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Neo-Nazi and White Power Groups Using Author's Website to Organize

Neo-Nazi and White Power groups in Canada, the US and elsewhere have been using Nationstates.net, an online gaming site based on Australian author Max Barry's novel, Jennifer Government, to recruit new members through free and apparently unmoderated message boards. Let him know what's up with supporting hate groups by letting them use his site!
PLEASE REPOST WIDELY!

Nationstates.net, an online gaming site registered in the name of and based on Kensington, Victoria author Max Barry's novel, Jennifer Government, is being used by Neo-Nazi and White Power groups in Canada, the US and elsewhere to organize and recruit new members online through message boards and forums hosted by the site.

Barry's second novel, Jennifer Government has received very good reviews and the movie rights have just been bought with a movie deal sure to follow. The book is a sardonic and witty dark comedy about corporations run amuck through unrestricted capitalism. Many have said the book contains a strong anti-globalist stance, although Barry denies that his views are in line with anti-globalists. He is a well-received and successful author perhaps set to follow in the footsteps of successful Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk.

Which makes this second part too important to ignore.

Barry created a game site where players create their own nations and play politics with each other, called  http://www.nationstates.net. No wars, just build your nation and debate with each other on forums or through an online United Nations.

After visiting the site, it became obvious that the only editorial policy was about each nation's flag, which cannot contain "a swastika or nudity," although other common Nazi and White Power symbols are perfectly fine. Forums are even less moderated and frequent threads are being posted such as, "How Jews oppress the mentally ill."

It seems as though Neo-Nazis have flocked to the site to create nations of their own. Nations, in gameplay, are part of regions that function as small networks. Each region has its own forum, as well as other forums hosted by a linked site, free of charge. Nazis soon began creating their own regions, including links to external sites and racist bulletin boards such as Stormfront.

When asked about how they were going to respond to hate groups using the site for message boards, a moderator proceeded to lecture about game rules and terms of service. In other words, they blew it off.

One moderator even went so far as to make an in-game reference to "prominent Jewish bankers" opposing a Nazi rally in the daily gameplay announcements.

Searching the NationStates region list, I came across a number of mini-sites within the game controlled by white power activists and being used to promote hate. They include (just Search in the Region drop-box on the main page):

4th Reich SS,
Nazi Deutschland Axis,
The URAP,
NAZI EUROPE,
The NSIA,
Aryanised Europe,
Vichy France,
The United Axis,
Leftists here (a game region taken over by nazis where they threaten to hang "race traitors"),
Idaho,
Supreme Nazi Europe,
Axis Powers,
Norselandic Warriors Front,
the Prussian Reich,
the Fascist Powers,
White Aryan Resistance,
New Stormfront,
...and perhaps more I have simply not discovered yet, with nearly two-hundred user accounts with names such as The Holy Empire of Aryanville, The Nazi Empire of One Reich 1488, etc., including links to these bulletin boards:
 http://s9.invisionfree.com/The_NSIA/index.php?
 http://s12.invisionfree.com/The_Fascist_Powers
 http://thearyanarmy.proboards61.com/index.cgi

Why is this important? The site is accessed by thousands of players. It is prime recruitment ground for White Power groups, and by allowing them free space for their message boards, Nationstates.net is practically handing them fresh members. As a prominent author whose second novel is soon to become a movie, Max Barry should know better. Let him know what's up with the website.

Freedom of speech doesn't mean tolerating hate or letting hate groups use his website's services.

Please contact Max Barry and ask him to take a stand against hate groups on the internet by revising the site's editorial policy to stop them from organizing on it. Each recruit they get equals another racist attack.

No more hate in online games!

email him:
 Max_Barry@maxbarry.com or
 max_barry@yahoo.com

write him:
Max Barry
PO Box 1203
Kensington, Victoria 3031
Australia

or phone him:
from Australia:(03) 5145-6139
international: +61.351456139

Nationstates.org and Nationstates.net are registered to Max Barry through Go Daddy Software, Inc. and are hosted by DNS1.JOLT.CO.UK and DNS2.JOLT.CO.UK.

Please. It's up to all of us to put racists where they belong.

Freedom of Speech 13.Aug.2005 08:53

Scolopendra (NS Senior Game Mod) the.centipede@gmail.com

"Freedom of speech doesn't mean tolerating hate or letting hate groups use his website's services."

