Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Lindsay Lohan scarf incident and Censorship: the Final Chapter. I hope.

tv22 wrote:

"She wasn't racially profiled. She was asked to remove her scarf so her identity could be verified. Tough to live in the modern world where we actually can see each other's faces."

to which I replied

"Sigh. One can still see a woman's face when she wears a head scarf. You're thinking of a veil. A scarf, at most, keeps one from seeing a woman's hair. But how interesting that in the "modern" world, women must be forced to reveal that whether they wish to do so or not, this little issue of consent being bypassed for the sake of "freedom."

How far shall we take this modernity? Perhaps women could be forced to take their tops off in public, for surely we'd be able to verify their identities with even greater certainty, then. Maybe we could force them to strip naked altogether, before (as men) we showed how truly progressive we had become by clubbing them over the head and dragging them back to our caves for further "examination."

Do you even hear yourself?"

This comment was (what else) "detected as spam" a few times (that would be Disqus' fault) but when the most recent copy of it was censored, it was marked as having been removed, not as having been detected as spam, implying that somebody at Entertainment Weekly was at fault, this time. I reposted the comment, once more, and had something to say before departing

"Note to mods: Please read comments BEFORE you remove them. I've had to repost the above comment several times just to get it to stick. The first few times would have seem to have been the fault of Disqus, but this last time it looks like something done by somebody at, somebody who doesn't understand what sarcasm is.

This is not Wikipedia. When I have to fight to protect my content, that's not something I signed on for. That's not how comments on sites are generally expected to work. When I find that I have to get into such a fight just because I've spoken against cultural intolerance, that's unacceptable and it gets exhausting. One should be able to post something ONCE and have it stay. One shouldn't have to get into a test of wills just to speak about anything at all, least of all to express opposition to bigotry.

I wrote to EW about this problem last night, and this is the response I get? Really? Their staff gets in on the censorship? Classy. Until I get a more positive response, I'm going to conclude that EW and Disqus are more trouble than they're worth and urge people to avoid both. Who needs this?"

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Lindsay Lohan: I was 'racially profiled' at the airport for wearing a headscarf 5: The censorship continues

Kelly wrote

"This girl is so desperate for attention she will do and say anything to stay relevant."

to which I responded:

"That's how you see it? After over 15 years worth of Muslim bashing in America following the 911 terrorist incident, with all of that Islamophobia that only seems to be getting crazier with time, you think that Ms, Lohan would study Islam for the sake of staying 'relevant'?

The new president of the United States has gone to court to fight to be able to keep legal permanent residents of the United States from being able to simply return home, so great was his hatred for those who follow the religion in which this actress has expressed an interest. Do you imagine that her studies will make her more popular in America, help her get cast? She aligns herself with a hated minority, one whose true role in America can be seen just by looking in the direction of Guantanamo Bay where, with the approval of the general public, our government has made a mockery of the concept of due process by holding prisoners without charge for over a decade. Human rights would seem to be sacred to Americans, unless the humans beings believe that Mohammed was a prophet.

She has chosen a difficult path for herself, out of conscience. She should find that choice greeted with respect, not scorn - and you're hearing this from a Jew. We shouldn't have to share somebody's beliefs in order to respect them or her, should we?"

Horrible, wasn't that? Somebody at Disqus must have though so, for this, too, was blocked from public view as spam. I think we now know what Disqus thinks of Muslims.

Lindsay Lohan 4: Reporting the Problem

I just emailed the following comment to the technical and administrative contact listed for at Network Solutions, and submitted it as a comment on the article from which many comments (the ones in which I rebutted the Muslim bashing) had vanished, so one way or another, they should end up seeing this.

"I posted this perfectly legitimate comment
to this article a few hours ago. It was instantly hidden (and then removed) by Disqus' faulty spam filter. I reported the problem to the company, only to get trolled and censored some more by a pair of seemingly teenaged moderators in the official help group. Ever since then, more of my comments have started vanishing in a manner that suggested human intervention. Somebody didn't like seeing that bug reported, and it's getting even with me.

The company is terminally unprofessional and completely out of control. As a commenter on this site, I would ask that Entertainment Weekly please terminate its relationship with Disqus. In this incident, they've shown that they are neither competent nor trustworthy. By forcing visitors to use their service to post to your site, you're giving those visitors a good reason to not post at all.

