The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Month: October 2017

Community Standards?

Community guidelines. Content
guidelines. Toxic. Removed for security reasons. What do they mean?

Benjamin Weingarten
on October 26 posted a lengthy and very informative column on Gatestone on the
subject of social media’s ongoing campaign to exorcize all criticism of Islam from the
Internet, “Facebook,
Social Media, Aiding Jihad: Censoring Those Who Counter Jihad.
” His column
is peppered with the aforementioned terms, which exist to help censors direct
the campaign to protect and insulate Islam from criticism, or to simply prohibit
it.
For the past few years, large social media
and other online companies have been seeking to restrict or even criminalize
content that could be construed as critical of Islam or Muslims, including when the material simply exposes
the words and actions
of radical Islamists. [Italics mine]
Social media and online
companies are doing the dirty work of governments committed to turning Muslims
into a protected class, and to treating Islam as a sacrosanct ideology not to
be vilified or questioned. Except for the German government, most Western
governments are shy of being accused of censorship. So they farm out the task
to the private sphere and hold its feet to the fire of punishing fines if it
fails in its duty to regulate speech by proxy. These companies and social media
receive the blessing and sanction of governments that will not excoriate or
cast Islam into a bad light. (Parenthetically, the term “radical Islam,” which
occurs almost a dozen times in Weingarten’s column, is an invalid, redundant
term, as Islam is already “radical.” To call Islam, which is a totalitarian
ideology and only secondarily a religion, “radical,” is as ludicrous as calling
Nazism or Communism “radical.”)
Weingarten goes on:
In September 2016, YouTube released new “Advertiser-friendly
content guidelines,”
according to which: “Video content that
features or focuses on sensitive topics or events including, but not limited
to, war, political conflicts, terrorism or extremism, death and tragedies,
sexual abuse, even if graphic imagery is not shown, is generally not eligible
for ads. For example, videos about recent tragedies, even if presented for news
or documentary purposes, may not be eligible for advertising given the subject
matter.” It is easy to see how such rules could be used against people
trying to counter jihad.
In March 2017, Google revealed that it was seeking to improve its search
function by having its 10,000 “quality raters” flag
“upsetting-offensive” content. The data generating the quality
ratings will then be incorporated into Google’s algorithms for monitoring and
forbidding content. Two months later, Google updated the guidelines for
“non-English-language web pages.” One example cited by Google as
“upsetting-offensive” is a post titled “Proof that Islam is
Evil, Violent, and Intolerant – Straight from the Koran…” In contrast,
Google calls a PBS Teachers Guide on Islam a “high-quality
article…with an accurate summary of the major beliefs and practices of
Islam.”
In August 2017, YouTube posted “An update on our commitment to fight terror content online,”
which is sure to put counter-jihadist content in its crosshairs
Imagine spending days or years
researching, for example, how perhaps two million Europeans were kidnapped from
their homes or villages by Muslim pirates or corsairs and enslaved by Muslim
caliphs or sentenced to Muslim harems in the Mideast or North Africa, never to
escape, but to die in captivity – only to have your work spiked or consigned to
the black hole of non-existence by an anonymous “quality rater.” The finicky Google
wonk could work just as well for Facebook.
Imagine spending days or years
producing a scholarly work that demonstrates that Arab slavers were responsible
for the deaths of millions of black Africans captured and force-marched under
the whip to the Mideast or northern Africa, to perish enroute, or to be worked
to death building palaces for the powerful Arab sheiks – only to have it called
bigoted or racist and a violation of “community standards,” and banished from
the Internet by an ignorant “quality rater.”
What are “community
standards”?
Wikipedia writes
that:
Community standards are local norms
bounding acceptable conduct, possibly going beyond legal minimum requirements in
relation to either limits on acceptable conduct itself or the manner in which
the community will enforce acceptable conduct. Sometimes these standards can be
itemized in a list that states the community’s values and sets guidelines for
participation in the community. Alternatively, informal standards may be
imprecisely described as “I’ll know it when I see it.”
And what are a “community’s
values”?  There is no fixed,
written-in-stone expression of them anywhere. Drexel University
focuses on obscenity, but does not address issues of suppressing criticism of
Islam. Most universities have published their own “community stanards.”
The perceived need to regulate information
dissemination in order to spare certain individuals from ideas of questionable
acceptance can be found as far back as ancient Greek civilization, when Plato
urged the suppression of “indecency” in the creative arts and called for the
censor of writers (Heins, 2001, p. 3). Today, our modern society grapples with
issues of defining constitutionally protected speech. The definition of and
laws regarding obscenity are issues that the United States has continually
revisited in recent decades. This paper begins with an exploration of the
definition of obscenity in the United States, providing an historic overview of
laws that have molded our current definition of what is legally considered
obscene material, and exposes problems relating to the “community standards”
aspect of the current legal definition. Additionally, this paper explores how
libraries are affected by obscenity law in the current information age, with
specific focus on the controversy surrounding Internet filtering in public
libraries.
US
Legal
writes:
The term contemporary community standards is
a standard used to test descriptions or depictions of sexual matters, which was
first adopted by the United States Supreme Court in 1957 in Roth v. United
States, 354 U.S. 476. In the Roth case, the Court put forth its test for
determining whether a work is obscene as “whether to the average person,
applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material
taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest.”
This will normally permit the use of county
standards or federal district standards, if a federal case. In fact community
standards may be utilized without reference to a precise geographical area.
Jurors are the judges of contemporary
community standards, based upon their knowledge of the norms of the community
from which they may come. The juror must also decide whether the “average
person” in applying such standards would find that the disputed material
appeals to “prurient interest” or is “patently offensive.”
Experts testimony may be used to testify about the nature of the contemporary
community standards,’ but such testimony is not constitutionally required.
Perhaps a better question
might be: What is a community? Using
the Google “definition,” a “quality rater” just might be an “average person.”
He and his colleagues, none of whom could have an ounce of intellectual acumen,
would constitute the “community” that sets the standards. These anonymous
individuals would be of a finite number, working in specific geographical
areas. They would decide what violates “standards” with the assistance of
computer-generated algorithms, which would be determined and set by other
anonymous individuals higher up the censorship food chain.