Then what does it mean, pray tell?

Freedom of speech only applies to those who happen to have stances you agree with? That's ludicrously arbitrary. Using that logic, anyone can censor anything they like by simply saying that freedom of speech "doesn't mean" letting those people have their say.

So you found 200 Nazis/racists in a site with a user base 100,000 strong. That means that with your numbers about 0.2% of NationStates is Nazi-affiliated. Yes, I am absolutely sure that puts us right up there with Nazi Germany or StormFront. Obviously you have to harrass Mr. Barry--a very nice and while shaven-headed, nowhere near a racist from when I met him and keep in touch with him--to make sure that this wholly unacceptable percentage of 0.2% disappears.

Besides, we -all- know that banning racism works. It doesn't just go underground and become a festering cancer that cannot even be addressed for fear of censorship. Oh, wait... it doesn't. Nazis have a self-defeating ideology which is patently false to anyone with half a brain. If a handful of racists who idolize a dead genocidal dictator can turn people to their ideology, well then, those people were already long gone. I've seen their arguments and debated them; if anything, allowing them to speak their minds and show the world just how inane their ideology is is the best weapon to use against them.

But then again, freedom of speech is only allowed to the selected few.

I wonder who's used that argument before.

--The Centipede
Send complaints to  the.centipede@gmail.com -- don't harrass Mr. Barry.

http://www.weirdozone.com
(314) 762-5427

hmmm... 13.Aug.2005 16:59

looking at things...

seems to be quite a number of users on that site sporting nazi website links and on their logos...
that the kind of world you want?

i read this and thought about something.

freedom of speech means that nazis can have their own website, hosted on their own servers, and they're untouchable, right? i think someone who had a problem with nazis wouldn't let them use his site.

no, freedom of speech doesn't mean synagogues have to let nazis give time during religious services,
nor does it mean that anyone HAS to let racists post to their website. you want to defend the nazis right to post on the site YOU moderate, then you're defending what they're saying, practically agreeing with them. it's not the same as saying they have the right to say it on their own time and on their own websites. i mean, you're providing them space to do it.

no, i think the moderators don't get it and people should DEFINITELY complain to max barry, because he COULDN'T POSSIBLY agree with racists and would do something about spreading hate online right away, wouldn't he?

looking at things, that's what it would seem to be.

Maybe... 13.Aug.2005 17:08

It's working

You know, maybe some people sent in emails and it's having an effect.

Maybe he's a little miffed about realizing that people don't like Nazis.

Maybe Max Barry would rather not have people bother him about the fact that racists and Neo-Nazis are using a site registered in his name to link to websites like www.stormfront.org or www.nationalvanguard.org. Maybe he doesn't care whether they recruit kids who just showed up on the site into their Neo-Nazi groups.

Maybe Max Barry is afraid something like this might follow him into the mainstream press. Maybe he's afraid it might hurt the sale of his book or affect future movie deals. maybe he's feeling fear about his bottom line, and he wants the issue to go away.

Funny thing is, if that's the case, then why doesn't Max Barry just tell the moderators to stop looking the other way when players post flags with swastikas or variants of swastikas on them, with names like the White Knights of the KKK, the NSDAP (the Nazi Party, see:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSDAP)? Why doesn't he just say that we have enough hate crimes in this world with giving racists and Nazis another way to recruit members?

Those are good questions! 13.Aug.2005 17:11

Here are some more questions

I noticed the site, www.nationstates.org, does not display specific html address for each player, making it virtually impossible to pin down or link to specific players sites and flags.

So how could we possibly verify any of this?

Also, you mentioned a few things, like links to flags and such. Is there any proof of that?

I believe people are missing the point. Not surprising. 13.Aug.2005 19:29

Scolopendra (NS Senior Game Mod) the.centipede@gmail.com

True, a synagogue doesn't have to give time to Nazis to spout racist propaganda. The problem with that argument is that NationStates is not a synagogue. It is a site about national and international politics and, like it or not, international politics has a lot to do with people who are currently trying to find out what it smells like in their lower gastrointestinal tract. Stalinists, fascists, Nazis, whichever-country-you'd-like-to-name First!s, so on and so forth. If Mr. Barry chooses to have a "freedom of speech" policy on his website, then he should and does hold himself to it--except for violations of etiquette rather than position, anyone can argue whatever mindless drivel may be on their mind whether it be white supremacism or the latest conspiracy theory from DemocracyNow. It's the same as putting a soapbox in the park and saying that whoever wants to can use it. Doesn't mean anyone has to listen to the looney talking about how astronauts never set foot on the Moon.

