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329 comments

First post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011831)

Woot.

Re:First post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011871)

Congratulations!

You get a cookie. [google.com]

Mod Parent Troll - goatse.cx alert (-1, Troll)

KevMar (471257) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011913)

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:5PmmhAbvWIUJ: www.metafilter.com/mefi/30757+http://goatse.cx&hl= en&ie=UTF-8

Re:Mod Parent Troll - goatse.cx alert (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012049)

Doesn't matter, goatse.cx is censored now.

Re:Mod Parent Troll - goatse.cx alert (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012060)

Doesn't matter, goatse.cx is censored now.

No it isn't. [goatse.cx]

Re:Mod Parent Troll - goatse.cx alert (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012129)

The post that the metafilter is directed is. Sure the webpage still has a link to the previous legendary nastiness, but that nastiness is no longer on the familiar link. I hope someone mirrors it before it is taken down for good so that I'll have something to show my grandchildren in 40 years.

but goat.cx is still up. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011897)

I just heard some sad news in #GNAA - Anal Stretching Website goatse.cx was found dead in its former .cx home this morning. There are some more details below. I'm sure everyone in the Goatse.info community will miss it - even if you didn't enjoy its work, there's no denying its contributions to anus pimping culture. Truly an Christmas Islandian icon.

Censorship... (1, Interesting)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011832)

Simple -- censorship should exist in *either* world. Filtering for young people and such, fine, but not censorship. Virtual reality should be just that -- a representation of reality.

s/should/shouldn't (0)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011842)

Wow. That was lame...

TROLLAXOR DIES IN THE LORD OF THE RINGS: RELOADED (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011861)

WARNING! Spoiler in subject

Good, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011870)

Trollaxor is a worthless faggot anyways.

Re:Censorship... (-1, Flamebait)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011863)

Stupidest post I've ever read on Slashdot, but hey, that's the beauty of freedom of speech: any moron can say absolutely anything!

Re:Censorship... (0)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011888)

Did you miss the fact that *should" have been *shouldn't* ???

Re:Censorship... (5, Interesting)

aquishix (684586) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011876)

Simple -- censorship [shouldn't] exist in *either* world. Filtering for young people and such, fine, but not censorship. Virtual reality should be just that -- a representation of reality.

This is a very difficult thing to make general statements about. If virtual reality ever gets to the point(and I think it will) that it actually begins to mimic reality itself, and it is used as a replacement for normal reality, THEN the philosophies for censorship, whatever they are in the majority view, should carry over.

Until then, these online games do not constitute enough of a viable replacement for the real world to be considered in the same way in terms of censorship. The content providers who run these worlds should have complete control over their own content. For them not to have control over it would sort of be a strange form of censorship itself, would it not?

Re:Censorship... (5, Insightful)

Bendebecker (633126) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012071)

Your making one mistake: these virtual worlds are supposed to be escapes from reality, not substitutes. If I want reality, I'll go outdoors or to work and get the real thing. I want an escape when I go online, a place were I can escape my normal responisbilities. A place were I can act as who I am and not who I am at work. If they make these virtual worlds mirrors of this one with all the restrictions and censorship as this one, how will it be an escape? It won't be. If these games becomes political where all that has to happen is one person out of 1,000,000 complains and we get instant censorship, then were will we escape too? A video game inside one of these virtual communities? And if these virtual worlds become too restrictive, they won't be fun anymore and who will be paying to play them then?

Re:Censorship... (5, Insightful)

aquishix (684586) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012096)

Your[sic] making one mistake: these virtual worlds are supposed to be escapes from reality, not substitutes. If I want reality, I'll go outdoors or to work and get the real thing. I want an escape when I go online, a place were I can escape my normal responisbilities. A place were I can act as who I am and not who I am at work. If they make these virtual worlds mirrors of this one with all the restrictions and censorship as this one, how will it be an escape? It won't be. If these games becomes political where all that has to happen is one person out of 1,000,000 complains and we get instant censorship, then were will we escape too? A video game inside one of these virtual communities? And if these virtual worlds become too restrictive, they won't be fun anymore and who will be paying to play them then?

