[–] stcredzero link

What's needed is an app that lets people donate in a low friction way. I had been using Patreon as a poor man's micropayments. I'd like to see (or make) a "pay them somehow" web app, that keeps tabs on creator's payment methods, and after some judicious setup, takes care of all the rigamarole of donating for you. Crypto, Paypal, etc. Such a system could even cut checks and mail them, if needed. (For some extra fees.)

Ideally, I could do something like set my monthly expenditure at something like $40, and I could nominate a list of creators, and they could all just get $1 per month.

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[–] toufiqbarhamov link

How do you make and implement such a thing without turning it into the mother of all money laundries?

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[–] stcredzero link

Actually implement Patreon's rules of conduct and abide by them. What Patreon has been doing doesn't even fit with what Jack Conte said they were doing, and what their terms of service actually say. The reason given why Sargon of Akkad was banned, was because he used some unsavory language to try and offend white nationalists on a YouTube stream apart from Patreon and not on his own channels. And yet, some searching revealed that Patreon has other creators who use the same language on Patreon who were not banned. Furthermore, there is funding of groups engaging in violence on Patreon, but this isn't being banned in accordance to their terms of service. (Many say this is because those groups are farther left leaning.)

How does Go Fund Me keep from turning into the mother of all money laundries?

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[–] alasdair_ link

>The reason given why Sargon of Akkad was banned, was because he used some unsavory language to try and offend white nationalists on a YouTube stream

This is obscuring what was said. Specifically, he said:

"You’re acting like a bunch of n * * * * * s, just so you know. You act like white n * * * * * s."

and

"Look, you carry on, but don’t expect me to then have a debate with one of your f * * gots.…Like why would I bother?…Maybe you’re just acting like a n * * * * r, mate? Have you considered that? Do you think white people act like this?"

It's not even the words themselves, it's the deeper implication ("Do you think white people act like this?").

I see this as no different from a TV network firing a host who said a whole bunch of racist stuff that didn't happen to be said on the TV network. Why should they continue to give this person money if they don't want to?

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[–] stcredzero link

It's not even the words themselves, it's the deeper implication

He's using the white supremacist's own racism against themselves. "Reading the deeper implication" has many likely interpretations of Sargon's internal mental state that are both non-racist and racist. That's quite far from "manifest observable behavior" Patreon claims in their TOS. They just have to cut off a father's income just before Christmas for a counter-troll on an obscure fringe live-stream from 10 months back? An organization making that much of a stretch is showing its hand. (Again, I don't approve of Sargon's language. It was definitely a mistake for him to say such a thing.)

I see this as no different from a TV network firing a host

Then how is it that someone did a search of Patreon's site and turned up tons of n-word occurrences? How is it that Patreon continues to fund groups that seem to encourage violence? If Patreon is reaching that far in Sargon's case to "protect their brand" yet have so many skeletons like that, so easily found, I highly doubt that "protecting their brand" is their actual underlying motivation.

In any case, Patreon is a conduit for payment, not a network. Perhaps they're pivoting, but from where I stand, it's completely the wrong move. They've severely damaged their standing as a means of paying creators.

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[–] alasdair_ link

>Then how is it that someone did a search of Patreon's site and turned up tons of n-word occurrences?

Because these people don't matter to Patreon.

>How is it that Patreon continues to fund groups that seem to encourage violence?

Because these people don't matter to Patreon.

>If Patreon is reaching that far in Sargon's case to "protect their brand" yet have so many skeletons like that, so easily found, I highly doubt that "protecting their brand" is their actual underlying motivation.

It likely IS their motivation (or the more general motivation of making money anyway).

Someone did some math and realized that continuing to give this person money will, on balance, be more harmful than not giving this person money. That really is the extent of it all. No one at Patreon likely gives a shit about the guy except that he is too controversial compared to the amount of money he makes them.

Let's say Patreon makes 10% of the revenue this guy brings in. $15,000 is such an irrelevant amount compared to the amount of harm that continuing to support this guy monetarily could potentially cause that it would be insane to continue to bother sending him any money.

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[–] stcredzero link

It likely IS their motivation (or the more general motivation of making money anyway).

Then this is an even more disturbing thing. If "protecting their brand" means they have to act as if Sargon of Akkad is something -- contrary to the facts -- because activists and media have pushed a narrative, but they don't have to do anything about actual incidences of the n-word and groups possibly funding actual violence, then the narrative means all and facts mean nothing.

There is some group of people who has been corrupted by power and is abusing power. Nothing to do with identity here, but everything to do with socioeconomic power controlling information.

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[–] alasdair_ link

>the narrative means all and facts mean nothing.

Few things are as binary as this.

But yes, narrative matters, as well as facts. Narrative built on a complete lack of facts is more difficult to sustain that that which is based on some facts.

Still, the $15,000 or so this dude makes for Patreon (at most!) is likely not worth the hassle of keeping him around.

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[–] stcredzero link

Apparently, neither is their appearance of honesty, fairness, and transparency.

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[–] mirimir link

> Why should they continue to give this person money if they don't want to?

They're just managing contributions, and taking a cut. So it's not like they're paying a salary or whatever.

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[–] dependenttypes link

Why are you censoring yourself? I don't remember HN having a rule about self-censoring "bad" words.

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[–] alasdair_ link

> Why are you censoring yourself?

Personal choice. I really hate those two particular words.

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[–] Frondo link

Very good explanation of why, now, white people should refrain from using that word:

https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/11/9/16627900/ta-nehisi-...

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[–] nicky0 link

The summary of it is "So that you have something you are not allowed to do, which will give you a better idea of what it is like to be black." I'm not convinced this is the best reason.

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[–] Frondo link

Why not?

What would be a better reason? Or, do you think white people should feel free to use that word?

Because there was a time when white people felt free to use that word, and there are still pockets of white society where people feel free to use that word, and if you think those times or those people are good ones to emulate, I'd be quite interested to know why you think that.

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[–] nicky0 link

A better reason would be, so as not to say hurtful things.

I think all people should feel free to use whatever words they want to use as long as they are speaking truth.

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[–] Frondo link

Why is "don't say hurtful things" better than "gain empathy and insight into the lives of a group of people who are generally very badly off, in very large part because our country allowed them to be enslaved for hundreds of years"?

Because it seems like "don't say hurtful things" covers a lot of stuff, but you miss out on the specific empathy this specific situation gives you by reflecting on why this one word should be taken off the table for white people.

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[–] nicky0 link

Because the "gain empathy" argument is condescending and insulting.

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[–] Frondo link

What makes it condescending or insulting? I'm not seeing either one.

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[–] nicky0 link

You're not seeing it because you are trapped in a class guilt, social justice seeking, identity politics bubble.

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[–] Frondo link

You don't know whether I'm trapped in anything, and I certainly feel no particular guilt at all about being a white dude; none at all.

Now, what's condescending or insulting?

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[–] undefined link
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[–] undefined link
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[–] comesee link

This is a bad explanation. No one is saying that context doesn't matter. The entire argument for using the n word is precisely that context matters. If you use the word referentially, or otherwise not in a malicious way, it's not reasonable to be regarded as a racist.

This is the difference between a strange woman calling you honey in a compassionate personal way, and someone saying "does your wife call you 'honey'?" Or sarcastically "you're a real honey, aren't you?"

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[–] toufiqbarhamov link

I’m totally disinterested in a political discussion here, I’m just asking about how your idea could comply with anti-laundering, KYC laws and regulations. As to how GoFundMe works, they cooperate with law enforcement and say so in their TOS, as well as adhering to KYC for withdrawal.

https://support.gofundme.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001977868-...

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[–] stcredzero link

There would have to be an implementation of KYC. My idea, at least initially, would be to vet lists of creators manually, based on current prominence in social media.

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[–] mirimir link

That's only necessary if the service is subject to US jurisdiction, directly or indirectly.

No service that's subject to any nation's jurisdiction could be considered truly "censorship-free". Because, you know, said nation could censor it.

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[–] stcredzero link

This is true, but I'm not so sure I'd want to operate at anything approaching WikiLeaks levels of giving the middle finger to governments. A service that goes by both the letter and spirit of the law in terms of Free Speech, out of the reaches of collusive interference of powerful business people and political activists is something currently lacking, and a good place to start.