What I'm getting at is that the appeal to freedom of speech for -censorship- is patently doublethink.

"i think someone who had a problem with nazis wouldn't let them use his site."

Let's compare: "I think someone who had a problem with liberals wouldn't let them use his site."
"I think someone who had a problem with pro-lifers wouldn't let them use his site."
"I think someone who had a problem with people of African descent wouldn't let them use his site."
"I think someone who had a problem with creationists wouldn't let them use his site."
"I think someone who had a problem with fundamental Islamic imams wouldn't let them use his site."
"I think someone who had a problem with political dissidents wouldn't let them use his site."

The core flaw in this reasoning is that just because someone disagrees with an opinion it suddenly behooves them to censor that opinion and that suddenly it becomes right and obligatory for them to do so. If Mr. Barry has to refuse Nazis a say because he has a problem with them, then he would have to refuse Americans or Chechnyans a say if he discovered he had a problem with them. He'd have to refuse people who supported abortion if he were a pro-lifer or refuse conservatives if he were a liberal. Taking the logic of "if X has a problem with Y, X should not let Y use X's resource of Z" ad absurdum results in such things as "if [the government] has a problem with [political dissidents], [the government] should not let [political dissidents] use [the government]'s resource of [public education/fair trials/protection from search and seizure/etc.].

That is -very- dangerous territory under any ideology. While I'm not about to blame or hold it against Person X for choosing not to allow Nazis their say in Person X's forum, I -do- find it rather disconcerting to see Person Y trying to pressure Person X away from exercising Person X's own rights of free speech, which include giving others (whom Person X may not even agree with) time on a soapbox. This article makes it seem like NationStates is rotted straight through with Nazis and fascists when by the author's own admission it's limited to 0.2% of the regular population. It's no more of a "recruitment ground" than any mid-sized city of 100,000 would be.

So, how do things work? Well, let's use the thread that was mentioned in the article.

 http://forums.jolt.co.uk/showthread.php?t=437373
Title: "How the Jews oppress the mentally ill."

First sentence: "first off lets accept that the main threat from the jews comes not from the isrealis or even the jews living in our midst, but from the space jew hoovering above us in their motherships controlling the nations of the goy magority with their mind control rays."

Now, if that isn't insane drivel, slap me with a halibut and call me Susan.

First response on that thread: "o.O" from someone with a Malcom X quote in his signature.
Second response on that thread: "Space Jew? Sounds like some kind of futuristic superhero Rabbi."

So on and so forth. Read the thread; it's amusing in a sad sort of way. When you give fascists an opportunity to open their mouths, THEY PUT THEIR FOOT INTO IT. This allows them to blunder about -in public- where everyone can see them and the mockery they make of anything even remotely reasonable. I mean, really--who would be taken in by horror stories of "the space jew hoovering above us?" No one except a complete and utter moron. By letting these fools spout their insanity in the open without fear of reprisal (so long as they don't cross the line of actually recommending hate crimes and whatnot) then they say stupid things like this and show just how patently moronic they and their ideas are.

What purpose would be served stifling this? Here they can be publicly debated and shamed in said debate for all to see. The moderation staff is less than two dozen strong; with a Long Arm of the Law that small, [l]users will always seep into the cracks. If they're forced to go to ground, then they'll simply spread hate silently, in small packets where they cannot be detected. If they're using this or any other site to "organize" or "recruit" they still will, but will do it QUIETLY.

You of all people should realize that censorship is perhaps the cardinal sin of any free society. Censorship solves no problems, just like putting another layer of linoleum down doesn't change the fact that the plywood structure underneath is rotting and sagging. Only by having these things out in the open where they can be reasonably and intellectually addressed and defeated do we have any chance of keeping these foolish ideologies in check--not expunged, but held in check. The genie is out of his bottle and will not go back in for all the good wishes and warm thoughts in the world. The only way to combat this threat is to admit it exists and -allow it to defeat itself in the open.- In the old days, they used to call it "giving them enough rope."