Interesting perspective. I'd long held views similar to yours, until I ran across systems that had an immense amount of freedom for the users. Inevitably, flamebait and spammers pollute the virtual atmosphere enough to warrant, and in fact *demand* some form of censorship. If you don't think that's the case, simply look at /..

filters... (2, Interesting)

my sig is bigger tha (682562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011957)

this is part of the question. "filtering for young people" who counts as young? filtering for what? what is the point of filtering things that people have to deal with in meat space? how does controlling information affect growth and development?

i'm not arguing for anything here except less simplistic suggestions.

Re:filters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011991)

And why "young people"? Simply because "old" people say so and have power? I'm not aware of any scientific studies that suggest things commonly "filtered" are really harmful to "young" people. And if they were... so what?

Many things in real life could be said to be harmful to "old" people. Should those things be "filtered" too? Who would demand or enforce the "filtering"?

The point is, it's not about "harm", it's about power and control.

Reality is sick though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012013)

look at all those goatse.cx posts!

I think censorship will always be needed. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012028)

Everyone (yes, you), has a "line" that when crossed, it's no longer acceptable to them. Problem being, everyone's "line" is in a different place.

That is why (until some technology comes along that can automagically censor the world to your individual liking...) there will always have to be someone (or thing) in place to censor content so it meets an acceptable standard.

What that standard is, or should be, will always be debated and as a result, it means most of us will have to be willing to make consessions (*gasp*) either way.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011833)

first post

freedom (-1, Offtopic)

Klerck (213193) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011834)

Freedom of Expression. What's it all about? Is it good, or is it whack?

the bottom line... (5, Insightful)

shawnywany (664241) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011838)

the bottom line is that people are still going to say whatever they please, regardless of how little jimmy will interpret it.

Bottom Line -Sims users agreed to Terms of Service (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012070)

The owners/company running the online Sims game can and should filter out anything they don't like.

The users forfeited their 'freedom of speech' first admendment 'rights' inside the game when they agreed to the terms of service.

The Sims owners should not be forced to tolerate anything they don't want to.

Grow up. The first admendment is not a tool to force your words to be heard in private places (e.g., the online game, a private club of dues paying members).

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011849)

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

SOLARIS IS A MANLY UNIX (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011852)

It puts hair on your chest and makes women cream themselves. Take your wussy Linux shit out of here.

MOD PARENT UP +5 TRUTH (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011962)

I don't know what you Linux pussies are smoking (hint: it's NOT pussy!). If God used a computer, it would run Solaris. Solaris turns boys into men faster than WWII. If you want to reach puberty at age 17, then use Linux. If you are afraid of girls, use Linux. On the other hand, if you had pubes at 10 and fuck women every night, you probably already use Solaris.

Re:MOD PARENT UP +5 TRUTH (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012064)

And if there is any question for what the K in KDE stands for, it's Krap.

Freedom of Speech (5, Informative)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011855)

First of all, "Freedom of Speech" in America is a loaded phrase.

"Freedom of Speech" is a government thing. It deals with the relationship between people and their government. Likewise "Censorship". Properly used, the political term "censorship" refers to a relationship between a person or persons, and the government.

None of these have to do with the case at hand. This is not a "Freedom of Speech" issue or a "censorship" issue, but something else. This is the relationship between a services provider and a client, and the political concepts of censorship or free speech have nothing to do with it.

Re:Freedom of Speech (4, Insightful)

cgranade (702534) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011868)

Not quite.
It's a freedom thing. The First Ammendment does not give you freedom of speech, but recognizes it in a limited fashion. Likewise, a corporation poses many of the same threats now that a government did when the 1A was drafted, leading me to believe that perhaps the government ought to recognize the freedom of speech in a broader fashion- that is, one which recognizes private relationships as well.

Re:Freedom of Speech (4, Insightful)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011902)

Likewise, a corporation poses many of the same threats now that a government did when the 1A was drafted, leading me to believe that perhaps the government ought to recognize the freedom of speech in a broader fashion- that is, one which recognizes private relationships as well.

Well, the American government DOES recognize private relationships as far as freedom of speech goes. It lays solidly behind the one who owns the press, so to speak. The one who owns the presses has ALL the rights. He can print whatever he wants in his forum, or choose to NOT print whatever he wants. Likewise with the Sims. It's their presses (their servers... same thing). If they don't want to print something (read: if they don't want you to use their forum to spout off in any way they don't like)... well, it's their hardware... their presses, and it is THEIR right... THEIR freedom of speech... that is protected.

