Guerilla Internet Free Speech-The Oil Drum Debate

Off the Keyboard of RE

Discuss this article at the Guerilla MRE Foxhole of the Diner

A few days ago a Refugee from The Oil Drum, Futilitist Loren Soman arrived in the Diner after being BANNED from the Commentariat there. The main point of contention in that Banning seems to have been Loren’s low opinion of the work of Arch Druid John Michael Greer. He published his recounting of the discussion on TOD which led up to it on his new Futilitist Blog, and I cross posted it on the Diner.

Part of the Guerilla Internet Free Speech Project is that the Diner will Publish at least inside the Diner any Banned Commenter from any other Website, which I did shortly after the Futilitist was banned. If the content is good enough and the Banning capricious enough, I will publish a Blog article to highlight it also. This I did as well.

What makes a Banning Capricious? Well, it’s one thing if a Commenter gets Banned for hurling around a lot of foul language on a website that does not allow that. Although I don’t agree with such a banning it is not capricious, it is a clear violation of a standing rule the participants tacitly accept on the website. Another non-capricious Ban is when a commenter SPAMS a site with completely off-topic material.

After reading through the posting, neither of these conditions were met. The discussion was about the theories of John Michael Greer, and all the posting was to that topic. The ostensible reason for the Ban was that the Futilitist was “Trolling” and making Ad Hom attacks on JMGs Intellectual Honesty. This is certainly a valid criticism of any Pundit, and there was no foul language involved, so why the Ban? Just because you disagree with this evaluation by a given Commenter? If you disagree, just knock down the argument with counter examples.

So in all respects, this Ban met my conditions for Full Guerilla Support of the Futilitist. I don’t necessarily agree with his opinions, but I support his right to express them on a Website open to the Public which presents such ideas and allows commentary. The second part of Full Support is my Promise to go over to the Website in the aftermath of the Ban and Lawyer it for the Victim of the Banning.

So I registered on TOD a couple of days ago and dropped in on the September 1st “Drumbeat”, the Column which Admin of TOD Leanan writes her material in. Actually writes is something of a misnomer, since she basically seems to compile Newz Stories in the Drumbeat. I have a History wih Leanan, she was Newz Editor of Peak Oil during my time spent in the Commentariat of that Forum. I began with a Greeting and an oblique reference to the JMG controversy, after which Leanan and I engaged in a protracted 2 day discussion of the Principles of Free Speech as they pertain to Blogs and Forums on the Internet. The COMPLETE discussion follows below here. It’s LONG.

In the debate, Leanan claims to be a supporter of Free Speech, while at the SAME time maintaining it is her right to Censor or Ban any commentary on the site for whatever reason she deems is appropriate. Her rationale is that only if Da Goobermint suppresses Free Speech is the principle violated. The “Private” ground of Internet Blogs and Forums can be Censored by the Owner/Admin without violating Free Speech according to Leanan.

The problem of course with this idea is that about all Information Media are “Privately Owned”, from Newzpapers to TV Stations to even the BIGGEST of all now Google, and of course all of us Pipsqueak Bloggers as well. You can take it as Axiomatic that Newzpapers owned by Rupert Murdoch and TV Stations owned by Clear Channel Communications are not going to provide Free Speech opportunity to the masses, and Google is in the bizness of real information editing through access to their Search Engine. For the most part, if you cannot find the links on Google, even if the Information exists somewhere on the net, it might as well not exist at all, nobody will ever find it or read it.

Similarly, if you start one of the Bazillion Blogs on Blogspot, the chances you will find any readership are pretty small. Even a first class Economic Blogger like Steve from Virginia has MINISCULE readership for his Economic Undertow Blog, he’s even way below the Diner in Alexa Ranking.