Well, that's the idea. Mr. Barry, from what I know of him, is not interested in censoring people's ideas. He wants people to come forward with their opinions--good and bad--and then have them debated in an open forum where they are forced to survive or fall based on their own merits. Given the abject meritlessness of any fascist ideology, I don't think anyone has very much to fear that the Nazis are doing much of anything other than getting together and circle-jerking.

--The Centipede


Well, now that you mention it, 13.Aug.2005 19:38

Here are is stuff straight from the site!

People have been saying, so what if players are allowed to post things like:

"Anti gay and Pro life. Hey everyone! I'm BBBAAACCCCCKKKKKK!!! ha ha ha ha! You sad gay people are pathetic! Your morals are as strong as your ability to ban me!!!! HAAAAAAAAAAA Suckers...."

and...

"Do you think hearing some guy calling me a Fu*king nazi will make me "change" my ways? HELL NO! So get the hell out of here you god damn communist poor fu**ers!"

and...

"We must strive for a world which holds none but the master race, and the preservation of the Aryan Race is priority, as it is endangered by other "impure" peoples. SIEG HEIL!"

on Max Barry's Nationstates.net gamesite. It's all part of the game, right?

And so what if they have user names and mottos like:
The Kingdom of Odhinnia "Der Sieg Wird Unser Sein - The Victory Will Be Ours"
The Everlasting Reich of 88 State "White makes might!"
The Dominion of Right Wing Facism "Unser Ehere Heisst Treue- Our Honor is Loyalty"
The Dictatorship of NSDAP Third Reich "Gleichheit, Freiheit, und Einigkeit"
The Dictatorship of The Neo-Nazi Party "Preserving the White Race at any cost!"
The Dictatorship of The Sadistic Skinhead "Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid"
The Empire of SS Vlaanderen "Unsere Ehre Heisst Treue"
The StormTroopers of 88th Reich "Hail Blood & Honour!"
The Republic of Nationalsozialismus "Arbeit macht frei"
The Federation of Tausendjahriges Reich "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer"
The Confederacy of National Alliance "Agitate - demonstrate - propagate - educate - organise!"
The Empire of Ku Klux Klan Guard "White Pride World Wide!"

That doesn't mean that Max Barry is actually letting REAL Nazis on the site.
These are just some kids, right?

Well, apparently, according to the information under the region named Aryan Nations:

World Factbook Entry: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

"Our pride is in the superiority of our beloved white European heritage, and the enemy (the Jew, the brown, the black and the yellow) will someday fall to the prophecy of our Führer and we will, as nature intended, reign supreme. 14/88, Sieg Heil!!
Alliances- WAR, Fatherland-We are currently not accepting any new members who aren't already active in other pro-white forums and websites.-"

WHOA! HOLD ON THERE! Did that player just say: "We are currently not accepting any new members who aren't already active in other pro-white forums and websites."??? WELL, I'LL BE DAMNED!

REAL Nazis are using Nationstates.net to organize! With a name like ARYAN NATIONS, who would've thought?

Certainly not Max Barry or the moderators of his website, according to them.

By the way, here are some of the logos and images being used by players on www.nationstates.net,
followed by a collection of images of recognized symbols of hate groups. See how many you can match!
Images from players of www.nationstates.net...hosting hate since August, 2002!
Images from players of www.nationstates.net...hosting hate since August, 2002!
Images used to identify Neo-Nazi and White Power groups. Connect the dots!
Images used to identify Neo-Nazi and White Power groups. Connect the dots!

Well, here's an intersting tid bit 13.Aug.2005 20:08

from http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/08/321106.html

"...that is a far more pro-active NO PLATFORM policy then just whining to the maker (who clearly has no problem with the presence of fash nations, as otherwise he wouldnt have written the code for them..)

Kind regards,
SL"

HEY, wait? So, let me get this straight, Scolopendra (SL)...

So, did you just say that MAX BARRY "clearly has no problem with the presence of fash nations, as otherwise he wouldnt have written the code for them.."

Wow, that's a brave step to take. So, you're saying emailing won't make a difference, because Max Barry is already a Nazi sympathizer? Or or...wait...

