But Seriously, Ladies and Germs
Okay, I had my fun with my last essay about censorship. But this one is serious. I am contemplating this question. When, if ever, is censorship appropriate?
For the following examples, I'm using a 3-tiered answer:
- Clearly free speechifying
- Worthy of admin deletion
- Deserves immediate banning
A political website, let's call it z33, acquires a new member. This member posts a disquisition in which they write the following.
The owners of this site are pizza-loving pedos that sell children to traffickers in order to gain entry to orgies. President Trump is on to them and will deal with them and this devil-worshipping site harshly in The Storm.
[In case you think this example far-fetched, QAnon was founded on that very conspiracy theory. See: Wikipedia - QAnon]
What do you think? Speechifying, deletion, or banning.
A long-term member of z33 publishes the following disquisition on the site. z33 is a site frequented by persons of all political persuasions but leans progressive.
I was raised Catholic. I believe in the sanctity of life. I believe life begins shortly after conception. I believe abortion should be considered baby murder, especially when performed after the germinal stage.
Your verdict? Speechifying, deletion, or banning.
A z33 member feels strongly about a topic. This member aligns politically with many on the site but can be a bit strident. Her disquisition follows.
You f**kers just don't understand how wrong you are. Anyone that doesn't feel the same way about this topic as I do is f**ked in the cranium. If you and me were in the same location in meatspace, I'd kick you in the teeth until you accepted reality.
Final answer? Speechifying, deletion, or banning.
How to Participate
It would be quite nice if you posted a comment below with your assessment of the 3 examples and anything you'd care to add. My opinion is that free speech ends when it impacts the freedom, safety, or finances of an innocent person or persons. For instance, "Joe Blow won't find a job because he wants free stuff from the government" is free, although ugly, speech. "Let's go to Joe Blow's place and burn it down with him inside because he wants free stuff from the government" merits censorship. And possibly arrest.