On Rethinking Whose Speech to Privilege: Motherboard’s Jason Koebler on the Fark Thing

August 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

its beautiful

Just delightful work o’er at VICE’s Motherboard today, where my new best friend Jason Koebler published a really smart overview of online content aggregator Fark’s recent decision to ban misogynistic comments because, hey guess what, misogyny sucks and you can take that shit elsewhere, thanks. The Jezebel rape .gif issue is also addressed, and I’m quoted fairly extensively and I just love this conversation so much. Here’s me saying words:

“I would say that these sorts of decisions are exactly what we need, and in fact align with the spirit of free speech because they actually encourage more speech, not less, and give voice to those who otherwise would be shouted down, drowned out, or scared off,” Whitney Phillips, an internet researcher who is currently working on a book about internet trolls at Humboldt State University, told me.

“I am really pleased to see different sites deciding not to privilege aggressors’ speech over their targets’,” Phillips said. “That tends to be the default position in so many online ‘free speech’ debates which suggest that if you restrict aggressors’ speech, you’re doing a disservice to America—a position that doesn’t take into account the fact that antagonistic speech infringes on the speech of those who are silenced by that kind of abuse.”

This is awesome but things are about to get more interesting, so stay tuned!


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