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Anonymous is now targeting the Westboro Baptist Church


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#21 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2947

Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:09 AM

I find it interesting that people can like/dislike "anonymous", as a group, because they're just a name, like "Al Qaeda", for an idea, not a real organisation. They don't really exist, which is the point.


Thank you for pointing this out.
This is too often forgotten... so I think it is good to repeat: There are no such thing as an "anonymous" organisation.
There is no central planning, no direction, no member fee or even any discernable ideology.
It's just a name you can use to get a bit more publicity for your actions.

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#22 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:11 AM

And you know what, I don't even think freedom of speech applies. It's hate speech pure and simple, and if they want to slander people like this, they have to be prepared for the consequences. They purport that everyone of their bullshit claims are true. Fine, in that case, prove it. In a court. Personally, I hope someone snaps and beats the crap outta them.

And they were sued by the father of a fallen soldier who's funeral they picketed. He won, but then the judgement was overturned on appeal and he had to pay the church's legal fees.


This is the biggest problem imo. I have no idea how they get away with what is clearly harassment. Even when they lose, they appeal endlessly. The right to freedom of speech isn't a right to say whatever you want without consequences, which is unfortunately the 'reality' WBC lives in until somebody decides to make an example of them.

#23 LennyLen   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4019

Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:35 AM

Free speech is free speech, and if we aren't willing to defend free speech, regardless of our personal beliefs regarding the speaker, then we all will eventually lose our right to free speech.


Free speech is an extremely important principle, and there's a very good reason why it is included as a "universal human right." However, free speech should not give anyone the right to say whatever they want whenever they want. For example, if you managed to convince a large enough group of people to go around stating that some person of note was a paedophile, chances are that you will cause that person irreparable damage to their image, and therefore to their livelihood. In otherwords, your actions will have impinged the basic rights of another. And that's where the line should be drawn in matters like free speech - you have the right to say whatever you want, whenever you want, so long as what you say will not lessen the rights of others.

#24 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 31786

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:22 AM

As above, speech can be used to hurt people -- threats, intimidation, bullying, harassment, libel, defamation, incitement, fraud, scams, hoaxes, cult inductions (and questionably, sedition) can all be crimes that cause real damage to another person, and are in no way protected by the right to "freedom of speech".

Try shouting the word "bomb" in an airport and see how well "free speech" protects you the effects of your action Posted Image

"Hate speech" laws are generally crafted with very specific wording to ensure that they're not able to be used by the state as weapons of censorship, or to arbitrarily attack the rights of groups that aren't hurting people.

It's amazing to me that WBC has managed to defend all of their hurtful actions under "free speech"... surely they must've crossed a line into at least the realm of harassment at least once by now?

There are no such thing as an "anonymous" organisation.

Yeah, so when you taunt "anonymous" and dare them to attack you, you're really presenting that dare to every person who is capable of acting on it, who doesn't want to take personal responsibility for their actions. They're as ethereal as "the terrorists".

Edited by Hodgman, 17 December 2012 - 08:29 AM.


#25 JTippetts   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8647

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:38 AM

I just don't like slippery slopes, and once the government gets involved in anything, that's the very definition of a slippery slope.

Still, though.... it's really hard to defend WBC in any way, shape or form. Man, those are some revolting people. And yeah, it's hard to believe that they have managed to avoid actual harassment convictions. A lot of what they do has really crossed all sorts of lines.

#26 LennyLen   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4019

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:56 AM

I just don't like slippery slopes, and once the government gets involved in anything, that's the very definition of a slippery slope.


I don't think anyone really does like them. But there are a lot of important issues that involve slippery slopes, and if people decide to let the matter slide into the "too hard basket," they become a very rapid downhill slope.

#27 kuramayoko10   Members   -  Reputation: 386

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:58 AM

A new law does not need to be created to deal with these people.
A good lawyer and by having the families suing them, the court is able to fit WBC as one that caused one/more of (threats, intimidation, bullying, harassment, libel, defamation, incitement, etc.)