So in terms of “Free Speech” exactly WHERE in the Media is J6P supposed to exercise this RIGHT guaranteed by the Constitution and actually be HEARD? Nowhere really, except for one possible place, the Blogosphere of fairly successful Blogs and Forums like The Oil Drum, Denningers Market Ticker, The Automatic Earth, Zero Hedge etc. On these Blogs, there is substantial Readership, so if you make a Comment, it likely gets a whole lot more Readership than your Blogspot Blog does. ideas can actually be EXCHANGED ebtween commenters. The veracity of Articles can be EXAMINED.

This cannot happen of course if you go about capriciously BANNING people just because they annoy you and don’t buy the Spin of your blog hook,line and sinker. The only people who remain in the commentary are those who buy the Group Think and don’t make any waves. The result is not FREE SPEECH, it is PROPAGANDA.

At the end of this protracted debate, I INVITED Leanan to make a Voluntary Commitment with the Diner to support Free Speech on The Oil Drum. She refused the offer. So chalk up The Oil Drum as being yet another Propaganda Website feeding out their spin on Energy Issues. Like Denninger’s Market Ticker, don’t take a contrary opinion to Karl’sKapitalista Spin on Ticker Forum. Like TAE, don’t question the Energy Expertiese of Stoneleigh, and DEFINITELY don’t cross swords with Ilargi, you’ll get your First Class Ticket to the Great Beyond of that website faster than you can say “EROEI”. Don’t question the Intellectual Honesty of John Michael Greer on The Oil Drum either. This in the mind of Leanan is “Free Speech”, since Da Goobermint isn’t the one doing the Censoring.

In a Pig’s Eye.

RE

 

Reverse Engineer on September 2, 2012 – 4:05pm Permalink | Subthread | Comments top

Greetings Leanan!

Long time no chat. You may remember me from the Peak Oil Forum. Other TOD members of the commentariat also may remember my Nom de Plume. 🙂

Just registered here on TOD, resultant from a recent discussion on the theory of Catabolic Collapse of John Michael Greer. Discussion in that topic is apparently closed now.

Anyhow, for all Old Friends from Peak Oil, I would like to invite you all to the Doomstead Diner, an Industrial Civilization Collapse Blog and Forum dedicated to principles of Free Speech on the Internet.

You can find the Diner at http://doomsteaddiner.net

The Diner features the ability of all Commenters to create their own threads, as well as place Multimedia like Graphics and YouTube Videos into all their posting. No commentary is ever Censored on the Diner (except for clear SPAM).

Come on over to the Diner and join the fray as we hash out the implications of Industrial Civilization Collapse at the End of the Age of Oil.

RE

Leanan on September 2, 2012 – 5:38pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

Threads automatically close for comments here after a week (I think). It’s an anti-spam measure. Generally, a thread more than a few days old is no longer active. Spammers swoop in after people are no longer reading the thread and fill it up with spam.

If there’s still an active discussion, I can open up the comments again, or you can bring the discussion forward. (Generally, I discourage bringing old discussions into new threads, but if the original thread is old enough that it’s closed for comments, it’s different.)

 

Reverse Engineer on September 3, 2012 – 12:40am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

I never close threads on the Diner. When Spammers show up to clog up a thread with Pharmaceutical Ads, I just eliminate whatever they got up and then Ban the IP Addy. Long as you have a few people monitoring this it is not hard to sweep out the SPAM as it shows up. It is annoying, but overall a tractable problem.

Is it possible here for Members to Originate threads? I could not find how to do that if it is possible. Seems all you can do is Comment on a thread already originated by yourself or a few others.

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

 

Leanan on September 3, 2012 – 3:47am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

Long as you have a few people monitoring this it is not hard to sweep out the SPAM as it shows up. It is annoying, but overall a tractable problem.

It’s more difficult here. This is a blog, not a message board. We’ve got a huge database of articles now, and posts with new comments don’t “pop to the top” as they do with the message board system. So spam would go unnoticed for years before we started “age-ing out” comments. Just because of the structure of this site, there’s no point in leaving comments open forever.

Is it possible here for Members to Originate threads?

No. Call us elitist, but we’ve decided we want quality rather than quantity, and that means strict control over the articles that are posted here. Even those on staff cannot get their articles posted unless they get enough votes from the other editors. (Drumbeat excepted, of course.)