I'd have a terms of service not too different from the one Patreon had published at the time of Jack Conte's interview. Such a site would also be "protecting a brand," but the political facet of the brand would be one of enabling the funding of civil and reasoned (though perhaps controversial) discourse. Granted, that's going to be a real can of worms.

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[–] mirimir link

Yes, that would be a fine service to have.

Operating solely under US jurisdiction, it would be virtually immune to government censorship. Given strong protection of free speech in the US Constitution. And so it could be as censorship-free as its operators desired, without interference from private third parties.

But all bets are off if other nations have jurisdiction. Consider the pressure that Google is facing to apply "The Right to be Forgotten" to all searches globally. Or pressure from the UK and Australia to censor mention of legal stuff under protective order. Or China, seeking to block coverage of its Muslim "reeducation efforts".

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[–] undefined link
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[–] njarboe link

Life would be so much better without an income tax. It's a bad idea to tax people trading with each other. Win/win actions are something that should be encouraged. I'd support some kind of national land value tax in the US if we nullified the 16th amendment at the same time.

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[–] drenvuk link

I don't agree with this. Wealth was tied to land in the past but not anymore. If there were something that could be equated with a land as a resource then I'd support the effort but an income tax is more of a catch all for the various ways that wealth can be generated. I think it's a rule that should be used in a more effective (and simpler) manner but I definitely still support an income tax.

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[–] manfredo link

Asset taxes is effectively that. But assets are a lot easier to hide than income, and there's nothing stopping wealthy people from moving somewhere else. France's asset tax is estimated to have caused large amounts of capital to leave the country.

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[–] darawk link

That's why you should tax only fixed, country specific assets, such as land and intellectual property. They are protected by the government, therefore they cannot be hidden from the government.

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[–] chii link

> intellectual property

this type of property is notoriously easy to hide!

Taxing income is the least worst. The best is taxing capital gains/profits from corporations.

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[–] darawk link

> this type of property is notoriously easy to hide!

Not if you want it to be protected by a patent, trademark, or copyright.

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[–] jsty link

IP offshoring is a big tax avoidance strategy already. Not that it couldn't be made harder to exploit, but it's not a fait accompli to simply tax the IP resident in a country.

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[–] chongli link

You tax it at the point of enforcement. If someone wants to avoid paying the tax, then everybody gets to copy their stuff for free. It seems straightforward to me.

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[–] stickfigure link

Sure, because we don't have an asset tax. If we had an asset tax, you'd have to register your IP. If you don't register your IP, you don't get protection. Not too different from real estate; if you don't have title, you don't own it.

I haven't considered all the economic consequences of this, but it does seem like enforcement is a minor problem.

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[–] undefined link
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[–] zozbot123 link

Taxing IP would be counterproductive, except as a pure revelation mechanism for "IP that its owners actually care about". The whole point of IP is to be an incentive for creative work, and taxes destroy that incentive. It's better to roll IP rights back, and/or have rigorous requirements (such as registration and archiving of the work which is to be protected), but have very limited taxation on the IP itself.

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[–] drenvuk link

This might be a silly question but when do you think there will be a global tax? Something akin to a world government tax? The US has it to some extent when it taxes citizens outside the country but even that can be escaped.

There was someone who said something like "Don't tax money that can move." It would be interesting to see all of the countries figure out a way for it to happen anyway.

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[–] manfredo link

A global tax would be feasible if all governments are on good terms, and are willing to cooperate on their taxes and surveillance of assets. I do not predict this happening any time soon.

The US taxes citizens abroad, but you get to deduct taxes paid to your country of residence. Since the US has relatively low taxes, this usually means citizens abroad pay no taxes to the US. It may be more nuanced than that. I have never filed taxes while living abroad, this is just my immediate recollection.

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[–] philliphaydon link

Huh. US tax isn’t Low?!? And I think in Singapore you’re forced to pay tax. They ask you if you’re a US citizen here and treat your income tax differently. I could be wrong tho. I’m not American so I don’t need to worry about double tax.

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[–] manfredo link

> Huh. US tax isn’t Low?!?

I'm not sure if you read my comment correctly.

> The US taxes citizens abroad, but you get to deduct taxes paid to your country of residence. Since the US has relatively low taxes, this usually means citizens abroad pay no taxes to the US.

I am saying that taxes in the US are low, which is why citizens abroad usually don't have any more taxes to pay after deducting the taxes paid to their country of residence.

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[–] philliphaydon link

Ah ok. I Guess this only really applies to Europe where there is high tax to begin with.

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[–] mandelbrotwurst link

I suppose that would happen as soon as there were an entity with the capability to (i.e. means of enforcement) and interest in doing so.

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[–] ekianjo link

That would be akin to be back in serf mode. If you can't escape taxes anymore, there is nothing preventing a "worldwide government" to tax people to death. I guess this is when people may want to move to Mars or something.

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[–] XorNot link

France's asset tax did no such thing. The wealthy in France have received numerous tax breaks under the Macron government which is why the yellow jacket protests are happening.

France's asset tax was effectively protested by the wealthy doing what they always do - threatening to leave loudly, maybe taking some time off in one of their overseas residences, and then doing absolutely nothing.

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[–] manfredo link

France's asset tax is estimated to to have caused $125 billion to leave the country since 1998: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_tax

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[–] XorNot link

Far more then $6 billion / year leaves most western countries as tax avoidance schemes. It's not about whether their money left, its about whether they and their businesses left.

Which they never do (unless they were going to do it anyway - i.e. outsourcing).

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[–] darawk link

The solution is LVT's on things that behave 'like land', such as intellectual property, domain names, etc.

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[–] njarboe link

Isn't wealth generation something that should be supported also? Tax the rentiers not the producers. Not all rich people are the same. Most high income people hide their income as capital gains, in any case.

I wonder what the total value of land is in the US compared to buildings and other assets (subtract land value from stock values) and what the tax rate would have to be to replace the income tax?

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[–] mirimir link

Some of us don't believe that online payment systems need concern themselves with that. Especially if preventing money laundering basically means having no online privacy.

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[–] belltaco link

And some of us believe people calling for hate and violence shouldn't be given a pedestal to spread their hate. If Twitch starts allowing Nazis to broadcast their hate of colored people I am going to stop using it.

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[–] mirimir link

Well, what can I say? You can do what you like. But your position is not consistent with the US Constitution, for whatever that's worth.

I don't like lots of what I hear. But the right to free expression is more important than what I like, or don't.

From the ACLU:

> Can my free speech be restricted because of what I say — even if it is controversial?

> No. The First Amendment prohibits restrictions based on the content of speech. However, this does not mean that the Constitution completely protects all types of speech in every circumstance. Police and government officials are allowed to place certain narrowly drawn "time, place and manner" restrictions on the exercise of First Amendment rights — for example, permit requirements for large groups using public parks or limits on the loudness of sound amplifiers. Any such restrictions must apply to all speech regardless of its point of view.

https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/demonstrations-and-pro...

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[–] mirimir link

Damn. So I know what it's like to have ~no freedom of expression. We used to distribute stuff that was printed at night on fucking mimeograph machines! You had to burn the stencils at the end of a run. Which is one reason why I ended up in the US. That, and the drugs. But whatever.

Also, it's funny that much of what's now "politically correct" was totally unmentionable and censored in the 50s. If those who were "politically correct" then had done a better job at censorship, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

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[–] XorNot link

The US Constitution protects you from censure by the US government.

There is no protection, whatsoever, from any private individual or corporation being required to aid you in broadcasting, distributing or otherwise conveying your speech.

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[–] stcredzero link

There is no protection, whatsoever, from any private individual or corporation being required to aid you in broadcasting, distributing or otherwise conveying your speech.

False. This is another of the false narratives promulgated by authoritarians on the left, hoping people will just give up and go away. Free Speech is a fundamental human right, and it doesn't stop at the borders of government vs. private property.

A Jehova's witness was trying to distribute pamphlets in a mining town, where basically all of the houses, all of the roads, and all of the sidewalks were constructed and owned by the company. The company said, "my town, my property, I don't want you to distribute your media." However, in the earlier history of the United States, it was jurisprudence that Free Speech holds priority over private property rights. The company was forced to allow it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBozijndSLc

(Re: Silencing and hoping people will just give up and go away. Again, the obnoxious religious conservatives used to do this sort of thing to homosexuals. All sorts of bigots who held position and power used these sorts of cheesy tactics against racial minorities, alternative lifestyles, basically all kinds of non-mainstream people, because they had no logical, principled, meritocratic arguments. In the end, it was all about feels and people shunning others based on tribalism. That's not what a free society looks like. You need real discourse, not treating ideas like they're armbands.)

