Friday, May 3, 2013

Censorship isn't a Goal. It's a Symptom.

by Dietrich Schmitz

So, when I choose topics to write about I think in terms of what is important and how I can put my site to best use in highlighting issues that pertain to Linux.

The purpose of advocating is a double-edged sword and sometimes I take on topics which are pleasant to read and sometimes the topics highlight an issue which represents a threat to Linux.  There are threats to Linux and some are quite controversial.

When readers find my topics controversial, it is reflected in their comments quite clearly.

I have had to apply moderation simply because otherwise things would get out of control quickly and become incendiary.

Please understand, I am not interested in singling anyone out and to advocate requires identifying and exposing initiatives that must be discussed, including the people behind them.

When +Scott Dowdle wrote Opinion: Censorship on Linux Sites isn't cool, he took aim at me and waged criticism, in a polite way of course.  I don't like playing moderator but in a few instances I have had to resort to shutting off comments to a post entirely, deleting comments when necessary and/or selectively blacklisting individuals.

Most of the time, it's just me here running the site and I have more than enough to do without dealing with playing moderator.  It is time consuming and if I could find a better way of dealing with it, I would.

But it is simply a necessary component in today's world.

Mr. Dowdle at one point was quite persistent and chose to email me directly several times with his comments.  I asked him to please stop emailing me or I would consider his emails a form of harassment and spam and treat them accordingly.

He persisted in emailing me and so he was bucketed to spam and I blacklisted him on my site including blocking his ip address.

After a few days, I removed him from the blacklist in the hopes that it had achieved the desired effect.

I don't ask much from my readership.  But I do insist that they conduct themselves politely and that they remain cordial in all of their exchanges in the comment section.  It's really that simple.  Any deviation will result in moderating those individuals who go 'out of bounds' on that policy.

Anyone can post a comment on my site, provided they give their email address which is never shared outside of LA.  I think that is a reasonable requirement and totally above board.

Mr. Dowdle has a comment section on his site.  But one must first 'register' on his site before being allowed to comment.  If he wants to espouse openness and dislikes censorship so much as he claims he does, he shouldn't require registration before one can comment.

So, Mr. Dowdle, you are simply applying a double standard.  Registration is a 'bias' and a restriction placed on your readership.

That should do it.

-- Dietrich

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