Reverse Engineer on September 3, 2012 – 12:57pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

Very limited system, IMHO. You can have both Quality & Quantity by marrying Blogs and Message Boards. You can maintain editorial control over the Blog while allowing members to begin their own threads on the Forum. That is how I have the Diner set up.

Also, you never miss SPAM as it gets dropped on the Forum, since it queues to the top of the list of most recent posts.You knock it down as soon as it gets posted up.

Anyhow I notice you are cross posting some of Gail’s articles, who should I submit mine to here?

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

Leanan on September 3, 2012 – 5:10pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

Very limited system, IMHO.

We know that, and we’re fine with it. Our intent is not be an “everything bagel” – all things to all people. We are what we are. People who come here are here because they like what we are. People who don’t like it can go elsewhere, or set up their own sites.

Why should we try to do what you’re doing, when you’re already doing it?

Anyhow I notice you are cross posting some of Gail’s articles, who should I submit mine to here?

Use the editors address (on the right sidebar).

However, the standards for accepting articles are fairly high, and the acceptable topics somewhat narrow. Don’t be upset if you are turned down.

 

Reverse Engineer on September 3, 2012 – 8:21pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

“Why should we try to do what you’re doing, when you’re already doing it?”-Leanan

Because it would improve the experience of the Commentariat and provide more information accessibility to your readership.

“However, the standards for accepting articles are fairly high, and the acceptable topics somewhat narrow.”-Leanan

I have read through a number of articles here and I can’t figure out exactly what the standards are or what fits the category of acceptable topics. The quality varies tremendously, and the range of topics isn’t that narrow far as I can tell. Do you have a style sheet you can send me?

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 2:47am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

Because it would improve the experience of the Commentariat and provide more information accessibility to your readership.

I disagree. The internet provides plenty of information, and plenty of opportunity for free speech. Far more than any one person can make use of. What people are looking for is a gatekeeper. Some people want stricter gatekeepers than others, but that’s what you’re really selling when you put up a web site: a gatekeeper.

I have read through a number of articles here and I can’t figure out exactly what the standards are or what fits the category of acceptable topics. The quality varies tremendously, and the range of topics isn’t that narrow far as I can tell. Do you have a style sheet you can send me?

You’ll have to ask the editors. I have nothing to do with the key posts. I only do the Drumbeat.

I will say our structure and focus changed recently – within the last year or two. So look at recent articles, not the older ones. I believe the idea is to focus more narrowly on oil and energy, and also to provide more solid data and analysis, rather than the more speculative stuff.

Reverse Engineer on September 4, 2012 – 3:58am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

“I disagree. The internet provides plenty of information, and plenty of opportunity for free speech. Far more than any one person can make use of. What people are looking for is a gatekeeper. Some people want stricter gatekeepers than others, but that’s what you’re really selling when you put up a web site: a gatekeeper.”-Leanan

I could not disagree with this more.

Free Speech exists almost nowhere on the Internet, certainly not in the Blogosphere Commentariats. I not only was regularly Censored on Peak Oil, I was Banned not once but TWICE from that Forum. Similarly Banned on Market Ticker and The Burning Platform as well. I gather from recent action here that some of the Commentariat have been either Censored or Banned as well. How is that Free Speech? I suspect I will be banned here as well, but until I am banned I will elucidate this for you.

MOST commenters have neither the time, energy or expertiese to run their own Blogs/Forums. So if/when they get BANNED, their Speech is SHUT UP. Each and every Blog has its own “Spin” and “Group Think” and if you deviate from it too far and persist in deviate thinking, you get accused of “Trolling”.

You cannot get a full perspective on Peak Oil or the Economic spin down so long as you persist in this type of Censorship. I have been the victim of such censorship more times than I can count, but unlike most “Trolls” I do have expertiese enough and time and energy enough to create an alternative Forum for Free Expression and Discussion of the concepts underlying Peak Oil and the Economics of Industrialization.

