so laughable. And to bring it back to his original point: if I want to say how ridiculous this is, I should participate in the game by linking to his ad-supported article? Nope.

"MORE speech" only works at an equal level. And Polygon, Kotaku, Jezebel, Breitbart, etc. are never going to provide an equal platform for dissent. Heck, even if they did, the person trying to politely and intelligently disagree would just be attacked, with the results simply depending on which form of craziness currently has the upper hand.

DrownedAmmet:
Do you think it is okay to use 'archive' sites to post entire articles for discussion? I'm giving that one a hard no, you're not entitled to people's work just because they say things you don't like. If you don't want to support them don't read the article in the first place

Just limiting it to the profit argument, it seems you're elevating the ad-based-income model as the most important idea.

If I saw something in print that I really liked or really disagreed with, and I wanted to further or rebut it online, I would type it out in my electronic reply. If I borrowed the book from the library the author received no money whatsoever for my quotation. Is that wrong?

You're asking me to give an objective yes or no answer, but I really can't, because yes or no here is based entirely on how valid one thinks the underlying assumptions are.

kacang:

DrownedAmmet:
Do you think it is okay to use 'archive' sites to post entire articles for discussion? I'm giving that one a hard no, you're not entitled to people's work just because they say things you don't like. If you don't want to support them don't read the article in the first place

Just limiting it to the profit argument, it seems you're elevating the ad-based-income model as the most important idea.

If I saw something in print that I really liked or really disagreed with, and I wanted to further or rebut it online, I would type it out in my electronic reply. If I borrowed the book from the library the author received no money whatsoever for my quotation. Is that wrong?

You're asking me to give an objective yes or no answer, but I really can't, because yes or no here is based entirely on how valid one thinks the underlying assumptions are.

Most libraries buy their books, or get them donated, so the author got paid.
For print it depends on how you get it. If you were browsing a magazine in line at Costco and you wanted to repeat a couple lines on the internet, I think that's fine too, because Costco paid them for it (though it would be nice to buy it).

But when someone puts an entire article up on an ad-based website, you are not entitled to view that in a way that denies them payment. I don't know enough about the law to say if it's illegal (it's probably against the site's terms of service) but it's definitely wrong

You're not entitled to their content, you're not entitled to post on the message boards that they own. Posting an archive of a site and then discussing it is such a petty underhanded thing to do

DrownedAmmet:

kacang:

DrownedAmmet:
Do you think it is okay to use 'archive' sites to post entire articles for discussion? I'm giving that one a hard no, you're not entitled to people's work just because they say things you don't like. If you don't want to support them don't read the article in the first place

Just limiting it to the profit argument, it seems you're elevating the ad-based-income model as the most important idea.

If I saw something in print that I really liked or really disagreed with, and I wanted to further or rebut it online, I would type it out in my electronic reply. If I borrowed the book from the library the author received no money whatsoever for my quotation. Is that wrong?

You're asking me to give an objective yes or no answer, but I really can't, because yes or no here is based entirely on how valid one thinks the underlying assumptions are.

Most libraries buy their books, or get them donated, so the author got paid.
For print it depends on how you get it. If you were browsing a magazine in line at Costco and you wanted to repeat a couple lines on the internet, I think that's fine too, because Costco paid them for it (though it would be nice to buy it).

But when someone puts an entire article up on an ad-based website, you are not entitled to view that in a way that denies them payment. I don't know enough about the law to say if it's illegal (it's probably against the site's terms of service) but it's definitely wrong

You're not entitled to their content, you're not entitled to post on the message boards that they own. Posting an archive of a site and then discussing it is such a petty underhanded thing to do

Based on this I assume you feel lets plays are stealing from developers right? I mean I disagree but does this reasoning you are using only apply to journalists?

DrownedAmmet:
I don't think those two are that far apart, but let's ignore the free speech part for a sec, and let's get to the crux of the OP. Do you think it is okay to use 'archive' sites to post entire articles for discussion?
I'm giving that one a hard no, you're not entitled to people's work just because they say things you don't like. If you don't want to support them don't read the article in the first place

I find this interesting. If I read an article and then verbally re-tell it to multiple people, is this also a heinous act of depriving the poor writer income? I mean, yeah, going out of your way to actively read these articles while making sure no traffic gets generated is kind of dick-ish, but it doesn't really go past that. This stuff is *not* like food or games, where it has to actively be copied or even stolen for it to affect the bottom line of those who made it. Me re-telling the gist of what I read could very well be enough to make several or more people not ever click on the original article. Do some people take something fairly petty too far? Yeah. But like others have said, free speech doesn't automatically entail making money off of said speech & opinions. And when you only have words to make money off of, don't be surprised if your business isn't strong enough to support itself, especially if you try & be controversial or something.