Re:Freedom of Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011930)

The question is: should the principle behind the first amendment be applied in this case? It isn't a legal or constitutional question.

Re:Freedom of Speech (1)

zaxer (739595) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012083)

If you read the article, it points out on page 3 that shopping malls, while private property, can still be forced to obverse freedom of speech.

Re:Freedom of Speech (0, Flamebait)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012115)

If you read the article, it points out on page 3 that shopping malls, while private property, can still be forced to obverse freedom of speech

Yeah yeah yeah. Courts come out with a lot of asenine decisions, don't they? Does not make it right. Those decisions fly right in the face of hundreds of years of jurisprudence and are from the so-called 'activist' courts which are results oriented rather than letter of the law and precedent oriented.

Re:Freedom of Speech (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011937)

So where do you plan to draw the line between rights of free speech over rights of property?

In this case, I think it would be better left to contract law and the market place.

It's an electronic gated village. Private property. eMall cops and everything.

Re:Freedom of Speech (2, Informative)

secolactico (519805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012039)

In this case, I think it would be better left to contract law and the market place.

It's an electronic gated village. Private property. eMall cops and everything.


Indeed! The only laws that apply in the virtual world are those in the "Term of Service" that the "virtual citizen" agrees to upon signup. Yes, you are paying for a service (presence in the virtual world), but you'll find out that the monthly fee doesn't entitle you to much in the way of rights. And those terms are subject to change without prior notice.

This is a non-issue. And I didn't RTFA.

Re:Freedom of Speech (3, Insightful)

Aglassis (10161) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011976)

You said: "The First Ammendment does not give you freedom of speech, but recognizes it in a limited fashion. Likewise, a corporation poses many of the same threats now that a government did when the 1A was drafted, leading me to believe that perhaps the government ought to recognize the freedom of speech in a broader fashion- that is, one which recognizes private relationships as well."

Are you suggesting altering:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
so that the First Amendment doesn't just apply to the government but to corporations? Something like:
Within the bounds of the US and its territories any act preventing the excercise of free speech, etc. will be punishable as a court may direct...
It's pretty easy with government: you say 'NO' when a violation occurs and they have to stop (and if they don't its contempt of court--you throw the respective government agent in jail). In the second case, you have to create an agency to hunt down and track violators (which could be politically biased). People should have to freedom to express themselves in an online forum, but not due to law. It should be by common courtesy (like slashdot) or by an, as of yet determined, Internet Freedom of Speech Standard.

Re:Freedom of Speech (4, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012086)

The First Ammendment does not give you freedom of speech. . .

This is absolutely correct, although I find it distressing that so few Americans these understand why it so.

A clue can be found in the Ninth Ammendment. A fuller explanation can be found in Hamilton's arguement about why the Bill of Rights is a bad idea, since it may give the impression that rights are a priviledge granted by the government and opens the danger of interpreting away rights that have no legitimate framework for being questioned.

The Bill of Rights is not a grant to the people. It is a straightjacket placed upon the government by the people, who are the only source of legimate power in the United States of America.

I quote:

"Congress shall make no law. . . "

KFG

Re:Freedom of Speech (4, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011988)

Precisely. People bring up "freedom of speech" all the time without realizing freedom of speech means the government can't limit your speech. It's not a right you have on private grounds.

As for this, though, it exposes EA's failure with The Sims Online--they wanted it to be a big, mass-market, hugely successful, friendly game. Ludlow was writing about how horribly sick and twisted the game had become, which is bad marketing for a company wanting to portray the game in the other light to ensnare subscribers.

Hence, he's booted.

Re:Freedom of Speech (5, Informative)

nudicle (652327) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012018)

You're pretty much right on here ( not that you care that some ramdom /.'er says so :) ) ... except that it can be a little more complicated than that. Whereas the First Amendment applies to our relationships with the government, there are a couple of case in US precedent which extend this.

The big example is a line of cases in NJ in which the NJ supreme court read its own (ie NOT the US Const) as going further than traditional notions of 1AM requirements as regards freedom of speech in a private setting. To whit, this issue related to passing out flyers on the private property of a regional (huge) mall. Even though it was private property, the NJ supreme court reasoned that since the mall was acting as a pseudo-public entity anyway (malls replacing downtowns as places of congregation, malls advertising themselves and providing services as such, etc..), it had to accept limited and appropriate acts of free speech in certain areas -- notwithstanding the fact that this was private property.

