Phil Friedman

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Censorship: To Cut Or Not to Cut, That Is the Question

Censorship: To Cut Or Not to Cut, That Is the QuestionWHEN THE LANGUAGE OR THE DISCUSSION GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH KEEP GOING ... OR DO THEY?


Preface:  This marks the 24th installment of the ongoing verbal contretemps between Jim Murray and me. Here we've tackled a serious and complicated topic that should be of concern to every user of social media. We raise several questions, make a few suggestions, and leave a lot open for further exploration. A major part of our objective in doing this series is to stimulate open discussion. So here, as always, we sincerely invite you to join the conversation.


1d916278.jpgPHIL: Jim, we both know that, as a social media platform grows and the number of its active users increases into the tens of millions, the range of ideas and opinions expressed on the platform increases exponentially. As does the probability that some people will be offended by and take exception to a given post or comment.

With more and more people feeling offended, the pressure grows amidst the ranks for increased censorship in one form or another. However, the term “censorship” has varying meanings for various people. Which makes it hard to discuss the matter rationally.

Still, I think that the questions surrounding censorship are so important — especially on a developing platform such as beBee — that it will benefit all of us to try to clarify our thoughts on the matter.


“In its broadest sense … [“censorship”] refers to suppression of information, ideas, or artistic expression by anyone, whether government officials, church authorities, private pressure groups, or speakers, writers, and artists themselves. It may take place at any point in time, whether before an utterance occurs, prior to its widespread circulation, or by punishment of communicators after dissemination of their messages, so as to deter others from like expression. In its narrower, more legalistic sense, censorship means only the prevention by official government action of the circulation of messages already produced.”

― Academic American Encyclopedia


To my mind, the following are some key questions to answer:

1) Who decides when a post or comment is sufficiently offensive or abusive or otherwise objectionable to warrant removal?

2) Should a post or comment ever be removed simply because a given number of readers don’t like or disagree strongly with it?

3) What do you see as sufficient reason to remove a post or comment from the site?

To kick off, I recently made approximately the following comment in a discussion about a post that had been removed from beBee by a person or persons other than the author:


“I am generally against censorship in any form, although I recognize that it cannot always be avoided. However, I submit that the threshold has to be very high and rigorously maintained. Simply pissing off a number people does not, in itself, rise to the level of requiring deletion or removal from a social media platform that is nominally open.

— Phil Friedman


By the way, in discussions like this, it frequently helps to quote actual examples. But please, in the discussion and any comments, let’s not identify the authors of any cited examples, to avoid personal attacks. If someone decides to wear one of the shoes that drops, that will be on him or her. And we can concentrate on the substance of the comments quoted in illustration.


6d5f945f.jpgJIM: When you get out there into Agent Provocateur territory, you discover that there is a very fine line between constructive criticism and slander. You and I both know that to be true from our own experiences here and over in the Lumpy Kingdom.

But I honestly believe that anybody with the intellectual capacity to move in that territory should be aware of the difference and stay off the line. The 80/20 Differential in this area falls on the side of the 80. These are people who are sophisticated enough as writers to know when they are skirting the line and use their skills and judgment to avoid crossing over.

Censorship (or at least the willingness to see something censored), tends to be triggered when the reader realizes that he or she is actually reading some form of extreme propaganda or something that has been written to further the agenda of a scammer or fanatic or con artist.

We have all encountered this from time to time. I’m happy to say that there’s a lot less of it here on beBee than I have experienced on Facebook or Twitter. But it’s still out there and it ain’t going away.

To answer your questions. IMHO, of course.

1. I think every individual has to decide themselves whether censorship is called for, and if it is, make their opinion known to the custodians of the site where this appeared.

2. No, I don’t think a post or comment should be removed because some people don’t like it. I think, for comments especially, that people reading them can very quickly discern who is crazy and who is not. It’s kinda like reading restaurant reviews online. You see 10 glowing reviews and one crappy one. What do you conclude? Myself, I conclude that the crappy one was written by some nutbar with a personal grudge. And I would say that 8 out of 10 people would probably agree with that.

3. Reasons to remove a post. I would say this fall under the purview of the site’s management. After all, a post that takes an overly radical political position or is obviously just espousing something (almost) everybody knows is bullshit, can do a lot of damage to the site’s image and its ability to attract new users.

If people think, wow, are they supporting this kind of crap, they think twice about whether or not they want be there for fear of being tarred by the same brush.

This to me is the biggest concern that a lot of large social media sites have. I know from observing Facebook over the years that their review board has solid guidelines and they won’t think twice about banning you if you cross those lines.