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[–] mirimir link

Yes, this is what I was alluding to. Freedom of expression was essential for the fight against racial segregation in the US. And for the fight for homosexual rights.

And yes, it's true that the Constitution only applies to government action. So private individuals have more freedom to discriminate and censor. Those rights are generally limited, however, for those who provide public services.

For example, if you're seeking a housemate, or inviting people over for dinner, you're free to discriminate. Even over protected categories, such as race, religion and gender status.

But if you're renting or selling an apartment or house, or running a restaurant, you are far less free to discriminate. In particular, over those protected categories. Indeed, you will be required to accommodate needs of those with differing abilities.

The relationship of discrimination and censorship is admittedly complex. In most of the US, for example, shopping malls cannot legally discriminate against protected classes. However, they can freely censor speech. And exclude people who say or do stuff that's against their rules.

Given all that, Patreon is indeed free to censor and exclude. Just as shopping malls are (except, as I recall in California). But even so, there is the expectation that operations that are effectively public spaces (even though they are not governmental) ought to respect rights to free expression. That was typically so for newspapers. And there's been considerable litigation over protests in shopping malls.

So can Patreon legally discriminate and censor, based on politics? Yes, clearly. But can they legitimately be criticized for doing so? Also yes.

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[–] toufiqbarhamov link

Yes, this is what I was alluding to. Freedom of expression was essential for the fight against racial segregation in the US. And for the fight for homosexual rights.

In what way? I don’t recall police and other authorities being overly restrained from extremes of violence against civil rights demonstrators, arresting and imprisoning them, and even killing them. If anything progress was made despite the lack of any freedom whatsoever, through civil disobedience. In the case of homosexual rights in the US, it didn’t exactly kick off with a sternly worded letter, it was the Stonewall Riots.

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[–] mirimir link

Yes, some police and other authorities were not at all restrained from extremes of violence. But national mass media comprehensively reported civil rights protests. Although I'm sure that there was some censorship in local media. And it didn't take long for the federal government to intervene.

Coverage by national mass media generated widespread public support for federal intervention. And arguably, federal action wouldn't have happened without it.

And indeed, there's quite the contrast for the establishment of homosexual rights in the US. Because there was, for some years, virtually no coverage of the matter in national mass media. I mean, most people arguably considered homosexuality to be far more disgusting than racial mixing.

It was the fight against racial segregation, and the protest movement against the Vietnam War, that set the stage for establishing homosexual rights. And increased coverage in national mass media played a huge role.

So is Patreon comparable to the national mass media? I think that it is.

And yes, I get that those fights for civil rights were "good fights". And that racists and Nazis are "bad people". So it's supposedly just fine to censor them. But that's a dangerous game. It's the old "whose ox is being gored" thing.

Edit: Yes, I'm wrong about "didn't take long" for civil rights. It did take decades. But the main point stands. There wasn't much progress until the national mass media started covering it. And it did take maybe a decade longer for the national mass media to start covering the fight for homosexual rights.

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[–] toufiqbarhamov link

Yes, some police and other authorities were not at all restrained from extremes of violence. But national mass media comprehensively reported civil rights protests. Although I'm sure that there was some censorship in local media. And it didn't take long for the federal government to intervene.

Your sense of how the Civil Rights movement went is... interesting. It isn’t accurate though, and seems oddly idealized. Here’s the reality.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_civil_rights...

For some context, the movement really kicked off in 1954, the famous bus boycott wouldn’t occur for another two years, after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in late 1955, shortly after Emmett Till was murdered. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr wouldn’t give his famous speech in Washington for eight more years, in 1963, the same year Dr. King was arrested again earlier that year. The same year that George Wallace, “Calls for "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" in his inaugural address.”

So no, it didn’t go quite how you think it did. “Some censorship” and “some police and other authorities,” while technically correct understates the reality. Whole regions and their entire governments fought tooth and nail, ultimately requiring the deployment of the national guard. Media helped to an extent, and the federal government acted in slow motion as it always does.

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[–] mirimir link

OK, my perspective is idealized. In my defense, I didn't live in the US at the time, and local news coverage was extremely distorted ;)

It did take decades. Several decades, now that I think of it.

But do you think that federal intervention would have occurred in the absence of national mass media coverage?

Edit: Yes, there were huge protests, both locally and in Washington, DC. But if the national mass media had not covered those protests, would there have been any action?

I think not.

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[–] toufiqbarhamov link

Yes, because people literally marched on Washington and made themselves impossible to ignore. They didn’t exactly collect donations online so they could make videos, they marched, struck, protested, and died.

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[–] mirimir link

But what difference would protests have made, if no one except locals knew that they had happened?

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[–] toufiqbarhamov link

That wasn’t going to happen, because while plenty of news outlets in the south covered the events in a way that was only favorable to entrenched interests, the government is banned from censorship. As a result the issue isn’t that every network and outlet will cover events, it just takes one. Realistically there are thousands, and in a big country you’ll never find a uniformity of opinion.

More than a decade of social upheavel was never going to be swept under the rug, unless the government flexed its muscles and ignored constitutional protections. This is the point, Patreon is just another outlet, and as long as the government isn’t using its extraordinary powers to arrest, supppress, and kill there are always other outlets. We have no guarantee of an easy time, and certainly no guarantee of imposing upon a private company. We have a right to speak, and I think that implies a right to be heard, but not a right to any particular audience just because it’s the one we want.

Last, remember that one of the most potent things to come out of attempts to silence Dr. King was his Letters From Birmingham Jail. On the other side of the same coin, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf in jail. Sargon lost a platform to make money, and wants to act like he’s been crippled in the marketplace of ideas.

Bull. Shit. Free Speech doesn’t mean that you get to dictate how another nominally free entity behaves. The people who’ve invested time and money into Patreon get to choose who they do business with, they don’t have a legal or moral obligation to act as middleman fundraiser for anyone they see as threatening their business.

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[–] mirimir link

Look, I agree with all that you say.

But the but-for world here -- analogous to Twitter, Patreon, etc censoring stuff -- is that national mass media would not have covered that stuff.

And how does what you say about Patreon not apply to traditional media that's privately owned?

Also, I'm not necessarily arguing that Patreon etc should be prevented from censoring. Mainly I'm pointing to consequences of traditional media being rep0laced by social media, Patreon, etc.

Some decades ago, there were similar concerns about public streets and squares being replaced by shopping malls. And this is a far more extreme version.

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[–] XorNot link

National media already decides what it'll show or not show. They are never under any obligation to give a story coverage - they follow what they think the people want these days (and in days past maybe had some notion of journalistic integrity).

Like just recently, the whole point was that the White House had to ask the national media to give the President airtime - they are, in fact, completely able to refuse to.

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[–] Erlich_Bachman link

Aside from what you say being inconstitutional, how can you not see that no suppression of freedom of speech gives you any real benefits, nothing besides just creating more problems on top of existing ones, no matter what your political cause is?

If you hide people and prevent the people you disagree with from talking - they will just go underground and grow there. The public will just see that you have no real arguments against them (because you would have presented them) - and instead are trying to silence them.

If you want real change, you need to argue with your opponenets, not try to push them into underground.

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[–] Faark link

Euro guy here, so correct me if I'm wrong, but the way I understand your freedom of speech it only protects you from your government. I to doesn't give me the right to spout nonsense in a private space like your living room or on twitch and not get kicked out. You also have protected classes, but that's a different story.

Social repercussion, up to casting people out of communities, can actually be a highly valuable since very effective tool in such situations. Humans are social beings, after all. But you are right, it must be used sparingly, otherwise those outcast will form communities of their own and reinforce each other.

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[–] claudiawerner link

>If you hide people and prevent the people you disagree with from talking - they will just go underground and grow there.

To what extent is this historically true? In fact, the big instances (like the actual Nazis) were very much silenced by force; the Nazi State was not defeated through the Jews debating them. From Sartre,

> “Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.”

Maybe J.S. Mill's ideal would be better of revised rather than assumed.