There's also some US Supreme Court stuff like this regarding free speech in "company towns" but it's much more strictly limited than the big NJ deal I just mentioned.

If it were earlier in the day I'd look up the citations for the NJ case. IIRC, it was New Jersey Coalition Against War In The Middle East v. J.M.B. Realty from 1994, but I'm not 100% sure.

have a nice evening, nudicle

Deceptively simple (5, Insightful)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011856)

The answer, or rather, question, may be simpler than expected. Should these be issues at all? The Internet has the potential to be the ultimate even ground for peoples of all race, color, and mentality to communicate and be heard just as loud as the proverbial next guy. The more regulation there is, the harder it becomes for such a vision to become reality. Yes, there are such things as t3h pr0n and abominations like goatse, but ideally a system would eventually arise that permits people to filter for themselves what they would see-this is to say that it would be automated somehow, as obviously anyone can filter what their own eyes see simply by choosing whether or not to hit Enter after typing a URL.

Censorship is something to be treated very, very carefully. And we're living in a world right now where all too many people are overeager to jump on the censorship train and start filtering everything under the sun. Be careful, or else you might wind up filtering the sun as well, and where would the light come from then?

Re:Deceptively simple (1)

double-oh three (688874) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011985)

I agree with most of your comment, but it's an abomination to put goatse and pr0n in the same sentance. The mental image.... oh the horror...

Re:Deceptively simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012004)

On a side note, goatse.cx is down. It has been censored by the Christmas Island Internet Authority.

The AC isn't kidding - goatse.cx is dead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012141)

Anyone have full details on this?

I'm not a fan of goatse.cx or anything, but it's been a big part of net culture for years. would be a shame to see it taken offline.

pot, kettle, black (4, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011857)

I find it amusing for slashdot to be discussing censorship in virtual worlds.

Consider slashdot itself. Most users browse at +1 or higher, so anything moderated below that is effectively censored (ACs have a default score of 0, but they choose to post at that level).

There's a lot of crap at the 0/-1 level, but there are also a lot of valid criticisms and opinions that the moderating community doesn't agree with.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011873)

I browse at -1 for the trolls. They're usually the most original thing on this site.

Re:pot, kettle, black (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011886)

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -- Voltaire.

Is any explanation really needed?

Re:pot, kettle, black (4, Insightful)

cgranade (702534) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011890)

Not the same thing. You can actively choose to browse /., at 0 or -1, thus enabling. You can even, if you have mod points, change the rating of a given post. This is much more akin to someone putting up posters over someone elses: you can look underneath if you wish to take the time. Close to censorship? Yes, but not the same thing.

Re:pot, kettle, black (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011893)

discouragement of posts != censorship.

"most" readers I've seen claim to browse at -1 (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011916)

I don't agree that the method of selecting what to read constitutes censorship, though. If the posts were unable to be read (say, by being deleted, or moderated to -2), then you would have a case; but since "most" readers can (and do!) browse at -1 (particularly while moderating), the posts are still being read.

Re:"most" readers I've seen claim to browse at -1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011951)

Some posts are deleted. You just don't notice it.

Re:"most" readers I've seen claim to browse at -1 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012140)

How very republican of you. While I do tend to read at 0, I do get the impression there are a great many people out there who only surf at higher levels to clear out the noise.

Now I realize posting AC is not going to get me modded to a +5 insightful even on my best day, I do know that certain people who post on slashdot (even some with good or excellent karma) seem to get targetted and blasted into the -1 zone simply because they don't fit the Slashdot agenda. Ever metamodded an Overrated?

The fact is, more people read the +5's than do the -1's. Sorry, but call a spade a spade. It's a form of censorship. You just like to replace that with the double-speak term, "moderated".

Re:pot, kettle, black (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011973)

On the other hand, I certainly have a reasonable expectation of not to have to wade through all that crap. I pretty much never browse at 0 or lower, and more and more often I have the filter set to +2.

There is a filtering mechanism here, but it is _voluntary_ to use. Anybody who wants to look at the stuff modded to -1 is perfectly free to do so. Anybody want to see +2 and above only is free to do that. A right to post/publish/whatever is _not_ a right to be read or seen.