Does this fly in the face of freedom of expression? Maybe a little. But frankly, there are a great many people who would abuse the concept if they knew they weren’t going to have their bullshit called on them. It’s those people, the scammers, the con artists, the carpetbaggers, the anarchists that can pollute your site and damage your reputation immeasurably if you’re not careful and haven’t drawn a solid line in the sand.

Having said all that, I ‘d appreciate hearing the Floridian point of view.

fafa5914.jpgPHIL: Ya know, I do live in Florida, but I’m not sure there is anything called “a Floridian point of view” ― unless perhaps it’s a move to shield one’s balding pate from excessive sun by putting one’s head where the sun never shines. (Yes, that quip is dedicated to @Matt Sweetwood.)

But seriously, I accept your pointing out, if only implicitly, that beBee and other social media platforms are private, for-profit operations and, as such, have the right to control the content that appears in their pages. I’m just not sure that control of content on a private medium is censorship. Control, si. Censorship, no.

And I agree that even when it comes to removing insulting and abusive comments, platform management has the right to do so solely in its own discretion. (Unless, of course, the SM platform represents itself as “fully open”, when it solicits members to join.)

The thing is, I think we can all pretty much agree that, for example, beBee has the right to manage what appears on the platform. And that it is within its rights to remove postings and comments that are detrimental to its growth and well-being.

Where we run into bumps is when we try to agree on what constitutes being abusive, insulting, and/or disruptive. At one time, there were more than a few people who wanted literally to kick @Candice Galek’s butt off LinkedIn. In spite of the fact that her style of “disruption”, while a bit racy at times, wasn’t abusive or really offensive in any material way ― at least, not above the Bible Belt, so to speak.

Moreover, you and I both know that there were Buzzword Bees who agitated privately to have my “excessive negativism” reigned in, notwithstanding that nobody ever came forward to detail any case in which I had ever been abusive or used offensive language in any objective sense. They just didn’t like me disagreeing with some people. And for some unfathomable reason, they took offense at the fact that, when critical comments were made on my posts, I answered them, instead of simply pulling up into a fetal position.

My point is that there is always a danger that some people will agitate to have content censored quite simply because they don’t like that which is being said. And it is for that reason, I would like to see relevant standards delineated clearly. Well, not so much “standards” as guidelines ― understanding that guidelines are just that, guidelines and not written in stone.

For that reason, I have to admit your #3 point causes real problems for me.

As I said earlier, I would personally like to see the threshold for content removal set at a very high level, with hate speech, verbal abuse, and disruptive repetitive posting being what pops to mind as prime candidates for “censorship.”

However, you point to a different phenomenon. One that arises infrequently, but nevertheless has to be of concern, not only to platform ownership and management but to those of in business and the professions ― people who have put a lot of effort into building, for want of a better term, their personal brands.

For better or worse, one is known by the company one keeps. If a social media platform gains a rep for being rife with phonies, get-rich-quick con-men and other scam artists, questionable appeals for crowd-funding of dubious projects, as well as those who openly celebrate falsification and misrepresentation on social media and otherwise, you can bet your bikini-butt that the foul odor of inauthenticity and deception will eventually foul everyone on that platform.

I think it interesting to observe, in this context, that there is a natural antagonism between freedom of expression and the need to protect the reputations of the platform and those who use it as a legitimate vehicle for their content marketing and brand-building activities.


b3a9520c.jpgJIM: Pretty darn articulate for a Floridian. I don’t envy the owners of any social or business media site, because they probably go through every working day with a Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.

But on the other hand, we both know that most people have the attention span of a gnat and so perhaps the danger isn’t quite as imminent as it seems when you’re have a theoretical discussion about it.

Having said that, however, we both know that it really doesn’t take much in the way of complaints to get someone’s post deleted, especially here on beBee and I kind of come down on the side of that being a good thing.

I did a post a while back on calling bullshit on people. And the main reason for doing it was that if you don’t, then what you are doing is providing tacit agreement. And the people who generate whatever form of bullshit it may be, and you have outlined a lot of them, are encouraged to just keep going. Pretty soon you can have at the very worst an epidemic on your hands.

And that sort of thing will taint the site and, by association, the reputation of the people who contribute to it.

You know I am not what you would call a conservative, but in this case, I make a rather huge exception. Freedom of expression is one thing. Libel, slander, misrepresentation, fanaticism, sexism, misogyny, racism, extreme narcissism and outright lies are something else again. (My apologies to Mr. Trump).

You started this debate, my friend, so according to our playbook, you get to wrap it up.


