Free Speech Hosts? .. or at least one with a little backbone

Pete

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What an absurd question. Unredacted whois data is public and free to use for all kinds of legitimate purposes. I have my own scattered collection of whois data in various forms and files over the years myself. Pretty sure they did something new about that anyway, though.
Except that ICANN and the EU (that little group of nearly 500 million people) agreed to censor it as per GDPR and they have no legal right to hold that data on non-customers in the EU. Even putting aside the legality there is no *moral* right either.

Pleare do tell me what “legitimate purpose” they would have for 15 million email addresses including not-customers? Ifyou’re going to say unsolicited commercial email, that’s spam and also isn’t legit.
 

Pete

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Any TAZ members who say its up to the webhosts etc to decide who they let use their service etc.....are probably those with a specialised forum eg cars, or gaming etc. You have no worries about ever being de-platformed.
Those of us who have general or politics orientated forums run a very grave risk of being de-platformed by an over zealous DNS server or webhost if they get complaints and decide to enforce their rules about content etc.
This is even more so if your forum is aimed at free speech or a specialised subject eg Climate Change or Covid.
Welcome to the internet, groups of connected services who owe you nothing.
 

Nev_Dull

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Any TAZ members who say its up to the webhosts etc to decide who they let use their service etc.....are probably those with a specialised forum eg cars, or gaming etc. You have no worries about ever being de-platformed.
Those of us who have general or politics orientated forums run a very grave risk of being de-platformed by an over zealous DNS server or webhost if they get complaints and decide to enforce their rules about content etc.
This is even more so if your forum is aimed at free speech or a specialised subject eg Climate Change or Covid.
This is confusing. Are you saying webhosts should have no say over who uses their services? Doesn't that go directly against your whole freedom stance?

It sounds suspiciously like you (and the OP) want hosts that support your idea of freedom and suppress the rights of opposing views.

Perhaps this discussion would benefit if one of you defined what you mean by "free speech".
 

Nev_Dull

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Epik stands for lawful free speech for all on all "sides of the aisle" and the rule of genuine law and proper process.
How would that host help the OP? Wouldn't that person still have the right to complain about the site content to the host? Or is it that Epik would ignore the complaints because they only support certain rights?
 

Pete

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Are you saying webhosts should have no say over who uses their services? Doesn't that go directly against your whole freedom stance?
Of course it does. And that's rather the point where I get angry about it.

Because these people don't want free speech. They want the right to say things they know are unpalatable and unviable in existing spaces, and thus the freedom to say it without restriction. Notice that these people inevitably don't like it when the reverse is pointed out - that in order for them to have free speech, others must also have equivalently free speech.
 

Joeychgo

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This is confusing. Are you saying webhosts should have no say over who uses their services? Doesn't that go directly against your whole freedom stance?

Often, people confuse their 'rights' as being absolute. Many don't seem to understand (or care) if the exercise of their "rights" adversely affects or infringes on the rights of another. People also often don't accurately understand their rights and what they actually encompass.

As an example... As forum owners, most of us have had a member tell us we're "censoring them" and violating their "rights" when we've moderated or deleted a post. As the owner of the forum, the 'right' to freedom of speech does not apply. Period. Basically, our site, our rules. So as a webhost, why should they have to host anyone with any content? They don't.
 

John H20

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Except that ICANN and the EU (that little group of nearly 500 million people) agreed to censor it as per GDPR and they have no legal right to hold that data on non-customers in the EU. Even putting aside the legality there is no *moral* right either.

Pleare do tell me what “legitimate purpose” they would have for 15 million email addresses including not-customers? Ifyou’re going to say unsolicited commercial email, that’s spam and also isn’t legit.

My understanding is that Epik never broke any law that applies to them at all regarding that data. You're simply wrong about "moral right" too.

As far as "legitimate purpose" goes, figure it out yourself, or ask them. I'm sure they've already addressed that somewhere. And everyone knows it can't "legitimately" be for spam as that is defined by law. But I'll just give one example: one might want to attempt to buy a domain considered valuable or that becomes valuable at some point in time, and be able to make contact before the whois info becomes unavailable. I'm also not aware that all email that is commercial in nature is necessarily spam as defined by law either. For example, perhaps it would be lawful for a company holding such data to send an invitation to various parties to use a free service with the potential to benefit the recipient, and with the hope that perhaps it might eventually lead to benefiting the sender as well, yet without asking or soliciting that any paid service or product be immediately considered. But that's just a guess for that last part, so I don't claim to know if that is an accurate assessment of the matter.