That said, apart from discrimination laws, anybody with a server is of course free to treat its contents the way they want - as an owner, you can pretty much delete anything you want, for any reason (again, as long as you do not run afoul of discrimination issues - delete all posts by people of a certain race or gender will probably get you into well deserved trouble, for instance).

Freedom of speech does not give you any right to post whatever you want at another persons server; what it does is give you a right to post what you like (within the limits of the law) on your own server without being censored by your government. In the smae way, you have no right at all to write something and expect it to be published in your local paper. What you do have is the right to start your own, competing paper and publish whatever you want in it.

So if an entertainment company decides that some subject matter is out of bounds in their virtual world, they can do so. You are free to leave and start your own world. Similarily, if you really do not like the slashdot system, you are free to leave and start a competing system with the kind of policies you like. That is what freedom of speech (and, by and large, equivalent laws in other countries) means.

Re:pot, kettle, black (1)

placeclicker (709182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011982)

Somewhat, but (usally) that moderation is a reflection of the community as a whole, so it's not like they're going to listen to it anyway :)

michael posted this (-1, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012030)

Even more amusing is the fact that michael posted this article, an editor known for modbombing threads and ruining accounts of those who criticize him. He is the most unpopular editor on Slashdot. I guess Slashdot is its own little virtual world, in a way. Anybody have any articles written about the cultures of Slashdot, from karma whores to trolls to secretive editors?

Much worse than you think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012051)

I dared voice valid criticisms of the ipod on two occassions and quickly found myself blackballed by a moderator who mods my posts down at every opportunity (regardless of topic or content). I don't post often, and I see every one of my +5 posts modded down a point as flamebait, even if that pissy moderator has to wait a week or two before he gets another chance to vote me down. It's pathetic. In the meantime, I've lost the +1 bonus /. was giving my posts. Meta-moderating obviously doesn't work, or my fan club would have been banished by now.

"meatspace"? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011862)

what is that, my refrigerator?

Worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011939)

It's the unused overall "Slack" unfilled area in your underwear that you will never fill because you are a limp son of a sea biscuit.

Re:Worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011983)

"It's the unused overall "Slack" unfilled area in your underwear that you will never fill because you are a limp son of a sea biscuit."

seabiscuit was hung like a horse!

Re:Worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012032)

So was your mom!

Re:"meatspace"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012035)

>what is that, my refrigerator?

No, it's your ass.

Re:"meatspace"? (1)

Trejkaz (615352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012089)

No, it's my pants.

One HUGE difference... (5, Interesting)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011872)

...in the real world, you have your government's charter/constitution which allows you rights, and hopefully, a good amount of legal interpretation to further define your rights. Your government (one hopes) doesn't revoke them.

In an online world, you have the TOS of the company that makes the game, and they are the ones that define your rights, and you have to agree, or they revoke your account, as happened in this case.

It would seem that unless a collective of people started an online world like the SIMS, that it will be the game company that decides what is acceptable speech and what is not.

Re:One HUGE difference... (4, Insightful)

fishbert42 (588754) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011952)

Indeed, I see censorship in virtual communities existing on privately-owned hardware as being not much different than 'we reserve the right to refuse service' signs in physical business establishments, or perhaps even Augusta National being able to exclude women from playing golf on their course. Censorship is never appealing, but what's even worse is having someone else impose limitations on what you can and cannot do with your own private property.

Re:One HUGE difference... (3, Insightful)

Cali Thalen (627449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011972)

I've been trying to explain this exact fact to some of the people playing at There.com for months...

There.com is a company that is situated in the US, and therefor has to abide by the laws and practices in the US. They also have their own TOS which has to go along with those laws, and can in fact be more controlling (but not less). No matter what you may thing your rights are There, you have to follow both sets of rules.

Not quite sure how this applies when someone from an even MORE strict set of laws plays there...There is under no obligation to have the same rules as every country/state/whatever as everyone who might log in there over the 'net, so maybe it's up to the people to follow There.com's rules as well as their own country's....

Re:One HUGE difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011996)

No difference! If you disagree with the TOS of real world society, the "owners" revoke your access by jail or banishment, or ultimately, death. Think of your account as yor freedom to interact in society.
You agree to the TOS by acting within the boundaries of the terms or laws.

