What Would Otter Jesus Do?

The arguments in favor of outlawing “hate speech” are made with the passion and earnestness of a religious zealot, all in the name of protecting the marginalized and vulnerable from the “violence” of harsh words. That it’s impossible (not difficult, but impossible) to define “hate speech” is one obvious problem. That it violates the precepts of free speech is another, more easily wiped away by the high priestesses of wokeness who decide for the rest of us what speech has “value” and what does not.

But a third problem with this well-intended notion was raised via Cathy Young on the twitters. Cathy, for reasons I can’t fathom, has a thing for otters. It doesn’t involve eating them. She finds them adorable. Well, to each his own, right? And one person who regularly proffered otter-cuteness was “Otter Jesus.” Until Otter Jesus was suspended from twitter.

The account wasn’t just suspended, but banned.* This being twitter, there is no one to talk to, no one to explain to or argue with or challenge. Twitter says banned, and you’re banned. You can beg for restoration, but it’s entirely up to the twitter gods to decide whether to show mercy. Beyond that there’s nothing to do.

So what’s the big deal? Put aside whether you think being banned from the twitters matters, as your feelz on the subject aren’t relevant. Otter Jesus wanted very much to return to the twitter community. But there was one particular aspect of the person behind Otter Jesus that distinguished him, even if it wasn’t apparent from his twits.

Otter Jesus is autistic. What exactly that means isn’t easy to say, as autism is less a thing than a spectrum of behavioral deficits that vary from person to person. But the point here is that people with austism struggle with processing and comprehending the vagaries that others just gloss over.

Clear rules are easier to understand and follow. If the rule is don’t cross the yellow line, they know that crossing the yellow line will get them in trouble. If the rule is don’t engage in hate speech, they haven’t a clue. While others will find it facile to define the rule based on their own personal sensibilities, without grasping that their sense of what constitutes hate speech isn’t universal or objective, but merely some fuzzy feeling that popped into their narcissistic head, which they then take as a mandate to chastise, if not attack, others for violating a rule that exists only in their personal delusion.

It’s bad enough that the unduly passionate wipe away the definitional vagaries of what constitutes “hate speech,” even if they could overcome the free speech aspect of their adoration of censorship. But aren’t people with autism at least as vulnerable and marginalized as, say, a feminist writing for a significant soapbox with a few hundred thousand twitter followers? Or a country like, say, Britain?

Granted, the woke seem to be filled with empathy for themselves and occasionally others who are favored at any given moment, but because the trade-off requires that the elevation of the rights of one identity group comes at the expense of another, there will invariably be some other marginalized group who suffers for their rules.

But that’s not the end of the problem. For social media platforms, which are private and thus not subject to the First Amendment and allowed by law to be as arbitrary and capricious as they want to be, suspending and banning “hate speech” offenders is accomplished through “zero tolerance” algorithms. After all, it’s impossible for Jack Dorsey to look at every twit and determine whether it meets his definition of offensiveness. And algos are like people with autism, rule-based, except they are brutally cruel and absolute.

In Otter Jesus’ case, the word “exterminated” apparently ticked off the algo big time. Sure, there are uses and contexts for the word that are inoffensive, or at least should be since exterminating cockroaches, for example, tends to offend only cockroaches and their close friends.

Are the Inquisitors of hate speech prepared to sacrifice the Otter Jesuses, the people with austism, for the sake of their crusade against speech that might hurt their feelings? That’s the question Otter Jesus asks of Jack. So far, there has been no answer, no mercy, no acknowledgement that maybe this scheme doesn’t work.

But the broader message is that it will work just as poorly, just as harshly, in the broader world. It puts the lie to the cries that the eradication of “hate speech” is necessary to make the world a happier, less harmful place. It will, but only for those dictating whose speech lacks sufficient value and enforcing their feelings on others. The rest of us will be subject to their caprice and punishment.

Otter Jesus never meant to hurt anyone, but then, that’s no criteria for banning him from the twitters. More importantly, these vague and incomprehensible rules may be sufficiently clear to the woke (until they make an unintentional misstep themselves and find the mob has turned on them), but they do nothing to inform Otter Jesus of the “error” of his ways.

So burn the austistic? This puts the lie to the excuse that they’re protecting the vulnerable and marginalized. They’re protecting themselves, and tough nuggies for Otter Jesus. So what would Otter Jesus do? Suffer the wrath of the algo and the terminally offended, lest any hate word survive. He’s given no other option.