Or he isn't a Nazi sympathizer, so emailing WILL make a difference?

Right...but, we wouldn't want all that mail going straight to a gmail account with infinite storage capacity where it will most likely get archived without ever having been read, do we?

No. Max really deserves to hear from everyone.

Stunning leap of logic 13.Aug.2005 21:15

Abattoir

Oh my. Please to be engaging your brain.

Scolopendra posts here, giving his nation name, email address and phone number. Why on Earth would he go to a sister site and try to hide his identity? Do you actually think before typing, or are you so blinded by your own intolerances that you'll leap to the most inane conclusions possible?

Have any of you looked at this piece with a critical eye, or did you just sign on when you saw the word "Nazi"? Are there any examples of actual recruiting given? No. Is there any proof to back up the histronics? No.

Doesn't the fact that the author gave no true identification of himself, but plenty of personal information on Max Barry, and that he gave no proof to his claims make anyone think that maybe, just maybe, this is a hatchet-job? This is nothing more than a libelous hate piece.

1.5 Million nations created, and someone finds a couple dozen Nazi related ones. Amazing.

3.6 Million posts on the forum, and you found 2 hate filled ones. Amazing.

Did you all sleep through statistics class when you were sleeping through critical thinking?

If this is the face of the leftist movement, no wonder you're losing elections.

Dude, who said anything about elections? 13.Aug.2005 22:17

I thought we were talking 'bout nazis...

Yeah, and I think this is pretty clear when a region on this stupid game site calls itself "Aryan nations" and posts a message saying that they are "currently not accepting any new members who aren't already active in other pro-white forums and websites."

Duh, you dumbass abbattoir, what do you think that means? It means they only invite people to their group who have already signed onto some WP site.

Hmmm, yeah, I think maybe that is saying if you want to be in our online game group, first you have to be in the real nazi group, like, in the real world.

What is the matter with all these racist idiots like you? You deny things that are right in front of you.

if it's only a couple dozen 13.Aug.2005 22:30

then why not say you won't condone hate?

hate groups should never be condoned, under any circumstances.

are you saying that simply because there are too few of them that they should be excused?
at what point should we start confronting fascists, when there are too many?

numbers have nothing to do with it. stop apologizing for racist hate groups.

i don't care if there was only one nazi left in the world.
i still would never allow that single nazi to spout bigoted garbage on a site i regulated.

if i facilitated that last nazi's bigotry, i guess that would make me a bigot too.

A closed mouth gathers no foot 13.Aug.2005 23:19

Abattoir

"Duh, you dumbass abbattoir, what do you think that means? It means they only invite people to their group who have already signed onto some WP site"

If they're already a member of a WP site, THEN HOW THE HELL HAVE THEY BEEN "RECRUITED"?

Christ. Trying thinking for once in your life.

Uh...follow the bouncing ball... 14.Aug.2005 00:54

King obvious

Okay.

You are a teenager who thinks (for some reason) the German army in WW2 was cool. But you are not and have never been a Nazi, nor have you ever been on any Nazi sites or message boards.

You find a game, a really cool online game, called Nationstates. You want to make a really badass nation, so you name it the Wehrmacht. Then you find a region in game called Aryan Nations.

"Hey, that looks kind of cool," you think to yourself.

Then you see a notice they have posted: "We are currently not accepting any new members who aren't already active in other pro-white forums and websites."

"Damn," you think. "Now I can't join that region. It looked cool."

Ah ha, but then you see another link: "Log onto our forum to find out more:  http://thearyanarmy.proboards61.com/index.cgi"

So you sign up using your email,  stupidbonehead88@yahoo.com, you are approved by a moderator and you go onto the forum, finding links to White Power discussion boards, Neo-Nazi record labels like Panzerfaust and Resistance Records and the great big bigoted world of freaking Nazis.

Basically, the allure of the game provides an incentive for players who want to be in certain online game groups to go through an initiation process of sorts to gain acceptance. Players will not be accepted "in game" until they have been accepted outside of the game. It provides a reason, by luring them with the promise of in-game membership, to seek out and join White Power groups.

Peer pressure and a promise of social acceptance, the oldest tricks in the book.

Creating a fresh cut bonehead a day thanks to www.Nationstates.net.

