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Hate Sites - Macromedia Dreamweaver

I understand Terms of Service agreements that prohibit websites that feature ography or legally libelous material. However, TOS's often use vague terms like "hate," "abusive," etc. I say vague because these terms are confusing. Consider these statement: "I hate Ohio." "I hate Islam." "I hate right-wing Christianity." "I hate all Christians and Muslims." "Bill Clinton sold out his country." "George Bush is a traitor." "George Bush should be impeached, then sentenced to prison." Are these hateful or abusive statements? And what about "vulgar" statements? The term "media wh*re" is very, very common, and "corporate wh*re" probably isn't too far behind. ...

  1. #1

    Default Hate Sites

    I understand Terms of Service agreements that prohibit websites that feature ography or legally libelous material.

    However, TOS's often use vague terms like "hate," "abusive," etc. I say vague because these terms are confusing. Consider these statement:

    "I hate Ohio."
    "I hate Islam."
    "I hate right-wing Christianity."
    "I hate all Christians and Muslims."
    "Bill Clinton sold out his country."
    "George Bush is a traitor."
    "George Bush should be impeached, then sentenced to prison."

    Are these hateful or abusive statements?

    And what about "vulgar" statements? The term "media wh*re" is very, very common, and "corporate wh*re" probably isn't too far behind.

    Websites like www.democraticunderground.com, www.smirkingchimp.com, www.geobop.com/jail4bush and www.freerepublic.com often make outrageous statements and use obscenities like as*hole. They may sometimes make statements that could conceivably regarded as sedition: "We should take back/overthrow the government."

    My perception is that there are two different value systems, one for political commentary, the other for non-political, and the standards are a lot lower for political sites.

    But it's confusing, because TOS agreements often specifically forbid language that's "hateful" or "abusive," which covers an awful lot of territory. Also, I've asked the following question of many ISP's, with generally vague responses:

    * * * * *

    Suppose I host three sites with you, one of which is a political "combat site." If the government or some crank complains about my political site or threatens legal action, how would you react? Would you immediately pull the plug on all my sites, or just dump the political site? Would you dump it without consulting me first?"

    * * * * *

    Does anyone have any advice for people who have political sites they want to find secure, stable homes for? I thought ISP's would treasure the 1st Amendment and would promise that they won't instantly capitulate to anyone who files a complaint and dump political sites, but most seem to tap dance around the issue.



    http://www.geobop.com/, GeoBearATgeobop.com (Replace AT with )
    Interests: Web Design, Linux & Political Reform
    GeoBear Guest

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    middletree Guest
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Hate Sites

    I think that most hosts use a vague Terms of Service agreement like that
    for that very purpose: Being Vague. If it's vague then they can react
    to complaints on a per incident basis rather than having to patrol the
    content on all their servers. In the event a complaint does arise,
    they'll likely remove the content and say that they aren't liable since
    the client 'violated' their TOS.

    As much as clients are the bread and butter, one client isn't going to
    make up for the lawyer and court costs involved in defending a legal
    suit. The intent of the host isn't to make a forum available to people
    for free speech. The intent is to make money from customers, and
    they're going to do whatever makes the most business-sense for them,
    which is their own inalienable right. :)

    - Josh

    Josh Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hate Sites

    Thanks for the tips. I think most of you are right on target.

    I guess another question I should ask is this: What are some ISP's that SPECIALIZE in free speech and security issues? And I suppose the best way to answer that is to contact the webmasters of some of the Internet's most provocative sites. (I started by typing "Fu*k Bill Gates" into Google - WOW!)

    It really makes me appreciate my current host. I've been targeted by cranks, and my website was hacked several times, and they never flinched. They e-mailed me when one crank filed a complaint, but it wasn't hard convincing them that he was a - well, a crank.

