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.

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.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Protest of authoritative referencing of arbitrarily censoring blogs

At last, my piece de resistance -- an organized protest of arbitrary Internet censorship. This post has a list of email addresses and telephone numbers for participating in the protest. I am posting this stuff because I have not been getting adequate responses to my own protests.

By arbitrary censorship, I mean that comments and/or commenters are censored for the sole reason that the bloggers disagree with the opinions or arguments of the comments or the commenters. If you get pissed off at bloggers who arbitrarily censor your comments, you are not alone. This arbitrary censorship is bad enough by itself, but IMO it becomes intolerable when blogs whose bloggers arbitrarily censor comments are quoted, cited, or listed for authoritative purposes -- e.g., by court opinions, scholarly journals, and scientific databases. Bloggers who have shown an intention to present only one side of controversial issues do not deserve to have their blogs used for authoritative purposes. That's all there is to it.

Comment censorship in blogs is discussed in the posts listed here and here (these lists of posts may also be found by clicking on "Internet censorship (1 of 2)" and "Internet censorship (2 of 2)" in this blog's left sidebar). These posts show that the use of blogs as authoritative references is already widespread and is growing.

If you don't mind such authoritative use of blogs that have arbitrarily censored your comments, then I beg you to not join this protest (in a Scotch whiskey ad -- I think it was for Glenlivet whiskey -- the brewmaster said, "if you won't drink this whiskey in the proper way -- that is, warm instead of on the rocks -- then I beg you to drink another Scotch"). And no, Voice in the Wilderness, you don't need to thank me for the opportunity to make a counterprotest -- I don't need your thanks for helping you and your pals to make complete fools of yourselves.

To Darwinists who might be reading this post: there is no law, regulation or policy that says that the anti-Darwinist Uncommon Descent blog, for example, may not be referenced for an authoritative purpose. This arbitrary censorship is not just an anti-Darwinist issue, it is not even just an evolution-controversy issue -- it is a universal issue.

IMO a blog article that is cited by a court opinion becomes like a governmental administrative public hearing where all comments must be accepted (of course, by the time a blog is cited by a court opinion, it is too late to accept comments that were previously censored). And blogs may indirectly influence court opinions through the opinions' citations of scholarly journals that cite the blogs. Actually, any blog that is referenced by an entity that is supported by our tax dollars should be considered to be a public forum.

Arbitrary censorship on blogs can include IP address blocking, which is disreputable, irresponsible, and possibly illegal as well as often being ineffective. IP address blocking can block comments from large numbers of Internet users who share the same ISP proxy IP address. If we do nothing else, let's put an end to this abominable IP address blocking.

Aims of protest:

(1) Discouraging authoritative use of blogs whose bloggers arbitrarily censor comments and/or commenters.

(2) General discouragement of arbitrary censorship on blogs. Creating an Internet culture of disapproval of such censorship. At the least, this censorship is very inconsiderate because often a lot of time is spent writing comments.

(3) Ending the abominable practice of IP address blocking.

(4) Discouraging blog services from aiding and abetting this arbitrary censorship. Blog services aid and abet this censorship by offering IP address blocking or other means of censorship. Discouraging blog services from leaking commenters' IP or email address information to bloggers (such leakage may already be illegal in Europe).

(5) Discouraging comment "moderation" (the holding up of comments pending approval by the blogger). Comment moderation prevents the timely posting of comments, disrupts and greatly slows down discussions, loses comments, and leaves commenters up in the air wondering when and if their comments are going to be posted.

(6) Encouraging bloggers to post a comment policy. This blog's comment policy is linked at the bottom of the left sidebar.

(7) Establishment of a government agency that certifies blogs as being free of arbitrary comment censorship. Government rules prohibiting citation of uncertified blogs by courts, government agencies, people or organizations receiving government funds, etc.. (this idea was added on 04-20-07).

