Free Speech and SETI@home

By Newsroom America Feeds at 26 Apr 2017

Once again I need to explain our policies on free speech, as I've been getting lots of nastygrams both here and on twitter and facebook.

First, let me explain our relationship to the UC Berkeley administration. Despite the fact that I met with the Chancellor once for about 15 seconds, the UC administration neither knows nor cares that SETI@home exists. Threats of quitting SETI@home or withholding donations will be about as effective as kicking a stray dog because you don't like something the dog catcher did. They won't notice. They don't care. They get no direct benefit from SETI@home, so here will be no effect on them, or the on University. We could shut off our servers tomorrow, and nobody in Sproul Hall would notice a thing.

So here are our project commandments on free speech.

0. Thine speech is free as in freedom, not free as in beer.
1. Thou mayst speak thine mind.
2. Thou shalt do so in the appropriate forum.
3. Thou shalt recognize that speech has consequences to thine self and to others, some legal, some financial, some painful.
4. Thou shalt not force others to pay for the delivery of or the consequences of speech they may not agree with.
5. On public SETI@home forums, thou shalt use language a parent would not mind their 12 year old hearing.
6. Failure to obey the forum rules will result in moderator action. If thou dost not understand, see thou commandment 4.

In other words, if you want to be heard on the current controversy, try the Politics forum. Then use twitter, facebook, instagram and whatever social media you want. SETI@home in general and me in particular have no power to effect change of any sort.

It sounds like there's still going to be a riot in Berkeley tomorrow because a group of white supremacists and a group of left wing anarchists are ignoring commandments 2, 3, and 4. The people of Berkeley and the people of California will be picking up the tab for their "freedom of speech" whether they want to or not. And personally, I think that's what's been missing from the whole discussion.

https://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=81357

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