Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Thoughts about CENSORSHIP


Every chat-board I’ve ever joined and then chose to stay has been moderated.


The few I glimpsed that had no moderation took five minutes to degenerate into rage, hateful posts, and virtual violence, which was no place I’d voluntarily hang out.


Thus, I confronted the matter of free speech and censorship with a personal preference, while intellectually grasping how problematic it is.


Let’s be blunt: moderated = censored. Censorship means that disinformation and gratuitous violence is kept out, but vital facts and alternative ways of seeing things can also be kicked to the annals of the Interwebs.


I know of no way to settle this that doesn’t harm us in some way. 😬


Personally, I’m congenitally moderate. I have a tendency to see two sides of most coins. Thus, I also prefer to keep extremists out of my periphery. Thus, I also live with the contradiction of approving censoring speech while knowing there’s harm in it.


I don’t know how you approach this matter, especially because of late  both extremism and censorship have increased to levels that are blatantly detectable.  I constantly worry if I’m getting a true set of facts to evaluate life choices.


So this is where I sit at the moment: I do not want to hang out where there’s no moderation. But I think there should be corners of the public sphere that are wholly free. I just won’t visit them often. I also think that every public space should state that it is or isn’t moderated.

{Full disclosure: I moderate comments on this (my) blog. To date, I've only censored spam. Trust me you didn't miss much except for links to useless merchandise and a few death threats 👀} 


There is no organized party for the likes of us, but if I were the organizer sort I’d be making signs that say: 


(No exclamation, because— duh— we’re moderates 😉)


ikmar said...

I have to say I disagree. Moderation is (or should be) about civil discourse and topic applicability. Censorship (as generally accepted) is the restriction of ideas. There may be some overlap. But deleting a conversation about Kermit the Frog's exact shade of green on a forum devoted to downhill skiing isn't censorship -- unless you are using the broadest definition.

Vijaya said...

Having been a moderator for years on the BB, I'm reminded of how I approached it. Verla started it, so it's her house, her rules, and most of them were about having common courtesy. Quite different from censorship, though it can cross into that territory.

Alas, having a book banned by a major distributor or a conversation deleted on a public place like FB is giving them far too much power. And this much power corrupts.

But we were born for a time such as this. It fills me both with joy and trepidation. Will we make the right choices? Stand firm for what is good and true? I pray to God I do.

Kelly Hashway said...

Like you, I like to see both sides of the coin. I tend to fall somewhere in the middle on most things because of that.

Evelyn said...

I, too, tend to be moderate and can see both sides of the issue. I do tend to agree with what ikmar said.

MirkaK said...

Ditto. In some discussions, I am asked which side I am on. That turns into a non-starter for me because I try to see both sides rather than be adamant about one or the other. There are some things I feel strongly about, yet I try to understand how others feel. Sometimes I just can’t, but I know everyone has a right to a different opinion. Censorship is a sticky issue. It deeply troubles me that people are allowed to spread vicious hate propaganda.