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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: Access to information
Thread: Access to information
Corribus
Corribus

Hero of Order
The Abyss Staring Back at You
posted May 11, 2017 02:54 PM

Access to information

After Turkey recently blocked access to Wikipedia because Wikipedia refused to remove content that the Turkish government deemed offensive, Jimmy Wales said, "Access to information is a fundamental human right."

Thoughts on:

Whether access to information is really a "fundamental human right".

Whether the Turkish government has a right to restrict access to allegedly "offensive information". To what extent should a government be allowed to restrict the free flow of information?
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EnergyZ
EnergyZ


Legendary Hero
President of MM Wiki
posted May 11, 2017 03:06 PM
Edited by EnergyZ at 15:07, 11 May 2017.

Well, that statement assumes everything is public domain. And we all know governments do not allow certain things to be let out of their archives. Who knows what secrets they hold, and some secrets should just remain like that.

But this is not such a case. Wikipedia is not something one should disable access to, considering it is open for public. One could say this is just a part of the Turkish propaganda. (And that someone cannot handle criticism.) And with Wikipedia block, they are just sinking even further.

Basically, politics shouldn't have anything to do with knowledge.

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Ghost
Ghost


Supreme Hero
Therefore I am
posted May 11, 2017 03:11 PM

Finland, and I can't remember one state are free. You read all info, if you visit their sites, and use a google translation. Russian info is dry!

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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
HC SUPPORTER
posted May 11, 2017 04:39 PM

Corribus said:
Thoughts on:

Whether access to information is really a "fundamental human right".


Generally, I wouldn't say so. In principle, no one should ever be obligated to give you anything, otherwise you infringe on their freedom. For situations like trades or contracts things are a bit different, parties should be put in the know about any essential information to ensure transparency and avoid fraud.

Corribus said:
Whether the Turkish government has a right to restrict access to allegedly "offensive information". To what extent should a government be allowed to restrict the free flow of information?


Weren't they put in office by vote? Isn't the population free to protest and overthrow the decision? If the democratic process doesn't work, then not being able to browse wikipedia is only a symptom of a bigger, underlying problem.
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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted May 11, 2017 05:07 PM
Edited by artu at 17:15, 11 May 2017.

The government's claim is that Wikipedia presents factually wrong and baseless information about the Turkish State and ISIS connections, when they are asked for evidence or to change the related articles they refuse to cooperate. The Western major powers are certainly not happy about how Erdogan turned out and he has a tendency to see a lot of things, including any negative news about him or his government in the Western media as part of a mudslinging campaign triggerred by them. He has a rhetoric very similar to Trump's "establishment" rhetoric. Trump just fired the head of FBI for taking "Russian hackers manipulating the election story" seriously for similar reasons, to him these are all part of a bigger scheme to discredit him.

Now, even if we assume all of that was true, that the related article was indeed presenting  false information, how is blocking access to ALL Wikipedia content in Turkey while rest of the world keeps on reading that article, and this time also thinking, "wow, that dictator even blocked Wikipedia for this huh" help? It's strategically moronic. And even if it wasn't, yes, it does violate our rights, and in a very annoying way, too. I can't tell you how many times a day I click Wikipedia out of habit, then remember that it's blocked in anger, it is a really helpful site with many things. VPN services slow down the net, you cant leave them on all the time and wiki is a site you usually use momentarily. It sucks.

States will always have classified information, they will do their best to keep such stuff secret, it would be naive to think they wont. But only information that literally endangers people should be punishable to reveal, such as identities of undercover agents or access to location of chemical weapon storages etc.  You can not fight with internet platforms edited by thousands of people by restricting access to them, whether they are spreading harmful gossip or not is not even the question here, that's just insane. A wiki article is not considered as evidence in the court of law or a source in an academic thesis, it is just a practical gateway to such sources, so what's the point in all of this other than pissing off your own citizens and getting ridiculed in the eyes of any civil democracy outside? Ten years ago, when we heard about such blockings in China or in Korea or wherever, we used to think "how strange" and now look where we stand.
Quote:
Weren't they put in office by vote? Isn't the population free to protest and overthrow the decision?

An elected goverment is not free to do whatever they please just because they got elected, they should still act legitimately. Yes, you can protest but you can not overthrow anything like that. You'll just be marching the streets and they couldnt care less.
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AlHazin
AlHazin


Promising
Supreme Hero
Tutto possibile
posted May 11, 2017 05:22 PM

To be fair no country on Earth is totally democratic and gives all info simply because that's impossible.

Now for Turkey, that reminds me of the Ottoman Empire, back in the days I was younger. There was a law that went like this:

Every young man that is not married and reaches the age of 25 will be forced to take a wife, otherwise he will have to pay X amount of money every X period of time.
Every man that has 50 years old or more and is wealthy enough will have to take a second wife...