Thunderous Cacophony:

@runic knight made an argument that denying them the advertising money is a leveling act, bringing them down to the same level as everyone else. The difference I see is that the writer who publishes something that is disagreed with is not a 'burger flipper' who is making origami instead. It's a chef who is trying a different recipe. You're not being hoodwinked about what you're getting, it's just something different from what the restaurant down the street is serving. You still have the option to eat at one, the other, or both; but eating the new burger, declaring it unsatisfying, and skipping out on the bill is violating basic social contracts. The end result is that the restaurant is losing money on the chef, not for any inherent problem with the food, but because the customers thought it was worth eating but not paying for. Sure, that chef can still cook in his own kitchen, and give it away to people walking past his house (and many of the not-customers from that restaurant are sure to stop by, if only to declare again how awful the burgers are), but now he also has to get another job to pay for that. People want what he makes, people take what he makes, people discuss what he makes, but people aren't willing to either pay for him to keep making it, or stop eating what he makes, trapping him in a situation where there's lots of demand, lots of supply, but only net loss.

TL;DR I shouldn't post while eating, all my analogies are taking weird turns.

CaitSeith:

runic knight:
snip

If you don't like the burger, got to another parlor. If you go, consume the burger, say it really wasn't a burger, leave without paying and come back the next day to do the same, you aren't exercising your rights as a consumer; you are being a prick.

EDIT: Even if journalism was a service, the one you usually complain about is free to access. You don't pay for it, you never paid for it; so you don't have any right to boss those journalists around like you were freaking Gordon Ramsay.

Since these relate together, I will address them together.
First the "it is free" is false. It costs me time, effort and attention in advertisements. Just like TV did. That it is "free" does not deny me the right to an opinion on it, nor does it protect them from criticisms, nor does it prevent me from expressing my opinions to the people paying their bills. They, of course, do not have to listen to me, but as is pretty easy to see, they tend to listen to advertisers who pay the bills in the first place, and as the target demographic, the advertisers are interested in my opinions. This all ties back into the nature of the job itself.

The example of the chef is exactly right when you summed it up as "the restaurant is losing money", only with the added wrinkle of the burger place making money not from the burgers, but from advertisers marketing to the people coming for the "free" burgers. The problem is that, like every fast-food joint, the customer can only tell if they liked it after they ate it, and advertiser money is unrelated to the burger quality and is branded as "free" to attracted an audience for advertisers to market to. After eating garbage, people are going to complain. Business side of things will see that as a risk of lost profits and address it. The longer ignoring those complaints goes on, the more heavily impacted the business is. If people who are coming there are upset, the advertisers aren't getting what they paid for, so changes will be needed, regardless the personal opinion of the burger chef about how great his burgers really are.

The chef may not see anything inherently wrong with the food, but others certainly do. Unfortunately for the chef though, the customers are the reason the business exists, not satisfying the chef's artistic streak. The chef can fund themselves if they want to make what they want. But when their job is paid because it attracts a happy audience that is likely to listen to advertisements, what they personally want is meaningless to the job.

And that is the problem overall, they want to make what they want, but be paid for it by people who want something else. That is the entitlement I referred to before.

Now, when you add in the fact that their pay check is tied not even to the quality of service itself, but to how advertisers feel they provide a pool of target demographic to advertise to, the problem becomes worse. Now quality itself doesn't matter, just making customers happy enough that the advertisers can market to them. They are not being paid at all for the work they do in a quality since, but simply as a means to pull in audience. If the audiences wants certain burgers, well, not providing that will harm the advertisers and the advertisers will pull funding because of it. When people are complaining loudly about it, advertisers who pay the bills wont be happy. The chef is not entitled to make what they want and be protected from any consequence of pissing off the audience just because other people may agree with what he makes. The choice to support that behavior or not falls on the people paying the bills, and we have seen things go either way when it comes to this sort of occurrence.

