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Subject: Dave Hayes/Freedom Knights: An Alternative View

This article was archived around: 26 Mar 2000 13:30:05 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: usenet/freedom-knights
All FAQs posted in: news.admin.net-abuse.usenet, news.admin.net-abuse.misc, news.admin.censorship, news.admin.misc, alt.culture.usenet, alt.fan.freedom-knights
Source: Usenet Version

DAVE HAYES / FREEDOM KNIGHTS: AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW Version 1.1 (9610.03) Maintained by J.D. Falk <jdfalk@cybernothing.org> Hypertext markup originally by Adam Frey <adam@eden.apana.org.au> TABLE OF CONTENTS _________________________________________________________________ 1. Is Dave Hayes for real? 2. Are the "Freedom Knights" for real? 3. Is "True Free Speech" actually possible? 4. What can I do? 1. IS DAVE HAYES FOR REAL? _________________________________________________________________ Yes. As far as anybody has been able to tell over the years, he is usually completely serious. But, his own NNTP server generally isn't open. In general, Dave Hayes presents himself as an alternative to the anti-net-abuse newsadmins in news.admin.net-abuse.* (please see the Net Abuse FAQ at http://www.cybernothing.org/faqs/net-abuse-faq.html for more information on those newsgroups and their purpose.) This presentation is not at all incorrect. Dave is striving towards a vision of Usenet wherein people can say whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want, and nobody can say anything about it. He calls this concept "True Free Speech." Most of the other news.admin.net-abuse.* regulars are working on keeping the current Usenet from becoming more of a mess than it is now. It is in-arguable that this would impinge on a person's right to True Free Speech, if that right had been guaranteed to them by all the news administrators of Usenet, all over the world. If you ask most newsadmins, no such right has been guaranteed, or even offered, except by Dave Hayes -- who also, in practice, does not guarantee such a right (just try to post through news.jetcafe.org, which Dave runs, and you'll see what I mean.) 2. ARE THE "FREEDOM KNIGHTS" FOR REAL? _________________________________________________________________ Dave has written that the "Freedom Knights" are a group of people fighting for free speech in Usenet. They're not the only such group; the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and the Voters Telecommunications Watch are only a few whose goals include freedom of expression on the entire Internet and Usenet. While all of the people who call themselves "Freedom Knights" give lip service to free speech, some of the most prolific of them seem to be more interested in gaining power for themselves. They have been known to post things like "newsadmins are not necessary to the people's usenet," which is patently ludicrous because news servers do not run themselves, or ad-hominem attacks against people who do not take them seriously, such as accusing UUnet newsadmin David Lawrence of raping children. These so-called Freedom Knights have done more to hurt the credibility of Dave Hayes and his goals than anything else ever could. 3. IS "TRUE FREE SPEECH" ACTUALLY POSSIBLE? _________________________________________________________________ It would certainly be nice to think so. Imagine a Usenet Utopia, where people politely discuss things of mutual interest, without anybody to tell them what to do or where to do it. But what happens if somebody starts to be purposefully destructive, starting long drawn-out arguments and feeding the fires whenever they see an opportunity? This happens all the time on the current Usenet -- what would cause people to act differently in a Hayesian, True Free Speech Usenet? How about inconsiderate advertisers, hawking their wares daily in every newsgroup? Dave suggests killfiles, which would allow your newsreader to simply not show you specific types of messages. But nobody, not even Dave, has yet been able to come up with a method which will automatically killfile new problem messages. Hayesian "True Free Speech" is a noble goal. I, for one, honestly wish it were possible -- and I'm not alone. But, as with many Utopian dreams, the propensity for conflict which seems built into the Human psyche would ruin such an endeavor before it could even get started. 4. WHAT CAN I DO? _________________________________________________________________ Be polite to each other -- remember that there's a human being on the other end of your conversation. Make sure that anything you write is appropriate for the place you're posting it; becoming familiar with Charters, FAQs, and related documents is a good start. Most of the people who post inappropriately do so because they are new to Usenet, and don't know any better. Be constructive in your criticism. Give them advice, not flames. Strive towards a Usenet of cooperation and understanding. Only then can True Free Speech be realized. _________________________________________________________________ This document is Copyright (c) 1996 by J.D. Falk, all rights reserved. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced electronically on any system connected to the various networks which make up the Internet, USENET, and FidoNet so long as it is reproduced in its entirety, unedited, and with this copyright notice intact. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: PGPfreeware 5.0i for non-commercial use Comment: This signature was generated by the posting script, NOT the author. Charset: noconv iQBVAwUBON4Q24Ql1c/JyE95AQEOiAIAqGTB3tE50blXhRJ9MAA08fm7NNbMiBAZ lNiwjJQA3/fuMRwyKQlytKXTCPZJh47oJ2hGtXG/Rk25vJgjCG/aqg== =1M9K -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----