Saturday, January 30, 2010

Is blocking comments, deleting comments, or deleting peoples blogs appropriate?

The following blog post was deleted by the admins of "Think Atheist".  They felt that it openly questioned the policy of the site admins, and for me as a relatively new participant, I was in no position to pose such concerns outside of direct, private communication with them.  So, I left Think Atheist.  His exact words were "Think Atheist is not a government,  even though we will allow most posting, any drama within the site WILL NOT be tolerated. "  I didn't see anything in their site guidelines about "no drama" and I'm not exactly sure what "drama" is in this context, to be honest.  If its drama you are looking to avoid, welcoming Christians and Atheists to hang out in the same place is probably not the best idea!

Here is the blog post.  My first blog post that started this is gone..didnt save it. It had to do with a specific member that was blocking comments.  You can post comments here or at Atheist Nexus if you like!

"I recently had one of my blog posts deleted by the admin. This caused me to want to ask some questions about deleting people's posts and comments, or blocking comments all together on any public discussion or post.

On these sites, it is possible to close off comments on posts we make, and we can delete comments in discussions we start. To me, this directly is opposed to freedom of speech. If I post some dumb statement like "God is real and you all are dummies" and close comments, I have eliminated the opportunity for people to debate my statement, and effectively muzzled them.

If, further, I post something, block comments, and add a link to my personal site on which comments can be posted, I am also muzzling comments because I am changing the context AFTER the statement has been made, which effectively alters the debate.

Point is, I think it should be policy in spite of the technical functionality to make it against the rules to close a discussion or delete comments unless the comments fall under specific categories such as spam, or are libellous, or totally off topic with no justifiable connection (and even then, deletion of a person's comment should be taken as a grave responsibility).

When you delete a persons comment or block them from commenting in the first place, you are hurting them and their chosen legacy. It just seems wrong to me."

I would further argue that by deleting blogs, comments, or posts, you are violating the freedom of speech of an individual and their own content.  Of course many of these sites are private etc, but people join them under the pretense that their comments will not be deleted unless they violate the site's rules.  If an OP deletes comments because they want to, or blocks comments altogether, well, are comments a right or a privilege?  What should they be in a free, civilized society?  Should anyone be able to make any statement or "report" and be able to silence dissent in the context of the statement?


OpenID onefuriousllama said...

Alright, I understand the fury now. I thought it was a bit over the top for a simple approval, but OK, I take your point.

Having said that, I just recently (about two hours ago) left Think Atheist for pretty much the same reason. I posted the same post as I did on Atheist Nexus on Think Atheist. I then got a snotty comment that it's against the rules to post just a teaser and then a link to my blog for the whole story.

Why the hell this is the case, I do not know, nor do I care. I am reasonably certain it would have been OK to post a link to an article by PZ Myers, so why not to my own? I don't need shit like that for no obvious reason. Spam? What spam? It's an article on atheism, by an atheist, on an atheist group site. Fuck them.

I have dropped my account and will not be going back.


February 7, 2010 12:46 PM  

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