(8) Automatic archiving of censored comments on blogs. Then if there is an intention to authoritatively reference the blog, the archive can be checked to see if there are any arbitrarily censored comments (this idea was added on 04-20-07).

(9) When a blog article and/or its visitors' comments are authoritatively quoted or cited by a court opinion, scholarly journal, etc., then the article, its comment thread, and any linked websites should be permanently and securely archived somewhere for possible future reference (this idea was added on 04-21-07).

(10) Bloggers who practice arbitrary comment censorship should not be considered to be eligible to receive blogging awards (this idea was added on 04-21-07).

(11) Prevent or discourage the "banning" of particular commenters. It makes no sense to ban particular commenters and then complain when they post comments under false names or multiple names in an attempt to evade the ban (this idea was added on 04-24-07).

List of email addresses and phone numbers:

The following email list includes the following:

(1) Staffers of Thomson-Scientific, which maintains a scientific database called the ISI Web of Knowledge. They told me that it is their policy to include arbitrarily censoring blogs in this database.

(2) Email addresses of Panda's Thumb bloggers. PT practices arbitrary censorship and is listed in the ISI Web of knowledge. PT admits to practicing IP address blocking.

(3) Email addresses for Thomson-West, a law publisher that is affiliated with Thomson-Scientific. Thomson-West sponsors a group of law blogs called the Law Professor Blogs.

(4) Emails of the bloggers on Law Blog Metrics, a member of the Law Professor Blogs network. A Law Blog Metrics blogger, Ian Best, sent me a very rude email refusing to post a comment of mine -- fortunately one of his co-bloggers posted the comment. Ironically, my comment was a complaint about the possibility of a court opinion citing an arbitrarily censoring blog.

(5) Some other emails of bloggers on the Law Professor Blogs network. Law blogs are particularly likely to be cited in law journal articles and court opinions.

(6) Scienceblogs blog service. Scienceblogs is a blog service with a lot of "science" blogs. Commenters' IP and email addresses are leaked by Scienceblogs to Scienceblogs bloggers. Scienceblogs has enabled IP address blocking. There is a fair chance that a Scienceblogs blog may be used for an authoritative purpose.

I have made it easy to create a single string of email addresses by keeping interruptions in the email list to a minimum.

Your protest email could, for example, state the aims of this protest or describe incidents of arbitrary censorship of your comments by bloggers. You might also say that the "show me" guy from Missouri sent ya. You could also send a copy of your protest to me at LarryFarma@aol.com You could also tell your friends about this protest.

Take advantage of the power of the Internet to make your thoughts widely known.

Remember, folks, if this protest fizzles, the situation will be worse than it was before -- the protest will then be seen as evidence that people don't care about authoritative referencing of blogs whose bloggers arbitrarily censor comments.



Thomson-West et al.:


Law Blog Professors Network:


Law Blog Metrics bloggers:


Misc. law:


Panda's Thumb bloggers:




Also, there are these telephone numbers:



Allison Hagan, ext. 1881
Department of Public Relations and Communications

Marylou Warwick, ext. 1591


Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wednesday, April 18, 2007 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Previous comment censored because Larry disagrees with it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 6:01:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said...

>>>>> Previous comment censored because Larry disagrees with it. <<<<<<

Now cut that out -- I didn't censor anything!

I am really getting fed up with these false accusations of censorship.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 6:11:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

"I'm from Missouri" comment policy --

Comments containing the following are not allowed: threats, libel, impersonations that misrepresent the views of others, invasions of privacy, unintelligible garbage.

Abuse of other commenters is allowed but is discouraged, particularly when the target did not start or provoke the abuse.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 10:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> Comments containing the following are not allowed: <

This directly after he claims not to have censored anything! Methinks he doth protest too much.

> Abuse of other commenters is allowed but is discouraged, particularly when the target did not start or provoke the abuse. <

But you almost always start the abuse. Does this mean you are starting a new policy?

Thursday, April 19, 2007 8:37:00 AM  

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