Self Censoring

I’ve been out of the loop for a while, with the demands of school and a long scheduled vacation with the in-laws. Posting and reading have, consequently, been sporadic and uneven. While "off the grid", two local bloggers demanded and received their excision from The Lowcountry BlogRoll so lovingly nurtured by Dan, Janet, Heather, and charleston.net. Although the reasons for their removal are different, both reflect a perspective that I find slightly troubling. (As a note, I and they have, occasionally, crossed swords from across the philosophical divide; I do not doubt their sincerity, passion, and commitment to their ideals).

In once case, the blogger apparently objected to the way that the local blogroll framed their post. In another, the blogger did not approve of the comment policy of charleston.net wherein an unmoderated comment that used offensive language was permitted.

One says that she will not allow her site to be affiliated with an entity that allows the use of offensive words. Should her site be banned if a moderator disagrees with the use of offensive language by the poster or a commenter? Should access to the blogosphere be restricted for users of a compendium of offensive words or beliefs?

The other says that he prefers not to be listed in the blogroll because of an inferred framing of his words. In other words (pun intended), he is upset that his opinion forms an opinion in a reader’s mind? Wasn’t that his purpose?

From my perspective, the bloggers just practiced a form of self-censorship. I think they are wrong to have done so.

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One thought on “Self Censoring

  1. JanetLee

    Actually, I did not want to be associated with a newspaper which was doing nothing to attempt to keep debate above rabidly racist and hate filled comments. It wasn’t so much the comments, but the refusal to hold people to a standard of behavior.

    As you said, you and I do not see eye to eye on many subjects. If you left a comment on my blog stating your viewpoint, I would (and have) let it stand. If you left a comment filled with the “N” word or “F” word or advocating just killing those who are different, I would delete your comment.

    I realize that my decision is puzzling to many, but I only have to look myself in the mirror. And I know what I am comfortable with and when I must make a stand, even if it only impacts me.

    As I have said, if I had received any sort of positive response from the Post and Courier, I would have allowed more time. But the impression I got was that there would be nothing done to stop people from posting pure hatred.

    It isn’t, for me, about censorship of any kind. It’s about being true to your beliefs. And one of my beliefs is civil discourse.

    That’s all.

    Reply

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