It's been building up for a while and I'm now at the point that I just don't feel good about being on Neocities anymore. I understand the principles that founder Kyle Drake is wanting to adhere to, though unfortunately, on the ground, I don't feel that "when thought is free, the best ideas win", as he was once quoted as saying. There are far too many misogynistic incel sites, racist right wing sites, Russian trolls and even outright Nazis on here. And many of them follow similar tactics as paid online trolls where they spread hatred under a banner of free speech and then block, delete, bully and harass anyone who disagrees with them or challenges them. Some of these sites have upwards of 100,000 hits and there are mini networks, mostly consisting of young men, who spread around some gnarly content that promotes violence and hatred towards women, BIPOC people, trans people and other marginilized people. I don't feel that free speech should be used to oppress the freedoms of others.
I realize that there is a delicate balance between provocative art, self-expression and blatant hate speech. The kind of violent rape content, promotion of the War in Ukraine and advocation of eugenics that I've found on here is a clear case of outright hate speech. It's not vague or complex or satirical.
I freely admit that it's somewhat hypocritical of me given my ignorance as a young person, especially when I first moved to Vancouver and was suddenly plunked in the middle of a poor multicultural neighbourhood with a large urban Indigenous population. Though over the years, I've come to have a deeper understanding of my place in the world, how the lands I were born on were colonized; and I was exposed to a situation where hateful ideas turned into real violence that resulted in someone losing their life. And since I was a teenager in the 90's, huge movements of awareness have exploded around race and gender; and it's impossible to feign ignorance any longer.
I wish I had the social skills to navigate these complexities better and educate in a kind and loving way, as that's what's in my heart; yet at the present time I'm too traumatized from everything that went down when I was at Ada'itsx / Fairy Creek and losing a whole pile of loved ones in a short period of time, some in tragic ways. I'm hyper sensitive to everything right now and I'm okay with that. It feels like this is the final push I need to act on these uneasy feelings I've had for many months.
There's so much I love about Neocities and I know that Drake and many others on here don't personally support Nazism or violent misogyny and there is an argument that censoring content may actually have the opposite effect intended ("Streisand Effect" as he put it). That could be true, I really don't know. I really don't know what the best way to deal with bigots is; yet there are many examples I could give from my personal life and through activism I've done where changes were enacted by direct action and calling people out, or through "accountability culture".
I can also think of many examples of people in my life who were exposed to messed up misinformation and were not able to be discerning. The most upsetting example was a neighbour of mine who found materials suggesting that the unmarked graves detected at residential schools on these lands were a hoax. In spite of all of the survivor accounts and an entire chapter in the Truth and Reconcillion Report on unmarked graves, he was convinced that it was all lies. That is scary to me. That kind of misinformation will tramautize already traumatized people, fuck up peoples lives and delay healing. I just heard an hour ago about an Indigenous person in my life trying to take their own life, and it's upsetting as fuck..
I don't believe that either having a sense of entitlement around freedom of expression, or neurodiversity (as some have used to excuse the behaviour of Richard Stallman) are legitimate justifications for spreading hatred and ignorance. Even if those of us on the spectrum aren't always able to relate to superficial social cues, we're still fully capable of learning about systemic societal issues and responding in mature and accountable ways, even if the understanding is purely intellectual.
So I'm out of here and will be moving to another host in the next while and will put a link up to the new site at some point.
❤❤❤ I GIVE A FUCK! ❤❤❤
UPDATE: January 2023
新年好 Happy Lunar New Year... My site is all moved over to Autistici now and can be viewed by clicking below:
Excitingly, I already found a new host that is anarchistic and autistic and offers free hosting for activists, so stay tuned for the site to go back up again soon!
It still freaks me out that so many people ended up reading the stuff I was sharing on here and I hope it helped some not feel as alone in their darkness and strangeness. I know that many sites on here were that for me..