28 Nov 1994 - 09 May 1995


  1. gde.smo (43)
  2. jugoslavija (343)
  3. ex.yu (850)
  4. srbija (1461)
  5. svet (397)
  6. ljudska.prava (1)
  7. mediji (70)
  8. trac (59)
  9. devojke (1269)
  10. iseljenje (149)
  11. razno (229)

Messages - ljudska.prava

ljudska.prava.1 dejanr,
Situacija u ex.yu se sve češće koristi u raznim diskusijama kao alegorija ili poređenje... evo jednog teksta iz martovskog BYTE-a koji se, na neki način, bavi ljudskim pravima, ali u domenu elektronske pošte... Zove se, možete misliti, Bosnia On-Line: TITLE: Bosnia On-Line Go on-line looking for a democratic forum, and you're more likely to find alt.vicious. xenophobic.nastiness George Bond Once upon a time, some of us slogging through the mud of the information cow path believed computer-based communications would build cohesive, coherent communities. We saw conferencing systems as the vehicle to bring people together in great democratic forums. In our fantasies, we saw the realization of what the early Greek philosophers had described and dreamed. We saw democracy. It was a world where it didn't matter what sex or color or age you were, or if you could see or speak or walk or use your hands, or if you were short or tall or skinny or fat. It didn't matter where you were born or where you lived. We saw a world where all that mattered was what you could contribute to your society. People would be judged on what they made of themselves, not what they were born to or what was inflicted on them. Boy, were we wrong! Instead of leading people to a golden age, the Internet and other conferencing systems are simply reflecting the world at large. Instead of becoming a great gathering place for the democratic exchange of ideas, the Internet in particular is becoming a fragmented world riddled with enclaves of xenophobic, crabby egotists. As far as I know, no one has actually been killed on the Internet yet. Most likely, however, this is because no one has been able to figure out how to send a zillion volts from point A to point B and fry somebody who posted an offending message. A story made the rounds a few months ago concerning some political correctness at a university in California. A department assistant was told to set up message areas for students on a university computer. The students--of both sexes--requested private, gender-specific discussion areas in addition to a mixed area. Later, some of the students filed a complaint that discussions in one of the closed areas were offensive. The assistant who was running the system is now in deep trouble for doing exactly what his constituents demanded. Old-line netnicks react to newcomers with at the end of their electronic addresses, with the Internet equivalent of Bosnia's ethnic cleansing. Say the wrong thing in a group--something as ``provocative'' as ``I kind of like my Newton'' in a DOS area--and you'll likely find yourself splattered with vitriol for days. Somali have extended their country's clan warfare from the East African deserts to the soc.culture.somalia newsgroup. The thought police on campuses try to impose sanctions on Internet use that doesn't conform with their beliefs about the way things ought to be. They patrol the byways of the Internet looking for violations of their standards. One university administration shut down several newsgroups because they carried sexually explicit material that the administrators thought--but apparently never got a lawyer's opinion--would violate state obscenity statutes. Students screamed. The faculty senate screamed. The ACLU told the university it was wrong. The administrators backed off. Lawyers Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, who spammed (i.e., cross-posted the same message) the Internet with ads seeking aliens who wanted help getting green cards, learned the hard way about the fanatic antibusiness bias of many Internet dwellers. Spamming is thoughtless, but the Constitution doesn't say freedom of speech can't be practiced as widely as possible. Unfortunately, other users, even in generally polite environments, such as CompuServe, tend to respond to spammed messages by flaming. And the flames are seldom restrained. Of course, flames are just another expression of free speech. Churlish, but free, speech. Of course, on-line systems have yielded some wonderful benefits--shut-ins gaining access to the world, citizens using BBSes in political campaigns, and college dropouts completing their degrees electronically. But these, just as the bad things, simply reflect the world at large. So what's to be done? Can the data highway be a democracy, a welcoming community where people help each other? Sure. So can the world. How? I don't know, but let's keep working on it.