Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: What's the deal with Third Voice?

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:9/27/1999; 8:06:08 AM
Topic:Windows apps on Linux: the real reason
Msg #:11480 (In response to 11476)
Prev/Next:11479 / 11481

I'm a little lost on this - isn't Third Voice an extension of the right to free speech, no matter how puerile or 'offensive' (to whom - we all know the argument).

I love the web, but Third Voice scares me.

I'm not so concered about where they're at right now, last time we checked there were three inane outdated comments on my home page. And very few people browse with their software, so the web isn't really hurt, that much, at this time, by the presence of Third Voice.

But what happens if Microsoft decides that this is a "cool" feature and bakes it into the browser and makes it turned on by default. Then before anyone gets to read my stuff, they'll read the comments of other people.

The thing I like about the web is that it gives each of us our own space to tell our story. If someone feels disempowered, it's easy to put up their own website. If their ideas are interesting or valuable, they'll develop an audience. I believe this system works well.

We already have plenty of free speech media. Mail lists are a good example. They give equal voice to everyone. Often this stops progress. Even so, I belong to quite a few mail lists. That kind of communication is already well-supported on the net.

If TV-style DGs take-hold, kiss the web goodbye. That's why I don't like TV.

BTW, I had a public debate with the CEO of Third Voice last week. The point you make is the one he made repeatedly. Fine, I'm in favor of free speech. But I'm also in favor of private property. I'm not a communist. I think we found out what that system leads to. Paralysis, corruption, police states, uniformity in thinking, lowest common denominator stuff.

You can say whatever you want about anything in public spaces (there are even limits on that, in a free society), but if you come into someone's home or place of business, you have to follow their rules. This is an important social construct. Free speech isn't absolute. Check with the US court system. They would agree with that.

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