Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Too much free speech on Reddit?

WILLIAM Shatner may be new to Reddit - he joined the site last month - but he's already making waves.  The Star Trek star called out the community on the social news network for its racism and bigotry.

"I am apalled [sic] by some of the immature, horrifically racist, sexist, homophobic, ethnic... etc.. posts that are just ignored," he wrote in a comment on the site.

“Why are these accounts still active? While Reddit has done well in getting interest from the mainstream I just wonder if by allowing these children to run rampant and post whatever they feel will cause the most collateral damage if Reddit is biting off it's own nose in taking that step to become a mainstream community."

But user "Karmaisforsuckers" replied "Why don't we just call Obama and have him moderate then, Huh? HUH? MY FREE SPEECH!"

Shatner replied, saying that Reddit was the first "mainstream site" that allows "racists and other hate mongers to group, congregate, incite and spread their hatred".

"The fact that someone could come here, debase and degrade people based on race, religion, ethnicity or sexual preference because they ‘have a right’ to do so without worry of any kind of moderation is sending the wrong message, in my humble opinion."


Shatner is entitled to his opinion and Reddit is entitled to run any speech policy it wants but if there were any official pressure on Reddit over its policies, that pressure would almost certainly be ruled as a breach of the 1st Amendment.  Hate speech is protected speech  -- as any Leftist will tell you if he is accused of hate speech against Jews, Christians, conservatives etc.

Shatner is probably touchy because he is both Jewish and Canadian. As far as I can work out, "Schattner" (the original spelling of his name) means "The shadower" in German/Yiddish.


Anonymous said...

William Shatner. Is there noting this fat old queen won't do for attention? There's nothing as sad as watching an old has-been trying to stay afloat. Hopefully, the Klingons will come down and whisk him away, but they probably don't want him either.

Anonymous said...

Shatner has a right to his opinions.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't look like he is advocating government moderation, but private company standards. Jon is right, if Reddit wants to, it is their property and their rules. I'm not terribly familiar with Reddit, but maybe there is a way to filter such stuff, like a spam filter or safe search filter so people offended by such comments don't have to see them, yet the expession would still be allowed?

Anonymous said...

Reddit is the host so their rules apply so this isn't really a first amendment issue. It does however reflect on those managing it. By not moderating, they are giving tacit approval to it. At the very least, they are saying they don't care. There has to be some standard of civility.

Anonymous said...

another idiot afraid of opinions, how sad.