How does SAFE stop censorship?


I think it is something like this, but we need to wait for the RFC. I was speculating what might be in it rather than suggesting how it is or should be done. So not much point detailing my speculation, time better spent coding.


I agree. With all that freedom will come huge irresponsibility. We’ll drown in all sorts of filth unless we figure out how to block them. I don’t think it’s relevant to one’s own site, as others explained, but it’s important for finding content in general.

I almost think we’ll need whitelists instead of blacklists. We can find things promoted by those we chose to listen to. Yes, I’m suggesting an echo chamber :rofl:


I understand the Safe Network isn’t designed to allow for deleting data, but it doesn’t mean the world wouldn’t be better off if some of the horrible things people did to others forever disappeared.


That was my view too. MD is for changing data and a record only kept if requested. But the concept of never losing websites seemed to have been taken for all MDs

Last I heard was that the fields in the MD would be used to hold versions. They might point to ImD chunks which hold the data? but this is what the RFC is to explore.

Also I still like the idea of temp files too. No use keeping those since they typically are only ever incomplete files which are eventually written as an actual file. eg word document.


Like the holocaust perhaps? or maybe the terrors in Croatia or images of FGM etc.
Yea, I am being flippant to make a point (sorry), but also perhaps to point at a much deeper issue. I suspect there is an argument that says if it happened then it happened, even if we choose to not remember it. A little bit connected is that to learn from the mistakes of the past we should recognise them for what they are, unadulterated and in the raw.

I am not saying do not filter, I actually think we should, but more in places that say are tagged animal pictures, but some are actually child porn or beheadings and such. This is where filters are good. Where they filter out miscategorised info if we get our semantic web.

Another argument is “propaganda”, do we want to keep that? do we even know what is propaganda, or fake news? I suggest we will and either now or in the future, we can refute it and show how it happened and maybe by whom for what reason.

my feeling is that I don’t choose to watch many of these things, but I am OK they exist (in that they do exist and I admit they do) as it shows we are not yet educated enough or enlightened enough or there are perhaps just broken humans around. Whatever the reason, in the future I think our species will learn from the mistakes we make if they know they existed.

It is a deep area for sure and it is a huge responsibility as well.


As one who has found himself debating Holocaust deniers in real life, even within family, I expected these issues to be brought up. Trying to hide history is unacceptable.

I have a different stance on cases that have no collective, historical significance. When a pedophile ring is wrapped up (I wish it happened more often), I want all their data destroyed after they have been used as evidence against them. There’s no reason to keep a copy of those atrocities, just for the file. The victims deserve that right.

All of this is theoretical as long as the Safe Network is concerned, because all data is random noise from the network’s point of view. I don’t know how, or if, it would be possible to remove that without opening up a door for abuse.


Cool, please do not think I was implying that (you were a denier) in any way.

Here I am not so sure I agree, although the victim’s point is a good one. Even today though these videos or whatever are probably still there in many places. It is an interesting conundrum we have in the digital world.

For sure this is a concern and I think a very valid one. Humans are great at taking a good notion and making something bad out of it. I do feel it may open some doors to abuse.

It is a tough area to discuss, thanks for doing so.


I have often thought about this and as you say the files are usually kept by someone somewhere. But we do not get to see it (thankfully). We had the big censorship debate in Australia a number of years ago when these questions were being used to justify a government censorship system for the internet. And discussions went on for 2 years with all sorts presenting their views and is why I hate the idea of “censorship for our protection” theatre. It ends up theatre because the material censored is usually not the bad material.

All the claims that this material will be readily available to the public, children and victims and that the victims will be put through the horror over and over again, just did not eventuate like the claims would be when the censorship system was not installed. It is often said that the victims will suffer just knowing the images still exist, but in reality the images will “always” exist in police files (on computer) for future cases and their prosecution.

Basically the world did not collapse into a sea of vile imagery with no censorship installed like the wowsers claimed (not thinking of anyone here incl Joe who has a valid point). The images are still only circulated amongst those sicko groups and the police continue to get accepted into groups and end up arresting them. Some huge groups in Australia have been convicted.

In reality though is that on safe these images/files will be private files/data and when the police get to prosecute the sickos the police will not be making them public either. So in essence the files will exist but not be available to the general public.


This discussion has been nearing the surface in many places, and many times I have been hesitating to engage. It is a deep one.

There’s been talk about our human nature, that we forget - and the right to be forgotten is a notion nowadays. All of that is true to some degree.

But the network and the data in it is not in our minds (hm, not yet at least). It is something we actively seek. Sure, some data is spread and invade our lives, without us seeking it, but mostly what we talk about, when considering downsides of perpetual data is information that exist on the network as a reflection of reality. The reality is there regardless of the reflection. Naturally, you could argue that this reflection in some cases augments and perpetuates these negative realities, but that is not in any way certain to be the case for even a significant part, much less a majority of cases.

Data - history, that outlive our species is something so new to us that we are bound to fall short on all the angles, all consequences. It will not come without costs, suffering and dilemmas. But it will enrichen and help humanity with so much that we are struggling with today, and open up doors we don’t even know about today.

Humans always open that door. We’re not walking away from it.


Agreed. This is often deliberately overlooked by those who wish to censor. I don’t see those foul images because I don’t seek them and they are not shoved in our faces either on adverts or typical sites.

in the mid to late nineties the pop ups that shoved unsearched for websites into our faces has long gone, but often touted as why we need censorship.


No worries, I never did. But I was waiting for the question to be brought up.

