Re: inappropriate racist and other offensive material
>>"Vineet" == Vineet Kumar <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
Vineet> * David D.W. Downey (email@example.com) [020314 20:45]:
>> Your use of a distribution does NOT NOT NOT preclude YOU YOU YOU from being
>> socially an parentially responsible for ensuring your daughter does not see,
>> hear, or become exposed to any software or real world items you don't want
>> her to see. YOU are the irresponsible party IF you di NOT first check the
>> software that was installed BEFORE allowing her to viewor use it.
Vineet> It's also his right, if not duty, to make Debian be the best
Vineet> Debian it can be.
And it is my right to fight tooth and nail to prevent debian
from sliding into censorship, since that makes debian worse.
Vineet> If a simple change can make it more appropriate for his
Vineet> daughter and daughters around the world, great! If everyone
Not at the expense of freedom of speech. Some of my neighbors
in the so called bible belt think that any mention of a non
Christian religion make the distribution a work of the devil. What if
they weant to remove display-dhamapada in order to not have it taint
their daughter's innocent, untainted mind?
Vineet> who found something they'd like changed about Debian just
Vineet> said "Fuck it, it's not perfect; I'll use something else,"
Vineet> we'd have no users.
Is that such a horrible thing?
Vineet> Someone saw something he thought could be improved and filed
Vineet> a bug report. Where's the harm in that? He didn't just say
Vineet> "Well, I guess Debian is a racist distro. Back to windows
Vineet> with me!" The beauty of our system is that it is run by the
Vineet> community, and that it is free to be changed. He did what he
Vineet> could to improve Debian rather than just walking away from
And those of us in the community who think that unfettered
censorship is evil also have a right to express our opinions.
Vineet> Nope. But is it the responsibility of Debian GNU/Linux to actively
Vineet> defend racist content?
I can't speak for Debian. But I do defend the right of a
racist to express himself. I defend the right of the Klan to hold
meeting across the Bay, even though their opinions are inimical to
those of my skin colour.
Vineet> I'm not saying we shouldn't be allowed to distribute whatever
Vineet> we want. I'm just saying it's not in our best interests. Nor
I think censorship is not in our best interests either.
Vineet> is it our responsibility to blindly include everything that
Vineet> comes from upstream authors at all costs. Someone brought it
Vineet> to our attention; shouldn't we be compelled to correct this
In this case, the upstream and the maintainer agreed it was an
oversight. But what if it had been delibrate?
I would defend the right to have such a package in
Debian. After all, I tolerate the bible, and the dhamapada. And such
superstition is far more insidious than racism.
Back in the early 60's, touch tone phones only had 10 buttons. Some
military versions had 16, while the 12 button jobs were used only by
people who had "diva" (digital inquiry, voice answerback) systems --
mainly banks. Since in those days, only Western Electric made "data
sets" (modems) the problems of terminology were all Bell System. We
used to struggle with written descriptions of dial pads that were
unfamiliar to most people (most phones were rotary then.) Partly in
jest, some AT&T engineering types (there was no marketing in the good
old days, which is why they were the good old days) made up the term
"octalthorpe" (note spelling) to denote the "pound sign." Presumably
because it has 8 points sticking out. It never really caught on.
Manoj Srivastava <firstname.lastname@example.org> <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
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