Censorship in the blog world

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As a preface to this post, I fully acknowledge that blog owners have a right to censor their blog in whichever way they please.

I’ve recently come across some blogs that censor dissenting viewpoints in their comments section.  In the interest of free speech, I believe that comments should remain unless they contain 1. vulgarity; 2. irrelevance to the topic of said post; or 3)  personal attacks.

At prernalal.com, I read a post regarding avatar. In the comments section of this post, an individual named Charlene made a persuasive argument undermining the author’s post. At that point, the post said it had 7 comments. The next day, the post only showed 2 comments. I concluded, therefore, that the author deleted the dissenting comments of Charlene.

Curious, I sent an inquiry on the provided contact form of prernalal.com. I received no response. I then commented on her website, asking her why she censored her blog.  I was wrong; I made a mistake. It turns out the blog owner was transferring her blog to a different service and, as a result, some of the comments were lost. Due to this mistake, the blog owner said the following nice things about me:

some moron (not worth naming) is baseless accusing me of deleting comments so I thought I would clarify in case other weird stalkers start complaining that I am somehow censoring them

That wasn’t the only choice name for me:

Maybe people should fact-check before making accusations but certain privileged members of our society don’t feel the need to do so(same link as above)

So according to Prerna, I am 1. a moron; 2. a stalker(not even a regular stalker, but a weird one); and 3. privileged.

And how did she reach these three conclusions about me? Did she fact-check, by finding out about my personal circumstances? Nah, she just saw some of my comments at her blog, and, most likely, at the unapologetic mexican.

But this mistake by me did get Prerna to reveal her comments policy, which seems to indicate censorship:

As the promigrant sphere knows, I don’t waste my time sparing with racists, nativists and dumbasses in my private space or via email or even allow those comments to be published.

I can understand not sparing(*sparring)with racists and nativists. But the dumbasses provision can be objectively interpreted as anyone that the Prerna subjectively finds to be a dumbass(i.e. anyone that disagrees or happens to piss her off.)

What makes this even more ironic is the campaign that Prerna carried out at change.org, where she lamented upon USA today’s description of students without legal immigration status as “illegal students”, saying on her website:

The bottom-line is, you don’t call a whole community of people anything without their permission. It doesn’t take a college degree to understand that.

It appears, according to Prerna, that it is perfectly permissible to call an individual an even more insidious label–moron and weird stalker–than the  “illegal student” label that USA today used. True, the “community” and “individual” are not analogous. But come on, why not follow your own mantra of not calling other people, regardless of whether they are in a minority community or not, names that they do not give you permission to give.

This contradiction may be explained by the already demonstrated tendency of Prerna to to dismiss individuals with an opposing viewpoint as a “moron”; “dumbass”; “stalker”;  “racist”; or a “nativist”.  Her not-so-nice description of the reporter, Emily Bazar, who used the “illegal student” term sums this post up well.

She(Emily Bazar) wastes my time with her utter stupidity and ignorance of the immigration system–which idiot hired this dimwit? Then she defends calling us “illegal students” because of a webcast NumbersUSA NCLR participated in where the phrase “illegal immigrant” is justified. Will anyone bother to ask what I like to be called?

This reinforces the contradiction: Prerna basically calls Emily Bazar a useless human being(think how you would react to the above description) and at the same time expects the latter to cede to her demands. Like that is going to happen.

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5 Responses to “Censorship in the blog world”

  1. Rob Says:

    Bryan,
    I like your new website. You may scare the mental midgets (e.g. “The Bigoted Mexican” or “Prenatal”) with the gun photo.

  2. Rey Lopez-Calderon Says:

    I kind of like the Unapologetic Mexican, though his arguments are not always as rigorous as they could be.

    I received a comment once that had the N-word and monkey and all kinds of stuff about Skip Gates. That’s when I implemented a comments policy. My rule is if it furthers debate then it stays up unless it’s full of vulgarity or epithets or direct attacks. I often tell my facebook friends to comment on the site ESPECIALLY if they disagree.

    That said, flames are often unmanaged (or uncensored) at major newspapers which annoys the heck out of me. I have to sift through hundreds of crap comments to find actual arguments. Yes, “crap” ‘is subjective but I have a pornography standard about “crap” I tend to know it (flame-comment) when I see it.

    • bjohns15 Says:

      I like the Unapologetic Mexican as well, except for when I encountered the oozing condescension from him and his readers.

      A clearly defined comments policy is perfectly reasonable. “Crap” need not be too subjective. Do you work for a major newspaper?

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