Only logged in members can reply and interact with the post.
Join Similar Worlds today »

Is blocking a form of cancel culture?

With all the discussion about freedom of speech on social media, and whether deplatforming someone violates their first amendment rights, the issue of blocking never comes up. Right after Trump lost the election, several of my Facebook friends opened Parler accounts, so out of curiosity, I opened one myself. I found it to be an almost pure right-wing echo chamber. After posting a comment on the Three Percenters page, they blocked me immediately. I found it ironic that people who presumably opened Parler accounts because they didn't like the moderation on Facebook or Twitter, didn't see the contradiction in their own moderation of people who posted on their page.

Of course, I've also been blocked by people on Facebook, as well as here on Similar Worlds. The idea behind blocking is that users should be able to avoid people or topics they find objectionable; instead of having to see them and willfully ignore them, they don't have to see them at all. For example, I'm aware of people on here who routinely block everyone who follows certain fetish groups.

One consequence of unmoderated sites like Parler and Gab is that they tend to turn into abusive right-wing cesspools. More closely moderated sites like Quora tend to be more balanced, and users who engage in hate speech are kicked off. Although, Quora has deteriorated in recent years, with most questions these days being about current events ("what do you think of Joe Biden's latest..."), and they now allow people to use aliases, when using anything other than your real name would get you kicked off the site. Quora also allows "muting," which unlike blocking, allows you to see the other person's posts and comment on them, but doesn't allow them to comment on your posts.

I also have an account on Nextdoor, an app to connect with people in the same neighborhood. What's interesting about Nextdoor is that blocking is not an option - if you don't want to see someone's posts, all you can do is close your account. Interestingly, most of the conversations are low-key, non-confrontational, and deal with quality of life issues (like the new convenience store going up on the corner, the explosion in the number of homeless, and wildlife sightings, to name a few). Most of the political discussion before the last election was about the contest between the incumbent alderman and his challenger. Of course, people also have to use their real names on Nextdoor.

The concern with deplatforming is that because some social media providers have become so popular and pervasive, that not being able to post on them is a severe limitation. Nobody would care if a politician was banned from Similar Worlds, for example. On the other hand, Facebook and Twitter shouldn't be subjected to stricter regulation just because they're more successful than their competition, when all they're doing is enforcing the ToS that everyone agrees to when they join the site. But it's hypocritical to complain about "cancel culture" if you engage in it yourself by blocking people.
BlueVeins · 22-25
[quote]With all the discussion about freedom of speech on social media, and whether deplatforming someone violates their first amendment rights[/quote]

It's fair to argue that deplatforming runs contrary to the [i]principle [/i]of free speech, but it has nothing to do with the First Amendment. The First Amendment only protects you from the government taking action against you for your speech (i.e. arresting you for protesting something).

[quote]One consequence of unmoderated sites like Parler and Gab is that they tend to turn into abusive right-wing cesspools. More closely moderated sites like Quora tend to be more balanced, and users who engage in hate speech are kicked off.[/quote]

I agree, but that's probably in part because of censorship on more mainstream sites. Most normal people just stay on FaceBook and Twitter because those sites don't take action against them, whereas Nazis and some left-wingers flee to backwater "free speech" places because they have to -- the mainline sites won't accept them. It also doesn't help that Parler and Gab tend to feature far-right news sources exclusively lol.

[quote]Of course, people also have to use their real names on Nextdoor.[/quote]

Bingo, that and the fact that it's local. People face accountability there, especially since a lot of the people on the site, they know IRL. But that also serves to stifle unpopular speech because people are inclined to self-censor when they feel that they may face real-world ostricization for speaking out.

[quote]But it's hypocritical to complain about "cancel culture" if you engage in it yourself by blocking people.[/quote]

The basic issue I have with this is that there are tons of people who it just doesn't make sense to engage with for reasons other than whether you agree with your opinions. A very obvious example is users who will sexually harrass you. There's no reason to allow people to say stuff you consider violating when you can prevent it with a block. Another is people who just relentlessly insult you and dig into your personal life.

