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chromatic (983)

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Journal of chromatic (983)

Tuesday April 10, 2007
08:47 PM

Not Seeing the Censorship

[ #32961 ]

Suppose I put a sign in my lawn expressing some opinion--perhaps "Be kind to others."

Suppose you come along and put a sign under my sign that says "Perform {act of violence} against {group of people}."

It's easy to understand why I'll take down the sign when I see it and laugh in your face if you accuse me of censorship. Get your own lawn.

Suppose I have a web site, and suppose I express some opinion on it--perhaps "Be kind to others and encourage civility in the people around you."

Suppose you come along and post a comment that says "Perform {act of violence} against {group of people} with {inappropriate household item}."

You are welcome to complain all you want, up one side of the mountain and down the other, backwards, forwards, with a cherry on top, until your face turns red and your hair mats to your forehead from sweat, and you're welcome to jump up and down until you wear a hole in your shoe, but I'm still not seeing the censorship.

Get your own lawn.

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  • After seeing Tim's "badge" idea, I'm well tempted to set up a "My house, my rules!" badge. The gloss: "Comments may be deleted due to malfunctioning software, offensive or excessively stupid content, or merely capricious fits of pique."

  • Of course, things change once you start expressly allowing people to put signs on your lawn for the express purpose of letting each other see them, and then you only remove some of the signs.

    If you've declared something a public space and then go back on your contract (in the loosest sense of the word) by withdrawing it to private rules, people are quite likely to get pissed.

    They may not be right, but you can understand their point.

    Of course, I have no idea whatsoever what the specific case you are talking
    • "you've declared something a public space". No you haven't. I let visitors in my house. I don't let everyone in my house. Also, all analogies suck.
  • Now of course taking down their sign isn't censorship in the sense of government oppression of free speech. You are right they can perfectly well get their own lawn.

    However, I could say the same thing about the private college who fires professors who express certain political views or expels any student who suggests that Jesus is not our lord and savior. Some institutions value and even their very existence are based on providing a fair and open forum for the debate of ideas.

    Obviously this critique was n