The thing about freedom of speech is exactly what LennyLen cited. It gives you the right to express yourself as long as you don't commit a crime.

About Anonymous, just as Olof Hedman said, they are not a centralized organization by definition.

Edited by kuramayoko10, 17 December 2012 - 08:59 AM.

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#28 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 31786

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:02 AM

There's no new slippery slope for the government to abuse, because courts already have laws to deal with the offences listed above. Anti-discrimination/anti-defamation/anti-harassment/anti-humiliation laws are anti-hate-speech laws.

It seems maybe the term "hate speech" has different connotations in the US, than what I'm used to though...
e.g. this quote for wikipedia seems contradictory to me -- it says that hate speech is protected by the constitution, because it protects free speech, but then goes on to list exceptions to that protection (and it's the exceptions which make "hate speech" already illegal).

Laws prohibiting hate speech are unconstitutional in the United States ... speech is protected as a civil right (aside from usual exceptions to free speech, such as defamation...


For example, if someone in Australia was to say "I don't like <insert racial group>", then there's no law to weild against them, but if someone was to say "<insert racial group> all perform <insert defaming act> so you should <insert discriminatory action> them" then that person would be guilty of defamation/vilification/inciting discrimination, which you'd colloquially call "hate speech".

As far as WBC is concerned, their guilt of "hate speech" would be something along the lines of inciting people to commit harassment.

Some states here take it a bit further, and you're simply not allowed to publicly promote the hatred of a group based on race/religion/sexuality. If the WBS were to visit those states and tell people that "you should hate gays, because gays are gay", then that would also be a "hate speech" crime... However, if they said "you should avoid befriending gays that are openly displaying their lifestyle, because public displays of homosexual affection make my God uncomfortable", then there would be no crime. It basically just requires bigots to at least be educated enough to choose their words wisely.

Edited by Hodgman, 17 December 2012 - 09:19 AM.


#29 BCullis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1813

Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:12 AM

Obligatory "WBC is contemptable waste" comment just because it can't be said enough.

Anyhow, at the risk of spreading rumors, I'm fairly certain I've read/watched something before that explained how the WBC keeps one foot ahead of all potential legal snares: the large majority of their "family" and church are in legal professions. So in the spirit of furthering their church's success and infamy, they're always on the cutting edge of legal counsel.

What I don't get (well, I don't get any of it, they're f**king nutjobs with no ethical standards) is what the point of their actions really is. I want to say "free publicity", which is obviously working, but what would they do with it? I can't imagine that kind of attention brings new members to their church. It's not making them any money. And I refuse to believe that such an organized, practiced, and educated group would be after the real-life equivalent of a trolling session. At least, I refuse to believe that about any sane human. So maybe that's my problem.

Being the internet, are we sure the seed of this action (the idea the WBC was going to picket the school) is valid? There was a similar notion about the Dark Knight Rises premier theater shooting here in Denver, and crowds showed up to block the WBC, but they never made an appearance. Part of me wonders if someone's just ginning up attention by throwing the threat out there via twitter.
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#30 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:14 PM

Part of me wonders if someone's just ginning up attention by throwing the threat out there via twitter.


As horrible as the Connecticut shootings were, I don't think even WBC would be stupid enough to walk into a riot turned beatdown turned death-by-active-act-of-stupidity-and-moral-indecency.
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#31 MarkS   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 884

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:29 PM

As horrible as the Connecticut shootings were, I don't think even WBC would be stupid enough to walk into a riot turned beatdown turned death-by-active-act-of-stupidity-and-moral-indecency.


Clearly, you don't know WBC. They are EXACTLY that stupid! ;)

#32 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:29 PM


Part of me wonders if someone's just ginning up attention by throwing the threat out there via twitter.