You have a CHOICE as a Proprietor of a Newz Information Medium, either to provide Free Speech or to Limit Speech only to “approved thought”. Long as you choose the latter alternative, you are simply doing Propaganda.

This is my last word on this subject here, I won’t Troll you and make a nuisance of myself here. I will however post to Topic on the threads on this website as long as I am not CENSORED. When that occurs, you identify yourself as an Enemy of Fr4ee Speech on the Internet.

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 4:21am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

MOST commenters have neither the time, energy or expertiese to run their own Blogs/Forums.

This is simply not true. Anyone with Internet access can put up a blog for free, no expertise needed. Indeed, that is how this site started: as a free blog on Blogspot. If you have time to comment on another blog, you have time to post on your own. Heck, it’s easier to post at Blogspot than it is to post here.

Each and every Blog has its own “Spin” and “Group Think” and if you deviate from it too far and persist in deviate thinking, you get accused of “Trolling”.

I don’t see anything wrong with that. Each site is different. You just have to find (or create) the one that suits you.

Be warned: this site is tightly moderated. Probably far more so than PeakOil.com. Our guidelines are here, but we also reserve the right to remove any comments for any reason. In particular, off-topic posts, political rants, and conspiracy stuff will probably be removed.

I am all for free speech on the Internet, but it doesn’t all have to be here. As Nate put it, Gresham’s Law applies: bad posters drive out the good ones. That’s the reason we moderate this site.

I also think you’re being somewhat naive. If you achieve any kind of success with your site, I suspect you’ll find you have to censor some posts. Heck, even 4chan censors some things.

“I also think you’re being somewhat naive. If you achieve any kind of success with your site, I suspect you’ll find you have to censor some posts. Heck, even 4chan censors some things.”-Leanan

Clearly you have not visited the Diner.

I have plenty of tools available to marginalize a persistent ******* without resorting to a Ban or Censoring a post. I’ve been at the game of board moderation since AOL days. Quite a bit before you ever got on the net moderating boards I am sure. Naive I am not.

ANYTHING that ANYONE has to say on the relevant topics can be posted on Doomstead Diner, and it does not stop good analysis from happening at the same time. All the tangents have some value, we have people analysing the perspectives from Fundamentalist Christian Perspective to New Age Philosophers and SERIOUS Conspiracy Theorists, you name it. There is MUCH more to consider in this dynamic than just EROEI or depletion rates.

I censor NOTHING besides clear Pharmaceutical SPAM really. You should try reading the Dirdy Birdy Chronicles to see that I not only will not Censor, I in fact will PROMOTE idiosyncratic arguments on the Diner.

Anyhow, as I said, I will not Troll you, I will just point out to you that the Banning and Censorship you are engaged in now is counterproductive. I am in the Bizness of trying to get the MESSAGE out of Industrial Civilization Collapse, so I do not want to get Banned here myself. You have to accept however that you ARE engaging in propaganda the way you run this website.

RE

Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 4:48am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

Sorry, had to censor your post. We don’t allow profanity here.

RE – I can understand your frustration: “Free Speech exists almost nowhere on the Internet, certainly not in the Blogosphere Commentariats. I not only was regularly Censored on Peak Oil, I was Banned not once but TWICE from that Forum.” But I think there’s something very important that you and others who feel the same completely miss. Free speech also includes not being required to listen to someone else’s speech. You have absolutely no right to express your opinions to me unless I choose to hear them. I’m free to have any conversation I want just as much as I’m free to not have that conversation. The Oil Drum, as well as nearly every other web site, is privately owned and was created for the benefit of a defined group. And each web site has the right to restrict membership as it wishes. If the Oil Drum only allowed folks over 6’4″ with blue eyes to post on its site then that’s as much about free speech as anything else IMHO. Those of us shorter types with brown eyes might not like those rules but that is the nature of freedom, isn’t?

