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Freedom to Offend

By Patrick follow Patrick   2015 Feb 9, 7:43am 515,931 views   554 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    


Patrick.net is an anonymous forum where the fundamental human right to offend is protected. Freedom of speech is exactly the freedom to offend. Speech which offends no one needs no protection because it will not be censored. Controversial ideas are inevitably offensive to someone and therefore need protection from censorship.

As MisterLearnToCode says:
We can't ban offensive speech because then we'd be at the mercy of the most easily offended; the lowest common denominator, and wouldn't be able to discuss jack shit.


I especially want people to have a place to say things they cannot say in person because of family or work or school pressure to conform to the politically correct opinions in their area.

If you are expressing a sincerely held point of view with good will, your comments and posts are very welcome here. If your point of view is "offensive" to others, that is no problem. Enjoy your freedom on this site, but please try to keep it about ideas and not about the other users or the site itself. I love Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw's philosophy about political debate:

https://patrick.net/post/1326765/2019-08-23-perfect-description-of-how-public-debate-should-be

There are many ideas that we will never agree on. The left and the right have different ways of approaching governance, based on contrasting philosophies. But many of the ultimate goals — economic prosperity, better health care and education, etc. — are the same. We just don’t share the same vision of how to achieve them.

How, then, do we live together in this world of differing ideas? For starters, let’s agree that the ideas are fair game. If you think my idea is awful, you should say as much. But there is a difference between attacking an idea and attacking the person behind that idea. Labeling someone as an “-ist” who believes in an “-ism” because of the person’s policy preference is just a shortcut to playground-style name-calling, cloaked in political terminology. It’s also generally a good indication that the attacker doesn’t have a solid argument and needs a way to end debate before it has even begun.

Similarly, people too often attack not just an idea but also the supposed intent behind an idea. That raises the emotional level of the debate and might seem like it strengthens the attacker’s side, but it’s a terrible way to make a point. Assuming the worst about your opponents’ intentions has the effect of demonizing their ideas, removing the need for sound counter-reasoning and fact-based argument. That’s not a good environment for the exchange of ideas.


The primary moderation rule is to not attack other users or the site itself. Personal attacks solve nothing, and in fact get us further away from solving anything. Examine what is said, not who speaks, and try to acknowledge whatever truth there is in what the other person is saying before attacking the flaws in their argument.

If you don't like this site, go somewhere else. This site cost you nothing, was a lot of work for me, and doesn't even have advertising. If you can't resist insulting the other users or the site itself over and over, you'll be banned and your comments deleted.

To repeat, here are the rules:

1. Do not insult the other users.
2. Do not insult the site.

Flag personal attacks and attacks on the site with the "flag" link by each comment so that they will go into moderation where they will be reviewed by a moderator. Please do not flag comments just because you don't like them.

If you're wondering why your comment was flagged, please click the "edit" link on it. It should be pretty obvious when you read your own words again. If you think there was a mistake about the content's being flagged, please write p@patrick.net

If you don't have the "flag" link, please report personal comments to p@patrick.net by email.


Here are the original articles that made this site famous:

https://patrick.net/post/1282720/2015-07-11-ten-reasons-it-s-a-terrible-time-to-buy-an-expensive-house
https://patrick.net/post/1282721/2015-07-11-eight-groups-who-lie-about-the-housing-market
https://patrick.net/post/1282722/2015-07-11-37-bogus-arguments-about-housing

If you ignore another user, you will not see his posts or comments. There is a user ignore link on each comment. To see who you're ignoring and to unignore, look on your edit profile page.

To get another user's attention, mention him in a comment with an @ character prepended to his username ( for example @Patrick ) and then he will get an email of that comment.

If you include an image URL ending in .jpg, .png, or .gif it will be converted into the visible image in a post or comment.

You may not post large sections of copyrighted material unless you have explicit permission from the copyright owner. But excerpts for discussion are fine, and in fact protected by law.

If you include a youTube or Vimeo URL, the post or comment will display the video.

These basic html tags work in posts and comments: a b blockquote br code del font hr i iframe img li ol ol p strike sub sup u ul video vsmall

You can surround a word or phrase with the * character to make it bold or the _ character to make it italic.

You can edit any post or comment you entered within a week of creating it. After a week, content is permanent and will not be deleted.

You cannot pick your own password on patrick.net. The idea is to prevent people from using, say, their bank password on patrick.net so that if this site gets hacked, their bank account is still secure. You'd be amazed at how many people use the same password for everything.

Please write p@patrick.net with questions or suggestions.

patrick.net has never received a national security letter.

Try the Yaml to Json converter at https://patrick.net/yaml2json.html if you're into that sort of thing.

Terms of Use

Sorry, this is necessary because lawyers.

If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, you are not authorized to use patrick.net. We may modify the Terms of Use at any time in our sole discretion. You are responsible for periodically checking for changes and are bound by them if you continue to use patrick.net.

