What we mean by freedom of speech

We want to be transparent with everyone on our policies, so we're posting this up for full disclosure so more people understand our intentions with Poal.co

We've built this site on the cornerstone of the principle of the freedom of speech. It's our position that everyone may use their freedom of speech for any purpose except to limit others' freedom of speech. In other words, the rights of each among us end where the rights of others among us begin. The purpose of this ideal is to ensure the most freedom of speech for the greatest number of people.

That's all pretty abstract, so let's talk examples. It would take too much time and forethought to list every example, but we can list a few of them. So, let's say you have a bad actor. Let's call him - I don't know - let's call him John. Let's say John is some Alinskyite who wants to find loopholes in freedom of speech to limit others' freedom of speech. What might John do? Here are some scenarios:

Scenario 1:

John spams the hell out of Poal. His itchy finger presses the "submit" button way too many times as he floods a bunch of unwanted drivel onto /all/new. It pushes off the page the quality content from other people, which folks now must take longer to find and upvote. John has effectively censored other people by forum-sliding them into oblivion. He grins to himself, thinking, "I shore am a smart guy!"

Scenario 2:

John sees an opinion with which he disagrees. "We can't have this!" says John, as he proceeds to research the man who dared not share his beliefs. John finds out who he is, puts together his dox, and spams them to people on Poal. In fear of the ramifications, the doxxed person leaves, and so is effectively censored. He repeats this process with others, silencing them while claiming freedom of speech.

Scenario 3:

John doesn't like the idea of a free speech forum. He sees something illegal someone posted - let's say child pornography - and reports it to Poal. If Poal refuses to remove it on the grounds that it's free speech, John then goes to the authorities, and the authorities seize and shut down the whole platform. Now nobody has free speech. "Haha," mocks John, "you've all been hoisted by your own petard!"

Now let's say we act to prevent this stuff, and we ultimately ban John's account. John comes back on another account and says, "See? See everyone?! There was no freedom of speech after all!" If we don't explain well to folks here what we mean by freedom of speech, they might think, "Hey, John is right! These guys suck!" John then succeeds in his mission of stirring the pot and fracturing the community.

So, instead what we'd do in that situation is explain our thought process to the community and then ban John, after which his manipulations lose their effectiveness. If folks here have other ideas on how to deal with these problems without banning the accounts of the people trying to silence others' freedom of speech, we will hear them out, although the final decision on the matter will rest with Poal.

thanks to @mario for the help with this.

What we mean by freedom of speech We want to be transparent with everyone on our policies, so we're posting this up for full disclosure so more people understand our intentions with Poal.co We've built this site on the cornerstone of the principle of the freedom of speech. It's our position that everyone may use their freedom of speech for any purpose except to limit others' freedom of speech. In other words, the rights of each among us end where the rights of others among us begin. The purpose of this ideal is to ensure the most freedom of speech for the greatest number of people. That's all pretty abstract, so let's talk examples. It would take too much time and forethought to list every example, but we can list a few of them. So, let's say you have a bad actor. Let's call him - I don't know - let's call him John. Let's say John is some Alinskyite who wants to find loopholes in freedom of speech to limit others' freedom of speech. What might John do? Here are some scenarios: Scenario 1: John spams the hell out of Poal. His itchy finger presses the "submit" button way too many times as he floods a bunch of unwanted drivel onto /all/new. It pushes off the page the quality content from other people, which folks now must take longer to find and upvote. John has effectively censored other people by forum-sliding them into oblivion. He grins to himself, thinking, "I shore am a smart guy!" Scenario 2: John sees an opinion with which he disagrees. "We can't have this!" says John, as he proceeds to research the man who dared not share his beliefs. John finds out who he is, puts together his dox, and spams them to people on Poal. In fear of the ramifications, the doxxed person leaves, and so is effectively censored. He repeats this process with others, silencing them while claiming freedom of speech. Scenario 3: John doesn't like the idea of a free speech forum. He sees something illegal someone posted - let's say child pornography - and reports it to Poal. If Poal refuses to remove it on the grounds that it's free speech, John then goes to the authorities, and the authorities seize and shut down the whole platform. Now nobody has free speech. "Haha," mocks John, "you've all been hoisted by your own petard!" Now let's say we act to prevent this stuff, and we ultimately ban John's account. John comes back on another account and says, "See? See everyone?! There was no freedom of speech after all!" If we don't explain well to folks here what we mean by freedom of speech, they might think, "Hey, John is right! These guys suck!" John then succeeds in his mission of stirring the pot and fracturing the community. So, instead what we'd do in that situation is explain our thought process to the community and then ban John, after which his manipulations lose their effectiveness. If folks here have other ideas on how to deal with these problems without banning the accounts of the people trying to silence others' freedom of speech, we will hear them out, although the final decision on the matter will rest with Poal. thanks to @mario for the help with this.
[–] RepublicOfTX 6 points (+6|-0)

[recomment]

Thank you, this is good to hear. Consistent demonstration of our principles make us an anvil on which the shills will bash themselves asunder.

Poal will attract both the shill and the poaler bear for the same reasons.

I'll note that another tactic likely to be employed in the future is "well how many posts = spam?" "how quickly can I post?" Resist specificity, I say... we know the intent of a shill when we see it.

[–] PMYB2 5 points (+5|-0)

re Stating my previous statement.

If we make rules then they will be abused, we will apply them and the people who wish to see this site become another voat will claim censorship. They will claim they can’t be banned because no rule was broken.

Things here have to at least for now be taken on a case by case basis, and the intentions of the poster be examined. Intentions are everything when free speech is involved, someone could run into a crowded theater and yell fire. If the person actually believed there was a fire that should be protected speech. If they did it to cause a riot intentionally, then that probably shouldn’t.