56464f6c.jpgPHIL: I think you and I pretty much agree on what crosses the line for a private, for-profit SM operation such as beBee. And we agree that ownership and management have the right ― although let’s be clear, not the obligation ― to remove content from the platform, as they see fit.

Again to be very clear, this is not, to my mind, a question about Constitutional law or human rights. Nor one of freedom of political expression. Nothing in, for example, U.S. law requires Jimmy Kimmel to have someone, anyone on his show upon their demand. So why would anyone suppose that a social media platform would be required to publish or display someone’s content just because that person demanded it?

Against that, it is beyond my comprehension why so often simple (polite) disagreement is considered “negative” and harmful to the SM environment, while all sorts of ― in your words ― “slander, misrepresentation, extreme narcissism, and outright lies” are tolerated, even liked, on a knee-jerk basis, by so many. But then, I doubt that I will ever fully grasp the often twisted nature of social media.

That said, I think you and I continue to disagree on a fundamental point. I am in favor of censoring content on a platform such as beBee only as a last resort, and never on the basis of a user vote. Moreover, never in the absence of a clearly formulated and published policy. And I personally believe that the first line of defense against the detritus you list should be that of ignoring it ― that is, not commenting on it, not sharing it, and certainly not blindly commending it without even reading and considering what it really says. Understanding, of course, that there will be times when platform ownership or management will be forced to be proactive.

IMO, we should also keep in mind that there are several different forms of censorship, some of which are subtler than others, for instance, the algorithmic manipulation of what is actually seen by the membership on LinkedIn.

Consequently, I see this discussion as only the start of a needed conversation, and I believe we’re still very far away from reaching a clear resolution of the dilemma presented by the question of when censorship on social media is needed and/or justified. Hopefully, others will join the conversation.


Postscript:   Please keep in mind that JimMurray can, and always will speak for himself.  He will also publish his own parallel version of this HE SAID HE SAID No.24. So, you are free to post comments directed to either Jim or me, on either his post of HSHS No.24 or mine here. And you will always get an answer one way or the other.


Author's Notes: If you found this interesting and would like to receive notifications of my writings on a regular basis, click the [FOLLOW] button on my beBee archive page. Better yet, you can arrange on that same page to follow my "blogging" by email. As a writer-friend of mine says, you can always change your mind later.

Feel free to "like" and "share" this post and my other articles — whether on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, provided only that you credit me (and in the case of "He Said He Said", Jim as well) properly as the author(s), and include a live link to the original post.


About me, Phil Friedman: With 30 some years background in the marine industry, I've worn numerous hats — as a yacht designer, boat builder, marine operations and business manager, marine industry consultant, marine marketing and communications specialist, yachting magazine writer and editor, yacht surveyor, and marine industry educator. I am also trained and experienced in interest-based negotiation and mediation.

In a previous life, I was formally trained as an academic philosopher and taught logic and philosophy at university.


Before writing comes thinking (the optional-to-read pitch):  

As a professional writer, editor, university educator, and speaker, with more than 1,000 print and digital publications, I've recently launched an online program for enhancing your expository writing: learn2engage — With Confidence. My mission is to help writers and would-be writers improve their thought and writing, master the logic of discussion, and strengthen their ability to deal with disagreement.


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For more information, click on the image immediately above. Or to schedule an appointment for a free 1/2-hour consult or to sit in on one of our online group sessions, email: info@learn2engage.org. I look forward to speaking with you soon.  

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Comments
Claire L Cardwell

Claire L Cardwell

2 years ago #74

Phil Friedman - in terms of censorship, I think that the only things that should be censored are hate speech and people hijacking other writer's post with self promotional comments that lead nothing to the discussion. Great post - don't know how I missed it the first time around!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #73

#117
Already done, Donna-Luisa Eversley. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #72

#114
Thank you ever so much, Donna-Luisa Eversley, for the very kind words. They are especially welcome in view of the fact that I've been just recently criticized by a couple of Honey Bees who finally came out from behind their veil of phony sweetness and love for all. My best to you.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #71

#108
Neil, thanks for reading and commenting. You say that well-meaning people can, "somehow end up supporting people who want to publish the plans for a bomb or the recipe for nerve gas on Facebook." No, they can't if they have any brains. Speech which ends in or encourages actions that harm others is not protected under the concept of free expression. Not to my mind, nor to that of any thinking person. Just a racial, ethnic, and religious based hate is not. The line is hard to draw, I admit. But the extreme cases are easy enough to spot. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #70

#111
Donna-Luisa Eversley, I never use the term "Dear" in addressing people on social media, for I have always felt it to be somewhat affected. But I am moved here to say, "Dearest D-L" for your comments here are of such value and exhibit such a degree of insight. Summed up by, "I also can appreciate more the people I thought were very negative and unkind in a different light, as the glare from the positive rays can mask reality. We must seek to live in truth." I believe that we've grown together over the past year on beBee. Me toward more tolerance of those who don't understand me or my writing, and you toward more understanding of those who do. And I am touched by your loyalty and courage in speaking your mind these days. Your thoughts are both welcome and intellectually gratifying. Cheers!