    But the government and Microsoft are getting more vicious daily, and I wonder if we'll have the same freedoms in a year or two. I've already noticed that one or two of my non-political sites have been targeted, though I've come up with a very clever scheme for dealing with that. :)

    Finally, I'd like to suggest that webmasters and others involved in this arena should be more outspoken in protecting websites from political vendettas. That would have to include websites that voice issues we don't agree with - as long as they don't violate our ethical boundaries. I would think that webmasters and designers from outside the United States would be more outspoken in defense of online freedoms, but I haven't seen much evidence of this.



    http://www.geobop.com/, GeoBearATgeobop.com (Replace AT with )
    Interests: Web Design, Linux & Political Reform
    GeoBear Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Hate Sites

    Geobear

    The 1st Amendment in its entirety: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.?

    A hosting company owes us nothing in the way of 'free speech' - period. Now if I or you want to go through the expense and process of becoming a hosting company then we could certainly put up what we wanted (with the usual restrictions like the 'yelling fire in a crowded theater' alluded to every time this issue comes up). The 1st Amendment applies to 'government action(s)'

    Let's say I write an article that is critical about our involvement in (pick a country) and send it off to Time Magazine, Newsweek, etc. - they're refusal to print or publish it has absolutely nothing to do with the 1st Amendment. Now if government agents come to pressure me to cease & desist then that would be an a 1st Amendment issue or if they went to Time Magazine and told them to cease printing my column/articles.

    Having said that I've run a political web site for almost 4 years and have NEVER had a problem with the 3 different hosting companies that I've used. The changing of hosting companies had to do with service, features, pricing, etc.

    My site is very critical of many 'sacred cows' - some political figures, some religious leaders, political talking-heads, party 'spin doctors', etc. The only real 'problem' I've ever had is the volume of email from people who exercising their 1st Amendment rights writing me to tell me how stupid, uninformed, un-American, etc. I am. It's quite touching & caring all in all.

    And actually that (reading the rants from the 'less than lucid crowd') is the most fun I get out of the project/hobby and often publish their exact words for others to read and take comfort that most people are far smarter than the ranters.

    HTH





    Bridgetown Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Hate Sites

    >2. Unfortunately, most people are NOT smarter than the ranters. Those of us who know the truth and care are very much in the minority!

    Well.....okay.......*wink*

    Whatever s your hair back I suppose.


    Bridgetown Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Hate Sites


    "GeoBear" <com> wrote in message
    news:bgub8o$mmt$macromedia.com...
     
    us who know the truth and care are very much in the minority! 


    Funny line!

    Who decides who is the ranter? The rantee?


    middletree Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Hate Sites

    > > 2. Unfortunately, most people are NOT smarter than the ranters. Those of 

    Just don't get your rantees in a twist.

    Patty


    P@tty Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Hate Sites

    http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,59424,00.html

    "One-way news publications have editors and fact-checkers, and they're not just selling information -- they're selling reliability," said Cindy Cohn, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "But on blogs or e-mail lists, people aren't necessarily selling anything, they're just engaging in speech. That freedom of speech wouldn't exist if you were held liable for every piece of information you cut, paste and forward."

    The court based its decision on a section of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, or the CDA. That section states, "... no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." Three cases since then -- Zeran v. AOL, Gentry v. eBay and Schneider v. Amazon -- have granted immunity to commercial online service providers."

    Looks like things are being taken care of........................


    Bridgetown Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Hate Sites

    Unfortunately, this situation is likely to get worse before it gets better.

    For example, mental health professionals are used routlinly in California to
    either help parents agree on a pos-divorce parenting plan or, in some
    counties, make a recommendation to the court if the divorcing parents cannot
    agree.

    They have quasi-judical immunity in their work. However, if a disgruntled
    parent sues them, it costs anywhwere from $1,000 to $5,000 just to hire an
    attorney to prepare and file a demurrer.

    In other words, even if you "win" your attorneys' fees are substantial.


    --
    Bonnie in Sacramento
    kroko
    at
    sbcglobal.net


    "Ptty *TWB*" <rr.com> wrote in message
    news:bguikd$5mk$macromedia.com... [/ref][/ref]
    of 
    >
    > Just don't get your rantees in a twist.
    >
    > Patty
    >
    >[/ref]


    Bonnie Guest

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