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the human group - session 36 - censored freedom




censorship and the freedom of speech

Is it right for tech platforms to make executive decisions as to what the public sees?

From inciting violence, hate speech and distasteful opinions, what is the outcome of not understanding that which is in the shadows of our society?

Is censorship simply sweeping the unpalatable under the rug?

We have seen how censorship has backfired with a surge of negative publicity that has sold the book or ideology.

Does prohibition work?

When we prohibit opinion does it turn underground, become defensive and aggressive under the threat?

What is the balance?

Is censorship another symptom of our addiction to control?

Can we control what people say?

Come and utilise the collective intelligence of group discussion.

This discussion was wide in its scope, covering the current race violence, responsibility of sharing information, authorities censoring information from the public and how we censor ourselves with what we share as well as what we consume.

What don’t we say?

Revealing our mortality,

Vulnerability,

Criticism,

What I am scared of,

Attracting what is expressed,

The bad days I have,

Social rejection.

Vulnerability seemed to be at the heart of what we don’t allow ourselves to say. Whether it is opening up about what we truly feel, or revealing a mistake we have made can be a scary endeavour sometimes revealing weaknesses that can leave us vulnerable to attack or punishment.

Bringing this to the macro-sphere we discussed how this pattern plays out in global and local politics. The Chinese government, from the little we know, being a heavy handed totalitarian authority, hiding its weaknesses and vulnerabilities by controlling its population.

Censorship is a sign of weakness.

It takes great courage for an individual to admit to fault or speak their mind in the face of rejection and resistance. Voluntary vulnerability could possibly be the greatest show of strength there is.

In a show I watched recently they spoke of crime being a symptom of an imbalance within society. This can be seen when authority or social pressures encroach on the freedom of speech. Antagonistic control creates antagonists; people who want to rock the boat and drop a bomb on pc culture. I would say that causal crime and antagonism is a natural phenomena to bring about balance within the ecosystem.

Therefore with more censorship comes more antagonistic expression and the tighter the grip of control, the higher the stakes and the more extreme the expression.

What is the balance?

Does fear have a contributive role when censoring from the public, or does the fear itself induce a negative result?

In NZ they censored any information about the man who massacred innocent civilians in Christchurch, they did not say his name, they took down the live feed footage and they censored ,as best they could, his manifesto. This seems totally reasonable and caring of the public, but what I cannot avoid thinking is that it is inspired by the fears of such ideology spreading and perpetuating further violence. Is this an effective way of using fear?

I am doubtful as the footage is still accessible through underground means and those already aligned with the ideology are pushed further separate from the general population and into the darkness. Though hiding this extreme and violent ideology from the general public seems like something a caring parent would do, are we children of the state, or are we equals, able to make our own judgements about this information? It is hard to say as children are just as savvy if not more with navigating the expanse of the internet.

Therefore I cannot make a clear conclusion other than it feels wrong to mistrust the public.

This also brings to light the responsibility we have with sharing information that could be a catalyst for violence and upheaval. Take the most recent events in the U.S. Footage of the abuse of power and discrimination against a black man has been the spark that has ignited huge unrest and pain bodies across the United States. Many would say it’s a righteous use of information. I agree, yet the reaction is damaging.

Do we as individuals need to be aware of this powerful communication machine that we have before us?

Perhaps we are learning the responsibility of such power?

Previously it has only been in the hands of mass media, government and other authorities, now it is in the hands of everybody.

You could say that the government and media have become astute in using information to shift opinion and with the decentralisation of information, the birth of the internet, we see that authorities have withheld information from the public and instead of owning up to their own mistakes, authority and media have mostly filled the internet with disinformation to muddy the waters.

Now as we see the world through the periscope of our technologies we have to make the decisions as to what information contributes to our lives and local communities.

Evolutionarily we are being shifted to a form of self-rule as everything is becoming untrustworthy and uncertain. Perfecting our individual strength to resist sensationalised media streaming chaos from the other side of the world to notice the beautiful multifaceted humans and environments that live beside us is possibly the global ecosystem rebalancing itself.

On a cellular level, as human beings, we can pave the path forward by volunteering our vulnerabilities, our mistakes, whilst practicing trust and forgiveness.

This discussion stirred up a lot of ideas and trying to come to a conclusion upon any of these topics seems premature and ignorant of the dynamism of reality.

The conversation being quite conceptual we checked out with the question; ‘What brought you joy today?’ This lightened the mood as we touched upon the shadowy abyss in collective collaboration thought jams.

The fact that we are able to have a discussion on censorship and freedom is evidence of the freedom within our current society.

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