Neil Smith

Neil Smith

4 years ago #69

Thanks for the interesting and topical chat guys. It is certainly a hard balancing act for a lot of people. These days there seem to be a lot of calls for things and people to be banned by those who believe that their own desire not to be personally offended trumps the right to free expression. This is hard to agree with but the problem is that someone can start out in favour of non-censorship and the right to espouse unpopular views and somehow end up supporting people who want to publish the plans for a bomb or the recipe for nerve gas on Facebook. When there is a conversation going on this can be resolved in a messily human way by consensus and compromise. In the current climate however lots of factions are setting out intractable positions from the get go and refusing to budge an inch. So does the decision go to whoever shouts the loudest?

Federico Álvarez San Martín

#78
Thanks for the feedback. To promote the personal brand will show articles written by the author. We understand that is the most important. Although it would be interesting to offer other points of view, we want to bet on the personal brand.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #67

#105
Good to hear from you, Larry. You ask, I think, a couple of excellent questions. So let me answer: 1) Where the explicit mission of a social network is to create a "community" of users, I'd agree that, within the boundaries of the community standards for acceptable forms of expression, every community member's comments should be protected against removal. 2) Censorship is, in the strict sense of the word, prior restraint, either by active prohibition or by threat of sanction in the event of publication. Under which strict definition, removal or comments or posts by community officials would not, I think, be censorship, but as you say enforcement of community rules. Which is why I've repeated referred to an explicit statement of guidelines for removal or deletion. (The guidelines should be for the sanction because it is easier to define what is not acceptable than what is.) Notwithstanding that, however, I think we have to admit that the stated missions of most social media are not to create a "community", but something else, often a "platform" for self-publishing, personal-brand building, business and professional networking, job hunting, recruiting, and so on. So any inferences about what should be, cannot be drawn from accepted premises about a social community. IMO. Thank you for reading and joining the conversation.

Larry Boyer, 🐝 Brand Ambassador

Excellent point Phil Friedman and I agree on the points of censorship. However let me throw out another view where a social network is about creating a community of users. From a perspective of a community, as opposed to publishing platform, does user behavior and the removal of a user or their comment take different perspective? Could a user have every right to make a statement welcome in the community? If you have a state community value of respect and a user is not respectful are you censoring or simply creating a community where respect is valued by all and if not they are simply not part of the community? The results may be similar but the reason is different.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #65

#103
His manifesto illustrates how in matters social media the line between reality and a created virtual image is often blurred... even for the master manipulators of the landscape. Thanks, Franci. Cheers!

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

#10
Zuckerman is a pretty smart cookie but IMO, he has visions of grandeur.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #63

#100
thank you, Antoinette. I am sorry to be obtuse, but what does this have to do with censorship? This is a post about censorship, not a general chat room. Thanks and peace. ✌🏽✌🏼

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #62

#96
In the absence of having anything good to say, say nothing. Even better, ignore that about which you have nothing good to say. It may be your right to speak, but it is also my right not to listen or read or pay attention. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #61

#95
Yes, David, that is right — as far as it goes. The problem is with deciding what crosses the line to become, in your words, "... online bullying, harassment, needless name calling, personal attacks or demonization of one's character..." The hard part is setting the standards. For example, I personally find a lot of the self-ascriptive BS that some people post about how they are pretty much the second coming of God really offensive. But in saying so, I am not in any way advocating censorship of such material. I am just exercising my right to recommend that my fellow bees ignore that material and not promote it without first reading and pondering what it means to the rest of us who are concerned with the reputation of the platform. For me, freedom of expression is a fundamental right for all, including those with whom I disagree and who spout malevolent bilge. However, guaranteeing freedom of expression does not obligate anyone to listen or otherwise pay attention. Thanks for joining the conversation. And cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #60

#93
Because, Antionette, the ends of the world do not stop at the US border. And hope springs eternal. Not to mention that a stitch in time saves nine. The bright spot on the horizon is, however, that the way things are going, nobody will want to emigrate to the U.S. (which will eliminate the need for a Wall at taxpayer expense).