Now, people who don't like it can leave, true. But they also have the exact same right to let others know, including the advertisers who want to sell them actual products, that the money advertisers are putting into this burger place is actually driving them away from the products those advertisers want to sell.

The end result of the complaints here seems to be that if you don't like something, shut up about it. I disagree strongly. And telling people who would benefit from that information (such as the people actually paying the bills) that the service provided is so terrible that it is costing them money is only fair.

With regard to the chef who has to work from home, if it is art to him, then he is no different than anyone else who also has to work for their living while using own resources for their opinions and art. I can not see their plight as in any way special or tragic when all that is happening is that for failing to do what their job requires, they are reduced back to the state of the common person and can't profit off of what countless others already provide for free. Hell, they can toss up a tip jar in a patreon if they like, or even, if they think it is worth something, put it behind a paywall directly. But in this case we both know that wont make them any money because what they provide is not actually worth paying for to anyone else (especially in a market where countless free alternatives exist).

Oh don't worry, I won't use archived links if I don't want to support a site. I just avoid the site in question completely.

After all, diversity matters. And diversity is about adding voices, not replacing or removing them. Every voice that is added enriches us, and every voice that is lost leaves us poorer...even the ones we disagree with - especially the ones we disagree with.

While I agree in theory, that doesn't mean I have an obligation to weigh the merits of each and every crackpot with a mouthpiece. If a certain someone starts yammering on about how EVERYTHING is racist/sexist/misogynist or another certain someone rails about a game being "SJW propaganda" because it happens to have a female protagonist,[1] you'll forgive me if I decide that there's better things to do with my life than listen to their verbal diarrhea.

[1] Both real arguments I've ran across from supposedly reputable people with large followings

runic knight:

Thunderous Cacophony:

snip

CaitSeith:
snip

And that is the problem overall, they want to make what they want, but be paid for it by people who want something else.

And if the later can't get what they want, they can go somewhere else (there are lots of options out there who offer it than those who don't). They can spend their time, effort and attention in advertisements over someone who offers what they want. But instead they insist in coming back to where they already know they won't get it, over and over again. That goes beyond entitlement; that's plain idiocy.

Not to mention that customers who want what it's being actually made are there too, spending as much time, effort and attention. And denying them access to that for no good reason (a "no true scotsman" argument is not a good reason) is incredibly egotistical.

CaitSeith:

runic knight:

Thunderous Cacophony:

snip

CaitSeith:
snip

And that is the problem overall, they want to make what they want, but be paid for it by people who want something else.

And if the later can't get what they want, they can go somewhere else (there are lots of options out there who offer it than those who don't). They can spend their time, effort and attention in advertisements over someone who offers what they want. But instead they insist in coming back to where they already know they won't get it, over and over again. That goes beyond entitlement; that's plain idiocy.

Not to mention that customers who want what it's being actually made are there too, spending as much time, effort and attention. And denying them access to that for no good reason (a "no true scotsman" argument is not a good reason) is incredibly egotistical.

People often assume customers come for only one thing. Or that every time they come, it is the same thing. Not the case.

They might like some of the chef but not the others. They may like the atmosphere or other people. They my like the convince. All of these aspects are part of what the advertisers are paying for, after all, it makes no sense for a customer to throw it all away if they want some changes and they know that, unlike the chefs, THEY are the ones the advertisers care about and that the chef's jobs exists solely to attract people into the resturant.

It is not always that the entire burger is unwanted. They might just not like the slab of roadkill the chef slaps on top of it all every single time.

There is also issue of limited option. All well and good to say "go somewhere else if you don't like it", but less viable when the "elsewhere" is the same bullshit, or lacks the options and accommodations that the larger thing has that your money helped fund before they changed management.

The overall result though is that, no, that is not entitlement, that is simply customers feeling invested in the place and wanting to try to get it to change to better suit them before they up and leave outright. Journalists pretending that the sight doesn't have to appeal to the target audience of the advertisers though, that is entitlement.

