On Censorship and Moderation

John Scalzi said it, but it’s worth repeating. So I’m repeating it:

3. If you conflate editorial standards and procedure with issues of freedom of speech and censorship, particularly when you are able to, say, post whatever you like on a web site you control, you may not be taken seriously. You may not like that either.

4. If you conflate the ability to say what you want, how you want, with an immunity from criticism or consequence of the speech, you are likely to be surprised. If you are not aware of, or refuse to seriously consider, that many people who might in times past have not publicly objected to your speech now feel free to do so and in no uncertain terms, you may become unhappy. If you choose not to treat those responses and criticisms seriously, your reputation may ultimately suffer. Your reputation today is highly contingent on what you do now, not what you’ve done in the past.

Oh, and this:

8. “Political Correctness” is a catchphrase which today means one of two things. The first is, “I have done no substantial thinking on this topic in at least twenty years and therefore anything I say past this point cannot be treated with any seriousness.” The second is “It is more important for me to continue my ingrained bigotry than it is for you not to be denigrated or offended by my bigotry, because I am lazy and do not wish to be bothered.” If in fact you do not intend to convey either of these two things, you should not use, nor sign on to a document which uses, the phrase “political correctness.”

I’m just noting this here for ease of reference when the next person uses the front page of a national newspaper to complain about being censored.

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