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Author Topic: CENSORSHIP and Amateur Radio  (Read 18585 times)
AB2T
Member

Posts: 246




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« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2012, 06:14:30 PM »

They (OFCOM) new about the situation with this  repeater. They felt at that time if they shut down this repeater the pirates who congregated there would just migrate to other repeaters They also felt there were just too many pirates who used this repeater and they just did not have the manpower and equipment to track down everyone.

There's a prevailing theory among an number of hams here in the States that a metropolitan area will need at least one "flytrap" repeater to catch and contain lids.  The textbook American example of this is W6NUT in SoCal (or whatever its call is now).  That repeater is wall to wall insane.  The repeater has gone through multiple owners and FCC investigations.  In W6NUT's long (two decades plus) history, only one or two lids have been heavily fined or prosecuted.

In theory, a flytrap repeater is a good idea.  However, someone has to pay for the area lease and equipment purchasing and maintenance.  Also, someone has to find a club callsign (who would want to put their personal call on a lid repeater?)  Maybe area hams could pitch in $10 each a year just to keep the flytrap open and the other repeaters relatively quiet?  I'd do it if I were a frequent FM repeater user in the LA area.    

However I do not think this situation would have been allowed to exist in the USA.


I'm certain there are other American repeaters which act as flytraps.  It's very sad and unfortunate that ham radio has been reduced to harm reduction rather than fines and prosecutions.  If the FCC won't step up and start doling out fines and even jail sentences to the worst offenders, then hams have to pay for quarantine repeaters.  
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 04:33:33 PM by AB2T » Logged
AK7V
Member

Posts: 251




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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2012, 04:52:41 PM »

I'm pretty sure that if my parents heard the type of profanity that's common on some 75m frequencies today -- back when I was a young teen getting into ham radio -- they'd have thrown the radio out of the house.  Thankfully, I spent all my operating time on CW, and when I listened higher up in the band, I never heard that stuff.
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W8MW
Member

Posts: 326




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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2012, 10:35:34 AM »

The biggest problem with ham radio content is how boring most of it is. 
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EI4GMB
Member

Posts: 166




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« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2012, 01:51:03 PM »

Recently, I made a complaint on a well known HAM database forum concerning derogatory posts regarding God and Religion.
I was practically told by the Administrator and Manager of the site in a PM that if I didn't like it I could lump it!
He then proceeded to insult God and Religion himself and so it became obvious that such remarks were a reflection of him and how he ran his site.
My question to Hams is, should there be tighter controls over what is said on such forums?
I know blasphemy laws do not exist in the United States and are incompatible with the constitutional provision for 'freedom of expression', but surely forums like this are international in nature and include Hams of all religious faiths.
As a journalist I believe in freedom of expression but feel this must be tempered with the protection of inalienable rights, including religious belief.
I would be interested to hear what others think?

Kind Regards

Fred EI4GMB
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 02:06:51 PM by EI4GMB » Logged

'You can never plan the future by the past'

'Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.'

Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
M0HCN
Member

Posts: 473




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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2012, 05:54:03 PM »

I am not at all sure I agree, seems to me that religion (and politics (Spit!)) are at best only peripheral to ham radio so should seldom come up, but that when they do, a degree of give and take is required.

Last I checked there was NO 'right not the be offended', nor a right not to have my faith questioned, if you are uncomfortable with either then either just move on,  or have a good old fashioned flame war, your choice. I doubt that many minds are changed by either option.

Freedom of religion is a good thing, but that does not imply that others cannot question your religion or even take the piss, just as you are free to return the favor (but for the most part please take both to email!).

Once you start doing the 'this makes me uncomfortable so it should not be discussed' route, you very quickly end up somewhere that is very much not good, far better just to move on (or worst case hit the 'ignore poster' button).

In any case, on a privately run website, the decision of the owner is the only one that matters.

Regards, Dan.
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N3OX
Member

Posts: 8847


WWW

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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2012, 12:00:07 AM »

Quote from: 2E0CHE
Once you start doing the 'this makes me uncomfortable so it should not be discussed' route, you very quickly end up somewhere that is very much not good, far better just to move on (or worst case hit the 'ignore poster' button).

There's a balance to be struck there.  Websites are not necessarily public space; they are not necessarily unfettered forums for expression, and the sites that want to foster serious discussion on contentious topics require some machinery to cleanse the space of cruft that serves only to distract people and make people upset.  

