In my view, it's cowardly to restrict speech short and I'm not talking about threats of violence, pornography, or instructions on how to build a pipe bomb. I'm talking about expressing views that others dislike or that may actually be offensive. I've been participating in message boards for a wide array of topics from football, dogs, politics, religion, etc., and the two segments most quick to BAN
speech are the political left and the religious right. Many sites list rules and one of the rules is a "catch-all" rule called "trolling", and when one expresses a view with which they disagree they claim "trolling" and then ban the supposed offender.
To me, a good moderator engenders
discussion but, in my experience, most of them annihilate
discussion. I suspect that some or "many" of them gain a sense of power by restricting and banning the speech of others. The result, of course, is that they drive away good posters and good discussion while they remain the big fish in their little pond.
By the way, this isn't a knock on any moderators here. I haven't encountered anything here that I would describe as censorship. Of course, this is a privately owned forum and management is obviously free to allow or disallow pretty much whatever they want, as long as it's lawful, of course. I'm just speaking in general terms about the vast majority of forums that I have visited.
I was just banned from a "Christian" forum because I very politely, and respectfully, expressed my disbelief in the Catholic teachings and beliefs regarding the Rosary. I relied on scripture and asked proponents of the Rosary to do the same. I didn't attack anyone. I wasn't impolite. I often prefaced my posts with "I believe...".
I had to take my elderly mother to her doctor. Upon arriving home I went to my thread about the Rosary and, to my disbelief, I was banned and the reason given was that I was a "troll". Never had a moderator ever contacted me about anything that I had ever posted there. There was never a need. And then, from out of the blue (so to speak), I was banned. My impression is that one of the senior moderators there is a Catholic and he could not tolerate my scripturally-backed views. Again, this wasn't a Catholic forum but a CHRISTIAN forum. To me, that is both sad (for him) and amazing to me. I cannot fathom the thought of banning a fellow believer (or anyone else) for simply expressing a view that I don't share. That's just incredible to me.
Ok. I got that off my chest. Thanks for reading. r