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31 May 2008 @ 03:23 pm
So, this is the way liberty dies...  
...with thunderous applause, LJ has now stated that "[they]'ve decided to expand this [definition of Hate Speech] slightly so that it also applies to content which advocates the violence/harm of others. [They] feel that such expression goes beyond being merely offensive, and in practice leads to the harm of others, which [they] do not condone in any way."
Now as I'm aware, this is a democratic process, and I could be a candidate if I wanted. But I can move to googlepages at any time and I've got a lot of stuff on my plate already, so for the moment I'll limit my role to just wondering what's going on, in my capacity as a non-paying, relatively uninvolved user.

What I'm interested to know is, how do they define "harm"? Obviously this does not consist merely of physical harm, otherwise they would use only the word "violence". What if I state my position that I consider homosexual behaviour, for example, to be sinful (though I do not advocate violence towards people, and consider them valid recipients of God's grace and lovingkindness just like me)? Am I causing "harm" by making those within what I consider to be a deviant lifestyle "feel unwanted/undervalued/etc."? It would not be my intention to harm anyone at all, but could my opinion be classified as being "harmful"?

At the same time, I note that limitations around depictions of nudity are being relaxed. I would consider that to be causing spiritual harm to viewers. Is that a valid concern, or would I be accused of censorship? And if so, on what grounds?

This policy revision seems to be rather vague, couched in terms of "we feel" this or that. Does that mean that we as the users are now under the whims of (in the words of Anakin Skywalker) "someone wise", and how they "feel", rather than a rigidly-defined code? It sure seems that way, from here.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong.
Current Location: Pretoria
Current Mood: confusedconfused
Current Music: It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)