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The subversively supremacist algorithms of the BBC are reporting on YouTube’s recent decision to bar any commenting on most videos featuring minors. Some believe that pedophilia is so not a minor issue itself as to make the decision a quite obvious non-issue, while other voices insist on all or nothing, believing this to be a violation of basic free speech rights even in spite of the detestability of creeps. When someone shared a link to this story onto Hacker News, there were voices who observed that disabling comments would not block creeps from still viewing, meaning that this will still allow monetization of these videos, with YouTube by default taking a sizable percent of all profits, as ever. YouTube/Google/Alphabet can calculate which videos should have discussions automatically disabled, but are fine with collecting ad-clicks all the same, knowing the undesirable traffic is still traffic and that the creeps will still be creeping.

Walls or no walls, the actual problems will persist. The proposed Mexican border wall would do nothing to prevent the tons of crack, crank and meth cooked up domestically by USA-citizens born and bred, just as blocking the powers of perverts to express themselves would not prevent them from still finding their entertainment and inspiration.

I bet this really concerns a psychological basis far more than any virtual or physical obstruction. From collegiate safe spaces to news media bubbles, to the social networking accounts themselves where nobody honestly follows people or ideas they themselves object to, everybody wants their own gated community/echo chamber no matter how vocally in favor of free speech and opposing censorship.

Personally, as big as I am on free speech and anti-censorship, I don’t believe that anybody should be allowed to post pix or footage of minors online under any circumstances, even parents harmlessly to their personal FB profiles. UNLESS it’s posting old pix of one’s self. Otherwise I feel it betrays the privacy rights of those minors. They may well feel differently when they come of legal age, and by all means they can post whatever they like of themselves after the fact, but in the meantime privacy should be the autoset respected by all.

This is true, as it doesn’t need to be a matter regarding only the creeps. I was thinking sociopolitically, where adults related or not make the decision to use minors as props, whether for a thing as big as global ad campaigns or as small as for social circle brownie points. As a grownup, if someone were to post my image without my express permission I could pull some legality in my favor. Children generally don’t have the same resources, lacking their own guardianship. I’m just saying that until they can legally make such decisions for themselves, privacy should be the standard, to save them from embarrassment or exploitation. We must all decide for ourselves what to share of ourselves, and how much exposure we might or might not seek for ourselves. From old family photos which betray how cool we are now, to all the obtrusively nightmarish hells that invariably come from the role of accidental celebrity, we have the capacity to safeguard against every range of experience before the spotlight.

Kids lack the same free speech rights as adults who don’t have to live under a guardian’s authority though. If you have open floodgates there will inevitably be contradictions and conflict, when a little bit of Reason could avoid much of that. Reason such as how the owners of even the biggest online platforms are not themselves magically entitled to all datum. The emphasis that we could share quite a lot is not synonymous for the emphasis that we should share quite a lot.

I’m not trying to be prickly here, but I’ve thought quite a lot about freedoms of speech, fully half of my essays here relating to varying degrees directly or indirectly, and I believe for it to concisely work it cannot unto itself guarantee an audience, as that would still be mandating opinion, only in the other direction. It can and must provide legal protections, but not protections from social ramifications, as again, this would be mandating opinion one way or the other, which is fundamentally what censorship boils down to. A free society demands free speech, absolutely; but a functioning society absolutely requires accountability. We can live in a free society without that freedom meaning I can help myself to my neighbor’s wife or teenage daughter. THAT is the nuance of experience, not conjecture. And it’s why I feel that I can get away with using ethics, morality and virtues as interchangeable terms, because in truth they converge all the damn time. The masses don’t care to see that, because everyone wants exceptions, they want backdoors and loopholes and private parties.

Nobody wants accountability for themselves. And this one-sided refusal amidst a purportedly democratic culture when a healthy democracy depends by equal measures on give and take, is precisely what empowers and enables far worse persons to avoid accountability all the more. The creepers for sure, but the YouTube execs just as much for doing little better than muting volumes. At least by commenting the public can identify the pervert, whereas now the pervert’s anonymity is strengthened, rather than that of the potential victims. As with any other PR-stunt by Google in the name of doing the right thing, this is very much the hollow gesture. No matter how innocent the intent, everything has consequences.