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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Revealing The Censor

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Anarchy in a community means that censorship is not an acceptable practice.

Copenhagen street art.

Censorship is the suppression of expression, using force. Usually, the censor is unidentified, and not answerable to those being censored.

This is dissimilar to the moderating of an activity. The role of a moderator is to limit the conversation visibly, according to the rules agreed on by the participants. And every action of the moderator is answerable to them!

The censor is, in principle, an authoritarian ruler, judge, and executioner, invulnerable to feedback.

Anarchy, in the context of community, can present itself in any number of possible social structures, but all of which will follow the same rule. All interactions are free. Not only voluntary, and definitely not coerced. But free!

Free, as in any person can, at any time, do what they wish, as long as they cause no physical harm or threat to another. No force can be inflicted on them. Even if agreement was previously made, such as a written contract, further disagreement, or nulling of contract, does not justify the use of force against them.

Those who betray trust, will simply not be trusted again - until forgiven, and that is the only moral strategy in a free society.

Even within private property, such as a house, where the owner can - if necessary - use force to remove people; those people are still free, and cannot be coerced or threatened, just for voluntarily entering the private property of another. It is immoral to abuse a guest.

To conclude, there is no place for censorship within any group, community, or organization. In order to moderate activities, methods of refereeing must be applied; while those who moderate are explicitly not above the same community standards.

It is only in this way that all community members are properly represented.

Read 4 comments.

  1. How about this:
    * A group of peers defines a moderator and the rules of discussion.
    * A group members repeated steps out of the discussion boundaries, not heeding warning.
    * the moderator proceeds to demote the provocateur.

  2. Yes, that's how community moderation works. :-) In principle.

    Naturally, things tend to get more complicated, when a moderator wants to "demote" or ban a participant, but the accusation isn't as clear for everyone. That's where a moderator can turn into a fascist overlord, and deny the necessity of having the *actual participants* choose, whether they were actually offended.

    It's when the mod's opinion or behavior doesn't reflect the opinions of the established members of the community, that this conflict looms about.

  3. OK so you aren't against moderation in principle but it is a problematic position of power.

    No, i'm a guest, no notification, not even in the mailing address i left.

  4. Just do an anonymous Disqus account. :D This system is well used in commenting for lots of sites.

    Yeah, I'm basically comparing a Censor to a Moderator, arguing that the censor is an illegitimate and wrong position, while the moderator position is reasonable and good. Hell, any place without moderation turns into mad crap, fast. >< I've seen it happen both online and in real life. *ugh shudder*


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