This community would be in
constant conflict with outside communities, such as identified groups of
counter-jihad writers or filmmakers. These groups would have individual names
or would be corralled or labeled into arbitrarily assigned collectives
identified as “hate speech groups,” or “Islamophobic” groups or “right-wing”
groups or just plain bigots or racists. Echoes of The Southern Poverty Law Center. “Quality
raters” would be the judges and juries – not any law – of whether or not
certain speech or disseminated information violates vague, amorphous “community
standards,” or “norms,” which could be applied to anything a “quality rater”
and his supervisor may disagree with or just not like.
Weingarten comes to his main
point, about how Internet censorship aids and abets jihadists, and writes:
That major technology
companies are openly stifling the free speech of people trying to counter jihad
is bad enough; what is beyond unconscionable is that they simultaneously enable
Islamic supremacists to spread the very content that the counter-jihadists have
been exposing.
According to the legal
complaint, the names and symbols of Palestinian Arab terrorist groups and
individuals were known to authorities, and “Facebook has the data and capability
to cease providing services to [such] terrorists, but… has chosen not to do
so.”
A separate lawsuit claims
that Twitter not only benefits indirectly by seeing its user base swell through
the increase of ISIS-linked accounts, but directly profits by placing targeted
advertisements on them.
When jihadist content is
permitted to spread unchecked across the globe via cyberspace, it is a matter
of national and international security. Tragically for Western civilization,
its tech and media icons have been colluding — even if unwittingly — with
those working actively to destroy it.
And….
For the past few years, large social media
and other online companies have been seeking to restrict or even criminalize
content that could be construed as critical of Islam or Muslims, including when
the material simply exposes the words and actions of radical Islamists.
Meaning that truth is the new “hate speech.”