This is confusing. Are you saying webhosts should have no say over who uses their services? Doesn't that go directly against your whole freedom stance?

It sounds suspiciously like you (and the OP) want hosts that support your idea of freedom and suppress the rights of opposing views.

Perhaps this discussion would benefit if one of you defined what you mean by "free speech".

Nobody is supporting the suppression of opposing views, but rather explicitly and blatantly supporting the exact opposite, at least in my case. It sounds suspiciously like you support suppressing opposing views, however, otherwise it would be a good idea for you to define what exactly you think the "rights" of opposing views are. Is this a case of "accuse the other side of the very thing you do yourself"? It kind of looks like it.

How would that host help the OP? Wouldn't that person still have the right to complain about the site content to the host? Or is it that Epik would ignore the complaints because they only support certain rights?

The fact that OP himself or herself could give a thumbs up to this comment while not even acknowledging everything I've done here for his or her sake is kafkaesque indeed. Op is clearly confused, and it's times like this that one can easily regret even wasting time and getting involved. Straight from The Twilight Zone.

Nonetheless, the topic and the cause transcend this confused and confusing OP.

To answer your question anyway for the sake of every reader in general, Epik exists and operates in the real world of common sense. That means that they both support lawful free speech, and they also support strong "due process" regarding any effort to suppress or eliminate someone's or some entity's speech and activity on their services and platform. They do not have any unrealistic or unlawful "anything goes" policy, and they do not "only support certain rights." They do exactly what anyone would want if one were using their platform, regardless of the user's ideology and views. Unlike so many other famous service providers.

Of course it does. And that's rather the point where I get angry about it.

Because these people don't want free speech. They want the right to say things they know are unpalatable and unviable in existing spaces, and thus the freedom to say it without restriction. Notice that these people inevitably don't like it when the reverse is pointed out - that in order for them to have free speech, others must also have equivalently free speech.

No, you are making a straw man and misrepresenting. In fact the truth is the exact opposite: certain factions want the ability to censor and suppress anything and everything they don't like without restriction, and they want private industry to obey them in such desires. And those who support free speech EXPLICITLY want "equivalently free speech" for those very people who make it their mission in life and one of their reasons for living to censor and suppress them. While I can't speak very knowledgably about other regions of the world, in the United States this phenomenon consists mainly and almost entirely of what is known as the "liberal Democrat" establishment currently in control of both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government and many other regional governments wanting to be able to censor and suppress anything and everything they don't like or agree with, and beyond that even the ability to utterly destroy the lives of those who express anything they don't like or agree with; whereas those who oppose censorship and suppression and the absence of due process do support "equivalently free speech" for those very (authoritarian) "liberals" and Democrats who want to both suppress their right of free speech and destroy their very lives. And notice how I said "almost entirely." It's about 99 to 1 or 98 to 2 in terms of those on the receiving end of the liberal Democrat establishment; i.e., you will sometimes find a desire to censor and suppress and engage in certain forms of "cancel culture" even among those who are the biggest recipients and victims of it themselves.

Often, people confuse their 'rights' as being absolute. Many don't seem to understand (or care) if the exercise of their "rights" adversely affects or infringes on the rights of another. People also often don't accurately understand their rights and what they actually encompass.

As an example... As forum owners, most of us have had a member tell us we're "censoring them" and violating their "rights" when we've moderated or deleted a post. As the owner of the forum, the 'right' to freedom of speech does not apply. Period. Basically, our site, our rules. So as a webhost, why should they have to host anyone with any content? They don't.

There are lawful and legitimate limitations, I don't know how many times I'm going to have to say that here of all places - ironically. However, when you talk about forums vs. what OP has addressed, you are talking about apples and oranges. Forums can have discriminatory preferences and rules, intolerant biases, etc., and that's fine - to a point. However, I agree with those who believe that certain types of services should be regulated as what they really are - utilities - with equal freedom of speech, access and lawful "due process" for all users. Additionally, I agree that at a certain point, certain types of sites should be regulated as utilities as well, due to marketplace monopoly issues and so forth. This would make for a better world. Finally for now, while I don't have time to look into it in a detailed manner right now, apparently courts or possibly even the US Supreme Court itself has held that when government is involved and supposedly "private" companies are censoring and suppressing speech at the request of government, that is effectively "state censorship" in violation and circumvention of the existing civil rights of free speech. That is only common sense as well.
 
