on tumblr
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    Reddit’s mods aren’t boycotting a site they dislike: they’re imposing a ban against it on millions of users. They haven’t reluctantly imposed censorship to comply with national law, or even with Reddit’s own policies (the site is vehemently against trying to “out” users’ real identities). Instead, they’ve issued retaliatory bans against a writer, and his outlet, because they don’t like what he is saying.

    Reddit’s new stance appears to be that free speech is great – as long it’s speech it agrees with. Which is a position the RIAA (which seeks to close sites linking to pirate content), or even China’s Communist party could happily agree with.

    James Ball: Reddit wants free speech – as long as it agrees with the speaker
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    Yesterday we published a comment piece about Facebook’s recently leaked documents, which appear to reveal Facebook’s image and post approval system. As the author Rowan Davies points out, right there, sandwiched between “depiction of sexual assault or rape” and “bestiality, necrophilia and pedophilia” is “breastfeeding photos showing other nudity, or nipple clearly exposed”. In other words - pictures depicting babies being breastfed can be removed. This appears to be an active policy, as illustrated by the picture below (but please note, male nipples in any shape or form seem to be allowed):

    Breastfeeding - Facebook

    Not surprisingly, this irritated a lot of people on our desk. We wanted to see if these feelings were shared, so we called on our readers and asked them to send us pictures of them breastfeeding. This quickly became one of our most read article on our Facebook app, with most readers agreeing with the writer.

    We received a staggering amount of replies to our appeal for photographs (in the hundreds overnight), something which makes our project – posting said pictures to our Comment is free Facebook page – quite difficult to handle: we cannot possibly post hundreds of photographs … nor was it ever our intention to overwhelm Facebook’s small moderation team - the last thing we want to do is behave like trolls; as Rowan Davies says, it’s not difficult to have some sympathy for the gigantic task that is moderating a site with 845 million users.

    Instead, we decided to use Tumblr to create a gallery (unfortunately limited to ten pictures) of some of the many wonderul pictures which were sent to us by many mothers from all over the world - from Argentina to the US, France and Sweden. We hope that someone at Facebook will look at our gallery and agree that Facebook is the real loser here: who could possibly be offended by what they see here?

    If we hear from Facebook we will let you know - in the meantime, we’d like to thank all the women who participated and sent a snapshot of their lives to us.

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    Search on the these terms – “don’t understand” Sopa Congress – and you’ll find a lots of blogposts and news stories making this point. Sopa, of course, stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act, which may or may not be stalled at the moment.

    Change “don’t” to “doesn’t’ and “Congress” to “Rupert Murdoch” in that search and you’ll find a bunch of new ones stemming from Murdoch’s spate of Tweets over the weekend, in which he denounced Sopa opponents and took special aim at his longstanding object of loathing, Google. Two of the resulting “he doesn’t understand” pieces came from people whose work I greatly respect: see this post at the Guardian by Jeff Jarvis, and this one by Mathew Ingram at the GigaOm technology blog.

    I beg to differ. What we’re seeing does not derive from any misunderstanding. Rather, I’m convinced, this concerted push to censor the internet, through measures that would fundamentally break it, stems from a very clear understanding of what’s at stake.

    Dan Gilmor on SOPA; read the full article here


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