My Take On Whether The Ralph Retort and Related Entities Should Be Censored
XenoKriss at Voat urged me to comment specifically on the censorship aspects of what has been going on regarding Ethan Ralph’s speech, and over all, my take is this: so long as his speech is not illegal, it should be unfettered regardless how offensive it may be, though I will not pretend to like any of it if I don’t like it, but I won’t call for it’s banning simply on that grounds.
I shall further address the post I was directed to below:
(Original can be found at: https://voat.co/v/GamerGate/comments/812985
So basically, Ethan Ralph of the TheRalphRetort Triggered a bunch of people by allowing an “Offensive” article to be posted on his site, as well as allowing the writer to write more articles on the issue even after having engaged in some admittedly nasty Twitter trolling. This came hot off the heels of sepatate conflict Ralph had with Liana K, a somewhat well known Feminist that’s supposedly Neutral on GG, but not too keen on free speech:
Voat - have your sayvoat.co
I’ll be blunt, I side with Mr. Elliot here.
As a result of these incidents, Ralph has been hit by a number of attacks aimed at limiting his own free speech.
First of all, Liana K and/or her fanboys had his shootstream about her taken down:
Youtube tends to have a very kneejerk removal policy that shoots first, asks later, and so long as the contents of the video were not illegal, I disagree very strongly with any attempt to take it down.
Then Ralph-haters got his girlfriend Suspended from Twitter:
As someone who himself has gotten suspended from Twitter under circumstances that still make no apparent sense, I find this highly regrettable, though I admit I’m not sure what the supposed excuse for doing so was since I can’t seem to bring up Ralph’s blog, but if it was yanked purely due to an offended soul wanting revenge out of spite, I deplore that.
And then a bunch of Triggered souls mass reported a number of his articles for “offending content” (most notably an article where he was apparently being too mean to Fucking Pedophile Nicholas Nyberg), resulting in his AdSense being removed:
On this topic, Ralph has my profound sympathy. Nyberg is a pedophile, and I wouldn't apologize in his place for exposing that degenerate for what he is either.
Ralph has said on later streams that he’s currently editing (aka Self-Censoring) a number of the reported articles in an attempt to get AdSense back, given that it’s basically what’s keeping his site afloat. Speaking of Ralph streams, ANOTHER one of those got Censored just today:
Ralph contacted me and told me he does not engage in using spamming software to SEO his work, and the Youtube video in question was banned for reasons alluding to this as the shut down excuse. I don’t know how truthful this is aside from Ralph’s denials he engages in these practices, but unless proof exists he provably spams, then I oppose anyone using that as an underhanded vector to silence Ralph.
This should go without saying, but obviously your ability to condemn Censorship should have nothing to do with whether or not you like Ralph’s content, like Ralph himself, agreed with the articles about Grave Standing or approve of the way Ralph has handled the attacks on him. This is about actual Censorship taking place on multiple platforms, very much aimed at getting “Offensive” content removed and punishing a guy considered responsible for said “Offensive” content just because it Triggering these people. Sounds familiar? The true test when it comes to free speech is not whether or not it protects Popular content, but whether it protects Unpopular content that genuinely pisses people off, whether that be Muhammed caricatures, offensive Tumblr blogs or the stuff Ralph puts out. I really thought most in GG understood this much by now.
And I agree. Being offensive alone is no reason to censor speech. Unless it disturbs the peace or otherwise violates the law, I condemn the arbitrary silencing of someone for simply hurting feelings. People can get angry all they wish, but until they have legally actionable cause (whether that exists is unknown to me at this point), using legal means to satiate personal slights against someone for emotional reasons does not sit well with me at all.
**UPDATE:** Apparently it wasn’t just one video that got removed — Ralph’s saying he got a whole channel nuked:
Censorship also leads to Self-Censorship, which is why GamerGate used to despise it:
I’ll admit I’m not sure why Ralph would have to do this. I am not familiar with his tweet history, but having to remove certain content in self censorship to further avoid revenge by offended souls does not sit well with me, and unless those tweets violate some clearly defined policy, I’m dismayed Ralph is in a position where he feels the need to censor himself to avoid further assaults on his expression.
In fact, on the censorship issue, I’ll just end things with this: Unless Ethan Ralph can be proven guilty of offenses worthy of censorship under the law, just censoring him based on being mad at him is childish and spiteful however abrasive he might be, and while I don’t know all the facts, I do know the mere act of being offensive is not a crime and legal means should not be used to suppress speech one doesn’t like but is not illegal.