And then, what about people who kinda just use political rhetoric to degrade others without making any real argument for their position? There's one well-known user who definitely does that and it's basically spam mail for your brain. What about people who just make the same point over and over again in an annoying way that doesn't contribute much to the conversation?

My biggest issue with this argument is that it implies that people have an affirmative duty to let others clutter their brain with meaningless, toxic shit in the name of "free speech." So how 'bout I posit something else to you instead --

If the government pulled down The Young Turks or the Daily Wire, that would be a clear violation of 1st Amendment Rights. But if you as an individual had seen their shows and chose not to watch them, very few people would claim that that's cancel culture or a free speech violation. When you block someone, that's the equivalent of choosing not to "watch their show", except instead of your TV screen, it's your SW feed. They're allowed to say what you want, but you don't have to hear it.
Dolimyte · 36-40, M
Free speech doesn't apply to social media. They are not public spaces.
Sazzio · 31-35, M
A bit off topic: I think moderators for All social websites SHOULD ask for ID proof on individuals. Passport, licence (OF COURSE NOT PUT IT ALL TO SEE)! But once the proof is sent, checked then that member is allowed to join. Moderators should then give a username and password, which the individual can change (obviously).

As complicated as it sounds, this will reduce multiple accounts, bullying and harassment and crimes (e.g. pedos on the loose). What is wrong with multiple accounts? It's just unhealthy.
[@424722,Sazzio] Facebook and Twitter limit that by having official accounts. You can set up an account on Twitter and call yourself "Donald Trump," but it won't be an official account.

The only reason to ask for proof of ID is to make it easier for law enforcement to track people down.
DeWayfarer · 61-69, M
[@1026,LeopoldBloom] FB also has a proof of ID policy. Once you have been reported though.

I know because they have asked for proof of ID twice. Since I refused, I'm now locked out of both accounts.
DeWayfarer · 61-69, M
It's both one of the reasons why I don't block as well as one of the reasons why I do get block a lot.

After the elections it was massive amounts of conservatives. From just over 100 known blocks to currently 154 blocks. That's a huge difference since I've been counting blocks against me for years!
Rolexeo · 26-30, M
Twitter and Facebook are left-wing echo chambers, let's be honest. Getting blocked means you're being annoying, and no it doesn't mean you won whatever argument you were engaged in.
Lapochka · 31-35, F
No it isn’t. People behave online knowing their actions are without consequence. Some people cannot be civil and blocking them is the last but final option.
Stopmakingsense · 56-60, F
No, blocking is personal. Cancelling the adulation of colonizers and slave owners is social progress.
[@1201621,MotherHubbard] I just think it's ironic that the Three Percenters, who are on Parler because they want "free speech," are so eager to suppress the free speech of anyone who disagrees with them. It gives you an idea of what society would be like if they were in charge.
Stop being a parrot for the liberal left - using words like Cancel Culture.
[@760047,MarmeeMarch] Yes, we do. Names for things are what we use to discuss them. I suppose if we were talking in person, I could just point.

So if "cancel culture" sounds lame, what other term would you suggest? How about "holding bigots accountable for their disgusting opinions?"
[@1026,LeopoldBloom] has the word "ignore" ever entered your pea brain ?
xuxuguinhu9 · 31-35, T
im not gona read this. but yes and so are many other things and behaviours related to this
[@1204467,xuxuguinhu9] Thank you for your input. I'm only responding to your name as I didn't read your comment.
xuxuguinhu9 · 31-35, T
[@1026,LeopoldBloom] i can tell
Magenta · F
Good point actually.
[@1201561,Kimchigirl] Why not?
SW User
[@1026,LeopoldBloom] Because, blocking idiots isn't canceling opinions.

I have online friends that are from a variety of beliefs. I'm don't care if they are Trump followers or hard left democrats. Atheist or religious.

I just don't like people who are plain idiots

 
Post Comment
 
21517 people following
Community
Personal Stories, Advice, and Support
New Post
Community Doing Good
Group Members