THE SOFT CENSORSHIP OF WEBSITE ORTHODOXY

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.

Advertisements

4 comments

  1. I didn’t know it was possible to delete one’s comments from someone’s blog. How is that done? (I’ll see if I can find something online).

    I’m on my phone & my initial comment here was lost moments ago when my phone lost the signal. I’ll try to leave it again later.

  2. not from a personal blog.
    from these particular news sites. mojo. truthdig
    i assume you still can. i dont go to those two sites anymore.

  3. Origin · · Reply

    I have experienced that as well on another site. Sites with many like-minded posters tend to gang up on dissenters. The mods generally allow this but the individuals targetted by the mob replies are scrutinized much more strictly by the mods. If you aren’t on your absolute best behavior when fending off the many attacks (and sometimes even if you are) you may be accused of being the problem and banned.

    I have come to see the mainstream left (the part that loves Hillary Clinton) as anti free speech. They accomplish this through outrage culture and runaway political correctness. For example I love Serena Williams, while John McEnroe was before my time, but saying that the higher ranked male players would beat her (after being specifically asked by a female interviewer) is not offensive in any sane universe. It’s an opinion that anyone is free to disagree with or debate but it’s not an offense for which an apology is needed.

    How this plays out on forums of that political persuasion is that if anyone takes offense you’re wrong even if what you said wasn’t inherently offensive. So people readily and deliberately get agitated by those they disagree with in order to paint them as trolls. Then the mods can say you’re banned for being a troll rather than for your opinion. Why this sleight of hand? It’s important to them to seem fair and tolerant.

  4. Interesting observation. . I have beened banned from numerious sites both on the left and right even when I was respectful.

    Well argued dissent is viewd as a threat and deleted.

    Sites where this doesnt happen are those that specialize in debating opposing ideologies, economics or philosophies.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: