I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cyberbullying and arbitrary censorship of comments

When I posted the article on cyberbullying, I did not realize that cyberbullying and arbitrary censorship of comments are both symptoms of the same sick Internet culture that tolerates and even approves preventing and/or discouraging people from expressing their ideas on the Internet. I am talking about extreme cyberbullying, e.g., credible death threats as opposed to mere zealous advocacy or just letting off some steam. And by "arbitrary" censorship of comments, I mean censorship of comments solely because a blogger or other website manager disagrees with them. This general approval or tolerance of arbitrary censorship of comments even extends to the authoritative citation -- e.g., by court opinions and scholarly journals -- of blogs whose bloggers arbitrarily censor comments. The irony of all this is that the Internet had the potential to be a gargantuan leap in our ability to disseminate and debate information and ideas.

Cyberbullying can take subtle forms, e.g., when bloggers look the other way when their self-appointed goons taunt dissident commenters and then pounce on dissident commenters who dare to retaliate.

The New York Times article on cyberbullying quoted the following astute observation:

"Any community that does not make it clear what they are doing, why they are doing it, and who is welcome to join the conversation is at risk of finding it difficult to help guide the conversation later,” said Lisa Stone . . ."

Once you have played the part of a fox, cooperated with foxes, or even just ignored foxes, it is difficult to get a job guarding a henhouse.

Repent, you sinning bloggers and blog commenters -- before it's too late.

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