So, what was the point about free speech again, Scolopendra? 14.Aug.2005 01:35

Professor pointless

Oh yeah, maybe you could explain why Nationstates.net already has two bans in place.
That's right. Oh wait, but first, let's quote from the Etiquette section of the rules...

---------------
* It's free speech, so I can post whatever I like here, right?

Ahahahaha! Hahaha! Free speech! No, it's not. I run this web site, see, so you have to play by my rules. It's like my own Father Knows Best state.
---------------

Hmm. Well, that was interesting, wasn't it? It kind of contradicts absolutely your entire argument up to this point. Well. Rather eye opening. Let's move on. Now, there are already two bans that are in place, no? Against swastikas and against nudity.

So, if you can ban that, and if "Ahahahaha! Hahaha! Free speech! No, it's not. I run this web site, see, so you have to play by my rules," then really, free speech has nothing to do with any of it.

Nice excuses. So what's really up with this, eh?
I think you owe people the truth.

Isn't this getting old? 14.Aug.2005 01:42

John Ferrer

Everyone, great discussion really. But listeningto this, this is stupid. Look, whoever is posting this stuff about this website, just accept the fact that you're not getting anywhere. If people want to let racists post stuff to their websites, you can't stop them. If people want to be racists, no amount of arguing on Indymedia is ever going to change their minds. So just let this website be a racist website and stop the debate. It's going nowhere. They're going to be who they are and that's it. Forget about it. This guy is obviously going to defend them no matter what. Let him. Who cares.

Like I said, you can't stop a racist from being a racist by arguing over Indymedia.

Reality check 14.Aug.2005 10:21

for Centipedes

Another oblivious stumbling of feet past the obvious...

Scolopendra said,
Let's compare: "I think someone who had a problem with liberals wouldn't let them use his site."
(Let's see...does the Republican National Committee let Howard Dean write a blog on their site?)

"I think someone who had a problem with pro-lifers wouldn't let them use his site."
(Yeah, I can totally see NARAL giving space to Randall Terry...for serious.)

"I think someone who had a problem with people of African descent wouldn't let them use his site."
(When was the last time you saw Stormfront invite Al Sharpton to lead a discussion?)

"I think someone who had a problem with creationists wouldn't let them use his site."
(Hmmm...well, I checked  http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_proof.htm, a site that has the headline, "Why biological and geological scientists generally support an old earth, and the theory of evolution," and guess what? The only mention of creationism was part of an effort to debunk it.)

"I think someone who had a problem with fundamental Islamic imams wouldn't let them use his site."
(Let's see...Anti-Defamation League website...nope! No Islamic fundamentalist imams here!)

"I think someone who had a problem with political dissidents wouldn't let them use his site."
(Hahahaha...right! I forgot about all those free blogs that  http://www.gov.ru,  http://www.firstgov.gov and  http://www.governo.it and others give to Mikhail Khodorkovsky in Russia, Noam Chomsky in the United States and Antonio Negri in Italy.)

The world is not and has never operated according to your twisted notion of fairness, where if someone attacks you with an ideological knife--and drops it--you are somehow obligated to pick it up and return it to him so he can try to stab you again. Nazism, bigotry and white supremacy are not morally neutral, flexible, valid or legitimate ideologies because they are founded upon the oppression an extermination of whole cultures and ethnic or racial groups.

When you provide space for them to voice their repugnant ideas, you encourage and enable those ideas.

But there's a question that hasn't been asked...do you even find racism/Nazism/bigotry to be wrong? I mean personally. Do you agree or disagree with Neo-Nazis? That's a fair question, given your obscene defensiveness on the issue. I'd really like to know where you stand.

didn't "Scolopendra" explain this? 14.Aug.2005 21:43

.

I thought "Scolopendra" gave an explanation for why one might opt to allow racist or other objectionable material on a website they controlled, without thereby endorsing it. He said that he thought that exposing this stuff for the nonsense it is was a better way of debunking it than trying to ignore or suppress it. I'm not sure whether I entirely buy the explanation or not. But I don't think you can dismiss this out of hand.

The issue is being dismissed 15.Aug.2005 00:06

because it's ridiculous.

Giving Nazis a free site to post messages and reach a wider audience of young people who they might otherwise not have reached helps them to recruit new members. It provides them a forum to promote racist ideas. It doesn't debunk their ideas, it gives them a save haven, for free, and a mass of young people to preach to.