The recent attempt by the digital payment platform, PayPal, to
forbid two conservative organizations — Jihad Watch and the American Freedom Defense Initiative — from continuing to
use the service to receive donations, is a perfect case in point. Although
PayPal reversed the ban, its initial move was part of an ongoing war against the free speech of counter-jihadists — those
working to expose the ideology, goals, tactics and strategies of Islamic
supremacists, and who are trying to defeat or at least to deter the Islamic
supremacist
global agenda.
I’m especially amused when I read
that some speech has been deemed “toxic,” as though words, images, or ideas
have the power of a dangerous chemical or gas to physically hurt or kill
someone. Words, images (such as cartoons), and ideas, however, have no
metaphysical, innate, or intrinsic power of toxicity, as mustard gas and 
ethyl bromoacetate (tear gas) had in
World War I. Further, the notion of
“hate speech,” is similarly impotent, but then truth-telling has been deemed
toxic “hate speech” purely on the hypothetical chance that some
hyper-sensitive, Muslim snowflakes might be “offended,” or “insulted,” or feel demeaned or threatened by it.
Weingarten concludes his
column with:
Yet one cannot deny the global reach and
scope of Facebook, Google and the other Internet giants, which make it
extremely difficult for dissatisfied customers to find or create an
alternative. The fact is that in today’s world, individuals and businesses
barely are seen to exist without having a presence on these platforms. If such
platforms wish, they can cripple those who dissent from their ideological
orthodoxy.
This is problematic not only for political conservatives and counter-jihadists who are
treated negatively by the major media firms. It is also worrisome from the
point of view of freedom of expression. When jihadist content is permitted to
spread unchecked across the globe via cyberspace, it is a matter of national
and international security. Tragically for Western civilization, its tech and
media icons have been colluding – even if unwittingly – with those working
actively to destroy it.
Not to mention the FBI, the
State Department, and other federal agencies dedicated to shielding Islam.

CAIR: The New Showrunner?

Scott Gimple, its
“showrunner,” has partnered with CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations),
whether or not he knows it.

So Muslims may remain “sensitive” to criticism
Of course, you may write TWD off
as just a program that attracts the fantasy-obsessed, as a low-class program of
no importance that features zombies being diced and sliced. But what you cannot
write off is the influence CAIR has now and has had for a long time.
The precedent for not defaming
a person or a religion or even an ideology was set by the U.S. government when
it frowned
on Hollywood portraying FDR’s friend Stalin
as an enemy or by “defaming”
him as the murderous tyrant he was. Ayn Rand’s
HUAC
testimony blew the lid off of the pro-Soviet movie “Song of Russia.” But it
didn’t blow the Left from Hollywood. The Left is entrenched there more than
it ever was in Rand’s time. And the Left is ideologically copasetic with Islam. They
are both totalitarian.
For example, CAIR and other Muslim
groups have whined continually about how “24” portrayed Muslims and Islam.
The hit show was canceled after eight seasons purportedly because of declining
ratings and budget concerns. The last show, however, required a disclaimer
that it did not intentionally denigrate Muslims.
“Hi. My name is
Kiefer Sutherland. And I play counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer on Fox’s 24. I
would like to take a moment to talk to you about something that I think is very
important. Now while terrorism is obviously one of the most critical challenges
facing our nation and the world, it is important to recognize that the American
Muslim community stands firmly beside their fellow Americans in denouncing and
resisting all forms of terrorism. So in watching 24, please, bear that in
mind.”
CAIR
announced that:
CAIR, along with the Muslim Public Affairs Council, recently met
with representatives of Fox and the show’s producers to address the depiction
of a “Muslim” family that is at the heart of a terror plot in the
popular program. The group is concerned that the portrayal of the family as a terrorist
“sleeper cell” may cast a shadow of suspicion over ordinary American
Muslims and could increase Islamophobic stereotyping and bias.

After meeting with CAIR, Fox officials said they would distribute a CAIR public
service  announcement (PSA) to network
affiliates.