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[–] toufiqbarhamov link

People believe all kinds of things, but unless there’s more than a snowball’s chance in hell of changing the law to accommodate their beliefs, I spend my limited time considering other viewpoints. I don’t see any chance of these laws changing in favor of your beliefs, and I’m having this discussion in the world as it exists.

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[–] Erlich_Bachman link

And yet you have taken from your limited time writing this message, even though there is no snowball chance of your post changing any law from your keyboard. Can you not see that there are more reasons for public discourse than just directly changing some law?

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[–] mirimir link

Hey, I bet that you violate Saudi anti-pornography laws every day. Perhaps alcohol-abuse laws, as well.

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[–] toufiqbarhamov link

Definitely, and as a result I wisely stay the hell out of Saudi Arabia. I’m also known to avoid North Korea while I’m at it. I certainly don’t try to change their legal system from my keyboard.

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[–] mirimir link

Unfortunately, just staying out of the US doesn't protect you from them. You're just lucky that Saudi Arabia etc don't have the reach.

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[–] colejohnson66 link

Exactly. Can you imagine if Saudi Arabia tried to have you extradited for a crime that was illegal there, but legal here? On a side note, isn’t that what’s happening with Kim Dotcom?

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[–] toufiqbarhamov link

Without a legal background or at least an understanding of the legal force of treaties, what you’re saying sounds both alarming and vile. In the context of treaties though, agreed upon by governments subject to recall, elections, and separation of powers is the foundation of modern diplomacy. As we’ve seen with Brexit, treaties and laws are both subject to oversight by the electorate, for better or worse.

Beyond that the reason you can’t be extradited to Saudi Arabia is that few countries have such treaties with them. It’s true that the US uses it’s military and monetary power to shove unfavorable conditions where possible, but that’s a universal feature of powerful nations, see China for clarification. Such treaty obligations can lead to problems like the persecution of Kim Dotcom, but it also leads to confrontations over human rights and fairness of laws.

Treaty obligations within Europe prevent them from extraditing someone for a capital crime in a other country. Being outside of binding web of treaties offers freedom, but it often offers the most freedom to dictators. So yes, US copyright law is a mess, and that mess spreads through treaties. That’s a problem with US law, not the concept of treaties.

Most of all, such treaties offer avenues other than violence for countries to settle disputes, and that value can not be overstated.

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[–] PretzelPirate link

Like Brave payments?

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[–] bitpatron-co link

We strongly support all initiatives that support free speech and Bitcoin.

Of course this solution is fine for those who have tech background and can handle the necessary customizations.

But our mission is to provide a user friendly censorship-free Patreon alternative for everyone, including all the necessary features: all integrations, video hosting, etc.

To achieve this goal, we need to sustain our 6 dev team to work full time and deliver a top notch product.

We would love to do it without needing to charge, but it's not possible tbh. Ads rev isn't even an option for us.

Also, we will use the revenue to create marketing and edutional campaigns to educate others and help Bitcoin - the free speech money - achieve mass adoption.

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[–] ninguem2 link

Why is there need for software to accept bitcoin donations? Can't one just put the bitcoin address on the website?

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[–] flyingfences link

BTCPay has more "merchant" oriented features, like generating a new address for each transaction and keeping track of them so that, for example, you can see who has paid and who hasn't. The obvious application for this is a web store, where you need to wait for payment before shipping a product; but, it could also be used in patronage scenarios where paying patrons get access to exclusive content.

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[–] agorabinary link

The goal of BTCPay server is to use the Lightning Network for Bitcoin payments, which only generates single-use payment requests. Also important to point out that LN will not be functional for years, so...

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[–] Erlich_Bachman link

You seem to be misinformed about this because LN is absolutely functional today already. What are you talking about?

Is it not functional in BTCPay server perhaps? Nevertheless, the network itself functions already and functions well. (Adoption will take time to spread, yes.)

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[–] agorabinary link

"Absolutely functional" is when a user can send+receive a payment as effortlessly as Venmo. You cannot do this with LN at any time in the near future - routing payments, automatic channel management, sending a push payment, etc. I don't mean to bash LN but its simply disingenuous when people suggest these features are anything but pre-alpha

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[–] kbody link

It's already functional and live in production for many business today. It will just keep getting better, e.x. enabling LN payments without an invoice from the person accepting the payment.

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[–] arthurcolle link

Right off the bat I imagine that there is a more reliable income stream with some of the patronage sites that exist, whereas with a Bitcoin address in the footer, you are only relying on a single one-time donation.

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[–] thefounder link

Most of the fees are at the fiat conversion step. Usually they are higher(i.e 10%) than credit card fees. Not to mention the loss due volatility. Cryptocurrencies are not good for payments unless they are pegged to a fiat currency(i.e euro).

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[–] kbody link

Kinda saturated of the so called "censorship-free"-Patreon solutions if you follow the space, but the whole point is to not have to trust that someone won't block you.

So a solution is not yet another platform but everyone (that cares enough) to run their own decentralized way of accepting payments/support.

Just install BtcPayServer ( https://btcpayserver.org/ ) and you can start accepting payments in Bitcoin and other coins even via LN, without having to trust any intermediary plus no extra middlemen fees.

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[–] paymentuser2 link

Public pressure in the form of negative press or Twitter mobs can go a long way; I could name a dozen firings and deplatformings off the top of my head just in the past year. As far as banking and payments goes, there is evidence that the FDIC pressured banks to cut off businesses selling satanic death metal, providing payday loans, or distributing racist materials, formerly under the auspices of "Operation Choke Point" [1].

The larger phenomenon has also been dubbed "woke capital": the claim is that as a shield against public opinion and regulators, multi-billion dollar corporations promote various types of progressive activism that don't cut into their bottom line [2]. How public opinion and regulators got that way is another story and still a mystery to me.

[1] https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1081248850252390400.html [2] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/opinion/corporate-america...

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[–] xfitm3 link

First time i’ve heard of operation choke point. Thanks for both citations.

A company I work with is heavily engaged in corporate activism. They suggested political viewpoints during the midterms and tend to only hire candidates who share those same perspectives. There has been at least one employee who was let go over their support of a different political viewpoint.

It wasn’t always like this. It has intensified over the past two years. The majority of their revenue is from a single company and I suspect that has something to do with it.

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[–] woodman link

Wallstreet. My financial advisor tried to sell me on this new socially conscious index, years ago. Political correctness is great for business - very predictable, very manageable.

https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/b14z9vvlscsnp2...

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[–] Apocryphon link

Political correctness and social good may be related, but they are not synonymous.

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[–] swebs link

Ok, but that's not what he said at all. He said it's a safe investment.

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[–] woodman link

One literally defines the other, so no. Unless you are speaking from a universal perspective, which unfortunately isn't really part of the collective consciousness - and therefor inconsequential to daily life and the issue at hand.

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[–] stjohnswarts link

They are completely orthogonal. Social good is the "quality" of being good for society. Political correctness is almost always a complete waste of time for any society.

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[–] x220 link

Do you mean to say that political correctness defines social good, or that the social good defines what is politically correct?

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[–] woodman link

I'd say the former, but it really doesn't matter - the point is the subjectivity of collective "good" and "correctness". Also, a lot of people are under the impression that these things are numerically based - the democratic tyranny of the majority... this is not the case. We see the same thing play out in the slow failure of competing interest to guard against lobbyist abuse, it is an issue of motivation - not quantity or legitimacy.

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[–] cm2187 link

Political correctness and identity politics have spread pretty much everywhere in large financial institutions. There is a justified fear of retaliation which means that employees become over-zealous.

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[–] Hydraulix989 link

Many of the voluntary donors on Patreon are averse to supporting their favorite creators on a platform that does not take a "moral" stand when needed (at the donors' discretion). This has been the actual user behavior (even organized protests against Patreon!) for not banning certain political figures.

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[–] andai link

Meanwhile, other voluntary donors are leaving Patreon because of the bannings.

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[–] sparkie link

This seems counter to Patreon's claims that Mastercard has forced them to make decisions. If there were complainants on Patreon, would they not just complain to Patreon first?

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[–] Hydraulix989 link

You're referring to one specific case (of which there are many). Also, even in this specific case, I encourage you to evaluate the facts, press, and public statements yourself, ask yourself the right questions, and do your own critical thinking.

