[LINK] Moderator Censorship

rene rene.ln at libertus.net
Sun Mar 27 17:08:39 AEDT 2011

On Sun, 27 Mar 2011 15:58:14 +1100, Robin Whittle wrote:

> Short version: I argue the benefits of kookishness (by a particular
> definition) and dispute the assertion that moderation of a list such
> as Link is "censorship".

Enough, Robin. I suggest you seriously look at things you've said and 
consider whether there is a case of pot, kettle, black, around here. 

Furthermore, I was quite amazed by your statement on 26 March that:
>This is a note from me as one of the three Link List owners

Since when have Link list maintainers been regarded as list owners? (refer 
to Tony Barry's initial message saying he wanted to hand list maintenance 
to others).

In addition, the Link list charter states:
This list "is open and unmoderated".

Evidently that statement needs to be changed, given at least one list 
maintainer now considers their role is to moderate speech on the list by 
means of public rebuke, reprimand, censure.

Personally, I am of the opinion that what you, Robin, are saying/doing is 
vastly more akin to censorship than anything Tony Barry ever did, and 
anything Tom Koltai has said. So-called moderators may not be enagaged in 
actual censorship, but they certainly have vastly more ability to 
significantly chill freedom of speech/opinion on a public discussion forum 
than do any of the ordinary subscribers. Accordingly any so-called 
moderator should be extremely careful to ensure that any attempt to chill 
freedom of expression is, and is readily able to be seen to be, 
*completely* impartial. Imo that is not the case currently on this list.

I have perceived anything TK has said, including the use of words such as 
"claptrap", to be merely an expression of his opinion. 

I suggest the three list maintainers get together and write a whole new 
charter that specifically sets out the type of opinions list posters will 
be censured for expressing, including the level of rubustness of 
expression/opinion that will or won't be permitted. They should also bear 
in mind that it is impossible to write an anti-speech code that will not 
ban speech that no-one intended to ban. After that, Linkers who think the 
list has become under the "control" of people who want to be dictators 
and/or arbiters of "proper" means of expression/opinion can decide for 
themselves whether they want to unsubscribe from the list or not.

Alternative to the above, put quite bluntly I suggest some moderators and 
probably other people just grow up, or at least wake up that almost 
certainly the vast majority of Linkers are perfectly capable of making up 
their own minds about whose opinion has merit in their opinion. 

In addition, I suggest the three list maintaners either write a new charter 
about what is on-topic for Link, or themselves not post about matters that 
are patently obviously off-topic under the existing charter. (And I say 
that as person who's in the past been asked by the then list maintainer not 
to post about a topic that was vastly, vastly, closer to on-topic - and imo 
actually was - than recent nuclear/radiation discussions.)

Finally, I've been subscribed to the Link list for some 15 years, and in 
the past there's been vastly more robust discussion and expression of 
opinion than has occurred here recently. It's been resolved without any of 
the heavy handed demands for people to provide "references" or whatever to 
prove their opinion.

And, oh dear, I suppose having the opinion that one or perhaps more list 
maintainers others should just grow up is now a matter for censure. 


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