Don’t be a Muslim informant!
Or you will be knifed, or “honor-killed”!
However, CAIR’s PSA is no
longer available on CAIR’s site. And “sleeper cells” are active or are biding
their time by “sleeping” as “ordinary,” harmless Muslims. Islamic jihadists who
engage in domestic terrorism were either “immigrants” or were born in the U.S. Remember
that the two San
Bernardino jihadists
were “sleepers” until they woke up and began
collecting guns. In 2015, ABC News called them “a young couple.”
Syed Rizwan Farook,
who for years worked at the San Bernardino County Public Health Department
whose personnel appear to have been the target of Wednesday’s attack, left an
online footprint mostly in the form of Muslim-oriented dating site profiles he
and his parents created years ago. In one, Farook describes himself as a
“health, safety and environmental inspector,” says he’s 6’0″
tall and doesn’t drink or smoke.
Another
profile portrayed a man trying to balance his faith and modern life
.
“I try to
live as a good Muslim,” Farook writes. “Looking for a girl who has the same
outlook, wears hijab, but lives the life to the fullest.”
Living “life to the fullest”
to Farook and Malik meant being gun-toting, murderous jihadists. That’s the Islamic
way. And Farook found his gal pal, sure enough.
According to
Farook’s brother-in-law, Farhan Khan, Farook had recently found success in a
relationship with a 29-year-old named Tashfeen Malik — a woman police later
said was his accomplice in the deadly shooting.
While it’s
unclear how Farook and Malik met, a U.S. official said he left the U.S. in July
2014 and returned just a few days later, apparently with Malik in tow. Malik
entered the U.S. on a Pakistani passport and a K-1 “Fiance” Visa. She
and Farook were married the next month but it wasn’t until this summer that
Malik received her Green Card…..
Investigators said they have not determined a
motive for Wednesday’s shooting.

Or you may be arrested for “hate
speech”!
By a Muslim Sharia patrol!
Should we be surprised? The FBI
was complicit
in the Garland
, Texas, planned attack on the “Draw Mohammad” contest, and
possibly with the Boston Marathon bombing, as well. Is it any wonder why the FBI
can’t determine a motive for that attempted massacre, and for the Las
Vegas one
? The FBI is in an ideological bed with the Left and with Islam.
Are TWD’s producers and
writers of the Left? Very likely. The Left has allied itself with Islam. We should
just take it for granted that the producers and writers of TWD will take the
series in a measurable but soft-pedaled pro-Islam direction, now that it’s
broken the ice in Season 8’s first episode. It won’t be obvious to the average viewer
or fan, who will remain clueless to the Dawah,
or even hostile to it, because informing him of how he’s being duped and
propagandized would interrupt his walker state of mind.

CAIR: The Walking Dead’s New Showrunner?

CAIR. And Scott Gimple, its “showrunner,”
has partnered with it.

Scott Gimple: Islamic dhimmi?


