The Dangerous Political Theater of Book Burning: Why Missouri State Senators Bill Eigel and Nick Schroer are playing a dangerous political game
In recent times, we have witnessed a troubling trend in American politics - the use of book burning as a form of political theater. This disturbing act, symbolizing support for book bans sweeping across the United States, not only undermines creativity and access to knowledge but also threatens our fundamental principles of free expression. The participation of Missouri State Senators Bill Eigel and Nick Schroer in such an event is a deeply troubling development that warrants a strong opposition.
Free expression is a cornerstone of American democracy. Book burning, as a symbolic act of censorship, directly contradicts this principle. When elected officials engage in such behavior, they send a dangerous message that it is acceptable to stifle diverse viewpoints and ideas. This narrow-minded approach threatens the very foundation of progress and intellectual growth upon which our society is built.
Censorship, in any form, stifles creativity and innovation. Books are a medium through which ideas, stories, and knowledge are shared. When we ban books or engage in book burning, we limit the diversity of thought and perspectives that fuel creativity. This hampers our ability to explore different viewpoints and engage with diverse cultures, which are essential for fostering creativity.
Book bans and burnings harm access to knowledge and information. They deny individuals the opportunity to educate themselves about important issues, limiting personal growth and the ability to make informed decisions as citizens. By restricting access to information, we hinder the development of an informed and engaged society.
Engaging in book burning as a form of political theater sets a dangerous precedent. When elected officials endorse censorship, it emboldens others to follow suit. What might start as a symbolic act can quickly escalate into genuine threats to free expression and the suppression of ideas that don't align with those in power.
In a democracy, we resolve differences through civil discourse, not by burning books. When elected officials resort to such extreme measures to make a political point, it undermines the possibility of constructive dialogue and compromise. It promotes division and polarization, further eroding the foundations of our democracy.
The participation of Missouri State Senators Bill Eigel and Nick Schroer in a book burning event is a deeply troubling and dangerous form of political theater. It not only undermines the principles of free expression but also stifles creativity, restricts access to knowledge, and sets a perilous precedent for future actions that threaten our democracy. As citizens, we must uphold the values that make our society strong, and that includes standing up against any attempt to suppress the free exchange of ideas and information.
In the vast landscape of online communities, subreddit r/Lawrence stands as a prominent hub for the residents of Lawrence, Kansas. While its rules clearly state that advertising is prohibited, they do extend a welcoming hand to free events of interest to the local community. In the realm of online moderation, decisions are often made in black and white terms, but there are instances when a more nuanced approach should be considered. The ban on u/MOKANCAN for promoting an grassroots organization's meetup highlights the complexities of moderation in the digital age, where the line between advertising and community-building can blur.
Community rules and guidelines are the backbone of any online forum. They serve as a set of principles that govern the behavior and content within a community, fostering a safe and engaging environment for users. In the case of r/Lawrence, their rules are clear – advertising is not allowed. However, they do carve out an exception for free events relevant to the local population, recognizing the value of community-building activities.
Our predicament sheds light on the inherent challenges moderators face when enforcing community rules. On one hand, our post did contain elements of promotion – it was about a meetup organized by our group. On the other hand, it was a free event that aligned with the subreddit's focus on local interests. The ban, while technically in line with the rules, raises questions about whether a more flexible interpretation should have been considered. At the very least, a warning should have been given instead of an outright permanent ban.
The world of online moderation is not just about following a rigid set of rules; it also involves discernment and judgment. In many instances, situations don't neatly fit into predefined categories. The ban on u/MOKANCAN's post illustrates the need for moderators to navigate this gray area.
Here are a few reasons why moderation should not always be black and white:
Intent Matters: Moderators should consider the intent behind a post. Was it genuinely meant to promote a commercial product, or was it an attempt to enrich the community through a free, relevant event? In our case, the latter is true.
Community Benefit: The primary goal of any subreddit should be to serve its community. If a post benefits the local residents and aligns with the subreddit's interests, a case can be made for leniency.
Flexibility and Adaptability: As online communities evolve, so do their dynamics and interests. Moderators should be open to adapting their rules and interpretations to reflect these changes.
