A Technology Solution? As retired English teacher Christie
suggests, there may be a software-based solution which enables the whole community to act as moderators/censors. DIGG.com's commenting system allows users to "bury" comments that are trollish or offensive. One might argue that that is a much more arbitrary form of censorship, since the commenter doesn't even know that his or her posting will be hidden. At least the current rules allow a writer to say whatever, so long as the "words" are not used. Would a comment "burying" system be a better way to deal with this?
Big, high budget sites, like the wallstreet journal, moderate every comment, so they don't appear without being screened. I don't see us having the resources for that any time soon. So other solutions to dealing with the hateful use of these terms-- by far, the most commonly abused, are invited. Just saying don't censor does not address the problem. And asking a limited number of volunteer editors to do it is not really viable.
added at 6:20 PM
I've been called an antisemite enough times, but a zionist just as many. Trying to allow both sides a voice is no picnic. I've found that those who embrace the word don't use it when they post articles. I've gotten along just fine with people who are advocates for the palestinian cause. Our most frequent contributor who travels regularly to Palestine and writes as an advocate for the Palestinians is fine with the ban of the words-- because she knows they are abused and used for hate and she can communicate her message just fine without them.
You want to talk about censorship. How many "liberal" sites won't allow articles that argue the point of view of Israeli's who feel they are defending themselves and their right to exist?
I won't list all the ones that only cover the anti-Israel, anti-zionist side. THe bigger ones tend to be pro-Israel and block criticism of Israel or advocacy for Palestinians, even banning strong voices.
I'm not going to judge any of them. They have the right to do things the way they choose.
So, I ask you, which sites allow voices from both sides? I'd like to know, so I can discuss with them how they do it. I think, while you suggest we're censoring, that we're actually the most open on this issue of all the major progressive sites.
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All this discussion, for the most part has been healthy.