Someone doesn’t have time or capability to build their own web site? So what? Where is it written that it must be so? If you owned a web site would you allow anyone to post if they didn’t follow guidelines you set up? Or would you let the site go completely uncontrolled and allow anyone and everyone to post anything they wanted? I seriously doubt it. I, for one, hope you stay around. Conversations with opposing views are more interesting IMHO. I would hope you have the capability to structure your posts so they stay within the parameters that the OWNERS of TOD have established. If not I’m sure you can find other sites more accomidating.

 

“If you owned a web site would you allow anyone to post if they didn’t follow guidelines you set up? Or would you let the site go completely uncontrolled and allow anyone and everyone to post anything they wanted? I seriously doubt it.”-Rockman

I DO “own” a website Rockman, and I in fact DO allow “anyone and everyone” to post whatever they want! LOL. So your assumption and “serious doubt” is WRONG from the GET-GO. You just got no clue dude on how it can be done.

Come visit the Doomstead Diner and LEARN what Free Speech really means and how you can allow all perspectives to be heard, without BANNING and CENSORING the Commentariat.

http://doomsteaddiner.net

RE

Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 5:09am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

I’d go so far as to say it’s necessary to have some restrictions in order to create a space for reasonable discussion. As we see in the comments at MSM sites, the same old partisan liberal vs. conservative rants take over, driving out all other discussion, if you don’t limit them.

We started out pretty much “everything goes” here, but as the site grew, it simply became untenable. In theory, the answer to bad speech is more speech; in practice, it doesn’t work that way. At least, not on the Internet. On the net, the people who have the most time and inclination to post are often…um…”neurologically atypical”? I can’t count the times I’ve sent someone a warning and got a reply along the lines of “Sorry, I’m on new meds and they’re not working.” They’re on disability, and have nothing to do but post all day, and there’s no way people who have jobs and families can keep up.

I’d go so far as to say you are WRONG, you just need to segregate discussions by type and by participants. You create separate categories for those who Napalm and those who write off toic and those who actually make intelligent and to topic commentary. You move the posting as necessary tot he approrpiate category. Readers can view what category pleases them to read. All the wirters can write what they want, all the readers can read what they want. Win-Win for all.

RE

All the wirters can write what they want, all the readers can read what they want.

But that’s kind of the point of having different sites on the net, isn’t it?

We simply aren’t interested in some topics and some posting styles. Why should we devote our time, energy, and money to supporting them? There’s plenty of other places where people can post political rants, argue about whether AGW is real, debate 9/11 “truth,” etc.

This site is designed to be easy for the staff to run. The theory being that whether peak oil looks like the Greater Depression or Mad Max, it’s likely we are all going to have less time to babysit our blog.

It’s a big Internet. There’s room for your site as well as ours, and many others. Why not give people the choice? Why should we be like you? Vive la difference.

I am all for variety and “Vive la Differance”, issue being that the Doomstead Diner is an Anomaly, it is not the NORM. Sites like TOD are the Norm, and these are the preponderance of sites that people seeking information arrive at as they awaken to the problems.

About ALL the most read sites engage in Censorship, I know Zero Hedge does I know y9ou do, I know The Automatic Earth does. It is exceedingly rare to find a site where Censorship is NOT engaged in reularly. Karl Denninger does it, and Peak Oil did it as well when you were Newz Editor there. So how can you make the case that there is “Free Speech” on the Internet when about every website BESIDES the Doomstead Diner engages in this sort of Propagandizing?

I am trying to motivate other Bloggers to be more FREE in speech, and I can show how to do it also without diminishing the Quality of your website. It truly angers me to se intelligent posters BANNED for “Trolling”, mainly because they just do not buy the groupthink of the website. Its not abotu off color language, I got now problem with you putting a bunch of **** for a one of George Carlins Seven Dirty Words, it is about IDEAS beign censored. Valid Critiques of people liek John Michael Greer, who while he has a decent grasp of history also has his own spin he is promoting and his history is colored by that.