*The offending twit was intended as a joke, as so many offensive things are. It was taken as humor by those who followed Otter Jesus, but the algo disagreed. Algos have no sense of humor.

35 thoughts on “What Would Otter Jesus Do?

  1. guitardave

    …. WWOJD?….probably shrug his little otter shoulders and go frolic in a babbling brook..and EXTERMINATE a few fishes for dinner….( you know, the ones who don’t know what water is)

      1. Rojas

        Provided that context it seems hard to imagine how otter’s twit is more incendiary than the @EatMorChikin cowz imploring folks to “Dekorate yer plate with chikin”.

  2. giutardave

    YES!….thank you! ( i thought about finding a vid like that but my lack of compooter skills…)

    BTW…I think i saw four little undeveloped feet on that fish!….Otter Jesus ROCKS!

    1. SHG Post author

      As reluctant as I am to point this out, “guitar” is spelled “ui,” and you have to use the reply button just like everyone else who can’t spell his own ‘nym worth a damn.

      1. Guitardave

        “guitar” is spelled “ui,”….yeah, like i normally spell it when i’m not LMAO…so EXCUUUSSE ME!
        …and yes, I’ll try real hard to hit the right reply button from now on.
        PS:( that stands for Professor Spellcheck)…you do know that dyslexia is part of the autistic spectrum …
        PSS: Have you ever considered that “your reluctance to point out” might be your intuition trying to tell you not to bother being such a tight ass?
        Love, Gui-tar-baby-dave.

          1. REvers

            I can almost hear one of the sixties girl groups singing that. It would be perfect for the Ronettes.

        1. Jeff Davidson

          I was hoping that it was not a misspelling but an homage to the Astros pitcher Dave Giusti.

      2. SpellingChallanged Not?

        How do you know that the ‘misspelling’ isn’t intentional. You spelling Nazi! I used to know a guy who went by the name Oblivius intentionally, the spelling was part of the meaning.

        Yes, I realize I’m posting this late now, but styll.

  3. B. McLeod

    Obviously, he shouldn’t otter wrote that, as objectively and without “nuances,” it violated Twitter’s stated policy. That is, in fact, how site moderation otter be done (as opposed to how it is done at sites with equivalent STATED policies, but which regularly allow racism, hatred and violence, as long as it is directed against Caucasian, cisgendered males). Sites that purport to have a written policy should follow the ostensible policy. Objectively, and the same for everyone (hence, the term “policy”). Otherwise, they ultimately come down to simply allowing comment based on what the site moderators personally agree with. I have seen how that works out, and it doesn’t.

      1. B. McLeod

        That particular site has been abandoned to unsupervised minions, but is certainly a good example of an alleged “policy” solely applied to posts with which said minions disagree.

  4. Jake

    Oye, with this narrative lately. Who promised the right that progress would have no unintended, undesirable, and/or unfortunate consequences, anyway?

    PS – The absence of a link to Twitter’s rules in a post criticising Twitter’s rules leads me to wonder if you know what they actually are or are being disingenuous. It is factually inaccurate to state or insinuate the rules are nothing more than: “No hate speech, lol”

    1. SHG Post author

      Fair enough. Here’s twitter’s rules. I suspect you (like anybody else who felt the need to read the “rules”) could have googled them instead of whining about my omission, but I’m here for you and your google-challenged computer skillz.

      More importantly, there is no “right to progress,” but that having eluded you, when your definition of “progress” provides happiness for one at the expense of happiness for another, it’s not progress, but just changing who gets fucked from one to another. See Chesterton’s Fence and correlate it with the Trolley Problem.

      So you hate people with autism, Jake, and think they deserve to get fucked for the sake of the other marginalized?

  5. Jake

    “More importantly, there is no “right to progress,” ”

    I didn’t say there is a right to progress.

    “when your definition of “progress” provides happiness for one at the expense of happiness for another”

    That’s not the definition I or any of the coastal, liberal progressives I know who are real human beings and not caricatures on Simple Justice embraces. However, we all share the characteristic of not needing a safe space when attempts to improve the world results in minor unintended, undesirable, or unfortunate consequences.

    “So you hate people with autism, Jake, and think they deserve to get fucked for the sake of the other marginalized?”

    Yes, you got me. I hate people with Autism.