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[–] IAmEveryone link

I guess the founders and employees at Patreon just don’t care for making life easier for white supremacists and the like.

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[–] woodman link

I'm curious, how are you defining "the like"? The list of people denied service looks a lot more like those you wouldn't want preceding your Coca-Cola ad buy. Why would Patreon care? Because payment networks care.

   8chan
   Encyclopedia Dramatica
   BitChute
If you expand the scope beyond Patreon and include Paypal then you can throw in:

   Wikileaks
   Numerous Antifa chapters
   World Socialist Web Site
As somebody who has been involved with bitcoin since 2012, I can tell you from first hand experience that when Visa declares you a persona non grata - a large number of businesses quickly do the same. Yes, the full list of Patreon service denials includes a lot of unsympathetic figures - but you'd be a fool to think that this behavior doesn't shift with the Overton window (welcome back to the world of crypto currency, Dwolla, betcha feel silly for screwing up that perfect opportunity Paypal gave you).

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[–] ng12 link

Can someone explain exactly what is pressuring payment processors to pass moral judgement on the payments they're processing? I'm sure MasterCard would rather not waste resources moderating Patreon users, so what's pressuring them to do so?

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[–] motohagiography link

The problem BitPatron and others are solving for is of opaque political interests exerting influence on an oligopoly of payments providers. Right or left, payment freedom and diversity is a problem worth solving.

If people are seriously accepting moral leadership from credit card companies, what is there really to add.

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[–] therealmarv link

This are the platforms we need more. Not this, hey I invited this new coin named XYZ around my/this service which will revolutionize the industry, ICO & trading soon blablabla "whitepapaer" & "scam" & "fill-my-pocket scheme" here.

Just build something around Bitcoin or Ethereum for the payment/payout centric problems in this world and use a very good exchangable well established, EXISTING cryptocurrency. No need to reinvent the wheel again&again.

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[–] snissn link

Could you explain a bit on the type of attack that BitPatron doesn't resolve?

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[–] jchw link

Appears to be hosted on AWS, based on the certificate (I'm on mobile or else I'd check more in depth.) Based on that, I'd say you put pressure on Amazon to put pressure on Bitpatron.

Now Amazon isn't known to succumb to external pressure as far as I know. But depending on desperation and resources there's really a lot you could do. For example you could even go ahead and manufacture a controversy with some fake accounts and use it as evidence that Bitpatron is not doing due diligence. And of course, you could try to find another point of failure, like trying to convince their domain registar that the site is illegal. A lot of domain registars cave easily to pressure (Not all. Gandi is a good counter example.)

These aren't really theoretical attack vectors, but they are merely hypothetical for Bitpatron. Still, if you want something resistant to speech control you are gonna need more decentralization imo.

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[–] flatfilefan link

„Now Amazon isn't known to succumb to external pressure as far as I know.” Actually it is known to succumb: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-webs...

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[–] sattoshi link

There is a difference between being pressured by social activists versus a state capable of doing a lot more than bad PR. They also mildly fell to Russian pressure from the Telegram stuff.

In neither case can I blame them. Those are fights which hurt them with very little upside.

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[–] bitpatron-co link

This is our launching page only, of course we have plans to make it more decentralized and censorship-free resistant. We will release more info soon

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[–] diminoten link

Their moral imperatives or society's agreed upon moral imperatives?

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[–] x220 link

If "society" had agreed upon it, there would be no reason for Mastercard to do anything because society wouldn't fund these people.

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[–] daveFNbuck link

IF 99.99% of society is against something, there are still hundreds of thousands of people left to fund it.

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[–] IAmEveryone link

I guess there’s a gray area where we don’t throw people in jail, but also don’t want to be seen in public them, either.

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[–] diminoten link

Mastercard is a part of society, its actions are "society reacting".

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[–] jchw link

If it was agreed upon then it would be illegal.

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[–] diminoten link

Entirely false.

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[–] jchw link

One of the primary functions of the government is to provide consensus. There are flaws: dictatorships impose consensus, corruption skews consensus, not everyone participates. Doesn't matter. At the end of the day, almost all people on Earth recognize the rule of at least their own government. Therefore, it is easily the most universally recognized consensus.

And, in democratic nations, the laws often do follow society's agreed upon moral imperatives. This is why child abuse and animal abuse are illegal.

The sticky situations come in where there is not a strong consensus. In the US: Abortion, vaccines, climate change, gun control. There's an ebb and flow to it, but a lot of people will be generally unhappy no matter what does or doesn't happen.

Let's go back to my comment:

>If it was agreed upon then it would be illegal.

I think this is necessarily true. If society has a strong agreement that something is morally wrong, the laws almost certainly would follow, as they tend to.

I am not saying this is a perfectly accurate measure, and I'm also not saying the reverse is true. But I am absolutely saying that I believe one of the main reasons people go about imposing moral beliefs on others by threatening service providers and forming harassment mobs is because some group of people has a strong moral imperative that other people may not have or may actually disagree with.

I don't believe in absolute free speech, but I believe that people should be able to express themselves in ways that are legally protected. I also think it's okay for people to express their dislike of things, but I don't think it's OK to engage in coordinated harassment. Internet mobs are not the force I want policing the internet.

If you have a strong moral imperative against something that's legal, why do you think it's legal if everyone agrees with you?

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[–] diminoten link

> One of the primary functions of the government is to provide consensus.

Nope.

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[–] jchw link

Excellent debating skills.

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[–] diminoten link

This isn't a debate, you've just ranted.

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[–] swfsql link

> or society's agreed

there are only individuals.

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[–] jchw link

Persistent, powerful people who want to push their moral imperatives on others have avenues other than payment processors. I think we need more decentralization than this.

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[–] arisAlexis link

What surprises you exactly? That others had the same idea as you did? It happens to me almost for every side project I start. I see it in a few weeks in the news or something.

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[–] bitpatron-co link

Just coincidence, if you think this name is expected when you are talking about Bitcoin Patreon alternative. We are not even connected with YC, neither based in U.S.

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[–] stjohnswarts link

It is a dead obvious strategy in light of recent political correctness driving the dropping of socially unpopular charities/individuals from places like patreon, along with the universality of digital currency.

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[–] AElsinore77 link

I'm the above poster's cofounder that pitched this in person with YC on April 30, 2018 - exact same name and idea. I'm definitely curious if this is just innocent coincidence.

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[–] bitpatron-co link

Definitely coincidence, we are not even based in U.S. and we never had any connection with Y.C.

We wanted a simple name and this was one of the first options we thought, together with BitSubscribe .

Hope you understand.

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[–] nathan_f77 link

I wouldn't be too surprised. It's a very logical name for the idea, and makes sense that other people would think of it.

To be honest, I'm not too sure if this would be the best fit for a startup incubator and VC funding. If I was a libertarian and very interested in free speech, I think I would prefer to use a platform that was bootstrapped and independent. Going through a startup incubator and taking VC funding doesn't feel very aligned with this culture.

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[–] chrisfrantz link

That’s rough. Have you launched?

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[–] bitpatron link

Who are these guys? We submitted this exact idea with the exact name to YC Summer 2018 and had an interview. Proof: https://i.imgur.com/a8B5KJ7.png

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[–] api link

This comment reminds me of something I read a while back about Tor, I2P, and Freenet-- that the fact that those services are loaded with child porn and other nasty stuff is in a way a positive commentary on our society. It shows that the mainstream is healthy enough that the vast majority of speech and activity does not feel a need to go underground. You could say the same thing about "censorship-free" alternatives being full of fascists and racists and people announcing that they're "going in" before shooting up a synagogue.

That being said I do subscribe to the Larry Flynt doctrine of free speech-- free speech is measured by the freedom of the least sympathetic speakers. The fact that platforms like gab.ai can be created without legal ramifications means that we still basically have free speech.

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[–] sparkie link

Most Chinese citizens do not feel the need to go "underground".

North Korean citizens generally don't go "underground" either.

Do you think they're well informed about the world?

It's a different story in the west now, where information is generally available without the need to go "underground", so to speak - so why would be not be intent on keeping it that way? It seems that some people would like to drive things underground because it hurts their feelings. Is China the role model we're aspiring to become?

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[–] sintaxi link

There is no such thing as "basically free speech".

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[–] Fomite link

"There's money to be made in being the Nazi infested niche of a market."