You told me in order to drop an article on TOD, I gotta meet some requirements which you do not really specify. You are publishing only what YOU think is valid. How can anyone get a complete perspective that way? Sure, you can bookmark 100 websites all with different spins, but again MOST people do not have time to surf through so many sites. If you just put up ONE spin, you are no better than the MSM and Rupert Murdoch.

Grow out of such a narrow perspective Leanan, it is not productive. It does not serve to rbing all thoughts TOGETHER, it it isolates rather than consolidates.

Anyhow, I am done tonight with making this case. Do as you will with TOD. I just see it as sad that on such a well read website you will pursue these policies when they are not necessary at all to pursue.

RE

I am all for variety and “Vive la Differance”, issue being that the Doomstead Diner is an Anomaly, it is not the NORM.

Perhaps this is because Doomstead Diner is not what most people want?

Valid Critiques of people liek John Michael Greer, who while he has a decent grasp of history also has his own spin he is promoting and his history is colored by that.

Valid critiques are fine. Just don’t cross the line into personal attacks. And people who do stuff like create sockpuppets and post comments to support and attack themselves are likely to get the banhammer.

You told me in order to drop an article on TOD, I gotta meet some requirements which you do not really specify.

Sorry, but as I said, I really don’t know what the requirements are. I am not on the board or the editorial staff (by my own choice), and I have never tried to submit an article myself. Asking me about it is like asking an Orthodox rabbi about the best way to cook bacon.

It does not serve to rbing all thoughts TOGETHER, it it isolates rather than consolidates.

I think it’s the opposite. We’ve made a conscious decision to remain small. Everyone who posts here has to share the Drumbeat, and the result is an interesting synthesis that might not happen on a message board.

 

Reverse Engineer on September 4, 2012 – 12:36pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

Perhaps this is because Doomstead Diner is not what most people want?-Leanan

On the contrary, just about everyone I have spoken with finds the type of censorship engaged in here to be damaging to its credibility, and are looking for alternatives. The Diner grows as a result of such censorship on sites like TOD, TAE and others.

I think it’s the opposite. We’ve made a conscious decision to remain small. Everyone who posts here has to share the Drumbeat, and the result is an interesting synthesis that might not happen on a message board.-Leanan

You’ve made a CONSCIOUS choice to marginalize yourself and engage in Group Think? That is NUTS.

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

Think of it this way. We’re a small specialty store. You want to know why we aren’t trying to be Wal-Mart. Well, because we don’t want to be Wal-Mart.

We’re not for everyone. We’ve never been the biggest peak oil site on the net, nor the most accessible, and do not aspire to be. If that’s what you want to be, go for it. I wish you all the success in the world, if only because maybe you’ll draw off some of the spammers, trolls, scammers, nutburgers, industry shills, etc. that make moderation necessary.

Who’s asking you to be Walmart? I’m asking you to stop CENSORING and BANNING commenters on your Blog who are doing nothing more than expressing a contrary opinion (albeit at some length, but then those articles you drop on are plenty long themselves).

Nor does the Diner aspire to be Walmart either, I like to think of it as a Smorgasbord where you can sample Caviar and Crepe Suzette, Potato Chips and Onion Dip, Chocolate Covered Grasshoppers, along with some dishes from Outer Space 🙂 LOL. You pick what appeals to you.

Don’t count on my saving you from “spammers, trolls, scammers, nutburgers, industry shills,etc”. They don’t last long on the Diner. I can out-Troll anybody. 😉

RE

I’m asking you to stop CENSORING and BANNING commenters on your Blog who are doing nothing more than expressing a contrary opinion (albeit at some length, but then those articles you drop on are plenty long themselves).

I don’t think I do that, but why do you care? You have your own site. Run it as you wish. I promise I will not show up there making demands that you change to accommodate my desires.

I CARE because a main focus of the Diner is to defend the principles of Free Speech on the Internet. I CARE because this sort of Capricious Banning is what I was subjected to on Peak Oil, where in fact you were Newz Editor at the time.

I suggest you read my article on the Guerilla Internet Free Speech Project to understand my POV on this better.

