[WikiEN-l] Arbcom has completely lost its mind

Steve Bennett stevage at gmail.com
Fri Feb 17 14:27:39 UTC 2006

On 2/17/06, BJörn Lindqvist <bjourne at gmail.com> wrote:
> I fail to see the similarity. Someone shouting "Fire!" in a crowded
> cinema is likely to cause lots of panic and angst as hundreds of movie
> goers all try to reach the fire exists. In the rush some might be
> injured or even die due to suffocation or being trampled to death.
> Peoples valuables might be looted and for sure, they will all have
> their movie experience destroyed.

You may prefer this analogy: You have the right to say "I am a fish".
You don't have the right to publish "I am a fish" on the front page of
your national newspaper. Why? It's not your newspaper. Wikipedia is
not yours either.

> pedophile. I'd say that words by themselves neither cause disruption
> nor offence. It is people that willfully participates in the act of

Words carry information. That information can be disruptive and
offensive. Let's not get too technical.

> being offended or disrupted. You can't remove your responsibility for
> your own thoughts and place it on some word.

I think using inflammatory language on a user page and claiming that
it's not offensive is a better example of "removing responsibility for
your own thoughts".

> Where I live, any of the following posters would "provoke righteous
> outrage from a fairly large proportion of the community: "I'm a
> pedophile", "I'm a Nazi", "I'm a socialist", "I'm a racist", "I'm a
> communist", "I'm a Jew", "I'm a Muslim", "I'm a American", "I'm a
> gay", "I'm hating you", "I'm liking your daughter", "I'm doing it with
> your mum", "I'm better than you".... etc.. etc... etc...

"I'm a Muslim" is offensive? Eep.

> put them there. The law protects my right to put almost any poster I
> want on my front door. Wikipedia works like that too. You might say
> that the right to call yourself whatever you want is not necessary for

That's where you're dead wrong. There is no implied or explicit right
to free speech. Quite the opposite - many policies limiting exactly
what you can and can't say.

Hopefully that clarifiies a bit.


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