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[–] chasing link

I see "censorship-free" and think "BitPatron is to Patreon what Gab.ai is to Twitter, the 'censorship-free' alternative."

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[–] swfsql link

But the foremost problem is really payment processing. Next problems come "next" so to say.

Think of a Swiss Army Knife. Just because it can act as a fork, as a knife, as a spoon, (and so on): nor restaurants will present consumers with Swiss Army Knifes, nor consumers would appreciate it. Sometimes the direct and relatively simple is indeed more suitable/needed. Depends on the domain, sure..

which, in this case, I think it's really "actual payment" problem (not contracts etc).

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[–] ilaksh link

In this case sending money is a big part of it but sending money to support something specific at a pre-determined interval is another part.

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[–] Erlich_Bachman link

What technical function exactly do you assume such a platform needs from Ethereum, that is not already provided in Bitcoin?

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[–] nootropicat link

The simplest example is a crowdfunding smart contract that only releases funds after some funding goal is met, not possible on bitcoin.

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[–] Erlich_Bachman link

We were specifically talking about Patreon, could you please clarify why that would need a smart contract? I don't see it. I see how you would perhaps in some complicated convoluted way to implement the whole platform on a smart contract, but at that point (if we are going that route, without having a central website at all) - what is the point of using contracts at all? It is way more complicated than just publishing a bitcoin address on creator's website and be done with it. People already think that is complicated, imagine what they would be saying about "smart contracts".

Patreon does not have a limitation of a funding goal usually, it just sends all the funds directly to the creator. It's not like kickstarter.

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[–] ilaksh link

That's such an Erlich question.

You should just go back to Tibet.

Bitcoin does not have smart contracts or a programming language and the scaling in the new Ethereum is going to be better.

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[–] Erlich_Bachman link

Why do you need smart contracts (besides the additional transaction types that Bitcoin provides) to implement a Patreon? Why can't the website just redistribute funds, if it is going to be centralized already? (It has to be hosted somewhere, handle user support etc.) What specific functions would you need from a smart contract there? I honestly don't see any.

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[–] ilaksh link

The distribution is handled by the smart contract.

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[–] Erlich_Bachman link

So the funds go to one contract address, and the contract distributes them to another address (of the content creator)? What is the point, that is just money transfer, it could be done with bitcoin donation address (and in fact is done that way currently by many creators successfully).

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[–] unknownkadath link

This guy uses the small spoons.

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[–] stjohnswarts link

until there is a digital currency that is the only digital currency and not everyone can just make a new digital currency then there won't be any 'real' digital currencies that will stand the test of time.

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[–] giornogiovanna link

Why must there only be one? It's not like there's only one physical currency.

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[–] ilaksh link

To me this type of thing is the biggest indicator that Ethereum is the right path going forward.

Because their programming language builds in support for systems like this with smart contracts. And also Ethereum is tackling scaling and microtransactions head on with major upgrades to their core.

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[–] krapp link

Of course it's a fad. Services like this always appear in the midst of some specifically viral form of outrage, trying to exploit that opportunity while it's hot.

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[–] microcolonel link

Well, I don't so much care whether it's a fad or not. SubscribeStar seems to be trying, and if they can keep MasterCard from harassing Payoneer into blocking them, then I'll keep trying to pay some people through them. At the end of the day, with their current traffic, they can sustain themselves. If they grow, they grow, if they stay the same, they are still fine.

I want to be able to send money to some people on a regular basis, whatever way they're accepting payments, I will do it. I've sent cheques to some people since I closed my Patreon account, that works okay too (but it's inconvenient to deposit cheques, so you have to send them once a quarter or year or so rather than once a month).

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[–] eli link

I doubt twitter is too worried about Gab

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[–] ekianjo link

Mastodon could become a very powerful network though.

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[–] sschueller link

It is and so are other services being build on activitypub such as peertube and pixelpub.

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[–] belltaco link

Same with Reddit and Voat.

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[–] cabalamat link

I think you and eli are both right. Neither Gab not Voat are likely to succeed, because of network effects.

The only way a new social network is likely to succeed is if it is part of a federation of social networks that communicate using protocols such as ActivityPub, making one big network where the whole exceeds the sum of thew parts.

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[–] eli link

Sure, but mostly because they’re full of exactly the sort of people I don’t want to interact with

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[–] cabalamat link

That may well be true. But maybe some Gab people want to interact with some Voat people, and if the applications were interoperable they would be able to.

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[–] syshum link

And I am sure dig was not worried about Reddit... and MySpace was not worried about Facebook, and AltaVista was not worried about Google....

The idea that Reddit, Twitter and Patreon can not be supplanted show an ignorance of history

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[–] barbecue_sauce link

They're not going to be supplanted by platforms that cater to marginal viewpoints. Gab and Voat, almost definitionally, cannot achieve mainstream success.

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[–] Erlich_Bachman link

You make it sound like this activity happens in a vacuum, just people randomly getting ideas to create censorhip-free alternatives.

These alternatives come up because there are real problems with censorship on existing platforms (or let's say "perceived real by enough people"). If those problems will keep persisting and will get worse - then the alternatives will absolutely thrive. If Patreon and Visa and others will get some sense back - then alternatives will become a passing fad.

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[–] bitpatron-co link

Not sure about others, but we are serious about that. 6 senior dev team, everyone left their job to make this dream true.

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[–] r32a_ link

Lot's of activity in these censorship-free alternatives to popular applications.

Interesting to see if this is just a fad or are these going to make any impact incumbents.

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[–] microcolonel link

Coinbase is already blocking users for content reasons, so it may be hard to get your bitcoin through the exchange if others follow suit.

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[–] bitpatron-co link

This is someone under .io domain, nothing to do with us.

BitBacker is nice, but tbh, it still lacks the necessary features and even more important a proper ux to be a real alternative for most of Patreon users.

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[–] tmaic link

"There already is a crypto patreon - bitbacker.io , and this one has some scandal surrounding it: https://www.reddit.com/r/btc/comments/aey3x8/were_creating_a...

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[–] drenvuk link

Quite a problem, yes.

They're trying to stay on the nice side of credit card and other financial companies so porn, speech that takes on controversial/flame/political/religious topics, being a dick or unsavory person, doing illegal things in $COUNTRY will get you banned from the platform. It's understandable from a staying in business point of view but it can feel hypocritical, heavy handed and disingenuous when you hear the CEO speaking about it and explaining the company's actions to users. He won't own up to what they're doing, which would allow people at least be able to empathize with him.

I don't use the platform and I don't support anyone on Patreon. Unless I've made a mistake explaining the situation I'd prefer not to expand this thread. It's serious flamebait.

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[–] throwawaymath link

Interesting. That's not directly relevant to me but I was considering Patreon for a project, so this is at least good to know. Thanks for the explanation.

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[–] dogma1138 link

It is because there might be a pretty big overlap of patrons between you and someone who will get banned which like now would result in people stopping donating through Patreon because a creator they donated to was deplatofrmed which affects multiple channels.

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[–] porpoisely link

It is a big problem with Patreon as it is with almost all major tech platforms - especially those who have dominant positions without any current viable competition. I can understand shutting down accounts involved in criminal activity but blocking transactions because you disagree with their political views or speech is ridiculous.

The hubris of the tech leaders are a cause for concern. Who voted for them to be our puritanical leaders and tyrants? Do we really want Tim Cook, Zuckerburg, Page/Brin, Conte, etc to be our moral censors? Do we really want them to be the American Politburo to rule over us? I certainly don't. What's even more incredible is that the co-founder of Patreon is a musician by trade. You would think he, of all people, would be against censorship.

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[–] quadrangle link

A musician, of all people, against censorship? I don't follow. Leaving aside the false-dichotomy implication about all-or-nothing / black-or-white / for-censorship-or-against-it, there's nothing about being a musician that would particularly predict someone's political views.

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[–] porpoisely link

Other than the fact that musicians and music have been victims of censorship? Other than the fact that musicians had to overcome attempts to censor music? Whether it is ragtime or rock 'n roll or gangsta rap or even classical like mahler. You would think a profession that depends on free speech protection would be more sympathetic to free speech.

Also, in many instances, you can predict someone's political views with some accuracy just by their profession.

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[–] XorNot link

Other then the fact that musicians have been bullied and harassed for almost every facet of their identity in some form by right-wing movements for most of the 20th century?