The result is pretty simple though. Should the people paying the bills not listen, people will eventually move on. But it really seems like you are trying to argue that the customers don't have a right to let the advertisers know how they feel or what they want in the place the advertisers are paying for specifically to target them as a demographic. And you can claim "no true scotsman" if you like, but it fails here as I never said they were the only customers, or their opinions were the only right ones for customers. The advertisers have every right to listen to who they want, but they should be informed correctly about the unhappiness of large swathes of customers when coming to such decisions. Other customers can cry their support of those things the other want change even, nothing stops them from that. Or would that be entitled too?

All I see people complaining about customers letting advertisers know boils down to keeping that dissatisfaction from being known about and just quietly shutting up or leaving places they may have been regulars in for years.

Never come across the archive thing before. God, that's petty.

I'll go back to the rock I must have been hiding under.

The archiving trick is extremely petty and hypocritical and it displays a profound disrespect for the person you are reading and the discourse you are engaging in. If you feel it is worth sharing, even just to talk about how shit it is, share it properly. If you don't want anyone to find the actual source, man up and properly ignore it. As a reader, I tend to want to look at whoever posted something and that is harder to do on those archive links. On the actual site I can look at one or two other things to see what the site is and does. The thing that I find most distasteful about it though, is frankly just how pathetic it is. The effects of this will likely be entirely negligable in terms of actual views on any specific page but it immediately displays the utmost hostility and bad faith.

Mentioning free speech in the article was a rookie mistake as doing so inevitably attracts a small army of real and armchair legal experts whining about how their disrespect for discourse totally falls within the bounds of the law, typically identified with the bible american constitution.

I'm generally somewhat weary of distancing ourselves en masse from distasteful views. I'm not some absolutist on the matter. Certainly we should do so in some cases. I wouldn't want to advertise on stormfront of some similar shithole and I'm perfectly fine with marginalising those particular people. I don't buy into the idea that it is somehow that hard to distinguish the bad from the awful. But using this distancing, demonitising and deplatforming as a goto tactic for marginalising views we don't like is risky. It stifles discourse, makes it harder to write or produce opinions for a living, and restricts conversations to ingroups who already agree with one another.

TheFinish:
How is reposting from an archive site any different than, say, borrowing a used book/game/movie to critique it because you don't want money to go to the author/company/what have you?

Nobody is silencing you, they're just choosing not to give you money for your words. And AFAIK, there's nothing illegal about that.

I feel a need to take a stab at this one. There are definite differences in the comparison you cite:

a) there was an original sale- to the library, to the person who sold their book to a used book store, to the person you're borrowing the media from. The author has already received a cut of that sale, and chances are you're receiving it outside of its [brief] peak sales period.

b) the author almost certainly understood and consented to their work being user so, such being the nature of Fair Use and unpaid viewing sometimes leading to interest and future paid viewings of the author's other works. They may also want to extend their work's lifespan and contribution to a broader body of knowledge.

c) one work might be borrowed or sold used two, three, half-a-dozen times. An archived work can be viewed hundreds or thousands of times- often just when the original is at its peak of visibility.

One can argue about the legitimacy or ethics of posting to an archive or reading an article from one, but it doesn't seem all that difficult to recognize why an author might feel threatened or mis-used by archiving and not by borrowing.

Callate:

TheFinish:
How is reposting from an archive site any different than, say, borrowing a used book/game/movie to critique it because you don't want money to go to the author/company/what have you?

Nobody is silencing you, they're just choosing not to give you money for your words. And AFAIK, there's nothing illegal about that.

I feel a need to take a stab at this one. There are definite differences in the comparison you cite:

a) there was an original sale- to the library, to the person who sold their book to a used book store, to the person you're borrowing the media from. The author has already received a cut of that sale, and chances are you're receiving it outside of its [brief] peak sales period.

b) the author almost certainly understood and consented to their work being user so, such being the nature of Fair Use and unpaid viewing sometimes leading to interest and future paid viewings of the author's other works. They may also want to extend their work's lifespan and contribution to a broader body of knowledge.

c) one work might be borrowed or sold used two, three, half-a-dozen times. An archived work can be viewed hundreds or thousands of times- often just when the original is at its peak of visibility.

One can argue about the legitimacy or ethics of posting to an archive or reading an article from one, but it doesn't seem all that difficult to recognize why an author might feel threatened or mis-used by archiving and not by borrowing.