And this is really what it comes down to... (0)

rhetoric (735114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012014)

In an online world, you have the TOS of the company that makes the game, and they are the ones that define your rights, and you have to agree, or they revoke your account, as happened in this case.

This is all that really matters. It would seem that "community standards", in this case, will be derived from what people are willing to pay for. Governments, however, will obviously try to hold online gaming companies responsible for allowing their participants to do or say anything which is already illegal, and then things get interesting with international law.

It would seem that unless a collective of people started an online world like the SIMS, that it will be the game company that decides what is acceptable speech and what is not.

More specifically, in an online gaming or any other online environment (ie WWW), if there IS no content provider to hold responsible, government bodies may attempt to step in... (ie China) but how well is this working currently? Exactly.

Very interesting topic imho.

Re:One HUGE difference... (1)

rnd() (118781) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012026)

It would seem that unless a collective of people started an online world like the SIMS, that it will be the game company that decides what is acceptable speech and what is not.



Do you think the creators of TSO don't want to sell access to as many people as possible? Their simple desire to make as much money as possible guarantees that they will craft their policies such that they will be appealing to the largest number of consumers.

It doesn't take collectivism to acheive a result that benefits the majority.

A HUGE difference for me... (5, Insightful)

$ASANY (705279) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012031)

Most countries seem to have a charter/constitution that "allows" rights to be exercized by citizens, but those fortunate enough to be citizens of the U.S. have a Constitution that guarantees rights of the citizenry and limits powers of the government.

This might seem like a minor distinction to many, but it's the difference between saying "Nothing in the Constution gives you the right to do X" and "Nothing in the Constitution grants the federal government the power to restrict X". Those are really, really major differences. Living under one model is vastly different than the other.

If we see government as the grantor of our rights, we have to go begging to the federal government every time we want to do something new and hope they'll take pity on us. If we see the Constitution as a contract between government and citizens where citizens grant a specific number of powers to government, no begging is required when something new comes up that government hasn't already restricted.

Specific to the /. crowd, it might be relevant that the federal government has no legal power to control personal communications, and that would apply to the internet, regardless of MIME type. The feds may think they have the power to impose restrictions, which they probably can exercize, but they have no legal authority to exercize a power like that. And they can't prevent you from becoming an ISP with a more reasonable (to you) TOS and running ISP's with silly TOS requirements out of business.

We are the collective of the people, or "We, the People", who have the rights (government only has powers), who can make this internet anything we want it to be, by becoming a part of it's infrastructure or paying to be members of this virtual community. Who's stopping you, unless you're a "subject" or citizen of a country where you've been fooled into believing that the source of your rights is some government?

This is outrageous (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011878)

I demand this post be removed at once! The nerve...

Re:This is outrageous (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012084)

I'll get to it, but first I got to remove this dildo from your Mom's ass. I lubed it too much and it keeps slipping out of my hands!

Let the communities make that decision (5, Interesting)

KevMar (471257) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011881)

Users should be able to form groups and communities within those worlds and those groups and communities should put into place their own cencorship policies. Or atleast rate their groups and other groups on self cencorship.

with every group or person with a rating on their cencorship and individuals with their self set (or parent enforced) tolarance levels the world would be self cencored.

Yes things would slip past, but when it does, that person (or group) would be censored by the users

either that or use slashcode and implement moderator and meta-moderator type cencorship level

Private vs. Public (5, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011883)

How should issues of free speech, community standards, and censorship be addressed in the virtual world

Well, since the "virtual world" is privately owned, requires money to participate in, isn't tied to government in any way, etc...I'd say it's pretty clear cut; freedom of speech doesn't apply on private property.

Let's get real here folks- what's next, arrest for murder if I cut your Massively-Multiplayer-whatever-the-hell-it-is character's throat? Jeeeeeeezus...

Arghh... my first proposed standard. (5, Funny)

jared_hanson (514797) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011896)

No one in these virtual worlds should be allowed to paint their dwellings the color of the YRO pages.

Exemption for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011910)

the one-eyed OSDN personals chick, and she moves in next door to me.

Re:Arghh... my first proposed standard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011955)

"No one in these virtual worlds should be allowed to paint their dwellings the color of the YRO pages."