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If you reasonably believe posted content infringes your IP rights, send a physical paper signed letter following all the requirements of the DMCA to:

patrick.net
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Comments 1 - 40 of 554    Next »    Last »

1   curious2   ignore (0)   2015 Feb 9, 10:37pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@Patrick, there seem to be some issues searching for specific comments. Searching via DuckDuckGo or Google, Patrick.net gets many prominent hits, but clicking on them tends to produce errors, e.g.
500 Internal Server Error
nginx/1.2.1
Likewise, Patrick.net's internal search function produces many false hits, for example searching for "city-journal" returns every occurrence of city or journal.

2   HydroCabron   ignore (1)   2015 Feb 10, 3:20am     ↓ dislike (2)   quote   flag        

Can we have a fresh STEM thread auto-generated every 500 seconds?

3   Patrick   ignore (1)   2015 Feb 10, 6:56am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

curious2 says

there seem to be some issues searching for specific comments. Searching via DuckDuckGo or Google, Patrick.net gets many prominent hits, but clicking on them tends to produce errors, e.g.

500 Internal Server Error

nginx/1.2.1

Likewise, Patrick.net's internal search function produces many false hits, for example searching for "city-journal" returns every occurrence of city or journal.

yes, it's still in a terrible half-baked state.

trying to figure out how the new categories relate to each other:

companies have events, jobs, technologies, investors
events have companies, but not jobs...
jobs have technologies but not investors...

hopefully will figure all that out today.

4   Patrick   ignore (1)   2015 Nov 4, 6:39pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

crap, comments were going into moderation for no good reason!

stopped all moderation of comments, so now some spam will get through, but at least no legit comments will be blocked.

if you have any trouble commenting, please email p@patrick.net

6   Tenpoundbass   ignore (14)   2016 May 20, 6:20am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Patrick says

patrick.net has never received a national security letter.

Phew! I've really been sweating that one. I've been a nervous wreck constantly looking over my shoulder.
I was convinced you told them my hair and eye color by now.

7   Tenpoundbass   ignore (14)   2016 May 20, 6:23am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick says

crap, comments were going into moderation for no good reason!

stopped all moderation of comments, so now some spam will get through, but at least no legit comments will be blocked.

if you have any trouble commenting, please email p@patrick.net

Maybe you should only allow your spam trigger to override the fliter, only if the post has a hashtag #Offendingword at the bottom, which you ask anyway, so that the filter could over write it.
That could get trickey but at least you would still have your moderation against real spam.

8   BlueSardine   ignore (3)   2016 May 20, 6:28am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Adult forums, by definition, do not support babytalk...

curious2 says

Searching via DuckDuckGo or Google, Patrick.net gets many prominent hits

9   HEY YOU   ignore (9)   2016 May 20, 4:53pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Devil's Advocate response: FUCK EVERYBODY!

" untrusted site warning"; never trust a patnetter. lmao

10   HEY YOU   ignore (9)   2016 May 20, 4:55pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

"personally identifying information"

Who keeps calling me ASSHOLE?

11   Tenpoundbass   ignore (14)   2016 May 21, 2:16pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

rando says

thinking of just eliminating ssl completely and generating a unique one-time cookie on each page view.

Yes then dynamically name the add message and new message textbox id or the name that uniquie one-time string. So that new spam bots only work the first time. The hassle of having to come back and set their spam bot script up wouldn't be worth the hassle for them.

This post the id could be something like "R$399KnZ" but the next time the bot tries to post to your url with those form values it wont post. Becuase this time the correct textbox id is "NXl412!r".

12   BlueSardine   ignore (3)   2016 May 24, 9:45pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

this is a test of the emergency Youtube embedded video

13   BlueSardine   ignore (3)   2016 May 24, 9:46pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ny4lRibuh9A"

14   BlueSardine   ignore (3)   2016 May 24, 9:47pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@Patrick
the above link doesn't work as an embedded video (quotes removed 2 posts up...)

15   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2016 May 24, 10:08pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

rando says

the only reason to have ssl is to prevent someone from seeing your cookie and becoming you on patrick.net

Now what kind of asshole would do something like that just to mess with a troll by having him post an exclamation of his love of goats? Oh wait, never mind.

16   Patrick   ignore (1)   2016 May 25, 7:50am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@Xanthidae i think i fixed it.

Xanthidae says

the above link doesn't work as an embedded video (quotes removed 2 posts up...)

you can even see the change here now that i have the code in github:

https://github.com/killelea/patrick.net/commit/7234b2be99b35734d40b207d99e8f7eb4ebc4924

please let me know if any more problems. or just send me a pull request if you know php and github things.

18   BlueSardine   ignore (3)   2016 May 25, 8:38am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Works! Thanks!

19   BayArea   ignore (1)   2016 Jun 20, 11:16am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick, just a thought...