Javier 🐝 CR

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #59

#95
I agree. It is common sense. My parents taught me to be polite despite of disagreeing. It is smarter. But common sense is not so usual as it should ;).

David B. Grinberg

David B. Grinberg

4 years ago #58

Thanks for another exemplary exchange as usual, Phil and Jim. I agree with Phil that there is nothing wrong with constructive criticism expressed in a cordial/polite manner on social media. There should not be unwarranted restrictions against an open online dialogue even on contentious and controversial all issues. Everyone has the right to express their own opinion and disagree with the majority. But once language changes from constructive to destructive then problems arise. There's never a justification for online bullying, harassment, needless name calling, personal attacks or demonization of one's character, etc. Just keep online speech polite and cordial even if you disagree, and there shouldn't be any problems. this is not rocket science but basic common courtesy, respect and good manners. Is that about right, Phil and Jim?

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #57

#89
Well the quick summary of what is happening here in the US is we're going to hell in a hand basket. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #56

#88
Nope, Gerry, I looked for them. But no luck. :-)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #55

#81
There are "sex tapes" on beBee? How disgusting. Where did you say you found them?

Javier 🐝 CR

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #54

#82
thanks Robert Bacal this issue (bad classified stuff) will be also solved in the next platform ;). Thanks

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #53

FYI John Vaughan, see #78,

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #52

BTW, and for the record, Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee the array of notices of other posts at the bottom of this one is entirely satisfactory to me. It is not so much that I would want only notices of my own posts to appear, but that I would personally as a writer and business professional to designate a list of other writers with whom I would like to be associated. Because when promotional blurbs to the work of authors whom I find IMO objectionable appear at the bottom of my posts, I fear that it undermines my efforts at personal branding. And that is a problem. I know I am a broken record on this point, but I would hate to see it slip through the cracks as you perfect the new version of the platform. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #51

#74
I understand, Antoinette, what you're saying. But I have to disagree somewhat, in that it should be a matter of personal choice as to how much currying of favor among the gnats and bees one wants to do. Some of us do not write to be liked, however much we write to be widely read. And we are content to simply be offered a reliable and honest system of distribution, and let the chips fall where they may. Thank you for joining the conversation... and cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #50

#66
However, Jim, it's important. I think, to point out that blocking someone just prevents one from seeing or commenting on the blockee's posts and comments and vice versa. It does not remove that person from the platform or prevent him or her from posting or commenting on the posts of others (other than the blocker's posts).The block function on LinkedIn was defective because although it prevented you from seeing a comment by the blockee on your post, it did not always prevent the blockee from posting that comment on your post. So once again, as endemic on LI, perception did not always line up with reality. I think the ability to moderate the comment threads on one's posts is a HUGE advance, especially if coupled with a "block" function that will prevent someone from seeing your posts and commenting on them in the first place. Eventually, the people who are genuinely objectionable will find themselves talking only to themselves. Organic self-regulation. Without managerial censorship. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #49

#53
Nor, Joyce, does it mean that something is deep and worthy. Sometimes we don't like certain things because they are justifiably unlikeable. I suggest the key is to have the tools to filter what one sees, what appears in association with one's own publishing, and with whom one is forced to be associated. Of course, having those tools does not mean one should use them, and certainly not that one should overuse them. For just because one can does not mean that one should. Thank you for joining the conversation. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #48

#54
Agreed, one of the best approaches is simply to ignore that which one finds objectionable -- assuming that one has the tools to filter out repetitive appearances of such in one's feed and in the comments threads on one's posts. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #47

#57
Devish, I understand your point, but it would complicate matters immensely. So much simpler to just be able to disassociate oneself from those who use language one finds objectionable, and for an author to be able to delete those comments from the thread of that author's post. Thanks for joining the conversation. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #46

#48
This, Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee, is to my mind great news. Having the ability to moderate one's comments thread without having to report someone for abuse will eliminate a high percentage of the problems. It will also forestall the need for managerial censorship. I am assuming that the "blocking" function will also be implemented as previously planned. So that in total, users will be able to manage both what they see and what fills their feeds, as well as manage with whom and what they associate themselves. And if you follow through on your earlier promise to put only notices about an author's other posts at the bottom of that author's post, my beBee world will be pretty much complete. As that will eliminate my work being, at times, associated with posts about the benefits of creating false personas and profiles on social media, which posts I find highly objectionable and potentially damaging to all of us. As I see it, the essence of making room for everyone on beBee is to provide us bees with the tools to manage our experience and associations. Thank you for caring and acting. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #45