It is dangerous and counterproductive to exclude differing ideas, but there is value in discouraging people that are going to make noisy trouble and derail the conversation intentionally or because they're thoughtless.  If you don't take care of this issue, the signal to noise drops quickly toward zero, because people just want to pop on in to say how much they hate your discussion topic and say how WRONG you are and say you're all idiots for unsupportable reason X.

If a government or other organization in control of large swaths of information transmission decides to start getting choosy about ideas, it's censorship and needs to be stopped.  But when a website is appropriately choosy about what comments they allow on a contentious topic, I think we should view it more like editing a participatory publication.  Editing is a good thing, and if you don't like the editor(s), go participate in a different publication.

Quote from: AK4KZ
You can't have a differing opinion or idea for long before it turns into name calling. Having a conversation with differing views and then shaking hands and walking away is rare these days.

Having a conversation with someone with differing views requires listening to ideas you don't like and actually allowing them to reside in your brain for at least a few minutes while you form a reasoned rebuttal (or, heaven forbid, change your mind... horrors).  Cable news shows us that you should just start shouting as soon as you detect an idea you don't like.  That way you don't have to let it into your brain.

I have a lot of discussions with a coworker about government policy stuff and we don't really agree on much but  we're always trying to exchange ideas and we always listen to each other and think.  Neither of us are convinced by the other's arguments, but we can have good discussions because we don't have to worry about thinking up a complex argument or subtlety only to have it met with "nyah nyah nyah nyah ...< thing I heard on the TV yesterday>"

It so often seems that some folks see it as a sign of weakness to even take the other person's argument seriously for even a short time.   This actually happens a lot on technical topics and it's a  disaster when it does.  I've seen massive arguments where it seems pretty much everyone is right about part of it and wrong about another part and they can't pull it all together so that they all hold the correct idea.  It's sad when people can't have civil disagreements where they work hard to understand the other person's point of view and background and way of saying things even if they still disagree.  It's pitiful when this inability extends to arguments about things that aren't actually a matter of opinion.
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
KC9TNH
Member

Posts: 304




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« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2012, 11:02:12 AM »

it must be realized in the USA we do have a constitution that guarantees freedom of speech. however that guaranty is not sacrosanct. The US Supreme court determines what speech is correct.
With respect, horsehockey! The SCOTUS does no such thing. They may determine, in an isolated instance & possibly isolated context, what speech for that circumstance may or may not have been harmful. They do not determine "correctness." There were some countries I spent some time in during the so-called Cold War that let me know the difference. And we're not there - yet.

Self-regulating or not? Do you tolerate that kind of language in your ragchew circle? If you do, and don't tell an offender to clean up their act, you're part of the problem.

But do I want the G driving around to look for every Tom, Dick & Jane without having taken care of the QRM'ers first (or those who've consciously decided that running legal-limit w/o linearity doesn't apply to them)? Absolutely not.

Some of you here need to play this movie reel through to the end, and lobby the almighty FCC to establish some priorities and perhaps become locally part of the solution within your own neighborhoods if that's what you want. But you do not want the Guv into your momentary choices of subject matter or vocabulary. I'd rather run some vulgar jerkwad off on my own and get the rest of 40m back...  how 'bout you?

Most hams are fine folks and Jim's earlier admonition is really the simple solution:
Just because you can doesn't mean you should and that applies to Government capabilities as well as personal momentary lapses in word choice.
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73
Wes -KC9TNH
"Don't get treed by a chihuahua." - Pete
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3894




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« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2012, 10:06:23 AM »


I think there may be other solutions we haven't thought of yet. And I don't mean direct-confrontation, either.

And maybe there's a way to get FCC to do more enforcement.

Main point is that simply turning the dial or not working a certain band or mode doesn't solve the problem.

73 de jim, N2EY

what are your ideas on other solutions?  Ham operators petitioning the FCC?  Ham operators locating some of the main bad apples and handing them over to the FCC?  These bad apples may not spoil the whole bunch, but if they are used to characterize amateur radio operators by a party wanting our spectrum, or wanting to ban amateur radio operating in their communities -- as you point out it could be far more foul than merely the stuff they spout out on certain frequencies like 14.313... We could always counter a false characterization with the majority of amateur radio operation which is worthy of respect -- but as Mark Twain once pointed out:

     "a lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting its boots on"   

Sorry for the delay in responding...

