Americans in particular are quick to froth constitutional freedom of speech. Trouble being it’s become increasingly evident they only want to hear themselves or their miniscule gang of devotees speak. In the past week I’ve had comments deleted, access blocked and content reported over a dozen times. My transgression? To dare contradict, however polite or reasonable the manifesto of opinionated closed minds. Geez, what was I thinking?

It’s alarming, consider the magnitude of free speech silenced by the click of a block icon.  Reasonable attempts to initiate dialogue muzzled by knee jerk block bravado. Typically I’m chastised for ignorance. Ridiculed, mocked, sworn at or warned to mind my own business before the block hammer strikes. WTF? It’s fascinating. These are the same people who spew constitutional freedom of speech. Silly me, free speech is their right, anyone taking exception will be blocked.

Not once have I blocked a site. Last week I reported a particularly venomous wing-nut for promoting home remedy coronavirus cures, a first in 8 years of blogging. In my mind deleting comments, censoring content, including dialogue out of context excluding verbal abuse prompting such dialogue and aggressively blocking those who dare take issue is cowardly. Blocking doesn’t prove anything other than spineless ignorance. We can ignore content, mark it as spam, read it for perspective or choose not to follow the author, but the moment we block it is the moment we surrender the right to free speech.

See the source image

23 thoughts on “Blocked

      • I will gladly supply you with a list of sites that you are almost guaranteed to be be highly moderated and probably banned in no time at all! Just say the word.

  1. When I joined this esteemed club of bloggers and commentators who have been blocked nearly two decades ago, I understood some people simply couldn’t handle critical comments about cherished ideas and beliefs. That was one thing. Not everyone is intellectually capable of critical thinking. C’est la vie.

    It was quite another to be blocked by someone like Sirius Bizness (I’m probably misspelling his name) who demanded I not say stuff, to practice self-editing opinions about ‘sensitive’ topics, or be blocked… and have not a squeak of protest from the usual commentators perfectly capable of critical thinking.

    I argued on other sites (because I had been blocked) that staying quiet and going along with such blocking on that blogger’s site, accepting as reasonable the demand on self-editing, meant agreement that any and all comments I could possibly make on any subject whatsoever for all time was now blocked because of one opinion I held that this blogger insisted I never mention, namely the use of the term ‘batshit crazy’ describing batshit crazy behaviour. And I must do so to protect crazy people from offense, of course. This was my blunt introduction to the self-righteous and sanctimonious Social Justice Warrior in action. Intellectual capability had nothing whatsoever to do with using this fascist tactic and everything to do with creating a social space that aligned with this ideology: getting rid of people in the name of protecting snowflake people, creating social ‘safe’ spaces online that was not being criticized for its attack and assault on classical liberal values to implement.

    And every other commentator went along with this, reminding me of what Burke wrote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” And this urge to deny others freedom of expression in the name of protecting the freedom of expression by those incapable of coping with offense, if nothing else, intellectually indefensible.

    I called such bloggers and those who agreed with blocking and censoring and editing me the ‘tone police’ and tried to explain why such tacit agreement with the policing practice by the usual commentators – this idea of going along to get along on such sites – was a betrayal of the principle of free speech by many people who were capable of defending, but did not wish to defend in this case, the right of someone else to say speech deemed ‘offensive’… in concern, I can only presume, over having the same bully tactic applied to their own opinions and commentary.

    Of course, we see this same ideologically motivated tactic today applied to anyone who dares to criticize just about anything, where as I pointed out at the time, causing offense was deemed the greater crime by many people than anything – any horrific thing – being criticized. This Marxist and totalitarian ideology in the misnomer of ‘Social Justice’ has done nothing but grow and infect all social spaces, from disinviting and deplatforming ‘controversial’ speakers to demanding people be fired without trial who have so sinned and caused offense, to university professors told by these Red Guard defenders of ‘social justice’ to censor books and authors and ideas from Old Dead White Men in their classes or be fired. The purge is widespread and it’s not going away but growing… every time someone like the commentators we encounter daily say nothing to people like Sirius Bizness who presume to have the right to deny the freedom to express offensive ideas in the name of defending the safe space necessary they presume for expressing free ideas.

    • Found this comment in spam which I never bother to look at. How it got there is beyond me, certainly not by my hand. That in itself bothers me. I agree with you. The anti-abortion fundamentalist Christian blogger who took exception to my pro-choice comment by wishing everyone I loved murdered in front of me, saving my murder for last (specifically, he’d murder me himself if I didn’t repent) followed by a caustic bomb of baby killer venom – nobody read that but me. He deleted all content but for amens and likes of the faithful. Yikes.

  2. Filtering dissenting opinion starts early in the Christian life. Withholding evidence is a religious virtue, so we do it for the kids. I’m stuck in moderation all over the place. Weird, I’ve never edited anyone out.

  3. I only block folks if they say bad things about dogs. But then, how can anyone say bad things about dogs, and not reveal themselves as a bit … aaaaahhhh …

  4. but the moment we block it is the moment we surrender the right to free speech.

    Uh, no. Deleting comments on your blog or blocking someone from commenting there doesn’t interfere with their freedom of speech at all, therefore it doesn’t mean you surrender your own. Their freedom of speech doesn’t obligate you to give them a forum.

    I regularly reject comments on my blog if they’re insulting, off-topic, trying to pick a fight, or express views I consider repugnant. I’m not under any obligation to provide a platform for people to do that. And I’m not interfering with their freedom of speech. They can say anything they want on their own blog or some other forum — just not on mine.

    Freedom of speech gives you the right to put a bumper sticker on your car. It doesn’t give you the right to put the same bumper sticker on my car, unless I choose to let you. I’ve been blocked from commenting on other sites a couple of times, but I wouldn’t ever claim that my freedom of speech had been denied just because of that.

    • Of course there are going to be blog rules about conduct and speech. You’ve listed several. But my point is that going along with banning for a particular commentator who has a long history of raising issues and concerns that are legitimate for a singular specific example of ‘tone’ is in itself offensive to degree far more profound than a blunt declaration of banning that does not infringe or cross these rules. As a blogger myself, I can count on one finger the number of people I have banned in the last 20 years. And that’s because the person was batshit crazy. Banning should be last resort and not a tactic to enforce an ideology if one wishes to consider a site open to honest evaluations of issues. Of course, many sites are just the opposite and so these are the ones that use banning as an editing tool to create an echo chamber.

      • Not everybody wants a bunch of arguing and squabbling in their comment threads, especially not the atheism-vs-religion “debates” which in most cases are just wearisome rehashes of arguments which people have been having for decades or even centuries. As my blog’s comments policy says, “this is a blog, not a debating forum”. If people want to have debates about things, there are plenty of other places on the internet where that’s welcome.

        I don’t care about anybody else’s standards or opinions about under exactly what circumstances I should be able to tell somebody not to put a bumper sticker on my car. It’s my car. Everybody has an absolute right to run their own blog however they choose, and doing so is not an infringement on anyone’s free speech, for the reasons I explained. That’s the point.

      • Again, that’s fine. Of course every blog admin has the right to do with it as he/she/it wants. But that IS how echo chambers are created and not something pertinent more to religious sites than other sites. It is pertinent when the principle of free speech becomes not just secondary to the administrator’s shaping of the site’s commentary but of no concern to the audience of that site. And sometimes that’s fine, too… depending on the site and the reason for it being. It is the lack of concern by the audience to such banning that I am criticizing when the site itself is proudly presented as a place where diverse and critical commentary is both welcomed and wanted. It is a sign of the Woke-at-Work when causing offense is seen as the far greater crime than any crime being criticized.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s