Nov
28
2012

QotD, The Price Of Civility Is Eternal Vigilance Edition.

Penny Arcade has a definite point, here.

Nintendo’s online offerings prior to the Wii U have been…  online offerings, I guess you might say.  Literal interpretations.  We can tell now that they were not full attempts, and it’s clear, because when they actually try to do it it looks like this.

The “Theme Park” metaphor leveraged in NintendoLand is purposeful – that’s what they think it should be like to interact with people online.  It should be like Disneyland.  Everyone is there to have fun, and fun is in ready supply.  But it must be guarded jealously, like a jewel; it requires secret police and strong image recognition software and constant vigilance to strain the c[*]cks out of the public soup.

I’ve been doing this for a decade now, and it’s an inconvenient truth that any site that lacks comment moderation is the equivalent of an unwalled city in Eurasia during the Mongol invasions.  Maybe the Horde will stop by.  Maybe it won’t.  But if it does, your site is pretty much screwed.  You can talk about various ‘libertarian’ theories all day long*, but it still comes down to this: our society tolerates people going online anonymously and being a*sholes.  The only way to stop that is to control who can comment and post on your site.

And that’s the way it is.

Moe Lane

*Scare quotes because it’s startling how many self-defined ‘libertarians’ out there can’t seem to get it through their head that places like, say, MoeLane.com or dailykos.com or wikipedia.com are all private property.  And that people who own or lease private property retain certain rights.  Which explicitly includes the right to limit other people’s speech.

5 Comments

  • DemosthenesVW says:

    Yeah, those people aren’t really libertarians. (I know you aren’t claiming that they are; I just want it on record that they have no idea what they’re saying.) Libertarianism does not mean “I get to do whatever I want, whenever I want.” It is instead an explicit and full-throated defense of a strong conception of human rights, ESPECIALLY property rights (of which all other rights-types could arguably be seen as subsets, on the views of stringent libertarians). And there is NOTHING that limits my actions with respect to you more than your property rights — your ownership-rights in your person, in your expression, and in the things you possess. There are weaker forms of libertarianism, of course, which allow for infringement on rights under certain extreme circumstances. Still…how anyone could claim to be a libertarian and yet think they can impose on the property rights of others — merely because they wish to — continues to baffle me.

    • DemosthenesVW says:

      Sorry about the disjointed nature of that comment. Those people just bug the living daylights out of me, and it’s sometimes hard to be coherent when discussing fools.

  • Patrick Thomas says:

    I think the other part of site moderation is the taunts left to ghosts on their escorting out the door. One of the better things about your work here and on RedState is the tireless work of troll/Moby hunting. My fondest memory is your editing for grammar on one trolls comment a couple of years back that extended it to twice its original post length. :)

  • Kyle Haight says:

    I have to politely disagree with DemosthenesVW. There are self-proclaimed libertarians who explicitly reject property on the grounds that it is a type of coercion. (Google “libertarian socialism” for a laugh.) Less extremely, consider the common libertarian hostility to intellectual property rights as an alleged creation of the state. There are also utilitarian libertarians who reject the entire concept of rights as incoherent.

    Psychologically, there is a flavor of libertarian motivated by simple anti-authoritarianism. These people bridle at being ‘told what to do’, by anyone, for any reason. The authority of a government official and the authority of a property owner are both authority and their use is seen as equally offensive.

    • DemosthenesVW says:

      Yeah, I know those people exist. Where we part ways is that I’m not willing to consider their self-description of “libertarian” as evidence for their actual libertarianism. Andrew Sullivan still considers and styles himself a conservative…doesn’t make it so. (Those [sadly many] libertarians who oppose IP are the only ones you mention I would consider a form of libertarian — though I disagree with them — because their objections are usually rooted in an objection to the infringement of individual rights by the state which they believe IP represents. As you noted yourself, I think.)

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