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Re: San Francisco Editorial

At 5:44 PM 01/03/95, Hal wrote:
>The scary thing about cancels is that some proposals have actually been
>directed at anonymous posts themselves.  Someone anonymously posted
>what purported to be a grisly transcript of the last seconds of the
>doomed Challenger crew as they fell to the ocean.  This caused a great
>hue and cry and some calls for banning anonymous posts and/or
>retroactively cancelling them.  This led to some very amusing events
>which Detweiler has chronicled in his FAQ on anonymity, the net result
>of which was that the idea was discredited.  But the emergence of
>CancelMoose is not an altogether positive event in my view.

I too have mixed feelings about CancelMoose.  But it must be noted, that
while it's possible for CancelMoose to be used for Evil Purposes, it
hasn't.  This isn't a trivial point.  The net collectively (well, it wasn't
really collective, but I suggest if this individual anonymous CancelMoose
hadn't existed, someone else would have done it) responded to something
that it's nearly universally agreed upon is bad; C&S-style spamming.  That
is an example of an anarchist non-hierchical system _working_, despite the
lack of rules.  And the widespread cancelling of anonymous posts, or posts
from communists or whatever, _hasn't_ happened.  And if someone tried it, I
bet it wouldn't work for long, something would be done to stop it.  An
anti-cancelbot that reposts anything cancelled by the Evil Censoring
Cancelbots, or something.  (Why haven't C&S thought of this themselves?
Would really create havok with all the cancels and anti-cancels and
re-cancels, etc.)

I dont' think Martha Siegel really understands what's going on (not a
surprise).  She is speaking out against a lawless anarchist net, and saying
we need more rules.  Because she's mad at people cancelling her posts,
mainly.  But it seems completely obvious that if we _did_ have rules, they
would prohibit the kind of really horrible spams she and her husband have
been undertaken.  Because 99.99% of the net agrees that those spams are
really bad.

But, like I said, such rules aren't even neccesary.  The net collectively
reacts. And there will be a counter reaction, C&S will figure out how to
get around the cancelbots, or the cancelbots will be used for Evil, or
whatever. But I believe firmly that that would cause yet another counter
reaction of some kind. And so on and so on. The net will stay at