Right, you raise good points. The main issue however, stems from the platform the author is using. I mean, if he wanted to ensure more security for his work, he could simply write his articles in a subscription based outlet (just as an example). Or, at the very least, a website that has disabled automatic archiving by web trawlers. If the author doesn't, then they must be prepared for the possibility of it being archived and viewed without the corresponding revenue. It's just how the internet works (right now).

And, given that you can't do as with real life products and just buy used, there doesn't seem to be another way for a user to access content without supporting the author. You could argue that this isn't something that should be available to the consumer, and that's fine, but as it is now, archiving is legal and something web-based writers will have to deal with.

TheFinish:

Callate:

TheFinish:
How is reposting from an archive site any different than, say, borrowing a used book/game/movie to critique it because you don't want money to go to the author/company/what have you?

Nobody is silencing you, they're just choosing not to give you money for your words. And AFAIK, there's nothing illegal about that.

I feel a need to take a stab at this one. There are definite differences in the comparison you cite:

a) there was an original sale- to the library, to the person who sold their book to a used book store, to the person you're borrowing the media from. The author has already received a cut of that sale, and chances are you're receiving it outside of its [brief] peak sales period.

b) the author almost certainly understood and consented to their work being user so, such being the nature of Fair Use and unpaid viewing sometimes leading to interest and future paid viewings of the author's other works. They may also want to extend their work's lifespan and contribution to a broader body of knowledge.

c) one work might be borrowed or sold used two, three, half-a-dozen times. An archived work can be viewed hundreds or thousands of times- often just when the original is at its peak of visibility.

One can argue about the legitimacy or ethics of posting to an archive or reading an article from one, but it doesn't seem all that difficult to recognize why an author might feel threatened or mis-used by archiving and not by borrowing.

Right, you raise good points. The main issue however, stems from the platform the author is using. I mean, if he wanted to ensure more security for his work, he could simply write his articles in a subscription based outlet (just as an example). Or, at the very least, a website that has disabled automatic archiving by web trawlers. If the author doesn't, then they must be prepared for the possibility of it being archived and viewed without the corresponding revenue. It's just how the internet works (right now).

And, given that you can't do as with real life products and just buy used, there doesn't seem to be another way for a user to access content without supporting the author. You could argue that this isn't something that should be available to the consumer, and that's fine, but as it is now, archiving is legal and something web-based writers will have to deal with.

That's the point, you shouldn't access the content without supporting the author. If you want to view the content, support the author. If you don't want to support the author, don't view the content! Just because it's technically 'legal' (again, it could be against the terms of service of the website, which could make it against the law, but I don't have the patience to read terms of service or the legal knowledge to say if that is legally binding, so the world will never know) doesn't mean it's not a degenerate, entitled, and immature thing to do

Ninjamurai:

DrownedAmmet:
I don't think those two are that far apart, but let's ignore the free speech part for a sec, and let's get to the crux of the OP. Do you think it is okay to use 'archive' sites to post entire articles for discussion?
I'm giving that one a hard no, you're not entitled to people's work just because they say things you don't like. If you don't want to support them don't read the article in the first place

I find this interesting. If I read an article and then verbally re-tell it to multiple people, is this also a heinous act of depriving the poor writer income? I mean, yeah, going out of your way to actively read these articles while making sure no traffic gets generated is kind of dick-ish, but it doesn't really go past that. This stuff is *not* like food or games, where it has to actively be copied or even stolen for it to affect the bottom line of those who made it. Me re-telling the gist of what I read could very well be enough to make several or more people not ever click on the original article. Do some people take something fairly petty too far? Yeah. But like others have said, free speech doesn't automatically entail making money off of said speech & opinions. And when you only have words to make money off of, don't be surprised if your business isn't strong enough to support itself, especially if you try & be controversial or something.

Reading an article and then repeating it verbatim is 1) an impressive mental exercise, and 2) not the same as posting the entire article in a way that denies them payment. If you 'bought' that article in the first place, youve earned the right to discuss it.
It goes way past "kind of dick ish" territory and lands verrry close to "theft' territory
It boggles my mind how people can defend this, it's really simple. It's like when you buy a newspaper from one of those paper boxes, they are trusting the consumer not to be an entitled sleaze bag and take the whole stack. Let's not defend these entitled sleaze bags

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