Who wants to put up with this?"

Lindsay Lohan: I was 'racially profiled' at the airport for wearing a headscarf III : Not censored yet, but why risk it?

The comment below is still up, but who knows for how long?


Such utter nonsense you write. Both my maternal grandmother and mother wore such scarves for all of their lives, though they lived in America and certainly would have been free to do otherwise.

I am so tired of watching an Anglo-Saxon ethnocentrism being pushed as a fight for freedom. If Jewish and Muslim women want to wear such scarves, what makes that any of your or Ms. Beaudway's business? Has the thought ever occurred to some of you that perhaps the rest of us don't imitate your ways because we prefer our own?

Those scarves can be a beautiful form of self-expression.

Lindsay Lohan: I was 'racially profiled' at the airport for wearing a headscarf II: The censorship continues

Another remark which has been "detected as spam" by Disqus' spam filter:

"I have serious issues with the hijab, burkah and other forms of religious dress, particularly those that are significantly different for women than men."

Why is that? Seriously, that sounds a little puritanical. Think about what you're saying: that all clothing must be unisex. That men and women have to avoid doing anything that signals the fact that they are different, in their dress. Almost like you want to blur out the distinctions between the genders.

How far do you want to take that? When I and my last girlfriend went out to dinner, was she oppressed in some way because she was wearing a dress and I was wearing a suit? Having no desire to oppress my beloved, I must ask how I might make this evil right. Would it have helped if I had worn a dress? Please, forgive me for my lack of Western insight and enlightenment, but I fear I would not have the legs to pull off that look, at all. Or perhaps my poor girlfriend should have been called on to wear a suit, as if the heat were not getting to her enough, as it was?

As you assert your imagined right to tell other women how to dress, how do you get past the real inherent sexism in such a line of argument, if this is what you are saying? If men and women look different (as G-d and nature have decreed that they shall) and we do not try to hide that difference in some way, that means that women are oppressed? How? How are they any more oppressed by this than the men? Implicit in such a line of argument is the assumption that that which is male is superior to that which is female. Otherwise, how can one argue that to emphasize a woman's femininity is to diminish her? How does one get past the self-hate implicit in the very argument?

Perhaps you should spend less time examining the attitudes of these poor, ignorant people whose civilizations predate your own by thousands of years, in some cases, and spend a little more examining your own.

Community Growth: Censorship is bad, so I'm creating a competing channel (on "Discuss Disqus")

I created it just a little while ago, after watching a pair of mods on this channel childishly abuse their power. The new channel can be found here:

The new channel can be thought of as being what this channel would be, if high school students weren't being given administrative power. I introduce the group in this post

which I 've had the foresight to mirror elsewhere

but we can compact the prose down at lot, just by saying

1. I won't be getting involved unless I absolutely have to, because the channel is there so people can do what they can't do here - speak freely.

2. The mods who abused their power here, aren't welcome there. Neither are their defenders - the power mad mods don't get to be there by proxy, either.

3. I'll expect people to use their common sense.

4. Enter at your own risk, because I'm not your daddy. Unless you're female and cute, and on a particular dating site, but we needn't get into that.

Enjoy. Or not. Either way, I'll probably never know.

A comment was posted by "Elizabeth":

"Channel promotion is here:
DD is for publisher and Reveal issues."

to which I tried to reply

I'll be happy to post something there, to, but I think you're missing the point. I'm saying that the moderators on this channel have been abusing their power and on that basis, am urging the members to jump ship.

What I'm announcing isn't just a new channel. It's a vote of no confidence. The mods on this channel are not fit to wield the authority they've been given."
but they had already locked the discussion. LOL.


I reposted this to channel chat, with slight modification, adding this comment:

"By the way - I thought I should mention that somebody at Disqus is now deleting more comments on that same article, in which I argue against a particularly anti-Muslim form of cultural intolerance. As the Islamophobia in this action can easily be seen, I'm going to be in touch with CAIR, and recommend that they initiate a class action suit against Disqus.

