Site Contents © 2013 Monsterwax
© 2013 Monsterwax
ChickComics closed for April Fools
Yes, it was a joke, but a very serious one!
Visitors to ChickComics.com recieved a surprising notice when they visited our site March 31st. It was a page with the following announcement from the SPLC, saying the site was blocked until further notice.
The Jack Chick Museum of Fine Art facebook page started getting feedback from fans fast:
RM: I tried to look at it on my iPhone, but got a message saying it had been blocked by the SPLC.
RM: This is the message:
This website has been blocked per article §5972-10301 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, which protects any class of people from being attacked or maligned for their beliefs, practices, or immutable characteristics. The ICCPR is authorized to prohibit websites hosted within member countries that advocate national, racial, or religious hatred, and are deemed to constitute incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence. This page was inspected on 3-30-2013 at 2:44 PM EST and found in Internet noncompliance due to code violations of subsection 22c (religious intolerance towards Muslims and the Islamic faith) and subsection 69g (sexual denigration of same-sex oriented and transgendered persons.) Please report any other sites you encounter that encourage intolerance towards other groups or their behaviors to the following link for review.
Remember, no one should be afraid of the Internet. Be diligent and patrol it to protect freedom for everyone.
TC: same on ipad and a laptop. Strange thing is, it refers to yesterday's date.
TC: musta been a doozy of an update.
KK: It's gotta be a hack. Here's the screenshot:
[That was when we set the hook, haw-haw!]
Jack Chick Tract Museum: The site looked good this morning. I think Kurt already did the updates by then. Maybe there was a delay between when the site was reviewed and when this message was posted. I'm trying to get through to Kurt to see what's going on...
Jack Chick Tract Museum: What the heck? I just got off the phone with tech support (an Indian!) and they're saying the site is "temporarily suspended" due to being on a list of HATE sites that some legal group compiles. I told him that was TOTAL BS, we're a humor site, (mainly), but he said only the US offices know the details, and I'll have to wait until 8AM Pacific time to speak with them. Chick Publications is still up and running, and they're located IN California (the state where the server is located). He did mention a lot of other sites have been affected though, and we may have been caught up in net by accident. I'll find out soon enough (I hope). What a crock!
[The following morning (April 1st) it was time to start reeling 'em in!]
Jack Chick Tract Museum: ChickComics.com is down, blocked sometime during the weekend. After several hours of calling long distance to California, I finally got through and found out we're "suspended" (not officially banned or prohibited) because some outfit called the SPLC threatened to sue the server if they hosted a list of what the SPLC labeled "hate sites." I explained to these nit-wits that we're a humor site and not a hate site, but they said "mocking" minorities like gays and Muslims was considered "maligning and denigrating" them. I pointed out we mock all sides, including the Fundamentalists, but they said they didn't compile the list, the SPLC did and they're just trying to avoid the expense of lawsuits. Then the guy on the phone actually suggested I look into hosting the site in the Netherlands or someplace beyond the reach of our courts. (Go USA!) Anyway, the good news is they said we'll be up for review and they may reverse the action, especially if I remove all humorous and critical statements about homosexuality and Islam from the site, but that would be rewarding the jerks who got us in this mess to begin with. (Besides, isn't there supposed to be free speech on the net?) Shhheshh. And this had to happen during tax time. Anyway, they're telling me to talk to the SPLC and see if they will rescind their request to block us, but their line is always busy (so far)-- probably the other webmasters caught up in the same mess. At least they haven't gone after the facebook page or Chick Publications' website (yet)! More later...
GJ: Those Evil people will share there part in Hell where the fire never goes out. Chick is the best thing that ever happened to the world.. we in Canada all stand for you chick in Jesus Name. I put the Blood of Jesus over you all and all you do.
TC: So you're claiming not to know what the Southern Poverty Law Center even is?
Jack Chick Tract Museum: They do lawsuits against people and groups that offend minorities and such, but this isn't against us directly. It's against the server. I don't think they carefully read our site, I think they just glanced at it and added us to The List. Anyway, I have to get back on the phone and try to get through to them. (What a waste of time I should be spending on taxes.) I just emailed them, too, so hopefully I'll get though soon.
RR: The Southern Poverty Law Center isn't interested in free speech, just in advancing the totalitarian sodomite agenda that suppresses and eliminates any vestige of dissenting opinion.
RFL: The SPLC is anti-evangelical, anti-Republican, anti-conservative, and brands groups as "hate" organizations if those groups disagree with them. Coming next on the SPLC's list will be the National Association of Evangelicals, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Assemblies of God.
[Later that evening...]
