Censorship Reconsidered  

rockwriter58 56M
1524 posts
6/28/2005 6:53 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Censorship Reconsidered

This post was originally planned for posting on June 24. However, the new censorship software made it an early victim. Although this may seem a bit out-dated after what has transpired, there are still some thoughts worth considering. Censored material should always find the light of day.

Part I

My thoughts about censorship on this website have evolved since I first raised the topic in the entry Censorship? on March 28.

In the three months since that post, I have seen some of the top bloggers (among them GOTD, leyndokona, and wyvern-rose) battle with the administrators over having blog entries denied. Some have considered shutting down their blogs.

(The remainder of this post will conclude inside.)


rockwriter58 56M
1389 posts
6/28/2005 7:01 am

Part II

(There is something in the next paragraph that trips the censorbot. This post took four attempts to post. What could the offensive word or phrase be? One wonders.)

About twelve percent of the entries on this blog have been denied at one time or another. I had planned to write on this topic today, and then sure enough, a post that was approved two days ago recirculated with a denied sticker attached. So I certainly have inspiration. Some of my posts have been denied two or three times. Often the denials come with little rhyme or reason.

Some of my posts on prostitution have been denied. I almost expect this because the post is dealing with the topic of soliciting and the program used to flag these entries can’t sort out that I am criticizing that practice. However, some have sailed through without the hands of the censors touching them.

When I first entered the Land of Blog, I took every technical glitch that made my posts disappear or made the current blog board jam (so few, if anyone, knew I had posted) as a sign of censorship. Now, I don’t even count those problems as a form of censorship, only as a form of another type of frustration. (If you lump the technical glitches in with the denials, more than twenty-five percent of the material here had problems getting to readers and therefore likely had less readership.

I have come to realize that this space where we write is proprietary space. So the proprietors decide about our freedom. However, that immediately sets up a dilemma for those who will write here about sex, the ultimate form of free expression. If you don’t push the envelope, how do you express yourself completely. And if you do push the envelope, you risk having your material spiked.

If the administrators do not allow most of the material to be posted, then they actually work to curb and shut-down their own system. True blogging cannot exist if the bloggers feel restrained. For now, enough material is getting through for the creative to remain. Like taxes, the frustration of 10 or 20 percent of your material getting flagged appears to be acceptable.


rockwriter58 56M
1389 posts
6/28/2005 7:02 am

Part III

I am not writing this completely as a way to vent but to reflect. Also, I’m writing because various readers have suggested that I write on this topic again. My first attempt was a toe in the water. This is more of a plea from inside to those who will read this, including (or especially) the administrators (or their electronic program) to allow more freedom of expression. The fight for free expression worldwide is undervalued because many in the free world take this basic freedom for granted. Of course, I am writing this in corporate space, so I have already surrendered some of that freedom, despite the fact I actually pay to write in this space (and not the other way around).

Some bloggers say, let it go. This is a place for fun. Just cope.

Others have left me long essays on their feelings. (See the comment section of the March 28 post.) I’m happy that at least sometimes there is an opportunity here for people to let their emotions out.

What gets censored? Well the program that screens this material obviously doesn’t like the title of publications, especially men’s magazines (I’ve had material flagged for that and when those mentions were removed, the post was accepted). Numbers also seem to be a problem. Therefore dates are a problem. Dollar signs are a real problem. Mentions of competing sites are of course a problem too. However, like a few others here, I’ve had posts denied that had no cursing, no copyright issues, none of the flagged words or numbers, and innocently dealt with topics such as my marriage. Who knows why those posts get denied.

Has the problem changed with the newly posted blog rules and FAQ? I have been thinking that the denial rate has been reduced, and the rules and FAQ now give writers a means of writing to appeal. However, the rules and FAQ are vague enough that the proprietors can still deny what they wish as is their ultimate corporate right in this space.

This is not one of the mighty blogs so if this author chooses to unplug, the proprietors won’t have thousands of readers sending e-mails of complaint. For now, the frustrations of actual censorship and technical difficulties are worth the trouble. For now.


rockwriter58 56M
1389 posts
6/28/2005 7:31 am

Postscript

I didn't realize this but leyndokona2 shut her blog down a month ago because of the problems with posting approval and technical glitches. I suppose this will teach me to check up on everyone more consistently. However, it shows that at some point even the top bloggers will get fed up with the system unless quality is improved.


keithcancook 60M
17837 posts
6/28/2005 7:44 am

I hope that it will always remain worth the trouble for you. I have been remiss in not visiting your blog on a regular basis, but now that I am here I hope you won't leave.

I have posted a few times on this subject back in April or so. I was still new to the site and unsure of the rules. Funny, but I still am unsure of the rules...

At least they finally fixed the glitch that was plaguing The Venting Blog right from the start. I did not know it, but for a month and a half the title appeared as "My Blog" even though I named it otherwise when I opened the danged thing.

Also, the glitch precluded others from listing The Venting Blog on their "most watched" list. When it was finally fixed I had over 500 comments and that day I suddenly appeared halfway up the "most popular male bloggers" list. Surprise!


rm_talldarkavg1 105M
10172 posts
6/28/2005 9:27 am

Frustration is indeed discouraging. However, on the up side...figuring out how to get over is quite a rush.

[blog talldarkavg1]


rockwriter58 56M
1389 posts
6/29/2005 7:07 am

Great to see the top bloggers weighing in here...especially to see some of the funniest guys and one of the sexiest women.

>>>keith: No apologies necessary. Interesting that we started blogging about the same time. However, you jumped right into the top ranks. Your stuff is so funny and interesting to read.

Keith, you are right. You overcame the technical problems. You are so much more diligent about your blog than I am, although I am going through a daily blogging phase. (That will likely not last.)

I know I have been concentrated on the censorship theme. However, if the problems have been dealt with then we can get back to the usual mix here. Besides, this week in the U.S. we are focused on this theme:

Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness.


Become a member to create a blog