Whatever happened to “I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it?” I went to a certain blog, that shall remain nameless (no one who visits here, I can tell you), and decided to take part in a little discussion. It was about a theater in Utah banning the movie “Brokeback Mountain.” This post isn't meant to be about your or my opinions on Brokeback Mountain or the theater's right to show or not show it. I can't tell you exactly what my side of the conversation was, since ALL of my comments were deleted, but I can give you the gist of it. The commenters on said blog were discussing a certain “societal norm” related to said movie, and I decided to jump right in and ask why they felt that way. Based on the answer I received, I asked where in the bible a certain “societal norm” was prohibited. I don't know if I asked a third time, or not, because after that all the comments I wrote were summarily deleted and from the tone of the blog owner's comment, I think he was trying to ban me. Out of spite, I left two more comments saying that for each comment that was deleted, I would make two more. Those two were deleted by the next time I checked, but it turns out that my IP address was actually blocked. I didn't know that someone with a dial-up connection could have their IP address blocked, since a new address is generated each time I access the Internet. I spent about a half hour finding a list of anonymous IP hiding services
. I then went back to vent my rage in the form of five IP-hidden, ban-free comments.
But this post isn't about the content of my comments, or about the movie or the theater. This is about someone maliciously silencing my political voice. It's about censorship. Instead of ignoring me until I left (and believe me, I would've gone away pretty quickly) this “blog owner who shall not be named” just removed all trace of me and banned me for life. I can understand how someone might want to delete one of my random senseless comments. For example, if I went to a political blog and wrote “Never in my life were you ever so fish-like, what with the inside of an inner tube”, I wouldn't mind having that comment deleted. But taking comments that I made to ask a legitimate question and just going “Poof! It's gone!” is not just an insult to my dignity and intelligence, it's an affront to the very tenets of free speech that the United States was founded upon.
What would you do, in my position?