The case of u/MOKANCAN and r/Lawrence highlights the importance of moderation's gray area. While rules are essential, a rigid approach can stifle community growth and discourage genuine engagement. In situations where intent is genuine and community benefit is clear, moderators should consider a more flexible approach. As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of online communities, moderation should strive to strike a balance between enforcing rules and nurturing community spirit.
The next MOKANCAN meetup is September 24, 2023 from 2pm - 4pm in meeting room A at Lawrence Public Library in Lawrence, KS - Please RSVP on our sidebar!
MOKANCAN had another great meetup on 08/27/2023 at Lawrence Public Library in Lawrence, KS. We had 11 people in attendance and discussed a variety of topics. Here is a list of some of the things we discussed along with relevant links:
Some of the other topics discussed during the meetup were an update on a Headscale / Tailscale setup, the Lawrence Linux Users Group and their meeting every 3rd Saturday of the month at Lawrence Public Library, security with Kubernetes, DoD Security Technical Implementation Guides, Linux Kodachi, ShutUp10++, CryptoTrust's OnlyKey, USBKill, and the U2F open standard for 2FA.
Thank you to everyone that showed up for the meetup! Our next meetup will be on Sunday September 24, 2023 from 2pm - 4pm in Meeting Room A at the Lawrence Public Library in Lawrence, KS.
One of the fundamental reasons for having a blocking feature on social media platforms is to create a safe space for users. In a digital landscape where interactions can often turn toxic and harmful, the ability to block unwanted users is crucial. It empowers individuals to protect themselves from abusive language, harassment, and other forms of harmful content. Removing this feature takes away an essential tool that users rely on to maintain their mental well-being and feel secure while engaging with others online.
Robust and constructive discussions are the backbone of any healthy online community. The block feature plays a role in maintaining such discourse by enabling users to avoid interactions with those who consistently derail conversations or engage in unproductive debates. This ensures that users can engage in meaningful discussions without being constantly sidetracked by those who might have ulterior motives or lack genuine interest in constructive dialogue.
Privacy is a fundamental right, even in the digital realm. The block function also helps users maintain their privacy and establish personal boundaries. Not every user wants to engage with every other user, and this feature gives individuals the autonomy to decide who can interact with them. Without the ability to block, users might find themselves exposed to unwanted attention or interactions, infringing on their right to control their online presence.
The decision to eliminate the block function on the newly rebranded X platform raises concerns about the future of free expression and user safety. The ability to block users is not just about shutting out differing opinions; it's about ensuring a safe, respectful, and personalized environment that empowers users to engage with others without fear of harassment or intimidation. As we navigate the evolving landscape of social media, it's important to recognize the significance of this feature in fostering an inclusive and vibrant digital community.
An open letter from the Missouri and Kansas Cyber Alliance Network to Police Chief Gideon Cody and Marion County District Court Magistrate Judge Laura Viar regarding the recent raid on the Marion County Record
Dear Police Chief Cody and Magistrate Judge Viar,
We, the Missouri and Kansas Cyber Alliance Network, are writing to express our deep concern and alarm regarding the recent raid on the Marion County Record, where computers, records, and cellphones were seized by law enforcement. We would like to respectfully voice our perspective on how this incident appears to be a disturbing violation of First Amendment rights, which form the bedrock of our democratic society.
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of the press, ensuring that the media can operate independently and provide essential checks and balances to the government. This incident has sent shockwaves through our community and has raised serious questions about the potential infringement on this fundamental right. The chilling effect of such a raid on a newspaper's premises cannot be understated, as it creates an atmosphere of fear and censorship that undermines the core principles upon which our nation was founded.
While we understand the necessity for law enforcement to investigate and uphold the law, it is of paramount importance that these actions are carried out with the utmost respect for the rights and freedoms enshrined in our Constitution. In this case, the seizure of computers, records, and cellphones from a newspaper's office sends a deeply troubling message that the press is not only under scrutiny, but also at risk of being silenced or intimidated. The potential repercussions of such actions extend beyond this specific instance, and could have a chilling effect on journalists and media outlets, deterring them from reporting on matters of public interest due to fear of retaliation.