For new posts, have you considered changing the order of the title and the image when using cell-phone?

It just seems intuitively, I would prefer to read the title then see the related image, and not vice-versa?

20   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2016 Jun 21, 11:30am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick says

Nothing on this site is censored by Patrick except:

  • threats
  • child porn
  • spam
  • copyright violations (upon notice)
  • personally identifying information

You lie! I have it on good authority that redirecting troll's threads to goat porn websites via JavaScript injection is in fact censored! Stop censoring JavaScript. Scripting is free speech!

21   anonymous   ignore (null)   2016 Jun 21, 2:09pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Hey piss off, Obamacare bot

22   Patrick   ignore (1)   2016 Jun 21, 8:24pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

BayArea says

Patrick, just a thought...

For new posts, have you considered changing the order of the title and the image when using cell-phone?

It just seems intuitively, I would prefer to read the title then see the related image, and not vice-versa?

@BayArea yes, it's a good idea, but i have not been able to get that to work on mobile devices. the formatting goes badly wrong if i try to put the image after the title.

maybe if you know css/html you can figure out a method that works and show me. you could just use the browser developer tools to change things around, or save the page and muck with it statically.

23   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2016 Jul 22, 10:49am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick says

maybe if you know css/html you can figure out a method that works and show me. you could just use the browser developer tools to change things around, or save the page and muck with it statically.

The trick is to use the @media css tag to override styles based on width breakpoints. I threw together a JS Fiddle. I've only tested it in Firefox though. No bets on I.E. I never use that browser.

24   Patrick   ignore (1)   2016 Jul 26, 7:55am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

You can do time ranges on YouTube videos, for example:

25   Patrick   ignore (1)   2016 Jul 26, 7:56am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

that was done with a url like this: https://www.y outube.com/v/chElHV99xak?start=53&end=59

i put the space in the url to break it so it wouldn't actually get converted.

26   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2016 Jul 26, 8:05am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick says

You can do time ranges on YouTube videos

27   HEY YOU   ignore (9)   2016 Jul 31, 11:51am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I was following the first paragraph until I came to "clear critical thought."
We'll not be having any of that shit!
And apparently it's not a problem.

28   BlueSardine   ignore (3)   2016 Jul 31, 12:31pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

This is a major non-damning improvement...

Patrick says

You can do time ranges on YouTube videos

29   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2016 Aug 1, 8:04am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@Patrick, what's with all the spammers? Have they broken the captcha you are using? Maybe it's time to switch to another.

Chances are these spammers aren't targeting PatNet specifically, but rather have bots that target common platforms like PHP. Maybe a simple speed bump in which the user has to play a little "guitar hero" game with arrow keys to register a username.

30   marcus   ignore (12)   2016 Aug 5, 2:15am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick says

If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.

--Justice William Brennan, speaking for the majority

Maybe you should add something along the lines of:

We also have some free thinkers on this forum that understand that an idea being offensive or politically incorrect does not in and of itself make it good.

31   jazz_music   ignore (15)   2016 Aug 5, 11:20am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

you got spam

32   Patrick   ignore (1)   2016 Aug 5, 11:40am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

spam deleted.

33   Patrick   ignore (1)   2016 Aug 5, 11:41am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

an idea being offensive or politically incorrect does not in and of itself make it good

also true.

34   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2016 Aug 11, 7:31am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Google should have a public way of hurting the page rank of spammers. If someone spams a forum, send the link to Google to reduce the advertised website's page rank. Granted, we'd have to deal with saboteurs, but the benefits would outweigh this cost.

35   Patrick   ignore (1)   2016 Aug 11, 4:31pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ah fuck. Yes, I did make some changes this morning.

Ironman says

It looks like the "quote" function isn't posting the name of the poster quoted,

Quote thing seems to work ok for me.

Please tell me which threads with long titles are not found!

36   Patrick   ignore (1)   2016 Aug 11, 7:27pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

OK, made a little progress. It seems to happen on Safari, but not Chrome. At least I have a starting point to look at.

37   Patrick   ignore (1)   2016 Aug 11, 7:41pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Hmmm, confusing because I didn't change anything about the code that does that stuff:

https://github.com/killelea/patrick.net/blob/master/html/functions.php#L2217

38   Patrick   ignore (1)   2016 Aug 11, 8:27pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

OK, I think it's fixed now. Quotes should always have "(user) says" in them. Thanks for telling me about that.

Ironman says

Trying from my phone (Droid), doesn't quote the name either.

39   Patrick   ignore (1)   2016 Aug 11, 8:48pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ah yes. Also fixed as of now. Please check.

40   Patrick   ignore (1)   2016 Aug 12, 11:07am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@Ironman you're right.

That is also fixed now.

Please tell me more bugs and suggestions.

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