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/06/27/guerilla-internet-free-spe…

RE

I tried reading your link, but it makes no sense to me since I am not involved in those sites and do not know who you are talking about, or what happened. However, I support TAE’s right to moderate their own site as they see fit. I think small sites like TAE are best run with a policy like that at The Big Picture:

This may be a free country, but The Big Picture is my personal fiefdom. I rule over all as benevolent dictator/philospher king/utility infielder. Fear my wrath, mortals!

I will ban anyone whom I choose from posting comments — usually, for a damned good reason, but on rare occasions, for the exact same reason God created the platypus: because I feel like it.

You don’t know who Ilargi and Stoneleigh of The Automatic Earth are? Good grief, Stoneleigh was editor of TOD Canada! Ashvin Pandurangi either? I find that hard to believe.

“I will ban anyone whom I choose from posting comments — usually, for a damned good reason, but on rare occasions, for the exact same reason God created the platypus: because I feel like it.”

In other words, you do not support Free Speech, you support Capricious Censorship by Newz Organizations for no better reason than you “feel like it”. Because people accept this is why we have Newz Organizations like Fox and MSNBC. People don’t grasp they are being fed only what the proprietors of those sites want them to read or hear. So it is here on TOD as well, just on a much smaller scale.

At least you admit to being a Propagandist and Censor though, that is some level of honesty.

RE

I know who Stoneleigh and Ilargi are, but I don’t regularly read their site. So I don’t know what’s going on there. No clue who Ashvin Pandurangi is.

I support free speech, but I believe the concept applies to the government, not individuals – or web sites. I feel very strongly that everyone has the right to run their sites as they see fit. It’s like a private home. If you’re going to visit, you have to obey the house rules, and if the owners decide they want to kick you out, you should go. It’s the civilized thing to do.

Ashvin is the other Admin of TAE along with Stoneleigh and Ilargi. He ran the site while they were Globe Trotting in OZ.

Far as supporting Free Speech, you don’t practice what you preach. That is not support. “Government” doesn’t run Newzpapers, TV Stations or Websites, Private Enterprise does. If the individuals who run these organizations will not practice Free Speech, it does not exist. You are contributing to the totalitarian state by silencing those who do not agree with you. You are not a supporter of Free Speech if you will not practice it on your website. You are a Propagandist.

RE

I didn’t even know they were globetrotting in Oz.

Not a big fan of the MSM in the US, but I don’t think having the government running newspapers and TV stations is the answer. I’d rather have private enterprise and individuals doing it than the government. As long as the government doesn’t censor them, free speech is upheld.

“Not a big fan of the MSM in the US, but I don’t think having the government running newspapers and TV stations is the answer. I’d rather have private enterprise and individuals doing it than the government. As long as the government doesn’t censor them, free speech is upheld.”-Leanan

Who would approve of Goobermint running TV and Newz Stations? This is another Strawman like your Walmart argument. The point here is if the 4th Estate does NOT practice Free Speech (and TOD is a member of the 4th Estate reporting on Energy issues), there is no Free Speech. You EXPLICITLY ADMIT you do not practice Free Speech, so it CLEARLY is not upheld by you. You are a Censor and a Propagandist, just cop to it. You don’t Walk the Walk.

RE

As I said, I think freedom of speech applies to the government, not to web sites or the MSM. And no, I don’t think TOD is part of the 4th estate. We’re just a little blog. Size matters.

The real problem with the MSM is that they are giving people what they want. And apparently, what people want is views that support their own.

There’s other sources out there. Al-Jazeera, BBC, Press TV. During the Gulf War, I remember going to foreign news sites to find out what was really happening. I was not censored. Unlike in China, where CNN and other US news sources were blocked. The information is out there, if people want it. They don’t want it.

“The information is out there, if people want it. They don’t want it.”- Leanan

Really? You believe that? You think people WANT to be fed lies? Pardon me for saying so, but you are outta your mind.

I now understand how you rationalize your behavior. Have a nice day.

RE

The thing is…they don’t believe it’s lies. They believe everything else is lies, and they don’t want to hear it.