#62
There is a dialectic at work, though, Antoinette. Which is that growing a social media platform quickly requires attracting swarms of gnats. In addition, of course, to swarms of bees. (OMG, my brain has been rotted by the overabundance of metaphors.) The neat trick is to be able to establish infrastructure to accommodate all comers and to enable them to co-exist. Hence the need for an array of self-management tools. Thank you for joining the conversation.Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #44

#57
Todd, I believe that the ability for a thread owner to moderate, that is, to delete without reporting or triggering any further action, gets us 98% of the way home, without excessive complication. Some will argue that authors will use said moderation to make it look as though all comments on their posts are positive, but if some really do that, they would be working to their own detriment as writers. For civil controversy is in many cases the life blood of impactful writing and only a fool of a writer seeks to avoid it at all times. As Jim Murray demonstrates time and time again by poking the bear in the eye. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #43

#47
First-rate idea, Pascal Derrien, and oneI've suggested and endorse privately a number of times. Years ago, group owners and managers on LI had the ability to moderate the posts and comments with "delete but do not report". And I think that for at least a brief period authors had that ability for their own posts. But LinkedIn removed those tools in its own peculiar brand of negative wisdom. The really important thing to recognize is that, as you point out, the ability to moderate without reporting actually forestalls the need for managerial censorship. Thanks for joining the conversation about this key issue. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #42

#63
Naw, Jim, I just like yanking your chain. Now, at least, I can add Brian McKenzie to my list of curmudgeons to poke with a stick when things get dull. Cheers!

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

4 years ago #41

As you can see from the massive comment stream we have a) touched a nerve and b) are discovering that maybe there is no one single best way forward. I think a lot of the problem of censorship will and probably should be left to the individual through blocking. I'm a big believer in freedom of speech, but we're living in an age where that concept is being crapped on from places high and low, and it's all in aid of greed, power and control. If someone posts a comment in your post that spews any sort of venom, you should, for the sake of your own reputation, be able to get rid of it, Because you otherwise risk being seen as someone who supports that point of view. And in social media, a lot of what we're talking about here comes down to simply that. Perception management.

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

4 years ago #40

#51
You know Brian McKenzie. What you just said here has crystallized my understanding of you. And I mean that as a compliment. I wasn't all that clear on your motives and here I find we have a lot in common, especially in that we both feel that we (the people) are being lied to constantly. For most of my adult life I feel like I have been popping bullshit balloons wherever I see them. And so, obviously, have you.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #39

#56
Todd Jones has now committed to in this thread. Thank you for joining the conversation. Cheers!

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

4 years ago #38

#21
Wait a minute. Are you trying to erode my personal brand Phil Friedman? Because, you know I can handle that job myself. :)

Javier 🐝 CR

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #37

My announcement : beBee will be the first platform where we will be able to auto moderate ourselves... https://www.bebee.com/content/1239991/1125737 😉😉

Federico Álvarez San Martín

#48
Exactly!!! ;) We continue...

Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

Todd Jones a wonderful idea #56

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

4 years ago #34

Thinking out loud. Its a raw thought right now. Some people mind offensive language and some don't . Can't the thread owner have a safe mode on where obscene comment cannot be posted. Even this will be gamed , but the thread owner has a choice. Personally i dont mind anything, havr had good practice of offensive comments on LinkedIn

Javier 🐝 CR

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #33

#53
Joyce Bowen I use to do.it with TV. I just turn TV off.

Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

I just watched a video of Chomsky on Freedom of Speech. He is an adamant supporter of it. Just because we do not like what is said does not mean we shouldn't listen. And you know what they say about opinions in any case. If I don't like what I read it often signals me to look deeper into my reaction. Emotional intelligence is a marvelous thing. Oh--wait. If I really don't like what is said there is this marvelous invention on my computer. It's called, "Shut Down."

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #31

#51
For the record, I've again zeroed out a negative check on your comment by hitting plus. Not because I agree with it, but because I personally deplore the practice of anonymous criticism. Indeed, if I had the power to moderate this thread to stop that person from repeatly doing that, I would. To my mind, if you have something to say, come out of the shadows and say it. Stop linking around and sniping from cover. Whoever you are.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #30

#46
Brian, I've checked a plus for your comment, but not necessarily because I like it. Rather because I hate this evolving practice of anonymously slinking around, sniping at comments by checking negatives on comments people don't like, and I intentionally try to counter those actions by hitting the plus button. That said, don't you think it's time for you to stop focusing on how dumb everyone other than you is, and speak to your own much clearer vision? If you have one? Cheers!