Be sure to ban this color [slashdot.org] too. damn, it hits my eyes like a dagger

Pat Cadigan's take (4, Interesting)

Burnon (19653) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011899)

Pat Cadigan wrote some stories where a major plot premise is that anything that happens in a virtual online world has no legal bearing in the outside world. No censorship, no legally binding contracts, nada. Then she explores the idea. Check out 'Tea from an Empty Cup' and 'Dervish is Digital' - both are worth a read.

I have just one comment on Sims free speech (4, Funny)

HarveyBirdman (627248) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011900)

Waw oo epo doo wa wa wa meeee hoo boo la doo pee maa naa too?

This is a non-issue (5, Insightful)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011914)

The Sims Online, as a subscription service, has the rights to prevent anyone from using their service. It's kind of like private property in real life: not everyone has to be let in.

Private property, much like slashdot (0, Troll)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011935)

particularly once you consider that not only is slashdot privately owned, but it has paying customers to consider as well.

Re:Private property, much like slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011960)

slashdot privately owned, but it has paying customers to consider as well.

People actually PAY for this lame ass website!!!! BWHWHAHAAHA HAHAA!!!1`1``

The real issue (3, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012006)

The real issue is the fact that Ludlow was pointing out the sick and bizarre things going on--prostitution, the engaging of cybersex between adults and minors, the scammers, the brothels, and more--in a game rated "Teen."

EA wants this game mass-marketed, which would be a little hard to do with some guy pointing out how sickenly adult the game has become, far above its given rating of Teen. So, he is removed from the system.

Re:This is a non-issue (1)

segmond (34052) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012144)

yeah, how about if they decide not to let in say gay people or chinese people?

my house is a private property, i have the right not to let everyone in too.

No sympathy here (2, Insightful)

hcg50a (690062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011920)

This guy plays by EA's rules, and when he doesn't, he gets kicked out. Seems like EA is exercising their freedom to associate (or dissociate)!

Two words: EULA and TOS (2, Troll)

mikehihz (555979) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011923)

So Peter Ludlow violates a game's EULA and TOS and gets kicked out because he's caught. This is news?

I'm a big fan of meatspace and the rights provided me by my government (or at least the government I attempted to vote for in the last election). However, when I check into a online game, regardless if it is a first person shooter or cooperative environment, I make no illusions that the rules that govern my life will be (or should be) transferred to a place I'm taking a "time out" in.

Maybe I'm a pimp in The Sims Online because that's how I relax. I'm looking forward to the bloodbath if Grand Theft Auto goes massively multiplayer. (Imagine: I was kicked out because I was auctioning off GTA armor piercing bullets on E-Bay! No fair! Restraint of trade!)

Re:Two words: EULA and TOS (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012017)

So Peter Ludlow violates a game's EULA and TOS and gets kicked out because he's caught. This is news?

He removed the link as they requested, yet still got kicked out days later for the link that wasn't there anymore.

Maybe I'm a pimp in The Sims Online because that's how I relax.

But the game is rated "Teen," not "Mature." EA can't have people going around pointing out how mature the game is--complete with pimps and mafias and brothels--far above a Teen rating. EA needs this game to sell, right?

Some idiot I talked with... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011926)

Some idiot I spoke with in Electronic's Boughtique of Westminstall Mall (Calipornia) was telling me about how his Sim Online house has a Lesbian relationship between Hillary Clinton and some other famous broad I care not to remember.

Anyone else come across this same moron? Anything to share on other morons in this world? I hear Kathlene "Cunt" Fent has a lesbian relationship with her Hermaprodite "it"...some jack-off named Robin "CmdrFelch" Malda. It appears CmdrFelch's arch nemesis posts stories on Slashdot as user CmrdTaco. Poor Tacoboy...woman is cheating on him 'n all.

Michael posts another gem (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011944)

He can't grasp the concept of operating under a TOS for The Sims Online so he must make this a political/speech/censorship issue. What an idiot.

Hey Michael, you forgot to bash Clear Channel or Microsoft in this article!

If I wasnt happy with strange goings-on (5, Funny)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011945)

in Alphaville, I'd form an angry lynch mob, and torch my perceived enemies virtual properties.

I would then nominate myself as Alphamale and rule the city with an iron fist.

