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.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The myth that blogs are "private"

The most common argument I hear against my proposal for a "fairness doctrine" for blogs -- i.e., a law against arbitrary censorship of blog visitors' comments -- is that blogs are "private" and hence immune from government regulation. Nothing could be further from the truth. An article titled "Regulation of Blog Campaign Advocacy On the Internet: Comparing U.S., German and EU Approaches" is chock full of regulations of blogs. Indeed, the regulations described in this article are often far more burdensome than my proposed "fairness doctrine" because they restrict blog funding sources and what the bloggers themselves and websites in general can say. Indeed, because the Internet is international, foreign countries' restrictions on freedom of speech on the Internet have already begun to impact blogs and other websites based in the USA. The article's abstract says,
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This essay examines how U.S., Germany, and EU cases have treated the regulation of political commentary on the Internet. As political blogging grows in popularity, the reach of these sites, and their influence in political campaigns, may make them a target for regulation by rivals and incumbents, both at home and abroad. Since ordinarily any URL can be reached from anywhere with Internet access, conflicting domestic rules about what can be said (and who can say it) present potential for conflicting rules on blogging.

In brief, U.S. law protects blogging content, but may impose restrictions on the source of political commentary by barring certain funding sources. German law imposes stricter limits on the content of blogging, but does not regulate financial sources to the same degree. European court rulings may offer greater protection than domestic German law, but seem inconsistent and thus add uncertainty and ambiguity to the situation. In the end, bloggers may avoid legal entanglement because they enjoy public sympathy and support, but better still would be an international agreement to spare blogging from prosecution.

My reasons for not practicing arbitrary censorship of visitors' comments myself are practical as well as ethical -- I am concerned that such censorship would adversely affect the credibility of this blog. But it is apparent that there are a lot of bloggers and other website administrators out there who are unconcerned about their credibility.
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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

> My reasons for not practicing arbitrary censorship of visitors' comments myself are practical as well as ethical <

Then why do you censor arbitrarily?

> I am concerned that such censorship would adversely affect the credibility of this blog. <

You have nothing to lose. You have no credibility.

> But it is apparent that there are a lot of bloggers and other website administrators out there who are unconcerned about their credibility. <

You have failed to give examples of arbitrary censorship on other blogs. I don't doubt that it occurs, but your being banned from many sites has always been for cause. (And never the causes that you have claimed.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 4:58:00 AM  

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