May 21st, 2007

fashionable

Anonymous commenting = unusable?

Is it just me, or has anonymous, commenting spam on LJ been picking up majorly? I'm getting about a half a dozen of these things a day on LJ posted as screened comments... and that's about half a dozen too many. If this continues, I will have to cripple my blog by turning anon. commenting off entirely -- cripple, because the discussion is everything, and you never know when you'll get something really special from a non-LJ user.

Really, what's up with LJ's "are you a real human" features on such comments? How hard is it to fool a bot anyway?

fashionable

I don't know why other people aren't mentioning this fact, but...

YouTube offers to censor its user's content to appease the Pentagon... and admits that they've already been censoring some content from Iraq for being "too violent".

(Why, you'd almost believe that there was a war going on over there!)

These stories always talk about so-and-so a company blocking/filtering -- and very rarely, censoring -- its content, but what they really mean is that they want to impinge on your rights and your control over your content. 

(Supposedly, it's all for your own good.)

"We want to protect the community from being exposed to something violent, but at the same time, we want to educate people on what's happening around the world. It's hard for us," said YouTube chief executive Chad Hurley.

Apparently not hard enough, I would argue. 

Whether you're for the war or against it, do we really want a country where the government can censor pretty much anything that anyone chooses to post to the Internet? 

And no, such deals are not just about censoring content that the government complains specifically about... it's about these companies striking deals to take preemptive measures to censor all sorts of things that fall into that grey area that we usually refer to as freedom of speech, or freedom of the press.   

How is this any different than the sleazy deals that companies make with the Chinese government to censor content to address their concerns? 

In 2006, Microsoft outlined a new policy where demands from the Chinese government to block content must come in the form of ''a legally binding notice" that indicates that the content violates Chinese law. The content will then be blocked, but only in China, while remaining accessible to the rest of the world.

Do we really want our rights to post and view content on the Internet to be MORE restricted than those of the people of China?