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sactown

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I ask instead how are people finding out who your host is and can you cloak that? My typical method is to look-up name servers, but those can be cloaked with your own nameservers. And also get your own dedicated IP. No doubt there are other ways of finding out where a site is hosted but these measures may dissuade those who lack the tech know how to dig deeper.
 

Oldsmoboi

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The problem you're running into not one of "free speech".... it's when that speech turns into "conspiracy to commit X", "racketeering", "libel", etc.

And a lot of people are very brave when they're cloaked behind an internet persona. And while hate is protected speech, anonymity is not.

And what will happen is eventually, unless we as forum operators begin to regulate ourselves, one government or another is going to start to require us to ID our users somehow.

In case anyone thinks this is new.... from Wikipedia:
AT&T aimed to regulate hate speech starting in the 1960s, when various people and groups would connect tape recorders to a phone line and when anyone would call that line, the recording would play. These types of phone lines were nicknamed “dial-a-hate”.[21] This technique was used by extremists groups like the Connecticut branch of the Nationalist Socialist White People’s Party and the Ku Klux Klan.[21] These phone lines proved to be popular as a Neo-Nazi group in Philadelphia said they received 3,800 calls per week in 1973 and a Texas branch of the Ku Klux Klan used this method all the way into 1977. Some phone lines like Let Freedom Ring became popular shows that people would call in to hear a new recording every week, much like an early form of a podcast.

AT&T tried several times to end the “dial-a-hate” lines but phone companies and regulators said nothing could be done to shut down the recordings and courts protected them under the First Amendment. Eventually, AT&T required that the operators of the line identify themselves. Between this new AT&T policy and the growing expense of having a phone line, the “dial-a-hate” lines came to an end. Many of the groups found new and less expensive ways of promoting their agenda like sending messages through fax machines and digital bulletin boards. Eventually, the extremist group would spread their messages through the internet and social media.

Furthermore, so many of these "freedom of speech" sites are either operated by or infested with foreign troll bots posting stuff specifically to fire up Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Facebook recently found out (probably not recently, I'm sure they've known for a while) that 19 of the 20 top Christian Facebook pages are just troll farms run from Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Mid-East. Is that the speech you're trying to protect?... some Russian troll bot?

for those very (authoritarian) "liberals" and Democrats
It's funny when Conservatives say this... because I feel the same way about them. Those very authoritarian Republicans want to tell me who I can and cannot marry, who I should and should not worship... and that I have to worship at all, I must obey the police unless I don't like the results of the election then I can kill the police instead, they want to tell a man they have to use the women's room because they weren't born with the right parts, they want to deny service to gay couples but get mad and throw tantrums if an airline requires a mask, they get upset when they pull up to the restaurant and scream in the window that their chicken sandwich doesn't pop out fast enough and then call people lazy for not accepting $7.50 an hour jobs where they get screamed at.

The problem that authoritarian Republicans have is that they get all upset when they freedom of speech and freedom of association is used against them. They don't want freedom for all... just for you. You want to spray hate speech on the internet... fine... but don't whine when you get doxxed and your business goes under because no one wants to buy there anymore.... that's those other people expressing their freedoms too.
 
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DigNap15

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The problem you're running into not one of "free speech".... it's when that speech turns into "conspiracy to commit X", "racketeering", "libel", etc.

And a lot of people are very brave when they're cloaked behind an internet persona. And while hate is protected speech, anonymity is not.

And what will happen is eventually, unless we as forum operators begin to regulate ourselves, one government or another is going to start to require us to ID our users somehow.

In case anyone thinks this is new.... from Wikipedia:


Furthermore, so many of these "freedom of speech" sites are either operated by or infested with foreign troll bots posting stuff specifically to fire up Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Facebook recently found out (probably not recently, I'm sure they've known for a while) that 19 of the 20 top Christian Facebook pages are just troll farms run from Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Mid-East. Is that the speech you're trying to protect?... some Russian troll bot?


