Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Censorship In The Blogosphere," by the Liberal Journal Blog

"Censorship In The Blogosphere,"
by the Liberal Journal Blog

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I am fucking disgusted at these scumbags calling themselves liberals who choose to limit speech on their sites. What is liberal about deciding what speech is right or wrong? What is liberal about saying that an idea or theory has already been “debunked”? What if new information comes out?

What’s worse is that I have yet to see hate speech be the subject of a banning or deletion. In other words, these are ideas. Ideas which may be repeated elsewhere. Ideas which you may not agree with (at the moment). But ideas. You bring shame to the word liberal.

I reached the tipping point today after Crooks & Liars posted a ridiculous post, which claimed that the NAFTA highway was a total myth, but acknowledged that a similar highway was in fact being built to help facilitate trade between the three countries.

Several comments pointed this out—and guess what—several comments were deleted.

If you quote Lou Dobbs, no ifs ands or buts, you are deleted. (See Comment 2) If you mention the North American Union, no ifs and or buts, you are deleted (See Comment 10) If you mention the Amero, you are deleted. (See Comment 36) They said it is debunked, no debate, of course. One comment was deleted for being “a conspiracy theory…lots of words” (See Comment 62) Etc., Etc.

My second comment noting their deletion was also deleted, except they completely deleted that one…no record of it still exists. My third one was also deleted as off topic.

My fourth…well, No New Comments were allowed.

Apparently, I have to be on topic, not quote Lou Dobbs or anyone to the right of him, and also agree with C & L’s position on the subject to be allowed to post.

You stupid, self-righteous pieces of shit. So sure of yourselves that even the “sitemonitor” tells a deleted commenter, if "you don’t like it, leave." Well, I have Mussolini.

In another corner of the blogosphere, Francis L. Holland was banned from My Left Wing. This is what the Decider there had to say:
I have banned Francis L. Holland. Despite his persistent attempts to paint this as my caving to pressure from various nefarious sources, I have banned him of my own accord because I am sick to fucking death of him and his bullshit -- period.

Anyone who has a problem with this, thinks my action hypocritical or contrary in any way to my previously stated principles, is free to say so, of course, and argue till the proverbial bovines return to their domicile -- but it will not change my mind.

In an earlier threat, she stated to Mr. Holland,

"If you continue to post lies...

I will ban you. Maryscott O'Connor, Owner, MyLeftWing.
And yes, this includes "ambiguous" statements that you know damned well will be interpreted one way when they are not accurate."

What could have possibly prompted this reaction? Mr. Holland’s final straw post can be found here.

I could not find a lie in it. No one in the comments that followed could find one, either. Although many came rushing to the defense of the site’s proprietor whom Mr. Holland only suggested was lying about her motives.

The wider topic Holland was writing about was Daily Kos, where he had been banned previously, for a posting which I thought was completely harmless. The rancor toward Holland appears to be some kind of rampant Groupthink mentality which has taken over the supposed “liberal blogosphere,” where supporters rally around the Blog Administrator (i.e. the Decider), and run the odd voice out out.

The Daily Kos has banned many diarists for a variety of reasons including questioning the official account of 9/11. Ironically, MLW even posted about DKos’ banning of two pro-Palestinian rights advocates.

This is madness. If you have a community blog and reserve the right to delete posts, please state clearly near the top of your page and in large font, that you believe that unfettered free speech doesn’t apply on your site; that you will arbitrarily decide the worth and value of a comment or posting; and that you will call yourself the Deciders. Give full disclosure of your aims, but don’t be a hypocrite.

There are few rights as essential and defining of the rights of man as the right to speak freely. Corporations are limiting our rights. Government is limiting our rights. Now some of the most well-known “liberal” blogs are limiting our rights.

I vow to never use Kos ever again or My Left Wing ever. Crooks and Liars, I am declaring ideological war on you, too. And I will never, ever delete a post or comment on my blog.

At worst, this makes me an radical first amendment defender who will defend even offensive speech. At best, this means that I believe in the principles that this nation was founded upon, and even more fundamentally, that I accept that I don’t know everything. I will wear that badge proudly.

I will leave with a quote from Noam Chomsky: "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."

* * * * * *

Editor's Note: Regular viewers of my blogs know that I don't like curse words, but they also know that comments are open to the public and I do not censor what commentors say. In such a fundamental post on the right to free speech, I am not about to make an exception now to this longstanding rule.

I deeply appreciate the sentiment that Liberal Journal has expressed and the solidarity shown in the face of rampant attempts to curtail the rights that are guaranteed to us by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

I am cross-posting this at "Where's My Left Wing?" and at The Truth About Kos.


Anonymous said...

I have found the same with crooksandliars. They have censored my comments when I point out errors to them.

Anonymous said...

This is SO true. The community members spent more time griping about how many commas I put in my posts, then badgered me for "not posting" (my posts were being deleted) and then, a few hours later, I was banned altogether.

Apparently, I sinned by pointing out a article that talked about Warren Buffet getting rich off re-insuring/AIG.

My 2nd and last post was called, "Stupid is as stupid does: Obama’s biggest stumbling block"

And in it, I praise Obama's strengths but wondered if some of his supporters would be his biggest stumbling block and then provided support statments.

I guess you aren't allowed to question the Kos gods. But, you're right, I wouldn't have wasted my time there if they had said upfront that they're censors.

Anonymous said...

fuck the daily kos in the huffington post u no makos and iriana were republicans need i say more

Francis Holland said...

No, I think you've said it very plainly and simply, Boissacha. The problem is that, like pubic lice, just acknowledging that they are problematic will not make them go away or stop them from multiplying and overtaking the Democratic Party and our political system.

Plenty of my friends say that there is no hope for the USA's political system and it's not worth trying to intervene in its machinations. But, I have to think that if it's worth the Republicans and the CIA infiltrating the Democratic Party, then there must be something, however small, that is valuable there that they want.

Perhaps they simply want to make sure that no matter where we look we see the same billboards with the same advertisements phrased in minutely different ways. It's 1984.

I guess some of us are trying to run into the room and break the television that everyone is watching, like what happened in that arguably thinly veiled Obama & Co. ad against Hillary Clinton last year.