Those ideas all sound good. But they have to be done properly, with clear evidence (recordings and such) of the violators.

Jim, I would also be interested in hearing your perspective on the overall decline of civility on the airwaves.  Testing is obviously far more relaxed now that one need not take their test in a big city FCC office, so maybe licensees feel less required to operate responsibly? Having been away for nearly 3 decades, I have a sort of a skewed perspective.  It seems operation in general is less civil & polite and more crass & informal.  But that is equally true of television, talk radio, and American society.  The older generation that populated the airwaves when I was 14 in 1976, has transformed into operators who were born more recently.  So maybe it naturally follows that I find the overall tenor of operation today more objectionable...?  Is it just the getting old syndrome?

 that said, some operation is clearly a complete violation what amateur radio operation should be and just turning the VFO, is -- as you said -- only effective as an avoidance tactic.


IMHO, several things have happened over the past couple of decades:

There's been a general drop in civility outside ham radio. Behavior that would have been considered unacceptable years ago is now common. Some of the "cb culture" has been brought to ham radio, despite all efforts to prevent it.

There are plenty of hams who don't understand why it's OK for Howard Stern or somebody like him to say something on the air but not OK for them to say it - forgetting that a pay satellite service is a completely different medium.

There has been a lack of enforcement from FCC for *decades*. This started about 30 years ago due to budget cuts - the same reason the VEC system was created to replace FCC testing. ("Small government" and "deregulation" don't always bring good things with them.)

It's important to remember that a lack of enforcement doesn't always result in an immediate breakdown of civil behavior. Often it takes time for the effects to percolate through the community - but when they do, it's not good. So when folks say "we made X changes and the sky didn't fall in", it's not valid unless you look at the long term.

Yet another effect is technology. In the bad old days, a ham rig was seriously expensive, and you had to know something about radio to use one; most had absolutely no protection against operator error. This meant a lot of hams started out with modest stations, and slowly worked their way up. Many started on CW because it cost less.

Over time, rigs have gotten much cheaper (in inflated dollars) and much easier to use.  The result is that a brand-new ham is less likely to go through the work-your-way-up stages.

Most of all, remember this: The vast majority of hams, new and old, are really nice folks who do their best to follow the rules and operate courteously. The bad apples are the few - and as you say, the real problem is for the many not to be tarred with the brush of the few.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K9AIM
Member

Posts: 1078




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« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2012, 05:37:56 PM »


IMHO, several things have happened over the past couple of decades:

There's been a general drop in civility outside ham radio. Behavior that would have been considered unacceptable years ago is now common. Some of the "cb culture" has been brought to ham radio, despite all efforts to prevent it.

There are plenty of hams who don't understand why it's OK for Howard Stern or somebody like him to say something on the air but not OK for them to say it - forgetting that a pay satellite service is a completely different medium.

There has been a lack of enforcement from FCC for *decades*. This started about 30 years ago due to budget cuts - the same reason the VEC system was created to replace FCC testing. ("Small government" and "deregulation" don't always bring good things with them.)

It's important to remember that a lack of enforcement doesn't always result in an immediate breakdown of civil behavior. Often it takes time for the effects to percolate through the community - but when they do, it's not good. So when folks say "we made X changes and the sky didn't fall in", it's not valid unless you look at the long term.

Yet another effect is technology. In the bad old days, a ham rig was seriously expensive, and you had to know something about radio to use one; most had absolutely no protection against operator error. This meant a lot of hams started out with modest stations, and slowly worked their way up. Many started on CW because it cost less.

Over time, rigs have gotten much cheaper (in inflated dollars) and much easier to use.  The result is that a brand-new ham is less likely to go through the work-your-way-up stages.

Most of all, remember this: The vast majority of hams, new and old, are really nice folks who do their best to follow the rules and operate courteously. The bad apples are the few - and as you say, the real problem is for the many not to be tarred with the brush of the few.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Thanks for the reply.  Your history in ham radio has a continuity mine lacks (having left the hobby for three decades before returning) so it is great to read your thoughts on this subject.  I also would add that hams on the air today, in general, seem less scientifically informed than they did in the past, but that may be a skewed observation on my part based on the difference between my age and perspective then and now...

One thing that has not changed, as you point out above, hams continually impress me with their generosity, kindness, and courtesy.