I'm sure there's some bit of boilerplate in the TOS that lets the company do what it just did, but when it is doing what it is doing in order to promote hatred against a protected group, I'm fairly sure that this is going to violate federal civil rights law. Their TOS doesn't override that.

I am disgusted by what I just witnessed and I should be."

Haro wrote:

"'childishly abuse their power'
Ah whatever, good luck with the channel!"

\to which I responded

"There is no 'whatever' about it. This has become a real problem. This is a comment they deleted from a problem report I filed, mentioning that the installation directions for no longer worked:

'I have great difficulty believing that Google is going to discontinue Blogger, one of the major blogging platforms.'

I posted this in response to a claim that Blogger was about to be discontinued. Under no sane standard was this an offensive remark, yet it got censored, all the same. A moderator censored something, just to prove she could. That's childish and that's a problem."

As of now (8:1l pm), neither comment has been approved. I don't know if they will be. What I do know is that I've burned away a precious day, trying to post a few reasonable remarks and dealing with people's childishness. I'm serious about contacting CAIR. What I'm not sure I'm serious about, any more, is the channel on Disqus.

If the company is going to be this bad, maybe I should just log out and never log back in. Today's performance was inexcusable. After behavior this outrageous, somebody has to be fired. 

Why this channel exists on Discuss Disqus | Without Censorship

Something I just posted to my new channel on Disqus:

I started this channel after reporting a misfire of Disqus' filter, and found myself being censored by an obvious adolescent calling himself "Lord Bokeh" and his equally mature sidekick "CaliCheeseSucks." I had dealt with CaliCheese once before, watching her censor and lock a previous discussion (in which I replied to somebody who tried to argue that doxxing wasn't wrong) on the basis that she didn't want to see arguments happening.

That's not how this group is going to work. As long as you make some effort to stay on topic, don't post something that really is spam (commercial advertising), don't break any laws or violate Disqus' rules, I don't care what you do in here. I'm not going to get involved. If you become a moderator on this channel, I'll expect you to take the same, nearly hands off approach. We do not get involved, just because somebody's feelings get hurt or because somebody speaks ill of the one true company, hallowed be Its name. People are here to speak freely (at least, until the company or law gets involved), and we're here to let them do that.

This channel is not the center of my life or my online activity (which isn't the center of my life, either), so if you want to mention and link to your own competing channel for discussing Disqus, as long as it isn't piece of garbage this channel was created as an alternative to. that's fine. Do you have a forum or blog on another site where you discuss Disqus? Feel free to mention it.

I didn't start this channel because I love running fora. In fact, I hate doing so, but I perceived a need. If another channel starts up, and the traffic drifts from here to there, as long as the discussions stay uncensored there, too, that's fine. My feelings will not be hurt. That will just mean that I have more time to spend on the things I do like to do, while something I feel needs to be done, does get done. Asking me if I'm bothered by that would, I think, be like asking a homeowner if he minded having his lawn moved. For free. What can one say to that other than "go ahead"? Unless one has a flower bed over which you know the kid is going to mow, but I digress.

You'll hardly know I'm here, almost all of the time. In fact, I'll hardly know after a while, because I won't be. I plan to give this channel away, just as soon as I have a good person to give it to. Do not report a discussion to me unless you have an unshakably good reason to do so (violation of the law or terms of service), because I don't want to hear about it. Yes, it can hurt to try - I'll ban people who ignore what I just said and send me silly complaints. Enter at your own risk and deal with the discussions you encounter like an adult.

That is all. With any luck, I'll never be heard from on this channel again, but since when did anybody ever have good luck on the Internet?

Comment of mine that I posted immediately after this post:

I trust we understand that neither Lord Bokeh nor CaliCheeseSucks are welcome on this channel, nor are any of their apologists. Having engaged in censorship, themselves, they forfeited their own right to speak freely, as far as I'm concerned.

Anybody who thinks that this is a philosophically inconsistent position is invited to go look up the notion of "the social contract" and then reflect on the fact that I'm not a Christian. Having been struck on one cheek, I need not offer these little brats the other.

In no way am I encouraging any sort of harassment of these two. I'd just like to see them and their power playing become irrelevant, as the channels they moderate are shunned, in favor of channels (and sites) where people can speak more freely.