Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Blog Censorship in Moderation!

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Commenatary "Moderation" Isn't A Key It's A Lock!


Having skittered about the USENET for well over a decade I have noticed how the "nanny factor" has helped to kill the free flow of ideas on some of the more controversial USENET groups.

Some USENET groups seeking to squelch a few troublemakers adopted "moderation" as a means of preapproving each USENET post to their USENET Group. These "Moderated" groups felt they had the need to censor each post for a variety of reasons - usually to prevent trolling, spam, and other forms of abuse.

One side effect of this method of censorship is the effect it has on legitimate posters to those groups. Most participants end up leaving (stop reading, and posting) the moderated group, and end up participating in unmoderated groups featuring the same topic.

Most USENET folk simply don't like censorship!

Comparing moderated with unmoderated groups of the same topic indicates that there simply is no comparison. The number of exchanges on moderated groups is practically non-existent, and the nature of the exchanges is unlively, and less controversial - in a word - BORING!

Grown ups like the free flow of thought available in unmoderated (uncensored) settings. Grownups resent the implication that a moderator sits back, and decides if his, or her thoughts are acceptible for publication to a online service.

Of course some USENET groups which are corporate sponsored groups use moderation to restrict discussion to just those narrow topics to which those groups are dedicated - and to help restrict spam, and obscene postings!

Moderation is however rare on USENET, and the vast majority of USENET groups, numbering into the tens of thousands are not moderated. Moderation simply isn't needed, and again is counterproductive to the free flow of ideas.


"Moderation" Is Censorship in the Blogosphere!

Now we have begun to see Blogs which are using "commentary moderation" to squelch out free discussion on their blogs!

I'm not sure why a blogger would feel that moderation is a useful feature unless their blog was the target of a significant amount of abuse?

It just doesn't make sense to me - especially when Google-Blogger allows the blog poster to simply delete comments if they are offensive.

I have been running this blog for six months now, and have only deleted one comment which came from an anonymous commentary-poster. I left a message on that post inviting the poster of that comment to repost another comment less abusive. I was inviting that poster to be more detailed in exactly why they took offense to my post instead of simply leaving an abusive comment.

I extended an invitation to further dialog - not to squelch it by pretending the comment never existed which "commentary moderation" does.

Commentary Moderation is different - it doesn't even allow the "offensive" commentary post to appear on the blog to begin with! In this way the only voices ever heard on a moderated blog are those voices which the blogger agrees with enough to allow on their blog. There simply is no other way to describe this, but outright censorship!

Meanwhile the blog reader is expected to trust the blog poster to be honorable enough to allow free debate, at the very same time they are expected to somehow accept the blog poster's inherrent advocacy of censorship.

Comment Moderation is a form of censorship which is so dishonest that it doesn't even leave any tracks of its very existence! It is perhaps the most insidious assault to the nature of the free flow of ideas on the blogosphere thus introduced, and is intellectually dishonest in its very nature.

In a moderated blog the blog poster is using the heavy handed method of censoring each and every commentary post even before a reader has any chance to read it. Therefore readers can't even determine if legitimate commentary is being deleted just because the blog poster doesn't agree with the commentary.

In a moderated blog we the reader have no way of verifying if the blogger is a complete fraud when they claim to value free discussion, or when they claim some legitimacy in their political advocacy of liberalism, and a free press.

The blog poster which utilizes comment moderation also eludes all responsibility for what they post, and therefore greatly diminish the value of what they post. There is no avenue of open protest, or fact checking on a blog which utilizes commentary moderation, and therefore the legitimacy of postings on such blogs comes into question - as well as the motivation of its author.

A blogger using comment moderation can never be caught off guard, and can never be exposed on their own blog for being wrong, or for being an outright fraud!

Commentary Moderation is indicative of the level of trust which the mass public has been forced to provide to mainstream media, but now we see this same ugly relationship rising up in the blogosphere.

Certainly the oddest creature of all is the so called "Liberal" blogger who employs the heavy hand of commentary "moderation", which by its very nature is intellectual facism!

Liberals profess to tolerate differing ideas, and often complain that media consolidation has eliminated free speech, and open intellectual discourse within society. Yet what is one to believe of a so called liberal who then employs the tool of the facist - censorship?

Here at JeromeProphet I vow under ordinary circumstances to never impliment Google-Blogger's commentary moderation feature because it is just too heavy handed - constituting de facto censorship. I'd only use it in extreme conditions, and I'd post why I was using it.

I also pledge as a form of protest to never post a comment to a moderated blog. And so it goes! Censorship, no matter from which side it originates, is a hell of an ugly thing, and needs to be shown for what it is - intellectual violence!

1 comment:

Marie said...

Excellent, thought provoking essay.

Personally, I believe comments that are abusive or vile or racist serve a purpose, even if they do make me sick.

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