I’ve just had a very odd thing happen. I have had comments which I made and which have already been replied to deleted off a political blog for no better reason than I can see than that I disagreed with the person whose blog it is, and could cite sources.
It’s his blog. He can do what he likes with it and with the comments made on it.
Even so, I find it deeply ironic that his tagline is “Winning friends and influencing people for better or for worse”. I cut my cyber-teeth on a site where nothing was ever deleted unless it was illegal, racist or homophobic. Having my words removed is an odd feeling.
So, if you don’t want comments deleted from a political blog which purports to invite civilised debate, then don’t do any of the following:
Don’t point out an uncomfortable interpretation of the bible and say “I have not verified it” – to do so suggests that you don’t have access to the Bible which means you must be – spit the word out – an atheist.
Don’t say “what I meant was that I did not check it out with a Greek scholar” when you are abused for failing to verify it. Don’t cite your mother who did study New Testament Greek as the otherwise unverified source of your comments. Presumably to do so implies you don’t trust your mother, which undermines Americans’ faith in motherhood and apple pie and breaks the commandment to honour your parents. More atheism. Evil evil Aphra.
Don’t challenge an unsubstantiated and frankly incredible statistic posted by your host by looking up relevant statistics in the National Statistics Office of the UK, the CIA, the French Embassy in Washington and British Census data and quoting them with links. To do so undermines an otherwise perfectly good argument which manages to vilify both the French and the Muslims living in France. I’m an enemy of Freedom. Obviously.
Don’t answer a post containing a series of loaded political questions simply and honestly, and above all don’t put in a slightly flippant reference to the 45 minute warning and WMD in the last reply. I am not sure what it means if you do those things, but I do know you won’t be granted the freedom of speech to do so.
Don’t suggest that you find the social darwinianism of the US unpleasant, and that you prefer the shared responsibility of loving your neighbour, paying your taxes and having health-care free at the point of delivery. To do so suggests that you are European, addicted to welfare and therefore plainly a socialist, and – as we all know – there is no evil greater than socialism. Unless it’s to be French. Or a Muslim. Or to oppose the war in Iraq.
Don’t say that America is going to be in the 2nd league in 50 years time. To do so shows you are an obvious enemy of freedom and are casual about the end of American hegemony. (That is one of those words which I can never quite remember what it means, so I guess I must be casual about it).
Don’t blog pseudononymously. To do so indicates that you …. wait for it …. have no sense of pride. Presumably only people who are ASHAMED of something would use a pseudonym.
Oh, incidentally, as well as all the above, I have high-school debating skills, (which may well be true). In case you didn’t know already I had better warn you that he can tell that I am an atheist, a socialist, an international pacifist. Oh, and most of what I say is plainly gobbledygook.
You have been warned.
In some respects it’s impressive that I got so far under his skin, and it does mean that I won’t be wasting my time bothering him any more, which will be good for his temper and for mine.
I am however shocked that someone who claims to invite active debate on their blog will simply delete the posts of those he disagrees with. My few original comments which have been replied to by other commentators are “awaiting moderation”. I am not sure if that means that anyone other than me can see them.
If that is what American Freedom of Speech is, then the good goddess help us all.