Protect someone's freedom, limit someone else's (1)

use_compress (627082) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011949)

I'm all for freedom of expression, but the ability of organizations to control speech on their property is another right that government has. For instance, it would be ridiculous for the government to step in and tell companies that they are not allowed to tell their employees that badmouth the company. Similarly, restraints can ask disruptive customers to leave their establishment. There are exceptions-- these can't discriminate based on race, sex, etc.... The companies that make these video games have one objective: to make money. They have the right to modify these games in any way they choose, according to the contract made upon the user installing the game. Thus, to say that these companies have some duty to protect free speech at the expense of profits is wrong. If you want to spread racist propaganda, there are plenty of other places on the Internet to do it.

Nothing to see here, move along (3, Informative)

davmoo (63521) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011966)

There is no issue here. He who owns the server and pays its bills makes the rules. As a user, you are subject to the servers TOS and AUP. Don't like it? You don't have to participate.

fut the shuck up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8011969)

These people should shut the F*U**C*K up, because there is no issue. The answer is quite simple: a toggle-able expletive filter. Turned on by default.

Oh, wait, looks like those filters don't always work...

How about this? (5, Insightful)

placeclicker (709182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011974)

You do not have a right to free speech on games like "The Sims Online".

These games are a privledge, and if the communities are outraged about censorship, or anything else, well they should fight with their money.

Sidenote: This may not be the case with TSO, but i've noticed in many MMORPGS (think EQ), people are so addicted to it, despite the fact they hate the company that owns it, they continue to play it.

They still piss and moan about it but they never actally cancel the game.

Maybe thats what happened here.

Hypothetical Scenario (4, Insightful)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 10 years ago | (#8011999)

A group of people gets together under the premise of starting a virtual community. They let it grow, and eventually a fully fledged society emerges. Lo and behold, that society has evolved to the point where a breed of prostitution exists. It causes no harm unlike in meatspace, where STDs, rape and other types of violence are common. Since those of us in meatspace have linked all of these together under one disreputable roof, it stands to reason that prostitution online must fit in the same category. Let's censor it.

Let's censor it in desperate hope that nobody notices that the evil notion of selling sex really has turned out to be quite a human trait, not something derived from the devil as some religions would have us believe. Let's censor it so that nobody notices that true human nature just might not be mirrored by our current society's value system.

That's censorship. It's a layor of makeup to hide our "flaws."

Re:Hypothetical Scenario (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012127)

It causes no harm unlike in meatspace, where STDs, rape and other types of violence are common.

You are assuming that these are the only harms that are produced from such acivity. Please state your hypohesis as such and not as fact.

Let's censor it in desperate hope that nobody notices that the evil notion of selling sex really has turned out to be quite a human trait, not something derived from the devil as some religions would have us believe. Let's censor it so that nobody notices that true human nature just might not be mirrored by our current society's value system.

Again you are assuming that simply because something occurs in nature it must be good and therefore allowed. We do not live in an anarchy. Our scociety, and much of our law, depends on the fact that we should generally do what is good for the whole, which is not always what we feel like doing.

By the way... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012046)

Whatever happened to the idea of Game Masters, Counselors, and Guides? Wouldn't that be a simple way to decrease the shadier side of the game? Other MMORPGS have 'em (I still remember Ultima Online GMs, counselors...They were really helpful in most cases). The Sims should adopt a similar system, because without them, there is no structure, and without structure, you get chaos; and the result is most often the lowest form of interactions among peoples.

I'm kinda surprised they don't have this in the game... It's kind of like a police force, it's only a little necessary in a civilized world.

No, the server owner does not rule all (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012052)

Generally, non-government space means whatever a corporation does is not "censorship." But not always. Restaurants and shopping malls may be privately owned, but certain individual rights apply there because they are considered public spaces. A mall owner could not, for example, ban black people from his premises.

Further Interesting Reading (4, Informative)

beowulf_26 (512332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012106)

Raph Koster, overseer of Ultima Online, and previously of Star Wars Galaxies, has had some very specific thoughts on this topic.

Read on [legendmud.org] if you're interested.

"How should they be addressed..." (3, Interesting)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8012111)

What makes anyone think that virtual space will be any different from meat-space? My point is: History is repeating itself. Not because of technological failure or societal collapse, but because of simple human nature . Flame away. Then call me back in 10 years, after you've changed your mind.

In soviet russia (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8012138)

Online games censor YOU
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