I can see a very important difference between acts sanctified by a public organization such as a government, a political party, a social movement (eupmehism for the KKK and other trash like them), or a company. When the same act is committed by a nobody against the rules it’s unquestionably a crime and the benefit of publicity, which is undeniable in the former case, is suddenly offset by the damage caused to the victim.

And this is where anti-censorship and pro-privacy clash. If I was an adult who was abused as a child, I feel I would have the right to demand law enforcement to destroy recordings made at the time. The sentences have been handed out, the evidence no longer serves any purpose, there’s no reason for those pictures or videos to be stacked away on some government server.

We’re so used to the pack-rat nature of government organizations that it goes unquestioned more often than not, or brushed aside by bringing examples to when it’s justified.

This is why I am questioning it now.

For example, do those pictures and videos really help solving future cases? We’re not talking about an unsolved murder case here but a simple case where the existence of those recordings was supporting evidence to a case that is already closed.


We have no control over their use. But both the police and the court recording will keep those things *forever* Also the other sicko groups likely have them anyhow. And this is before SAFE. I am wondering if there will be any difference to what happens now except the sickos cannot destroy evidence when they realise they have been found out.


I think we need to take this specific discussion to the topic for this discussion now. Its no longer about what the OP wanted to discuss


I feel we’re going to be back at square one with the Safe Network in this area. How will we fight against things analogous to those pop-ups?

Firstly, how will we search things? The index, whatever form it will take, can’t be centralized from a management point, but it must be centralized from the user’s point of view or else it’s not search just a reboot of Geocities.

Everybody will have read-write access to the index (again, no idea how it will look, but it will exist in some form) so we’ll need a way to separate the “good” entries from the “bad” entries. The catch is, good and bad are not universal. For example, I would hate getting swamped by Holocaust denier pages when I’m looking for facts about WWII, but that may be the exact thing a Neo Nazi (though scum of the earth, still a legitimate user) is looking for.



I would think we will subscribe to curated search where some group does it for us. Like adblock lists.


Yea, and those cool web rings, like on Geocities. Those were the times.

Curated search is dead because there’s better. We can’t reinvent the internet by turning back time 20 years first. Nobody will buy that.

We do need a solution for search. If there’s one thing we learned from the present internet, having Google as its indisputable ruler, it’s that search matters. I don’t have the answer for how to do it on the Safe Network, but that doesn’t mean we can handwave the problem away with curated lists.

How do you specify the subject area to select which list to look through? How do you handle simple things like misspellings? How do you discover the lists in the first place? How do you do a large scale search across a fragmented set of lists? How many documents will you need to pull to cover 0.01% of the web? How will you recognize when you have what you’re looking for? We’re so used to Google doing all of this for us that we forgot how much it sucked before.

The question of searching ties into censorship intimately, by the way. We have a thread here about some right-wing nuts being shadowbanned, and that’s just internet speech for “removed from search.”


Google is a curated list.

And I didn’t mean web rings.

The lists on SAFE will likely use a protocol where people submit their site for crawling and a curated list simply blocks/removes domains from their list. They will likely rely on self reporting to categorise the sites and rely on reporting of bad sites. A bit like what google does, but SAFE allows for anyone to do this and have their own search engine without the need to do all the work and can use common data (submitted sites etc). And provide specialised searches and/or better search techniques than others.

We will have to see what some smart minds come up with to solve this


I’m extremely annoyed at Google for “correcting” my spelling as I often search for e.g. misspellings. I’d love to use good old regular expressions in Google or wherever, but I’m not aware of any such service. Maybe it’d just require too much processing power or something to implement.


That’s a bit like saying a B-52 is a cannon.
In other words, empathically no, it is not.

Google is built up of many layers of sophisticated tools, including NLP, automatic image recognition, text extraction from images, strategies to fight against spam, and so on. Far from being a “curated list” in any remote sense, it was good math right from day 1.

Now those were curated lists. There were others, I just can’t remember their names. They weren’t much more useful than web rings, so it doesn’t matter.

An index page is an MD and those cost money. I saw talks about “pay the producer” which could maybe solve this.

However, you covered just a minuscule fraction of what Google does. Misspellings. Synonyms. Relevance. Spam. Images. Things that go behind the scenes, affecting the experience profoundly, yet so easily overlooked.

No, Google does not do that. I know I said it already, but I feel like emphasizing it again. Likening Google to the simple index you’re talking about amounts to false analogy. Both are about finding stuff but that’s where the similarity ends. Just as you can’t propose using a binocular to find exoplanets, you can’t say an index like that could be a substitute for Google.

I’m not splitting hair here: Google is the internet for many (myself included) and they will not give up on it for something infinitely inferior.

To tie it into the thread, who cares about organized censorship when the tool at hand is already so bad at finding (non-censored) information that the open internet’s (censored) tools will give better results? We need to turn that around first, and then boast about lack of censorship.

Good search, or the lack thereof, will make or brake the Safe Network.

I’m extremely happy I can just type away and not worry about spelling. I often use Google to figure out a word for me, especially proper names, that I can’t remember.

More importantly, why should your specific behavior be considered more important than the most general case? You can just put your misspelled word in double quotes and Google will be happy to search for it, by the way. Sadly, no regex support.


Not in the context I gave. You have limited the possible definition of curated lists as expanded upon above. A curated list is broadly a list created & maintained by some entity. The size of the list does not negate it being so.

Anyhow I have no more to say. This has all been discussed in the topics linked to in that topic I mentioned above by @whiteoutmashups

This discussion has nothing to do with the topic OP post and should be continued in the topic for this hotly subject. Otherwise we will again have parallel topics discussing the same hot subject