Javier 🐝 CR

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #29

#47
Pascal Derrien exactly. It is going to be possible ! beBee will be the first platform where we will be able to auto moderate ourselves 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝

Javier 🐝 CR

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #28

All issues about content that can disturb you , will be solved in the next platform. beBee team will do nothing manually. Only post's owners will be able to remove any comment, etc. .We are building a very smart and great to everyone platform . It is going to be unique (it doesn't exist in the other platforms). I am looking forward to it.Thanks everybody ! CC Alberto Anaya Arcas

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #27

active moderating is also a step or a mechanism that can help or prevent ? Not necessarily a report button which equals to intervention but a directional support now this is mot practical and cannot be scaled up and we should be able to auto moderate ourselves but it's wishful thinking it's like peeing in a voilin as we say in french but thats colloquial not an offensive insult to the voilin' .......... on that note one should also take the cultural element Dutch people have the reputation to be very direct, the yank loud, the irish drunk, the french incomprehensible, social media users very condescending towards Indians or chineses users etc..... so it does also create frictions I am kind of thinking what steps could be taken to prevent censorship

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #26

#44
pardon me for asking, Milos, but what business is not profit-oriented?

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #25

#42
Phil Friedman, We must be very careful in relation to a profit-oriented approach to doing business and the corporate policies with traces of manipulative marketing tactics.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #24

#41
Of course, Aleta. You go make dinner, I'll go climbs Ayer's Rock. Wait, I did that already... but before it was made well known that the Aboriginal people did not like us to do that. Anyway, on LinkedIn and later on beBee, I had an online friend, Sou Abbas, but she seems to have gone on a Walkabout. I watch for her return, for she is wise and witty -- as are you. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #23

#40
What we must be careful about, Milos, is to assure that Jeff Weiner is on the next shot to Mars. Got my vote already.

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #22

One more example: "The future is all about what you do next and we’re excited to help you get there. Ready for your moonshot? You're closer than you think" by LinkedIn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_cz6Xt-SZM We must be very careful.

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #21

cc. CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #20

#37
Gerald Hecht, Yes I know. The attitude of this actor and businessmen is just his interpretation. A true humanist never declared himself such. It is a corporate policy with traces of manipulative marketing tactics. There's No Business Like Social Media Business.

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #19

#26
#35 Gerald Hecht, Free choice of dynamic system is beyond any doubt. Freedom of self-expression is something for which worth fighting for, it is the essential meaning of the self - similarity concept. As we get older the desire for freedom is growing. Our concerns is a sign that we are on the right track and far from "Escape from Freedom" that is self-imposed or imposed from the outside. Our future "Brave New World", despite some dogmatic principles and 'imposed globalization', could be a lot of different place, much better too and full of some glittering prizes for all of us. Even perhaps only on this micro scale where we have some influence, if not globally.

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #18

#26
Gerald Hecht, Link is not working. Thanks.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #17

#23
Gerald Hecht — a couple of decades ago, I read about a semi-secret retreat/conference of CEOs and Chairmen of a number of transnational corporations, the theme of which was that within a few decades giant transnational corporations would replace nation-states as the basic units of global economic and political division. If Zuckerberg and others in similar positions aren't directly aware of that conference, they are nevertheless walking down the same arrogant intellectual path and need a good smack in the back of their heads.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #16

#20
Yes, Milos, we must always be self-similar. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #15

#11
Aleta, you are allowed an unlimited number of words. Draft your comment in Word or some other WP program. Break it into blocks of 2k words of less. Post the blocks sequentially in reverse order (which publishes them in the correct order). And you can use as many words as you want. But please, please, PLEASE, do not make the intellectually fatal error of agreeing with Jim Murray. It's so much more fun disagreeing with Mr. Grouchy. Cheers!

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #14

Fractals forever.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #13

BTW, I've also wondered and been researching whether, for example, LinkedIn (which bills itself as an employment and consulting job marketplace) might not run afoul of US. Restraint of Trade regulations under the Sherman Anti-Trust act and related legislation, for unfairly banning some people from the site. (Unfairly interfering with their ability to trade on an equal footing in interstate commerce.) And I would love to hear from a qualified lawyer on that topic.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #12

#10
Yes, we have to be careful. By acknowledging that ownership and management of private social media platforms are not proscribed from removing content posted to their sites, which they find objectionable, that is NOT saying they have an inalienable right to do so, nor to say that they are the arbiters of fact and truth. It is just to say that, under US law they have the power to control what is displayed on their platforms. That said, it nevertheless seems to me that, like other businesses in the US, they can run afoul of laws prohibiting unfair discrimination if they act inconsistently and treat different people differently and in a capricious manner. Which is why I suggest it is so important to have a set of published guidelines. (FYI John White, MBA).