73, Rob K9AIM ..
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N9ZHW
Member

Posts: 78




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« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2012, 05:49:51 AM »

Hams who swear, slur, have explicit discussions, etc. have already ostracized themselves from the greater hobby.  No need to worry about them.  They've created their own prison. 

QSL.  I turned in 14.313 yesterday and 'saw' why it has a reputation.  Wow -- the mental asylum now has a xmtr!

I was away from the hobby from 1978 till 2008, and was surprised by how far things had degraded on SSB.  Yesterday on 10m I heard a station from 6 land say: 'god-d*mn' and that someone had their 'head up their Obama'.   I don't care if you have been divided into riding just the far left or far right wing of this political beast -- you have a right to voice your opinions and you cannot help it if you have no intellect -- but please do not turn ham radio into CB! 


Another one bashing CB! Funny how there are amateurs that think it's OK to swear, etc., but in another area, people are chewing at me for having a 5 watt CB. There's something in Part 95 subpart D that prohibits the use of such language and if it's illegal on CB, it certainly is illegal on ham. Point being there is such a thing called "discretion". Whining to Uncle Charlie for someone saying "shhhhhhugar" AHEM! on radio is different than going at it like a marine drill sergeant. Just as having a CB with 5 watts is a bit different than someone running 2000 watts through their's bleeding on commercial radio stations or hospital EMS towers. Use a little discretion and don't police everyone.
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KO3D
Member

Posts: 49




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« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2013, 10:58:32 AM »

If the government is too busy to worry, then they need to deregulate. If not, I say they should do the job they are paid for, which they aren't if you listen to 75m or Channel 19 aka 14.313.

Personally I say government has FAR more important things to do then worry about either, that is why the radio has a VFO! 
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VK5CQ
Member

Posts: 115




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« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2013, 08:19:03 PM »

Now, I'm -not- one to use "swear" words,
except in my own company - very occas-
ionally - ie, if I whack my sore knee on the
underside of a table... OUCH!

But we all -hear- more "swear" words in
our TV shows & cinema movies, -much-
more often than I -ever- heard, as a kid
on the same screens.

The Internet has more, yet, at least in
some places. (I don't see these, mostly,
-unless- they "pop-up" in my browser.)

If a person doesn't have a good, rich,
civil social circle or three to balance-
out all those "expletives" out of their
consciousness, they might get the im-
pression that we -all- talk like those
we hear in movies, etc.

My solution: Be just as selective in
choosing items for my "media diet"
as I am about my -food- intake.

So, I'll choose a lovely music enriched
Bollywood movie (despite culturaly dif-
ferences, I manage to get a -lot- from
carefully chosen Hindi movies, provi-
ded, of course, they have English sub-
titles... ;-)

When local current event shows or
interviews seem either noisy, dim,
or "impatient," ...No problem!

I'll just "go to Canada" (or California,
etc.)... via Podcast! :-)

Using Juice 2.2 on an old XP-based box
(or iTunes on any other Win ot Mac OS
boxes that are handy), I fetch podcasts
like these, which take the time to hear
lots more views, while keeping partici-
pants cool & collected (mostly), or I
just tune to something else.

+ KQED's:

.  + Forum (two 1-hour topics / weekday)
.  + Perspective (almost anyone's words)

+ CBC's:

.  + As It Happens (warm, calm cur. events)
.  + The Current (warm, in-depth cur. events)

Around the edges, I may have BBC, DW =
Deutsche Wella (sp?) or Radio Netherlands
content (often via an ABC AM-station).

If I'm using an Android device, "the World's
my Oyster" using the Internet radio feature
of "TuneIn" or (if I want to record, say, an
episode of "News from Lake Wobegon") the
non-free "TuneIn Pro" (Android app's).

If one or more are tying up a repeater with
uninteresting topics, I try another or just
switch-Off

As one who tries to archive the more inter-
esting podcasts, until I've listened to them,
or storage is exhausted, G-d knows I have
much more interesting content around to
listen to.

And... I don't waste my time trying to set-
tle folks down on-air... I go off to "greener
fields of content" - sometimes "Greener"
ones, eg, Electric Vehicles or Thorium-based
Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR's),
eg, currently being promoted (eg, in TED-
talks, at TED.com) by the likes of:

+ Shai Agassi (on battery-swappable EV's)

+ Kirk Sorensen (on safer, 4G LFTR's)

Easy fix to evaporating problems, eh? :-)
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