Sunday, August 28, 2005

Question – On Public Censorship

You, Readers, may or may not have noticed the appearance of a little button on the top of the page marked ‘Flag’.

By pressing this button, a reader may flag a blog as ‘objectionable’. Those behind Blogger and Blogspot track the number of times a blog is flag and then determine whether action, such as unlisting the blog (though not deleting it), is apropos. There is more information on the process available from blogger.

The questions being raised are something of a side issue; how many objections to a ‘text’ (used here is the broadest sense) makes it offensive? Should the public be allowed to determined what texts are openly available, and which are not? Should the public discourse be regulated by any form of censorship?


Samuel Douglas said...

As far as I can tell the flags just stop the blogs from being found 'inadvertantly' via the "next blog" button. Blogger will only delete a blog in the most extreme of cases, where certain types of clear illegality or potential negative publicity are involved.

One gripe I have with the system is that certain blogs (some expressing som fairly questionable views) that are still hosted by blogger or blogspot do not show the nav-bar with the flag button. Does this mean that they are already unlisted or what?

To actually answer the question (finally) I am aginst most, if not all forms of censorship. Having said this I think that people have to be prepared for a reaction to what they have publicised. In particular, individuals such as those "Catch the Fire" ministers from Victoria need to be able to give some justification for the veiw that they expressed. I don't know how many times I've said it: Making certain statements illegal to say in public does not stop people from thinking them, or saying them (and more) in private. Does the Victorian state government honestly think that their legislation will stamp out racial predjudice there? If they do, they are morons. How is society supposesd to know that there are Danny Nahlliah's in its midst if these issues are only disscussed behind closed doors? Censorship of this kind (and of most kinds) gives us nothing more than a false sense of how amazingly wholesome we all are. Well I have news for you people, we're not!

"But we need to censor for Society's own good".

Bullshit I say! If that really is the case then it is a sure sign that our education system has failed utterly.

Unknown said...

It's not a question of censorship, but ownership. Google owns Blogger so Blogger calls the shots.

Samuel Douglas said...

I think you are on the money there (pardon the pun).

Thanks for calling in.

A said...

I am putting together a separate blog on this particular topic.

Editor said...

Thanks for establishing another forum for the discussion of this issue. It is the sort of topic that needs to be discussed more widely.

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