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #11

#7
I agree, Franci. Having published guidelines would be a great first step. And I agree that censoring some posts or comments is something to be done as a very last resort. Much is accomplished by simply ignoring and not feeding those who are motivated to post truly objectionable content and comments solely for the purpose of gaining attention. Thanks for adding to the conversation. And cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #10

#9
Yes, Gerald Hecht, it is ironic that by any sensible standard many of the tweets and public utterances of our current POTUS would and should be removed by social media platform ownership and management. Especially if we object to bullying. Or grabbing women by the shorts.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #9

#6
Don't be such a smart-ass, Gerry, or ah'l come down 'dere an smack you upside yo haid. :-) Jes kidding, bud. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #8

#4
Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr, I think, for the most part, I agree about when the ownership and management of a private, for-profit social media operation should step in to remove what they deem objectionable content from their platform. I personally would probably set the standard a bit higher and more rigorously than you, but that is a quibble over detail, not a disagreement in principle. I would point out, however, that their empowerment to act in such matters is not a matter of "right" — in the sense of the "right" to freedom of expression — but simply a matter of not being proscribed from doing so. Consequently, it is a judgment which they can exercise, although not one which they should exercise too often. I'd also like to point out that calling for ownership and management and other users not to promote or otherwise encourage the posting of content that is deceptive, deceitful, dishonest, or part of a scam, is itself NOT the same as censorship. For it does not abrogate anyone's right to freedom of speech or expression to ignore them. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #7

#3
Gerald Hecht, I personally tend to agree. To quote a true hero and champion of free speech — “If you can't say "Fuck" you can't say, "Fuck the government.” ( Lenny Bruce)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #6

#2
Jim \ud83d\udc1d Cody, as I said in the piece, I agree that the ownership and management of private, for-profit media operations have the right (at least under U.S. law) to decide what they want to have or not have displayed on their platform. In the public sector, however, for example, on publicly-owned airways such as radio and TV stations, First Amendment protections of free speech and political expression do, in fact, apply in certain circumstances. As do First Amendment protections to speech about government and government and other public officials and organizations. The result is that censorship is NOT a right, but is not proscribed in some circumstances. Thanks for joining the conversation.

don kerr

don kerr

4 years ago #5

#6
Gerald Hecht Well that's a honkin' big relief! Whew. Betcha beignet though that others might think otherwise.

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Thought-provoking subject, Phil, and Jim. I'm not in favor of censorship, except as a last resort. beBee shouldn't have to make a decision and/or take action on what is libel, slander, misrepresentation. I feel this would be a slippery slope for beBee. They can publish minimal guidelines in order to show they have taken a stance. Otherwise, they will have to have a huge legal department to handle the whining. The definition of censorship is too broad and the actions of the violators can be too easily misconstrued. IMO, the author of his or her post should have the ability to delete unwanted comments. Those that are into name calling should use the messaging system to hash it out. I see this discussion generating a lot conversation and I don't see a clear resolution in the future.

don kerr

don kerr

4 years ago #3

the beezer boyz are back

don kerr

don kerr

4 years ago #2

Well boys, you're at it again and it looks like I get first licks! Phil Friedman You've both articulated your positions well. That comes as no surprise. Phil's sunburn prevention approach might be a little controversial but cranial/rectal inversion is one alternative for sure. I have little to add save to say: generally I loathe the notion of censorship entirely. It brings with it the abandonment of personal accountability - I can say or write whatever I want and someone else will let us know if it goes too far. Too much of that and you get Bannon, Spicer and President Cheeto in office. I do support though the notion of limits on what constitutes appropriate expression on certain platforms. When the line from satire to abuse is crossed, when the line from pushing boundaries to simply blowing right by them is passed, and when commentary goes from silly and kinda fun to disrespectful and offensive to an entire gender or people or religion or orientation - then the administrators of the platform have a right to bring their controls to bear - so long as those limits and controls are somewhat understood. Clearly, I could state a position in the United Church of Canada without fear of reprisal when that same statement in the Southern Baptist Convention would have me shunned, scorned, scolded, and some other 's' words I can't think of right now. Now, imma shut up, sit back and watch your worlds blow up as the thin-skinned and righteous take you to task. xxoo

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #1

Hey Jim Murray, just to let you know you're mentioned in this post.