[–] Owlchemy 4 points (+4|-0) Edited

You're taking the right direction here, PM, and I totally agree. Free speech isn't an absolute anywhere. If the intent is simply to disrupt and destroy what another is building, then it isn't free speech at all. There will always be those whose only purpose is to take what you've done and grind it into the ground. You and your admins have every right to protect your community and mold it as you wish.

So many never realize that we users, no matter how involved we may be are only guests in places like this, posting on your dime. If someone enters for the purpose of disrupting and tearing it down, you have every right to resolve that issue however you decide. They, by the same token, can put their own money on the line and create their own online forum, if they feel the need ... they have no 'right' to demand that they be given a free hand to screw with yours. As far as I'm concerned, you've handled an attack as best you could, and your actions have been appropriate. Keep up the good work, no apologies for what you've done are needed. You're building something good here! Keep it what you and those who have helped build it envisioned.

[–] TightyWhities 6 points (+6|-0)

Sounds good to me.

[–] [Deleted] -8 point (+0|-8)

Pussy.

[–] MrPim 10 points (+10|-0)

The only pussy here is you. You have no issue w Voats system. This is just a different approach to the same problem. How about you SBBH faggots quit shitting up every forum you use. "I got kicked out of the bar for being a drunken disruptive asshole, waaah".

[–] PMYB2 5 points (+5|-0)

Sorry for deleting the first version of this post guys, I thought it should be a site wide announcement after the fact.

[–] bdmthrfkr 5 points (+5|-0)

You may have been a bit harsh on John, free speech is the ultimate value that determines a free society but personal responsibility dictates that every single person makes their own decision about which free speech is valid.

Most of the bears here have been filtered through the crucibles of all of the other sites and can spot paid-for content faster than a hummingbird can flap his wings. Have a bit more faith in your bears and just kill spam accounts, for some of us the shills are entertainment. One of my favorites is to give them this just so that they know that they aren't getting anywhere with us. Feels good man:

pic related https://kek.gg/i/4h2rHn.jpeg

[–] [Deleted] -10 point (+0|-10)

If you don't allow everything, it's not free speech. If you realize that free speech has limits, you have no right to whine about sites like Reddit and Twitter enforcing their TOS.

Have a downvote for being an imbecile.

[–] Kromulent 4 points (+5|-1)

Sounds good.

I believe - without any real evidence, I might add - that at least some of the griefers we see here are paid to disrupt and toxify the site. The folks who benefit from the left-wing, top-down-controlled model for social media do not want to see a successful competitor.

Free speech can easily occur within a context that puts an end to that sort of faggotry, and there does not need to be any conflict between these goals at all. There is no reason why enforcing a ground-level, basic level of civility would prevent any topic from being discussed or any sort of information from being shared. The unfettered exchange and discussion of information is distinct from deliberately disruptive, provocative trolling.

[–] matthew 3 points (+3|-0)

Can we have a "hide posts from this user" button? Then users can choose to just ignore spammers.

Don't down vote, don't respond, just ignore, and they go away.

The other option is that if a user gets negative points, they have to wait between consecutive posts. Or do what voat does and have a minimum points threshold before being able to submit a new thread.

Either way you probably want to find a way to automate this kind of thing, otherwise the trolls will just wear you down.

[–] PMYB2 3 points (+3|-0)

I need to find a more automated way, but I need to keep myself accountable when this type of thing happens. There is a block user function although I haven’t tested it so I don’t know how effective it is.

[–] matthew 2 points (+2|-0)

Thanks for your reply.

I haven't used the block user function myself either, however it seems that that only stops them from mailing you, but doesn't hide their posts from you.

I was thinking something more along the lines of "do not show posts from this user", or something like that, next to the "comments" link. So I can hide a post by say, "ethuggin", refresh the page, and all his bullshit is gone. If everyone does that, the trolls get no attention after the first post and leave.

The manual way of doing things is working for now, but like I said, it's going to be annoying and where you down: you don't really want to type a response - with attached supporting evidence for EVERY troll account you ban - right?

Also, a hide button allows individual members of the community to hide people based on their choices, so it won't require you to be held accountable at all.

[–] saymyname 2 points (+2|-0)

You could limit their account activity? Like voat does with new accounts. Not allowed to post submissions and only 5 comments a day.

[–] PMYB2 6 points (+6|-0)

I’m extremely hesitant to put a rule like this in place.

[–] Krier55 6 points (+6|-0)

Not until Poal grows it needs the content now Thanks for the hard work I don’t think anyone here that can think critically sees a problem with you banning this prick and you’ve been very transparent about why .

[–] AOU 5 points (+5|-0)

Agreed.

A rule like that would penalize new users with good intentions.

[–] saymyname 2 points (+2|-0)

Just to clarify. It wouldn't be for new accounts. Just for accounts that need a time out.

[–] [Deleted] -9 point (+0|-9)

"Hurr durr I want to censor people!"

Have a downvoat for being a little pussy bitch.

[–] Flour 6 points (+6|-0)

This is an example of a shill.

They attempt to disrupt and cause infighting among site users.

[–] FleurDeLis 0 point (+0|-0) Edited

Obscenity isn't free speech, it isn't protected by the constitutions 1st amendment. Targeted harassment again, does not constitute free speech. The right to offend others exists but not the right to intimidate, provoke into silence.

I had a painting deleted and I was going to argue the point but it doesn't really matter ultimately as I accept maybe it is not in keeping with the spirit of the forum. Yet obscene language remains and questionable postings which I haven't opened marked with NSFW.

Maybe that's a little inconsistent. I mean - why are posts about boobs allowed but my painting of them isn't?

@PMYB2 @AOU

Load more (6 comments)