It's funny when Conservatives say this... because I feel the same way about them. Those very authoritarian Republicans want to tell me who I can and cannot marry, who I should and should not worship... and that I have to worship at all, I must obey the police unless I don't like the results of the election then I can kill the police instead, they want to tell a man they have to use the women's room because they weren't born with the right parts, they want to deny service to gay couples but get mad and throw tantrums if an airline requires a mask, they get upset when they pull up to the restaurant and scream in the window that their chicken sandwich doesn't pop out fast enough and then call people lazy for not accepting $7.50 an hour jobs where they get screamed at.

The problem that authoritarian Republicans have is that they get all upset when they freedom of speech and freedom of association is used against them. They don't want freedom for all... just for you. You want to spray hate speech on the internet... fine... but don't whine when you get doxxed and your business goes under because no one wants to buy there anymore.... that's those other people expressing their freedoms too.
So how many left wing forums and websites have been shut down or banned from Youtube or Google? or worse?
The number of right wing channels and forums would hundreds and thousands!

Most right wing members do not "spray hate speech" they just want to stand up for freedom. and their country and their jobs and way of life!
 

Nev_Dull

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It sounds suspiciously like you support suppressing opposing views, however, otherwise it would be a good idea for you to define what exactly you think the "rights" of opposing views are. Is this a case of "accuse the other side of the very thing you do yourself"? It kind of looks like it.
No, I was asking a simple question because I do not see how changing hosts would solve the OP's issue. If the person believes the forum contains threats and hate and complains to the hosting company, their concerns would have to be taken seriously by any host, regardless of their stance on free speech. The fact that you promoted Epik as a host to help the OP gives the impression perhaps Epik might be a host that would ignore those complaints in favour of their political stance.

It isn't a surprise the OP might be confused. This is a confusing issue for many people. Nearly all of us live in countries that support the right to free speech, most of which have much more defined views of does and doesn't constitute lawful free speech.
To answer your question anyway for the sake of every reader in general, Epik exists and operates in the real world of common sense. That means that they both support lawful free speech, and they also support strong "due process" regarding any effort to suppress or eliminate someone's or some entity's speech and activity on their services and platform. They do not have any unrealistic or unlawful "anything goes" policy, and they do not "only support certain rights." They do exactly what anyone would want if one were using their platform, regardless of the user's ideology and views. Unlike so many other famous service providers.
This is a lot of word salad that doesn't really say much, but let's go back to the original problem. If the complaining person is correct, that some content contains threats or hate speech. How should the host handle that?
 

Nev_Dull

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So how many left wing forums and websites have been shut down or banned from Youtube or Google? or worse?
The number of right wing channels and forums would hundreds and thousands!

Most right wing members do not "spray hate speech" they just want to stand up for freedom. and their country and their jobs and way of life!
Just some food for thought. Isn't it possible that more "right wing" sites contain misinformation and unverified claims than "left wing" sites? After all, most of the anti-vax, anti-mask, pseudo-science claims appear to be coming from right leaning people.
 

DigNap15

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Just some food for thought. Isn't it possible that more "right wing" sites contain misinformation and unverified claims than "left wing" sites? After all, most of the anti-vax, anti-mask, pseudo-science claims appear to be coming from right leaning people.
I was asking how many left wing sites have been closed down!
You should know because you seem to support them so much
 

Oldsmoboi

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So how many left wing forums and websites have been shut down or banned from Youtube or Google? or worse?
The number of right wing channels and forums would hundreds and thousands!
This isn't a "you have to listen to both sides" thing. We don't when both sides are not equal. Which brings me to:
Most right wing members do not "spray hate speech" they just want to stand up for freedom. and their country and their jobs and way of life!
My bad, you're right... they do so so much more. There's the tinfoil hat conspiracy theories, the plotting of actual conspiracies, the dangerous disinformation, the MLM marketing disguised as "holistic medicine"..... the list goes on.

Now... these people have every right to post that stuff. And Verizon, or AT&T, or Google, or HostGator, or whoever has every right to decide not to host it. Your free speech rights do not include the right to other people's servers. And as you missed in my prior post... they're not standing up for freedom... they're standing up for their own "freedom" to be absolute jerks and whining when there are consequences for it. Standing up for jobs? They've been surviving on a steady diet of billionaire bootlicking for decades making sure all states were At-Will employment and Unions got broken up and now they want the government to intervene to save some anti-vaxxer their job?