And so on. Just saying but I think Turks have that habit to put laws on everything and oblige/forbid quite much, it's a matter of mentality. Except if Turkey had like 8 times more women than men which could explain everything.
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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted May 11, 2017 05:34 PM

AlHazin said:
Now for Turkey, that reminds me of the Ottoman Empire, back in the days I was younger. There was a law that went like this.

I knew you were no Herry but I didnt guess you were that old.

Seriously though, never heard of such a law and I read history a lot, so even if it did exist, it either did for a very short period or it wasnt executed de facto. Such weird and obsecure laws exist in almost every country before 20th Century.
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you guys are after some sort of systemized system - tsar

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tSar-Ivor
tSar-Ivor


Legendary Hero
A - Ω
posted May 11, 2017 05:40 PM
Edited by tSar-Ivor at 18:00, 11 May 2017.

It's not a right if it can be taken away. Ergo, no you do not have a fundamental right to information. You desire it, take it no matter the consequences.

Besides government and authority are by default like this, in most liberal democracies we have enough freedoms to not stiffle our progress to the point of rebellion (not quite), but it still rules by violence, both direct/personal and structural.

In essence Proudhon sums it up quite perfectly.

Quote:
To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.


In otherwords this is business as usual. Do whatever you desire and face the consequences, if the government impedes your own personal progress in some way you are under no obligation to submit, follow through. But do not rely on the state and authority to protect your 'rights' privileges, the only ones who will are human beings that share the same values, not government, not authority.
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Corribus
Corribus

Hero of Order
The Abyss Staring Back at You
posted May 11, 2017 05:41 PM

Anything can be taken away.
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I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later. -Mitch Hedberg

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AlHazin
AlHazin


Promising
Supreme Hero
Tutto possibile
posted May 11, 2017 06:02 PM

Corribus said:
Anything can be taken away.


Even rights.

The laws of the empire are written in osmanli that you can't read, you study it through translations I guess? I'll have to check back that law.

There's that paradoxe too. The democratic nations usually inform widely their populations, because they have to and because they claim defending freedom principles. But sometimes they hide things they are not supposed to. While non-democratic nations hide everything, bit the thing is we know they hide and thus they don't try to hide they dictatorship, and so that's a form of information I guess. Well I understand myself.
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A felt change of consciousness - Markkur.
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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
HC SUPPORTER
posted May 11, 2017 06:09 PM
Edited by Stevie at 18:25, 11 May 2017.

artu said:
Quote:
Weren't they put in office by vote? Isn't the population free to protest and overthrow the decision?

An elected goverment is not free to do whatever they please just because they got elected, they should still act legitimately. Yes, you can protest but you can not overthrow anything like that. You'll just be marching the streets and they couldnt care less.


Legitimacy is exactly given by the support of the people, that includes the vote that put the Government in their seats but also their approval down the road. And as I said, if the democratic process doesn't work, as in if the population shows unrest and starts protesting and the Government chooses to completely ignore it, then the problem is more deeply entrenched than just the surface issue of wikipedia. Months ago, in my country, people marched the streets against a policy by the hundreds of thousands, and the Government took heed and reconsidered. If marching in Turkey doesn't work that way, then your Government is led by autocratic principles, not democratic ones. But anyway, seeing how your country decided to give even more power to Erdogan after all the red flags and signals up until that referendum, I guess you could hardly call it a surprise. This is a demon of your own making.

artu said:
It sucks.


I bet it does. I'm curious, what does it show when you try to access it?
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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted May 11, 2017 06:29 PM
Edited by artu at 18:40, 11 May 2017.

The vote of the people gives the legitemacy to govern, but not to govern however as you please, Erdogan can't decide to behead every brown-eyed person tomorrow, just because he got elected. Democracy does not mean that. Not to mention, half the country voted no to Presidency and the referandum for the new constitution is not offically the electing of Erdogan as the president. One can vote yes to presidency and then vote no to Erdogan in 2019.

It displays this:
[/url]


@tsar
Naturally, every right, including the right to live is a social construct that you don't possess in the jungle. But I assume the original post is taking modern standards as a common denominator.
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you guys are after some sort of systemized system - tsar

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PandaTar
PandaTar


Promising
Supreme Hero
Celestial Heavens Mascot
posted May 11, 2017 07:02 PM

Corribus said:

Thoughts on:
Whether access to information is really a "fundamental human right".

Whether the Turkish government has a right to restrict access to allegedly "offensive information". To what extent should a government be allowed to restrict the free flow of information?


I think it is. I believe that commuting information refines it and balance it to what we may as well define as the closest truth about a conception. Not specifically saying that popular beliefs model truths, just saying the the wider your scope, the more people can help set things straight, as long as civility is considered.