As horrible as the Connecticut shootings were, I don't think even WBC would be stupid enough to walk into a riot turned beatdown turned death-by-active-act-of-stupidity-and-moral-indecency.

If they hadn't previously done almost exactly this on multiple occassions, I might agree with you. They protested a memorial service at my university when some students died in a fire the weekend previous.

#33 MarkS   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 884

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:38 PM

According to KnightSec's twitter feed (link in the first post), WBC is already in Newtown.

#34 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:33 PM

Clearly, you don't know WBC. They are EXACTLY that stupid! ;)

If they hadn't previously done almost exactly this on multiple occassions, I might agree with you. They protested a memorial service at my university when some students died in a fire the weekend previous.


Calling all people of faith and, yes, even atheists. Let us all pray that Darwinism works out for the WBC. Amen.
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#35 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5032

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:36 PM


Free speech is free speech, and if we aren't willing to defend free speech, regardless of our personal beliefs regarding the speaker, then we all will eventually lose our right to free speech.

Free speech is an extremely important principle, and there's a very good reason why it is included as a "universal human right." However, free speech should not give anyone the right to say whatever they want whenever they want.

That is why in a sane legislation, there is no unlimited free speech. Free speech is only free within limits. You're not allowed to say "bomb" at an airport or "fire" in a theater.

Of course, in reality, there is no such thing as free speech anyway. If you make use of your civil rights and your opinion is unopportune enough, you'll soon find out that your civil rights are worth a crap (and no, not only in China, in every country).

By the way, there is a bomb at the airport.

All in all, the many so-called freedoms that we have usually cause at least as much trouble as they are worth. For most people, "freedom" is not worth a lot, and they can hardly ever exercise it, but it always opens backdoors for criminals, religious fanatics, and other vicious and unscrupolous people. But that's true for most things, I guess...

#36 Anastas   Members   -  Reputation: 247

Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:07 PM

I can't wait for more people to realize that they have all rights and that the ones listed by governments are just the ones people agreed were the most important / were on their minds at the time. Stuff like this'd run a whole lot smoother, and WBC wouldn't have lasted this long in the first place.
I wonder how many people in Anonymous have caught on to this...

#37 laztrezort   Members   -  Reputation: 972

Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:49 PM

Anyhow, at the risk of spreading rumors, I'm fairly certain I've read/watched something before that explained how the WBC keeps one foot ahead of all potential legal snares: the large majority of their "family" and church are in legal professions. So in the spirit of furthering their church's success and infamy, they're always on the cutting edge of legal counsel.

What I don't get (well, I don't get any of it, they're f**king nutjobs with no ethical standards) is what the point of their actions really is. I want to say "free publicity", which is obviously working, but what would they do with it? I can't imagine that kind of attention brings new members to their church. It's not making them any money. And I refuse to believe that such an organized, practiced, and educated group would be after the real-life equivalent of a trolling session. At least, I refuse to believe that about any sane human. So maybe that's my problem.


According to this, its basically a con:
http://kanewj.com/wbc/

I suppose legal muscle, combined with tax-free status and donations, you can play the system pretty good.

With that in mind, while all of this may be entertaining (and I have to say, it is rather entertaining), I doubt all this so-called hactivism will do any real good against them. Hopefully it doesn't result in more money going toward WBC from lawsuits or something.

#38 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1883

Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:15 PM

You are free do say and do as you please.

You are also free to suffer the consequences of your actions.
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#39 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:46 PM

You are free do say and do as you please.

You are also free to suffer the consequences of your actions.


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#40 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2499

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:34 PM

You are free do say and do as you please.

You are also free to suffer the consequences of your actions.


But you are also free to suffer the consequences of the consequences of others actions. Posted Image

i.e. despite their monumental dickery, you don't have carte blanche to slap the shit out of the WBC (no matter how much they deserve it)

Edited by ChaosEngine, 17 December 2012 - 08:35 PM.

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