Just yesterday I wrote a long post rebutting the assertions of some poster on Facebook who is listening to a single quack "doctor" who has been banned off of Youtube and has been relegated to these "Freedom loving" sites, that goes against the advice of Dr Fauci, the CDC, the WHO, the FDA, the Israel health ministry, the Canadian health ministry, the German health ministry, the South Korean health ministry, and the Indian health ministry. One quack in Colorado is right but the top 10 health organizations in the world, plus 99% of hospitals are wrong according to her. And the danger is that the disinformation that she and so many others are spreading will cost lives. It will extend the pandemic and probably allow for future, more dangerous variants. We could have been out of this by now months ago if it weren't for this crap.

Their way of life? Their way of life in Pigs Crotch, Alabama is in no danger of changing. They'll still work at the Bucees for just above minimum wage with no healthcare benefits. They're afraid of a terrorist attack from Al-Queda, but all Al-Queda has to do is sit back and wait for the congestive heart failure to do its job.

But god forbid that some Democrats suggest universal healthcare, because "That would be Socialism!" they say as they swipe their SNAP card to get home in time for the Section 8 inspector to visit.

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. And they're mad when people call them out for being jerks.
 
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Michael_

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A lot of bla bla and not even mentioned one host?

I would try 2x4.ru or ask altushost.com
 

Pete

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Except the former of those is in Russia and as we all know Russia doesn't take free speech particularly seriously, and the latter is European and they're even worse. Obviously.

Neither of those stand up for FREE SPEECH.

</sarcasm>
 

sanction9

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I know what you are getting at with your devils advocate situation.
But it just goes to show that the USA is fast becoming a police state, where everyone is scared to do or say anything.
I'm just reading George Orwells 1984 and he talks about people "disappearing"
He write that in 1944 and now look what happens in China if you speak out!

The phone conpanies do not get sued if their users conduct drug deals on them
Webhosts should be treated the same'
I'm sort of in the middle with this kind of thinking. On the one hand, I completely agree that "Cancel Culture" or whatever you want to call it has gone too far and there's currently too many delicate flowers on the planet today who expect the whole world to bow to their sensitivities. (I've most recently been shaking my head over the whole Dave Chapelle controversy.) On the other hand, too often these days, when people start talking about an Orwellian police state and free speech becoming a thing of the past, what they actually mean is that they're pissed off that they can't get away with saying whatever they want and damn the consequences. When people are free to disseminate ridiculous conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact and are clearly just preying on people's fears and prejudices, like the whole silly QAnon New York pizza parlor pedo ring conspiracy - to use just one "modern classic" example - and it results in armed avengers showing up to rescue the non-existent children in said pizza parlor, then it makes me question just how much free speech is too much.

Phone conversations are generally private, by the way, which is the difference - well, at least to the extent that the general public isn't privy to them.
 
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Nev_Dull

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I was asking how many left wing sites have been closed down!
You should know because you seem to support them so much
I thought the question was rhetorical, since you followed it up with a statement that so many more "right wing" sites had been shut down. So I was offering a possible reason why more right wing sites may have been closed compared to left wing ones.

And to be clear, I'm more of a centrist. I think both sides have good and bad ideas, and I also think both are needed to create a balancing point. Sadly, we rarely get a government that is balanced.
 

Oldsmoboi

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I thought the question was rhetorical, since you followed it up with a statement that so many more "right wing" sites had been shut down. So I was offering a possible reason why more right wing sites may have been closed compared to left wing ones.

And to be clear, I'm more of a centrist. I think both sides have good and bad ideas, and I also think both are needed to create a balancing point. Sadly, we rarely get a government that is balanced.
There has not been a valid "both sides" for years. The Republican side's agenda since at least Reagan has been making the rich richer and using the bread and circuses of "Family Values" to maintain power and further their agenda. They've gotten white poor people to vote against their own financial best interest and used homophobia, abortion, racism, and xenophobia to do it.

A true both sides would be a debate on how we pay for and administer the healthcare system in a way that all have access to it without it being determined by employment. The Republican's position is... if you don't have a job, you can die in the street after the bank takes your house. That's not a "both sides" argument. A true debate would be how may years of secondary education we will cover tuition free.... the Republican position is "LOL! 22% interest and you can never declare bankruptcy to wipe it away!"

A normal centrist position amongst the developed world would be somewhere just to the left of President Obama. It's the lunatic fringe that has taken over the right (via these "Freedom of Speech" sites) that prevent us from doing anything... anything at all... except for cutting Jeff Bezo's taxes.
 
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