American TV and Movie
producers allow an inimical “civil rights” organization to “guide” them to the “right”
way to portray Islam and Muslim characters, especially in a popular series with
an enormous fan base. CAIR would’ve been clueless and negligent if it didn’t
realize that TWD was a hit, and contrive a way to exploit it to spread the
acceptance of Islam. The Walking
Dead
may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the long-running series has a
vast audience, most of whom know diddly about Islam, so it would be safe for CAIR
to persuade the series’ producers and writers to insinuate Dawah disguised as
mundane, ordinary dialogue. Dawah is the proselytizing of Islam as a “benign”
religion that means non-Muslims no harm. Dawah is practiced on
street corners, in jails, on the Internet, and in “entertainment.” It’s a “religion
of peace,” you see, has never harmed a fly. Just uncounted thousands who did not submit to Islam.
Islam has meant harm to non-Muslims
since the seventh century. It’s a matter of record.
I am not a horror movie fan. But
TWD caught my attention in its first season when it presented some outstanding
characters and followed their development, creating some memorable heroes and
heroines. My best girl is Carol
Peletier
, played by Melissa McBride, who grew over the numerous episodes from
being a dishrag abused by her husband (who perishes fairly early in the season,
a victim of “walkers” or zombies) to being a formidable and resourceful fighter
and “second lieutenant” to Rick
Grimes
, the nominal leader of a group of survivors of the zombie apocalypse.
Carol’s back story is too long and complicated to include here, but I fell for
her and put one of her images on my desktop.
Carol:
Formidable and Resourceful
 I have watched the entire series, but canceled
my subscription to the show via AMC when, out
of the blue, it introduced Islam in a big way, by way of a starving Muslim one
of the minor characters finds in a ruined gas station. The Muslim repeats
several terms that are exclusively Islamic, including a quotation from the Koran:
May
mercy prevail over my wrath.”
Carl, Rick Grimes’s son, was going to spare
the Muslim
(neither he nor his father knows squat about Islam).  But in the course of the Season 8 premiere
Rick Grimes, as in the past, repeats his promise that he will kill
the super villain, Negan
, leader of a gang of looters and killers, is shown
in an amorphous time jump, repeating the “mercy” quotation. This undercuts his
character, indicating a credible possibility that he will not keep
his promise
to kill Negan.
In fact, it undercuts the whole series.
A friend asked me whether or
not Islam and Muslims will be portrayed as “bad” in the series. I answered:
“No, it won’t be allowed. You haven’t watched
the series, I have. There were no Muslim walkers or zombies, in any episode,
just herds of mostly white ones, with a sprinkling of blacks and Asians. No Muslimas
in hijabs, abayas, or burkas or Muslim men wearing kufis or caps, attacking the
living, as they do in real life. The villains were all white, including the
cannibals who ran the Terminus. TWD will never portray evil Muslims. It made
its commitment to Islam through having a character recite from the Koran at the
opening of Season 8: “May my mercy prevail over my wrath.” This is
Dawah, or proselytizing Islam under the radar of dialogue.”
It is doubtful that the
producers and writers of TWD will ever admit that they were influenced by CAIR
to adulterate the series with Islamic “wisdom.” The “benign” introduction of Islam
in the series poisoned its appeal to me. It is not a matter of coincidence. The
timing is too perfect. CAIR goes to bat (Negan style) for all sorts of Muslim complaints
and causes from getting any mention of Islam scrubbed from FBI
training documents
to getting the study
of Islam in public schools
to loudly criticizing how Muslims are portrayed
in Movies and TV
and applying a quantum of arm-twisting.
If the producers and writers
of TWD were not influenced or cajoled into shilling for Islam, CAIR must be pleased
as punch. It didn’t need to lift a finger. American producers and writers have
been so submissive and Sharia minded.  
Scott Gimple was interviewed
by Entertainment
and asked about the Koran quotation:
You end up having
Rick do a callback to that guy from earlier and quoting from Islam with “My
mercy prevails over my wrath.” What does having Rick say that at the end
signify?

Oh God, no! I can’t say that because
that’s the story. Therein lies the tale.
But the question
obviously the viewer is going to ask after seeing that is: Does that signify
that Rick is ultimately going to offer mercy to Negan as opposed to wrath? I
mean, you are asking the audience to ask that question, right?

Well, I certainly went into it
thinking that the audience might ask that question. I will say that especially
at the start of a season, you do want the audience asking questions. You do
want them thinking about what comes next. I really think there shouldn’t be an
answer until that part of the story that answers it, but I admire your pluck.

Well, it’s
interesting that you’re putting the tease in there. You’re allowing us, by
putting that in there, to ask that question and to map out the possibilities.

I want you to. We want you to. All of
us want you to, because in examining that question, not only might you find
answers to the story, sure, but you might be thinking about questions about
your own life, or the world, or anything. We’re trying to engage you that way.
I know that my favorite stuff engaged me that way. I know I’m still thinking
about the ending to Time Bandits and trying to figure it out.

What it signifies is that it’s
likely that Rick will betray many of his friends, who lost husbands and lovers
to Negan’s baseball bat, and to just plain, naked whimsical cruelty sans the bat, who were counting on Rick
ending Negan once and for all. Countless fans are depending on that, too. I think
they will all be sorely disappointed. The fix is in.

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