Friday, November 1, 2013

When your arguments just can't hack it

What do you do when your arguments just can't hack it? You hack the opposition's website.

Last week, all Students for Life of America websites were hacked, causing a denial of service. Earlier this week, our intern attempted to access critical data on and likewise found herself in a sea of 404 not found errors.

In both instances, the websites were restored in a matter of days. It's no big deal in the grand scheme of things. No one brief incident of ideological hacking is terribly newsworthy, even in the pro-life blogosphere.

But at a certain point, I have to wonder: who thinks this is a good way to convince people? "Oh wow, somebody brought the Students for Life website down. I guess humans aren't real people until they pass through the birth canal! Thanks, pro-abortion computer genius!"

Whatever the controversy, a good rule of thumb is that the side which seeks to censor information is the wrong side. Censorship is a sign that you can't convince people through legitimate channels. It is a sign that your position cannot survive the impact of opposing arguments. And it is a sign that the person doing the censoring is irrationally committed to a position that, on some subconscious level, he or she knows to be weak. Otherwise, why censor?

Thankfully, in an information-rich, interconnected, digital society, traditional censorship rarely wins out. The greater danger is self-censorship. Pro-lifers must never be afraid to speak up. The facts are on our side.


ThePaganProLifer said...

No word cause this article is awesome!

Matt Dillahunty said...

Do you have some evidence to support your allegations?

The irony of claiming the facts are on your side is pretty thick.

Kelsey said...

I realize that you distrust pro-life groups, but knowing SFLA staff personally, I seriously doubt that they would bring down their own page and pretend they were hacked. So accepting that, I think we can infer an ideological motive for the hacking based on the content of the websites. These are not ecommerce sites or banking sites. If somebody hacks a pro-life t-shirt store, I could maybe envision that being a purely financial motive, somebody trying to get at credit card numbers. But these are just sites with education and activism tips. What other motives are likely?
And yeah, you and your "it's a clump of cells" buddies can keep thinking you have the facts. Please.

frankbellamy said...

Matt, I'm reminded of an incident a couple of years ago where there was a denial of service attack on the SSA's website. Instead of questioning our integrity, a catholic blogger called on her readers to donate to SSA to cover the cost of dealing with that. I also know an SFLA staff member, and I share Kelsey's opinion that they would not bring down their own page and lie about it. And I say this as an atheist who spent this past summer working on the pro-choice side.

Alden Smith said...

Thats kind of sad, that people have to resort to those kind of tactics. In 1973 pro choice arguments worked. But forty years later thanks to advance in medical technology and science more and more people realize that there is no good logical or scientific reason to support abortion.

Alden Smith said...

Frank I really sorry that happen to you guys. Despite our disagreements on religion. No one should never resort to such childish tactics.

LevelUpPlease said...

The argument boils down to whether or not a person's right to live trumps another person's right to bodily autonomy.

Everything else, on both sides, is razzle dazzle. Distractions and emotional appeals.

M said...

"It is a sign that your position cannot survive the impact of opposing arguments."

True story. A shame that these sad little people just cannot deal with it, and instead resort to such lame (and futile) tactics.

Chaoticblu said...

Behavior like this really shows which side is more peaceful. Don't get me wrong I know this individual does not represent the entire pro choice group or mindset however it does seem to support that many pro choice people do want to censure (such as refusing to call a fetus a baby or call them "just cells" ) or distort pro life views and the pro life movement. I rarely see pro life information that seems extreme, heck I've read pro life articles explaining why some assumptions about pro choice people (such as them hating children) are inaccurate. Pro life people just seem to be more open to admitting when they wrong and to fighting abortion with information and truth rather than sabotage.

Chaoticblu said...

This isn't the first story I've heard about vandalism either. There was one where a bunch of crosses (I believe they were crosses)representing babies lost to abortion were ran over. Don't know if it was by an individual or pro choice group but the message is the same. If your pro life prepare to get harassed. And also that even if you respect others and don't harm them and just peacefully protest abortion and peacefully recognize the lives lost to it, it doesn't mean they won't harm you. Just got to keep being peaceful and eventually those that are not will have their true colors shown. And hopefully that will lead to them not being trusted and their views called into question.