Jack Chick Museum: ChickComics.com may get back on line soon! (maybe.) The Folks at SPLC seemed surprisingly nice on the phone after a somewhat standoffish start. They were very suspicious at first, but when I explained we were a collector site and not actually part of Chick Publications they seemed to soften up a bit. They said it is not unheard of for some sites to get mistakenly miss-categorized as hate sites because they rely on the public to report offending sites, and someone reported us to them as an anti-gay, anti-Muslim site. (I'm surprised it wasn't the Catholics, haw-haw! (Then again, maybe it was-- CLEVER!)) She said they would put us on the fast track for review and we may get un-suspended within the week (but no promises). She also wanted a typed statement about exactly who we are and what the purpose of our site is, so I'm working on that (instead of taxes). So keep your fingers crossed...
Jack Chick Tract Museum: BTW, she mentioned they had gotten a few angry calls from our supporters, and while we appreciate people sticking up for us (despite it blocked me from getting through on the phone to them earlier), I ask that people not flood them with angry calls or emails at this time. It might make us seem like a REAL hate-site. We're basically at their mercy. I can't afford any lawyers so they're holding all the cards right now.
[And now the scary part... explaining how the PC police really do successfully censor sites... ]
Jack Chick Museum: Latest legal update: I spoke to a (volunteer) lawyer and it turns out they can cut off your web's server at any time for just about any reason. You agree to a contract (by pressing "I agree") when you first sign up, saying you'll abide by this and that rules, and it's completely up to them how to interpret those rules when it comes to speech. So what I call snarky humor, they can call hate speech and a breach of contract. And it can basically be anything, whether out of context or not. Fortunately, I think most people can tell we're just being funny, but if they think their viewpoint is being lampooned, they might keep us off anyway, just because they can. They pressure the host companies to comply with "the spirit of the UN law" which may or may not have legal teeth in the USA, but they cave anyway because they don't want to be labeled as a business that "helps haters." Fortunately, it seems Chick Publications has their own server, so they can't be shut down like ChickComics.com can (at least, not using the same legal method). Maybe we'll laugh about it later when (and if) it gets straightened out, but right now it's a major headache, and seems like something out of Franz Kafka!
[Things got kinda quiet after that, as posters started worrying if they might be put on lists for visiting hate sites, or supporting the free speech of anyone labeled "haters." (They started sending private messages instead of posting on-line.) Internet bullying works! (Even when it's an April Fools joke.) Finally, April 2nd arrived, and it was time to spill the beans...]
Jack Chick Museum: Good news to friends of ChickComics.com-- the site will soon be back up and running. The SPLC has agreed to let us resume operations under the following conditions. 1.) No more jokes or jabs at people who are members of disadvantaged classes. 2.) No more references or Biblical citations that evoke anger or prejudice towards people or behaviors that have been historically condemned. 3.) No more claims that any particular religion or religious practice is the only pathway to heaven, or that other religions or practices will lead to damnation. (We will still be permitted to show Chick tract panels, but any offending language will need to be blacked out.) And lastly, (4.) that I personally agree to take and pass a ten hour on-line sensitivity training course. (Oh joy.) This is going to require a lot of revamping of the site and I wish there were other options, but after my earlier discussions with the lawyer, it doesn't sound like we have much choice. And given the political realities of today, we would probably lose even if we had the finances (which I don't) to mount a vigorous defense. Plus it would take months, perhaps years, while the site would be closed. Fortunately, the SPLC has offered to let us reopen NOW if we agree to these terms, and they will phase-in the changes as their proofers go through each page. In a way, I guess we're lucky compared to the other guys who are royally screwed and have no recourse whatsoever. So please be tolerant of our self-censorship, as it is a necessary evil. Believe me, I don't like "caving in," but it's better to bend a little and survive than to fight and lose everything. And who knows, maybe one day the winds of political correctness will change and we'll be able to get "edgy" again. Until then, we appreciate your support.
Jack Chick Tract Museum: Oh, and one other condition, and this one seemed very important to them. They insisted that I promise to wish everyone a very happy April fools day. So please take that under advisement. Haw-haw-haw!
Jack Chick Tract Museum: In keeping with this all-to-plausible nightmare scenario of Orwellian thought control, today's featured on-line tract is THE LAST GENERATION.
GJ: Praise The Lord. God still rules!
[Yes, God still rules... and so does the first amendment (for now). But although this was all intended as a harmless April fools prank, let us not forget one of the goals of the Chick Tract Club is to protect free speech, especially in comics. As America becomes more partisan and divided, we are under a growing threat to censor opposition voices, especially on the internet, usually by people and organizations that profess to do it for good intentions. We should always remember that our ancestors had to literally KILL to earn those rights, and all we have to do to lose them is... nothing. Nothing at all.
So don't sit back when groups advocate for censorship, no matter how unpopular their targets are. (It might start with the Westboro Baptist Church, but it can end with books and literature we like but activists deem "offensive.") PUSH BACK and make the PC police respect the free market place of ideas. Don't let others tear up our Bill of Rights because they are too lazy to turn the page or change the channel when they see or hear something they don't like. Remember, the Constitution is just a piece of paper unless we protect it and enforce it. And that's no joke. ]
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