    Now, if we can get serious for a minute:

    A. Anyone who gets the banhammer on Twitter worked their ass off for the honor.

    B. The fact one person who got banned has autism is irrelevant. Twitter has a lot of rules but one rule they don’t have is blanket immunity from their rules for the Autistic.

      1. Jake

        You’re on a roll this morning, what kind of donut did you eat?

        I know I’ve explained to you in the past that your Captcha periodically resets during the commenting process and resets the class, but I’ll mention it again. Therefore, Simple Justice discriminates against commenters who take the time to think about what they’re going to say and edit their copy. Simple Justice is evil! I’m literally shaking.

    1. Jay

      You mention what your definition of progress is not, would you mind taking a position on what you believe it to mean? The absence of your own point of view or opinion on the matter appears to show you to be disingenuous at best, and a bit of a troll at worst. Although you may not do so on purpose, the overall attitude of your posting here does make you appear to be a caricature not to be taken seriously.

      The issue I have with your post, is that your definition of ‘attempts to improve the world’ are yours to decide and define and not open to interpretation. For example, if I am against illegal immigration, wouldn’t child separation be ‘unintended, undesirable, or unfortunate consequences’ and unworthy of consideration?

      Who decides the Order of Marginalization?

      1. SHG Post author

        Please don’t invite Jake (or anyone) to explain their position on my dime. It’s my bandwidth you’re wasting on such nonsense.

  6. B. McLeod

    What Otter Jesus posted was contrary to express, objective prohibitions in the “violence” and “hateful conduct” rules, so I am not seeing how autism would have led him to not understand there was an issue. If he knew a humorless algorithm was perpetually on patrol, he should have expected a adverse outcome, precisely because the algorithm would apply the policy literally and objectively.

    If it really was that. I have never started on Twitter, primarily because there have been so many reports of politically-based bans, particularly in the months leading up to the 2016 elections. As a result, I have no actual experience with how their rules or their algorithms work. The scrolling text video by Otter Jesus suggests that the algorithm does not sweep uniformly and automatically, but that it operates only when a poster affirmatively initiates a complaint, and then, only to an extent determined by whether the complaining poster tagged a specific post or an entire account for review. If he is right about how the Twitter system works, then there would be potential for inconsistent and confusing results based on the subjective choices of the person(s) who decided to sic the algorithm on his post or account. That is also a pretty crappy system, because it will eliminate posters purely based on complaints, and the organized complainers of the world will simply eliminate all opposing viewpoints over time by siccing the algorithm on the accounts of all posters who post anything they disagree with, while sparing equivalent comments on the part of posters they are ideologically aligned with. Letting asshats subjectively and selectively direct the algorithm reinjects the unfairness and unpredictability an objective and uniformly operative algorithm should be designed to prevent.

    1. LocoYokel

      “because it will eliminate posters purely based on complaints, and the organized complainers of the world will simply eliminate all opposing viewpoints over time by siccing the algorithm on the accounts of all posters who post anything they disagree with”

      And this is exactly the tactic they use, not only on Twitter but everywhere else also. As well as mis-quoting and mis-characterizing statements and positions, fabrication of alleged statements, mis-characterization of rules when in position to enforce said rules.

      See James Damore and Melissa Click, et. al. To many to name but read the past couple of years posts here about goings on at all the Universities in the US.

      Have you not been following the news for the past few years.

      1. B. McLeod

        I have noticed the recent tendency to reverse the common law presumption of innocuous meaning if an innocuous meaning was one of multiple, possible meanings. Now the presumption is offensiveness (unless the enforcer of the rules agrees with your opinion).

        1. LocoYokel

          Yes, and this is a problem for me as I used to tend to the offensive meaning and watch people be flabbergasted. Now it’s not worth the effort as they are to easily offended.

  7. jack p

    You have free speech when speech is not forcefully suppressed by large, burly thugs with guns. Twitter has every right to decline to publish authors that threaten to tar their commercial brand with, well, anything they don’t support. There’s a difference between a government or criminal gang imprisoning or killing people and mob of overly sensitive progressives shouting people down or a commercial company kicking you off their property. You have free speech in America.

      1. B. McLeod

        Well, whether the comment was substantively correct does not seem to be a factor under the Twitter rules.

  8. Otter jesus

    Thanks for this. Much appreciated. I’ve contacted Cathy Young and told her about this post.

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