Literally everything you're saying should make them sympathetic to free speech was perpetrated, in the west, by the right-wing.

So go figure: they don't like them.

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[–] porpoisely link

Just the "right wing" movements? The "left wing" movements have censored plenty in the 20th century. Go ask anyone who lived in communist china or the soviet union.

It's not a matter of liking "right-wing" or "left-wing". Both are capable of oppression and horrific behavior. That's why I believe in principles like free speech. So that horrible people from both the left and the right can't silence people.

I can't understand people like you. The right wing are terrible because they censored people. So lets be like the right wing and censor?

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[–] judgardner link

Apparently yes. Visa/MasterCard pressure Patreon to drop users with views they don’t approve of. Most recently alt-right users. I think it’s important to protect free speech, especially the kind I don’t agree with.

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[–] cm2187 link

I don’t care that much about Patreon censoring the right, because there are many alternatives to take payments online. There are none however to visa/mastercard. It’s a cartel, where the choice is not even made by a customer (it is made by your bank who won’t even ask you), and there is no real alternative. I am pro-free markets but when that happens, I am actually in favor of regulations hitting these two hard, rather than going after google.

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[–] r3bl link

> I don’t care that much about Patreon censoring the right, because there are many alternatives to take payments online. There are none however to visa/mastercard.

This is where you're wrong. If a payment processor doesn't like someone, they'll just threaten a platform after platform wherever you pop up. Block whoever we don't like or you won't be able to process payments.

Case in point: Sargon of Akkad. I'm not going to take any stand in this controversy because I don't know the backstory, however as soon as he switched from Patreon to SubscribeStar, PayPal went after SubscribeStar. I'm assuming they've said no when asked to block Sargon, because you can no longer cash out via PayPal. It wasn't Patreon that was after him, it was PayPal.

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[–] cm2187 link

Yeah but paypal is just an intermediary. You can use Stripe or pretty much any bank.

If visa/mastercard tells you they will block payments to that website because they don't like your ideas, that's the end of it.

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[–] stcredzero link

Most recently alt-right users.

Most prominently, recently, a center-left commentator whose opinions certain executives don't like.

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[–] Steko link

> a center-left commentator

Baloney. He's claims to not be alt right despite having identical views on most topics. It's about as convincing as when the KKK says they aren't racist, they just love white people.

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[–] dragonwriter link

> He's claims to not be alt right despite having identical views on most topics

He does cite specific differences from the Alt-Right, e.g., he views as excessively collectivist; he hates most of the things they hate, which makes the difference largely academic to a lot of people outside of the broader far right.

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[–] kevinh link

The one I'm aware of is Sargon of Akkad, who I'd certainly consider to be alt-right. Who are you referring to?

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[–] asabjorn link

He was fighting against alt righters that had targeted him for months in the clip he got banned for where he called them out on their bigoted opinions and poor behavior, and is a known target of theirs. To say he is alt right is unreasonable and incorrect, although for some he is certainly divisive.

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[–] stcredzero link

One of the odd things about the clip he got banned for, was that the most likely way it could have come to the attention of Patreon, was for the Alt-Right to have submitted it. Basically, it looks like Patreon was doing the bidding of the Alt-Right by doing what's politically convenient for the far left.

To say he is alt right is unreasonable and incorrect, although for some he is certainly divisive.

That's basically the same kind of tactics religious fundamentalists tried to pull in shaming homosexuals way back when. That sort of social manipulation through dishonest labeling, that spirit of squashing dissent -- it's the same kind of tribalist petty evil practiced by bigots back in the day. People who know better need to stand up and call it out.

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[–] asabjorn link

You seem correct in the observations that the far right and left believe in the same worldview with opposite arrows, seeking to oppress any dissent to this worldview through fake outrage. Both share the worldview that the superior whites need to either help or rule, depending on which fringe we are talking with. Both unfounded beliefs as there are bigger variance within than between identity politics groups.

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[–] sparkie link

This is Horseshoe Theory (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horseshoe_theory). Commentators from both sides will vehemently defend their position and claim it to be nothing like the other side. From the reasonable person's perspective (more towards centre), both extremes are authoritarian, and their similarities are more striking than their differences.

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[–] asabjorn link

It is not a horseshoe, as it is not a continuum. Far-right is pre-modern and far-left is post-modern, and both have a distinctly different view in opposition to the modern enlightenment project. However, the current dominant ideologies on the fringes seem to share some important core tenets and a tendency towards tyranny.

Btw, the article you link seem to argue that there is a historic parallel to this argument. However, post-modernist is a much newer concept and ideology than the historic events listed in it.

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[–] syshum link

Wow... Sargon is alt-right now. I guess the meme about everyone not being on the extreme authoritarian left being "alt-right" is actually true.

Sargon is Center Libertarian, pretty far from the alt-right which are more accurately labeled Authoritarian Right

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[–] stcredzero link

Sargon of Akkad is highly critical of the Alt-Right. He describes himself as a "classical British liberal." However, since he also criticizes the far left, the far left tars him as Alt-Right, which I find to be an authoritarian and highly dishonest tactic. Basically, it's a tactic to get everyone to shut-up and put-up through intimidation, brooking no dissent from their own side. That's not how liberals should be engaging and searching for the truth. That's basically how George W. Bush was acting when he was selling the WMD narrative.

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[–] dragonwriter link

> He describes himself as a "classical British liberal”

“Classical liberal”, with or without “British”, is a standard self-identification for modern conservatives, especially right-libertarians; a very wide portion of the political spectrum—reaching pretty far both left and right and everywhere in between—in the modern West, especially the Anglo-American subset, has or claims roots in 18th century British liberal thought.

> However, since he also criticizes the far left, the far left tars him as Alt-Right,

Lots of people criticize the far left without being labelled Alt-Right; OTOH, he does seem to be from a space slightly more libertarian though equally far right and equally, or nearly so, xenophobic on most social axes to the Alt-Right. So there is a real, if perhaps exquisitely fine, distinction there.

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[–] stcredzero link

That's more of that dishonest narrative/tarring. The man's not even white, IIRC. He's part middle eastern in descent. "Xenophobic" is the label used by the far left to tar anyone who believes in stricter border policies. He's also highly critical of all groups he perceives as using Identity Politics, which in present day includes both the far left and far right of the political spectrum. Both the far left and the far right target him, the far left doing it by using the "Alt-Right" mislabeling, with the far right going along with it for trolling purposes.

So there is a real, if perhaps exquisitely fine, distinction there.

In 2018, this is called an "exquisitely fine, distinction" where in years past, he would just have been called center-left.

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[–] dragonwriter link

> The man's not even white, IIRC.

He seems to think he is, since part of his criticism of the Alt-Right was that they weren't sufficiently nice to him personally, violating the maxim that “White people are meant to be polite and respectful to one another” (he later claimed this was a criticism of them violating their own standards, but whoever the standard is attributed to his invocation of it only makes sense if he believes he is White.)

> "Xenophobic" is the label used by the far left to tar anyone who believes in stricter border policies.

That may be how some subset of the far left uses it, but it is nevertheless a word with actual meaning, that applies to Sargon, and I'm not a member of the far left.

> in years past, he would just have been called center-left.

Which years past? Maybe the 19th Century. Not anytime in living memory.

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[–] stcredzero link

He seems to think he is

That's not how he identifies, though he doesn't think identity should be an issue and that people should be judged by the content of their character.

violating the maxim that “White people are meant to be polite and respectful to one another”

Again, trolling white supremacists by throwing their own broken beliefs (and inability to live up to even those broken ones) back in their face.

I'm not a member of the far left.

Really?

> in years past, he would just have been called center-left.

Which years past? Maybe the 19th Century. Not anytime in living memory.

In my living memory, certainly. Someone being against identity politics, for strict border controls, and being for "equality of opportunity" but opposing "equality of outcome" is a perfectly reasonable liberal position to me, and could have been claimed as such with no comment in the 80's, 90's, and 2000's. It's a dishonest far left narrative to try and label those as "conservative" or even "Alt Right."

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[–] dang link

Would you please stop it with the ideological comments on Hacker News? After a brief respite, you've reverted back to way overdoing it. That is why we rate limited your account in the first place.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

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[–] stickfigure link

$0.02

I'd never heard of this Sargon guy before and only now feel oriented after reading this thread. It's an ideological subject. Shrug.

