Discussion on: What is your approach for blogpost titles?

byrro profile image
Renato Byrro

What hinted me of something dangerous was the way you ended your article:

Is it morally acceptable to use those tricks for dev.to posts? It seems not directly prohibited by CoC (or am I wrong?)

Unless one is calling for violence or something of the like, it is free speech. Even clickbait, low-quality speech is free speech and must be protected as such.

It's not a matter of protecting the content. I might disgust the content, I might outright disagree with it and I might hope for days where this content doesn't get published by anyone. Nonetheless, I must fight for the right of that person to be free to speak his/her mind the way he/she wants to.

To me, that is fundamental to all freedom we enjoy nowadays. Our grandfathers across the world, in the west or east, in all ages, fought for us to be free to speak our minds. In recent years, it feels to me that many people don't fully grasp the magnitude of this, and is not prepared to hold ground and protect what was achieved, in many cases at the cost of human blood. It almost looks like a complete disregard and ingratitude to an invaluable gift we received.

I find it dangerous when someone considers having a right to judge whether some form of pacific speech can be 'accepted' or not, can be 'prohibited' or not. Just by considering this possibility reveals that I do not fully understand this fundamental freedom and my role in protecting it as a member of the human family.

Some might find all this too much for too little, but I do consider this something capital for our lives and for future generations.

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stereobooster profile image
stereobooster Author

Let's add some clarity:

  1. Any kind of censorship is dangerous, and I'm against it
  2. I didn't propose to censor but asked the opinion of people if this is morally acceptable or not

Now let's talk. Which definition of freedom do you use? I would use human rights.

Article 29

  1. Everyone has duties to the community...
  2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

Using clickbait titles can be interpreted as manipulative action - the author exploits the emotions of the reader to draw their attention, which can be considered immoral, which can be unacceptable in society.

This is, as you fairly noticed, is a slippery way, because the definition of "just requirements of morality" can vary, but doesn't contradict freedom as is.

In fact, in some societies there are traditions about morally acceptable approaches for writing - scientific society doesn't appreciate clickbaity and speculative titles. On the other hand, any kind of limitation is in acceptable for an art society. So the question can be interpreted if dev.to is more about science and precision or about creativity and self-expressiveness (for example).

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byrro profile image
Renato Byrro

Clarifications noted.

Look, I'm not criticizing your post, I think it's a fair and nice discussion. You asked for feedback and I shared mine. I don't mean to make you mad at this, just wanted to contribute with what I think is relevant. How valuable is this feedback is up to you...

You asked for how people approach blog titles. That's my approach: freedom of speech. I do not recognize anyone as entitled to claim moral superiority for limiting other people's freedom to speak their minds.

I consider dangerous vesting an external authority with such power and superiority. Just remember about Galileo or Giordano Bruno, for example. They were considered to be immoral by the highest authorities of their time, just by saying the Earth was not flat and it revolved around the Sun.

To me, freedom of speech must be inalienable. One can name any institutional or authority notion of morality; I, as an individual, will not recognize any entitlement for them to judge what people can or cannot speak, provided that it's not physical violence promotion, as I noted in previous comments.