Not long ago, Brazilian Government, the one under Dilma's belt that is, started meandering their way into starting to propose an information control on Brazilian Internet. Suffice to say that it was taken in a very bad perspective, smearing her already low popularity. The feeling of control from the State, specially for our perspective as Brazilians, is a very delicate issue here. I often don't discuss about it because it makes me feel impotent and irritated, so I won't elaborate much here, just give the overall picture.

Most of this 'control' of information fluctuated around cases in which politicians and the current government was being often bashed around, so they wanted to control that flow, the usual strategy to pretend everything is fine. I'm not sure how Turkey case is, and how the truth is tied to it, but around here, government tried to restrict flow of information to hide the truth of disguise it, lower the negativity of its odds. In that sense, I find it completely abusive.

If it's a rectification of something that's been proven wrong, inaccurate and misleading, I think the Government could have means to issue a fix, officially stating why they are doing so. Regarding common knowledge and information, such as religion things, other political issues and some other practices ... well, I believe they must read their own population and make their own analysis as how far they could go? It's a tough subject. But my personal belief and feel about it is that the more isolated you are and the less information you have, more prone not to evolve and adapt and grow you are. The example in Turkey, if the government blocked the whole wikipedia content for a political situation, here in country it would cause a ruckus due the exaggeration of the process, being considered a penalty upon the populace, rather a penalty upon the misuse of information. Such things happened with apps such as Whatsapp and Facebook, when some Judge blocked them for hours or days because policies didn't match Brazilian Law, so all population suffered an indirect penalty for something most of them weren't even aware of.

Dunno if I trailed away from what you wanted to talk about.
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Ebonheart
Ebonheart


Famous Hero
Rush the rush
posted May 11, 2017 07:17 PM

Frankly I do not see the problem.
If one can witch-hunt people for their opinions regarding immigration, what is so troublesome about shutting down the access to a site?

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Kayna
Kayna


Supreme Hero
posted May 11, 2017 07:59 PM

He's welcome to start his own Turkey-ish Arabic-ish wikipedia to counter western propaganda.

Maybe he can add an entry about Yakub, the evil black scientist that created the white race about 6 000 years ago as a race of devils. Heck, even the western controlled wikipedia accepts his existence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakub_(Nation_of_Islam)

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frostysh
frostysh


Bad-mannered
Famous Hero
WHY?
posted May 15, 2017 11:23 AM
Edited by frostysh at 11:26, 15 May 2017.

artu said:
The government's claim is that Wikipedia presents factually wrong and baseless information about the Turkish State and ISIS connections, when they are asked for evidence or to change the related articles they refuse to cooperate. The Western major powers are certainly not happy about how Erdogan turned out and he has a tendency to see a lot of things, including any negative news about him or his government in the Western media as part of a mudslinging campaign triggerred by them. . . . A wiki article is not considered as evidence in the court of law or a source in an academic thesis, it is just a practical gateway to such sources, so what's the point in all of this other than pissing off your own citizens and getting ridiculed in the eyes of any civil democracy outside? Ten years ago, when we heard about such blockings in China or in Korea or wherever, we used to think "how strange" and now look where we stand. . .
I am disagree with this version of how things is going on, imho there is much more complicated story that lying under surface.

1) The Powers of pl. Earth, the great Powers have no single care about single particular mr Erdogan, with the all respect of course, on my humble opinion. Mr Erdogan, of course with the all respect is the only single human, he have no any influence on Geopolitic Situation in region, maximum that mr Erdogan can do, it is a disturbance in RoT society for some time. Of course, if mr Erdogan will become a part of something bigger, of some strategies and plans, more likely created by this Powers, then the situation is drastically changin' in this case, and mr Erdogan definitely become an important figure for some time, at least ... , I am sorry for my dark humor.

2) RoT - guys making same mistakes as in the past, same as they tried to clean archives about Armenian Genocide, etc. Same mistakes doing SU in nowdays, but SU is very powerful and smarty, so SU can hold this mistakes, despite of it's destructive results in the future. In case of RoT, the situation is different, and such decisions is more looks like an another +1 step to nowhere, to the Abyss.
Kayna said:
He's welcome to start his own Turkey-ish Arabic-ish wikipedia to counter western propaganda.
Maybe he can add an entry about Yakub, the evil black scientist that created the white race about 6 000 years ago as a race of devils. Heck, even the western controlled wikipedia accepts his existence
IF RoT want to die, the radical nationalistic propaganda in modern condition is almost the shortest way to. Such propaganda is not effective in modern world, when you need to obtain a geopolitical level power, or when you need to protect your state, but it a very effective when you need to destroy some state. IMHO.
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