Was I commenting at Abagond’s blog in 2014, as he asserts? Let me think. What was I doing in 2014? What was I writing about? Where was I actually commenting?
I can write about my personal life very well. I’ve always known that. I kept a diary long before I ever ventured upon the Internet. I can pull together diverse incidents into a coherent narrative that usually has a point. I want to try and do that for sociopolitical issues as well. There, I have defined my range of topics with a highfalutin word. It simply means the world outside my personal bubble.
Well, it’s kind of adjacent to it, as I try to steer this narrative towards my recent experiences in the blogosphere. I have recently become aware of a pattern there. I had what might be called an epiphany as I had some of my comments censored at a couple of major alternative news sites, Mother Jones and Truthdig. The incidents were so similar and simultaneous that they threw into relief a certain pattern of interaction that, in retrospect, is endemic to the alternative media and the blogosphere. A kind of soft censorship, accomplished by invidious moderation. I made my typically unvarnished remarks about the perniciousness of the Obama administration. Naturally there were those at these liberal websites that objected to my POV, which I have no problem with. I can back up what I say with ample evidence. But in each case my nemeses resorted to ad hominem, calling me a fool or some other derogatory term. Fine. I assumed, since the original offense had not been censored, that I was free to respond in kind. In both cases my relatively mild retorts were censored; yet the original offending comment was allowed to remain. That’s the way it works. The orthodox community (in terms of the range of opinions and ideology) that inhabits a given website is allowed, by the moderators, to use ad hominem to attack a visitor with an opposing POV, but the visitor is not allowed to respond to the attack. It creates a hostile environment for the dissenting opinion. You are called names but you are not allowed to respond in kind. I finally gave up that idea. I had to. The moderators deleted anything I said that they deemed remotely offensive. The only thing I felt would be acceptable in response to the ad hominem attacks was something along the lines of “I respectfully disagree with that remark”. I eventually decided that was not fair and deleted all of my comments on those threads. I never returned to the MoJo thread, but Truthdig promptly reinstated my comments under the name “Guess”, so that I could not erase them.
Creating a biased hostile environment for persons holding dissenting opinions. That is exactly what I have experienced at almost every website I have participated in, notably WEARERESPECTABLENEGROES [now Indomitable]. The pattern becomes clear. The soft censorship of website orthodoxy.
Now I can add Abagond to that list.