Friday, December 19, 2003

My two cents on comment "censorship"
So I was going to post this as a comment on Matt's blog, but I figured I had enough to say that it deserved my own entry. Plus, I haven't posted anything here in a while, so this gives me the chance to kill two birds with one stone.

Anyway, apparently the official blog of the DNC, Kicking Ass, will delete comments with opposing viewpoints. This has got some people all hot and bothered. As you might have guessed from the scare quotes in the title, I'm somewhat less concerned about it. My dismissal rests on two points, one practical and one theoretical:

1) Practially speaking, what exactly do these Republican commentators hope to accomplish by posting argumentation on Kicking Ass? If their goal is to convince the blog writers that they're wrong, then they're idiots. This is not going to happen. Perhaps they would claim that they are trying to convince undecided centrists. If so, they should convince me first that there are really any undecided centrists reading Kicking Ass; if I were an undecided centrist, I certainly would not expect the official blog of the DNC to be a source meeting my political needs. Really, the only thing that they're doing is engaging in argumentation for argumentation's sake, and I have no hesitation in calling that completely unproductive.

2) On a more theoretical note, why would they expect any different? Comments are under no obligation to always be a forum for free exchange of ideas. The main purpose of Kicking Ass, at least as I would see it, is not to be a place for equal discussion among all political viewpoints; it's a place to mobilize people who already have one particular viewpoint. Why should they be under any obligation to entertain others, then?

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