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[–] companyhen link

Didn't Jordan Peterson also get banned?

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[–] stcredzero link

No. He's voluntarily leaving Patreon, however.

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[–] kgraves link

Hmmm, I have never heard of that guy, are alt-right people just pure white supremacist nazis or just people on the right wing of politics?

Seems to me that Sargon person is one of those but can't tell.

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[–] stcredzero link

Sargon long self-identified as a liberal. For a long time, he ended up right where the UK Green party was on the Political Compass test, and also matched me pretty spot on. (I'm a child of immigrants, non-white, and a lifelong liberal.) He's moved a bit to the right, but could be rightly called a "centrist."

There's a dishonest tactic of tarring at play here.

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[–] pcbro141 link

Is it really 'dishonest tarring' to point out how silly it is to point out how he criticizes the Alt-Right and White Nationalists, when the method he uses to criticize them is to tell them they act like n * * * ers?

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[–] dx87 link

IIRC, he used that word specifically because he knew they were racists, so he deliberatley used a slur he knew they'd hate. It'd be like him referring to communists as capitalist pigs. He may not have a problem with capitalism, but he's using an anti-capitalist insult to drive home the point that they are acting no better than the people they hate.

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[–] stcredzero link

Is it really 'dishonest tarring' to point out how silly it is to point out how he criticizes the Alt-Right and White Nationalists, when the method he uses to criticize them is to tell them they act like n... ers?

No. What's dishonest is to call people like Sargon of Akkad, Tim Pool, Sam Harris, Dave Rubin, or Steven Pinker "Alt Right" in an attempt to silence them purely by association. All of those people oppose the alt right! Really, no one should be getting away with those cheesy 80's Moral Majority tactics. If just using the n-word makes one alt right, then my creole ex-girlfriend's transvestite creole musician brother is "Alt Right" -- NOT!

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[–] Apocryphon link

The more obviously objectionable thing with Sargon, from Patreon’s POV, is probably that he’s a Gamergater, if we’re talking about controversies of the past five years.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] vowelless link

Alt right is neo nazis and white nationalists. Good to know this guy is alt right. Need to stay away from them! It’s so strange that banning of Neo nazis (as you describe him) is controversial!

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[–] stcredzero link

The guy spends considerable time and effort criticizing and debating the Alt Right, neo nazis, and white nationalists.

It’s so strange that banning of Neo nazis (as you describe him) is controversial!

It's controversial, because many people are being labeled thusly as a dishonest authoritarian intimidation tactic. Tim Pool, who's non-white, a lifelong liberal, and left leaning, is another alternative journalist who is similarly -- and dishonestly, inaccurately -- tarred.

It's controversial, because there are those of us in the liberal camp seeing such dishonest and authoritarian tactics used to silence dissent from within the left. That's not how democratic institutions and organizations who supposedly care about truth are supposed to act.

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[–] pcbro141 link

> The guy spends considerable time and effort criticizing and debating the Alt Right, neo nazis, and white nationalists.

He criticizes the Alt-Right and White Nationalists in part by calling them n * * * ers, just so it's clear for readers.

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[–] oh_sigh link

Is that wrong? Would it be like a gay guy calling a homophobe a fag?

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[–] vowelless link

I am sure kevinh is a good person and won’t just randomly call someone a Neo nazi, white nationalist, alt right, etc.

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[–] stcredzero link

Many good people get fooled by programs to push a narrative.

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[–] throwawaymath link

Is censorship a problem with Patreon?

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[–] Erlich_Bachman link

Would that really be such a big nuisance? It could even be set up automatically in some wallets.

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[–] laurynas-s link

Great to see alternative built with cryptocurrencies.

Since biycoun doesn't have subscriptions, you'd need to topup your account X amount which then gets distributed over the months to bitpatreons?

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[–] seibelj link

Yet another interesting service made possible by blockchain and cryptocurrency. But HN commenters will continue to say crypto is nothing but a useless scam.

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[–] tootahe45 link

It's the payment providers who are the problem, and you can't really skip a single one. Want to exclude a PayPal option? your content creators will get say %20 less, want to exclusively use crypto with current adoption rates? i'd assume you'd see only a fraction of the money you'd get on regular patreon. There's a reason Patreon has ex-paypal insiders working for them.

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[–] Simon_says link

In any sane world, the ability to accept payments would be a service every bank would offer.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] nootropicat link

Where's the added value? Patreon handles fiat payments. Anyone can accept crypto directly, zero need for any intermediary.

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[–] swfsql link

It's, at least, much easier to "move money around". You could find some difficulty to trade for "local money", but to "really stop you", the censors would need to put an immense effort. Without this alternative, it's basically "effortless" for them to cancel your banking access. So they'll lose this "effortless advantage".

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] lern_too_spel link

This just replaces one problem with another. How do you convert your Bitcoins into useful money? Is there a censorship free exchange, or do you have to trade with individuals directly?

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[–] syshum link

I believe Paypal and other Processors discontinued their ability to process CreditCards

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[–] belltaco link

What happened to Hatereon?

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[–] nathan_f77 link

Yeah, I'm not sure why are you being downvoted for this opinion.

There's a lot of truly horrible things that I don't want to see on the internet. To me, this sounds like a platform for anyone who gets banned by Patreon. e.g Neo-Nazis, hate speech, child pornography, or even funding terrorism.

I would be more interested if they did censor the truly awful content while being more permissive than Patreon. I don't think "100% censorship-free" is a good thing.

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[–] zozbot123 link

I very much doubt that this is going to be used for any stuff that's actually illegal. They don't need "hard" censorship resistance, they just need not to depend on a handful of centralized payment processors.

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[–] nathan_f77 link

Yeah I would be more suspicious if this was an onion site that you could only access through Tor.

Today I learned that the US doesn't have any laws against hate speech [1], while most other countries do have laws [2]. I personally don't think that this is a good thing for the US.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_speech_in_the_United_Stat...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_speech

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[–] hkt link

It is just neo-Nazis brigading the thread. I wouldn't worry.

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[–] hkt link

Censorship free.. so it is OK for neo-Nazis to use this, free from companies who don't want to sully their brands. GOTCHA.

Sounds awful.

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[–] luckydata link

Oh man, this will go great. Let me grab the .

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[–] unknownkadath link

I'm sorry, I just can't get worked up over The Hitler Store not being able to use Paypal.

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[–] aeternus link

Mainly microtransactions. The bitcoin fee can be high and might not make sense if you want to give someone say 10 cents for every article you read.

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[–] sadris link

This is what BAT is for

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[–] tzs link

> [...] mastercard will not allow you to take money if you facilitate right wing views

That is clearly not correct. You can subscribe or donate to "The National Review", "The Weekly Standard", "The American Spectator", "The American Conservative", "The New American", and "FrontPage Magazine" all via MasterCard, and these are all right wing publications facilitating right ring views.

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[–] belltaco link

Its kind of telling that the right wing is embracing alt right nazi and other people calling for violence and genocide as 'right wing'.

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[–] Fomite link

The Overton Window is a hell of a thing.

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[–] snissn link

You would be giving bitcoin directly to the people you are supported, mediated by their technology. ( my understanding of it without knowing the team and seeing the released project as it's just a preview)

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[–] belltaco link

Examples of 'right wing view facilitation' being banned?

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[–] theuttick link

I don't understand how this works.

If I am giving you money and your are giving bitcoin to the people I am supporting, then mastercard will not allow you to take money if you facilitate right wing views.

If I am giving you bitcoin and you are giving money to the people I support, then Mastercard will cut you off if those people have right wing views.

If I am giving you bitcoin and you are giving bitcoin to the people I support, then how is it different from just giving bitcoin?

It doesn't really solve the free speech problem as what is needed is a way for all views to be paid with the ease of a credit card, instead of just approved views.

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[–] 0x445442 link

Show HN... $CashPay$

$CashPay$ is a pivot on the Offering Plate employed by the church and by beggars for millennium; cash.

FAQ

Q: As a content creator, how do I accept payment for my work? A: Content creators disclose a PO Box address.

Q: As a patron of content creators, how can I support them? A: Patrons can send cash, pre-paid debit cards, money orders, etc. in an envelope to the disclosed PO Box address.

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