MOKANCAN implores you to consider the broader implications of this incident and to take immediate steps to rectify the situation. Preserving the integrity of the press is essential for the health of our democracy. We respectfully urge you to:
1. Ensure a thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the raid, addressing any potential violation of First Amendment rights.
2. Guarantee that the rights of journalists and media outlets in Marion County are upheld and protected, in line with the principles of a free press.
3. Provide clear communication to the public regarding the investigation's progress and the steps being taken to safeguard First Amendment rights.
4. Reaffirm your commitment to the Constitution by fostering an environment where journalists can work without fear of retribution, fostering a healthy democracy where open discourse thrives.
The future of our democracy hinges on the protection of the freedoms that make it possible. We trust that you will take these concerns seriously and work diligently to uphold the principles that set our nation apart.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your response and hope that we can work together to preserve the rights and values that make our country strong.
MOKANCAN (Missouri and Kansas Cyber Alliance Network)
The Silenced Voices: Why Social Networks' Ban on Sex Positive Accounts Threatens Freedom of Speech and Endangers Sex Workers
In today's digital age, social networks have become powerful platforms for communication, self-expression, and social networking. However, their increasing control over content moderation has sparked debates about freedom of speech and the safety of marginalized communities, particularly sex workers. Let's shed a light on the negative impact of banning sex positive accounts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram and how it compromises freedom of speech while endangering the safety and livelihood of sex workers.
The Importance of Sex Positive Accounts
Sex positivity is a movement that seeks to promote a healthy and open attitude towards sexuality and sexual expression. Sex positive accounts on social networks play a crucial role in providing safe spaces for discussions on sexuality, education about sexual health, and fostering a supportive community for sex workers. These accounts contribute to breaking down the stigmatization surrounding sex work and empowering individuals to embrace their sexual identities without fear of judgment or discrimination.
Challenges Faced by Sex Workers
Sex workers face numerous challenges and vulnerabilities due to the illegality and social stigma attached to their profession. Online platforms offer a lifeline for sex workers to connect with clients safely and discreetly. Banning sex positive accounts deprives them of a vital platform to advertise their services and connect with potential clients who may be looking for consensual adult services. Consequently, this puts sex workers at a higher risk of engaging in street-based work, exposing them to dangerous situations and exploitation.
Freedom of Speech in the Digital Era
Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right, and social networks are now the digital town squares where public discourse and dialogue take place. As private companies, these platforms hold immense power over content moderation, leading to concerns about their influence on shaping public narratives and suppressing voices that challenge mainstream norms.
By banning sex positive accounts, social networks infringe upon the right to freedom of speech and perpetuate a culture of censorship, where certain topics and perspectives are deemed inappropriate or unacceptable. This restrictive approach impedes progress towards open discussions on sexuality and contributes to the perpetuation of sex-related taboos.
The Impact on the Sex Positive Community
The banning of sex positive accounts not only affects sex workers but also has broader implications for the sex positive community. These accounts have been instrumental in educating people about consent, safer sex practices, and providing resources for those exploring their sexual identities. Removing these accounts stifles sexual education efforts, leaving users uninformed and susceptible to unsafe practices and misinformation.
Promoting Safe and Inclusive Spaces
Instead of banning sex positive accounts, social networks should prioritize creating safe and inclusive spaces for users. Robust content moderation guidelines can help prevent explicit or harmful content while still allowing for constructive discussions about sexuality and sex work. Engaging with sex positive communities and incorporating their perspectives into policy-making can lead to better, more equitable guidelines that protect both users and marginalized groups.
The ban on sex positive accounts by social networks represents a severe blow to freedom of speech and endangers the safety of sex workers. It is crucial for these platforms to acknowledge the positive role that sex positive accounts play in fostering education, support, and empowerment within the sex positive community. Embracing a more compassionate and open-minded approach towards content moderation can create safer, more inclusive digital spaces for all users, allowing the diverse voices of society to be heard and respected.
More information on protecting the rights of the Sexually Explorative #PROSEX can be found at improsex.org.
"What is LittleSis," you ask? LittleSis* (* opposite of Big Brother) is a free database of who-knows-who at the heights of business and government.
The next MOKANCAN meetup is August 27, 2023 from 2pm - 4pm in meeting room A at Lawrence Public Library in Lawrence, KS