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To censor^Wdelete or not to delete

Currently, there's a small discussion (I think it's still in the pre-shitstorm stage) on our twitter account about a soup with exceptionally infantile content that references even more exceptionally idiotic ideology. So infantile and idiotic in fact, that I think it's obvious that there is a (possibly) pubescent teen having some fun being "edgy".

Oh well. That would be all good and in the time that soup has been online we've received a few complaints by email that I usually answered individually with a reference to a quote by Rosa Luxemburg, as well as a link to a wikipedia article about freedom and it's various types (negative freedom vs positive freedom) to illustrate the point she tried to make.

I think I was successful in communicating that there is a benefit in letting people have their way in terms of freedom of expression because you disagree, not despite of it. But I think the success originated in being able to entertain individual arguments that were brought up.

But I can't do that on Twitter (there's that tendency to take 140 characters as plenty fuel to rage about), and I can't do that in a blanket statement about free speech, because some speech is actually infringing someone elses rights, and you can't have freedom by taking away other peoples freedom so there's that.

So, there's a difference between removing a post because it infringes on someones personal rights (which we do on request, certain selfies, personal addresses, violated kid etc), or removing a post because it infringes on someones feeling that other people should not be able to entertain a particular subject matter or idea for whatever reason. [1]

The latter is (to me) overextending a privilege at the cost of not just the personal freedom to express oneself as an idiot or "edgy" teen, but at the cost of all that ensues from a society that "ignores away" problems and people with different opionions, ideas or ways of thinking and doing things.

Google, Facebook et al already provide you with a filter bubble by default. If you want that, they might be the place for you. But mind you, those are also the places where the picture of a nursing mum is considered offensive. And let's not speak of actually sexual material.

This being said, we do have some sort of "domestic authority" what is being posted on soup, and we do limit posts in regards to copyright and abuse. We also do limit the exposure of certain soups (such as the one that the twitter discussion started with), because while we believe everybody has the right to express themselves (as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others), we do not need to advertise everything on /everyone. And we do warn anybody visiting the soup that it may offend them. If you think that there's material that is illegal under austrian law, please take the necessary steps to have the authorities contact us about it. If it's obvious (child pornography, bestiality, actual hatespeech, calls for violence, "Wiederbetaetigung" which are all illegal here), we'll do it without an official notice, but if it's in the realm of "infantile satire", we will resort to letting everybody decide for themselves. We extend to you and ourselves the freedom (or the privilege?) of not being nannied beyond what is absolutely necessary and required by law.

On a personal note: I wish more people on soup would actually speak out on the internet and especially on soup against the shit that a lot of people are actually serious about, like the latent or sometimes obvious sexism and racism that creeps up every now and then on /everyone (I do). We can't change the minds of people by ignoring or banning them, but rather by actively showing them that it's not acceptable anymore and offering different opinions. But that is just my way of doing things, you may just as well use the "ignore" functionality on Soup.

So thank you for reading, my off the cuff remarks and chaotic thoughts on this subject, and be assured that nobody at Soup finds the content or ideology of the soup in question funny or in any way appealing. 

I do invite you to discuss this with us further, but please stay civil about it and use more than 140 characters ;)

[1] to illustrate that a bit more: the soup in question is, as said, probably an in-joke by a pubescent teen. Or an attempt at being an agent provocateur. Or it could be an anti-fascist attempt at ridiculing nazis. Or maybe it is the expression of someone who had a holocaust victim in their family and that's their way of dealing with it. Or maybe it's a very inept aryan nation recruiter - we don't know. The people making this particular soup could actually be as anti-nazi and anti-fascism as the people complaining about it - maybe they just chose different ways of expressing themselves.
Reposted bycygenb0ckRKdeletemeekursuskomputersileniushairinmymondkroeteElbenfreundastridgingerglue

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