Furthermore, the Senior Moderator argued with the assumption that he was somehow obligated to provide free space to Nazis, as though Nationstates.net was not a private website but rather a public space like a town square, or a civil government with legal or social obligations to all citizens. It is neither. It is a private website and as such, they have no obligation whatsoever to provide free space to anyone unless they so choose; editorial policies are entirely up to them. They should therefore expect to be scrutinized for the decisions they make, in the same way that people protest against corporations, mainstream media outlets, or even governments when those entities make questionable decisions.

Freedom of speech is such a misunderstood term. Its legal basis, in the United States, comes from the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights of the US Contitution.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

It is a specific limitation on the power of government to pass legislation regulating or abridging freedom of speech. Legally, there is no other application. If you have ever told your boss at work to piss off and been fired for it, you will understand this. There is no obligation, in law or in logic, for an individual website to provide space to anyone, or in essence to provide service only to those it chooses. And even after this, governments routinely deny citizens the right to free speech. Just watch documentaries like the Miami Model or the Fourth World war. Just read Indymedia.

It is well understood within the context of the site that if you spam other players, your nation will be deleted and you will be kicked off the website. If the same standard currently being argued in defense of Neo-Nazis "right" to use the message boards were applied to players who spammed, no one's account would ever be deleted. Yet they are. There are terms of service and guidelines, with the understanding that by violating these guidelines, your account will be deleted. There is no "right" to use this website. That is simple not the reality of the situation, nor is it the reality of any of the situations mentioned in previous examples. The examples that followed were made to show how ridiculous the Senior Moderator's argument was in the first place, since such a standard has never been applied to any website, not even websites of a "public" nature, such as the websites of governments or public institutions (which probably have even more stringent terms than many private sites).

An intelligent case might be made that speech should be defended if it contributes to social or political dialogue in a meaningful way, in other words, that speech may have a value assigned to its content. Thoughtful critique or analysis might be assigned a high value, mundane or "harmless" speech might be assigned a middle value, with obscene, offensive or derogatory speech assigned a relatively low value. So, a well-reasoned argument that seeks to broaden the understanding of all who hear it, whether they agree with it or not (exposing uncomfortable facts as a criticism would also fall into this category), without being derogatory, defamatory or libelous, would have a far different value than derogatory language promoting genocide, racism or notions of a Master Race. Those ideas do not contribute to social dialogue, rather, they prey upon it with the intent of building a mass movement of racist aggression and racist indoctrination. Racism is a vile idea. If someone wants to argue that it isn't, well, that person is probably a racist.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said that there is such a thing in politics as too late.

Pray that we are never too late when it comes to Nazism again.

It's so nice.,.. 15.Aug.2005 00:37

GRINGO STARS

...that nationstates has provided yet another venue for overt racists to recruit and organize! They need as many as they can get! And thanks for the "free speech" defense - defending racist speech is so "free" to non-white people!

(sarcasm was employed in the above paragraph)

Maybe a smarter tactic would be... 15.Aug.2005 08:43

...to shift gears and go after the Nazis themselves.

The Onion had a headline once : "ACLU Defends Right of KKK to Burn Down ACLU HQ."

This is what half of this debate has boiled down to. The other half has become a back and forth about which words were used during the course of the argument and how that somehow disproves something.

Listen: the issue was never about Max Barry or the site itself. The issue was always about the moderation policy and Neo-Nazis use of sites like this to organize. Just because Max Barry is obviously not a Nazi does not mean that Nazis weren't using his site. And despite all the free speech rhetoric by moderators, they have begun to take concrete action against Neo-Nazi activity on the site.

So here's a thought: go after the Nazis themselves. The objective is to smash fascism, not the people who simply don't understand it well enough to ditch their own privileged ideas. That will only happen if, or when, they see up close the kind of atrocities Nazis are capable of. Maybe people should pay for airfare so the moderators can go to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.

Never again.

No sympathy for Nazis.

yes, go after the Nazis in the US 15.Aug.2005 14:26

GRINGO STARS


The last time people were tolerant of Nazis, 19.Aug.2005 06:16

anti-racist

it cost fifty million people their lives.

Here's a better idea:

 http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2005/03/1712207_comment.php#1718508