I say this as someone whose parents have become complete Fox News groupies. It’s on 24/7, and they gripe like crazy if they go someplace where CNN is on the TV. CNN is all lies, see. Fox News is the “no spin zone,” where the truth and only the truth is heard. Seriously…it reminds me of the TV commercial with the girl who’s convinced you can’t put anything on the net if it’s not true. My parents believe that if it’s on Fox News, it must be true. They have graduate degrees and strictly limited my TV viewing when I was a kid. And now this.

You don’t GET that you do precisely the same thing as Fox Newz does? You eliminate contrary opinion on your channel. You accept articles only from Editorial Board Approved Pundits. You just are not as big as Fox is, but the PRINCIPLE is the same, and it is the principle that counts, not the size. If the discussion is not proceeding as YOU would like it to, you’ll hit the Ban button whenever it suits you to do so. You explicitly said so. Who but other people who March to the same Drumbeat you do will ever expect a level playing field for debate about some of the most important subject matter of our time on a website with such a policy?

They have graduate degrees“-Leanan

Ph.Ds have no more CFS than anybody else. You find at least as many cockamamie ideas being spouted off by folks with Grad degrees as anybody else, in fact probably a good deal more of them. Case in point would be a few of the folks with Grad degrees you publish here on TOD on a regular basis. Every idea under the sun has somebody who wrote a doctoral dissertation defending the idea. The reason you need free and open discussion is so that these ideas can be refuted and repudiated as necessary. If you don’t allow that, your website is just a Propaganda organ for a given subset of ideas that YOU think are true.

You can run your website however you please, but I will call you out for what you are. A Censor and Propagandist in the Fox Newz mold.

RE

Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 6:07pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

I said I support private enterprise in the MSM. Or at least, I don’t see any better alternative. I don’t care to watch Fox News myself, but I don’t think it should be banned. Nor do I think the government, or you or I, should be telling them what they can or cannot say.

What is the alternative? Government rules determining what must be shown on TV or printed in newspapers?

Reverse Engineer on September 4, 2012 – 6:41pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

“What is the alternative? Government rules determining what must be shown on TV or printed in newspapers?”-Leanan

The ALTERNATIVE is for Private Proprietors of Websites to VOLUNTARILY open their websites up to Free and Open discussion with a No Ban/No Censorship Policy.

Unlike Newzpapers, you have essentially Unlimited numbers of Pages and no real limit on Space. Particularly if you use linking and store high bandwidth material offsite, like Videos on YouTube. You can create hierarchies for viewing and publication, so you can “spin” your website as you please while still allowing the readers to have their say.

The real Revolution in communication that is the Internet is that it provides for 2-Way communication, not just Writer to Reader. Any Reader can become a writer, and vica-versa. Not if you pursue the policy of Banning and Censoring what “malcontents” and “trolls” will post though.

Look, if it wasn’t possible to do this, I could see the rationale for some Banning and Censoring, but it IS possible to do it. I do it on the Diner. You just have to set your systems up correctly.

It all depends on the Individual and his/her beliefs and Commitment to the Principles of Free Speech. Those of us who are proprietors of Information Websites are at the leading edge of this, and if we do not provide the mechanism for the Average J6P to get his Voice Heard, NOBODY will do it. Da Goobermint certainly will not, and the MSM will not either. Who is LEFT Leanan? Just you and me. Join with me VOLUNTARILY in this adventure. You can reconfigure this website with better tools for management of trolls and industry shills. I will help, pro bono, no charge. I don’t do this for money, I am on a Mission From God on the Issue of Free Speech.

It is UP TO US. WE HAVE TO PROVIDE THE MEDIUM. Most people cannot do this. We CAN.

RE

Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 6:49pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

I can’t do it. I don’t particularly want to, either. But I’m glad you are. Best of luck.

Reverse Engineer on September 4, 2012 – 7:00pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

You can, you just don’t WANT to. Just don’t claim to be a supporter of Free Speech. You are not.

RE

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