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dalepetrie's avatar

Censorship or keeping the peace?

Asked by dalepetrie (18014points) September 30th, 2008

I posted a question asking for opinions about what I see to be positively beyond the pale in regards to how Republicans in the House and McCain are trying to pass the blame for the failure of the bailout plan, and for the economic crisis itself on Democrats and Obama specifically. I gave a line by line set of facts and specific examples to back up my assertions. Now to me my question was about the one sidedness of blaming one’s opponent when placing such blame defies all known logic. I wanted opinions, and I expected dissenters AND apologists as well as those who would have nothing more valuable than “you’re damn right”. But I was hoping to get opinions and perspective to help me understand if this really is politics as usual or if one side was actually going too far. I thought it was a fair question and I still do, even if it does offend some people who want to join in on the finger pointing…in my view perhaps they SHOULD be offended, maybe it will make them a bit less one-sided themselves to hear a completely different opinion than their own.

My question was pulled almost immediately, I got this email from Fluther (after one post from a well known Republican on here telling me I wasn’t looking for answers…he had the nerve to tell ME what I was looking for and then to tell Fluther and they apparently took his side):

Your question is too one-sided. It does not welcome answers/discussion from both parties and will probably do nothing besides start another “political war”.

I did however say “both sides do this, but doesn’t this seem to go too far.” I asked for opinions from everyone. And I did as they asked and edited it and gave some further clarification of what I was looking for. But nope, still not back. I can understand if I’d attacked Republicans, made sweeping blanket statements, called them stupid, or what not, but I was pointing out specific instances where I feel they’ve crossed the line between politics and dishonesty, and shouldn’t I be able to ask a question about that? If the facts are one-sided, shouldn’t my question about the facts also by its very nature be one sided? Are we entering into a new era of censorship of ideas and thought here on Fluther?

Bottom line is I know that I’m biased and how I’m biased, but I try very hard to be fair, and when I see something that goes so completely over the line of fairness, I think it should be fair for me to counter with a question pointing out the issue from my point of view, to see if the collective thinks my points are fair, if they have anything to add to it, and to see if even the ‘other side’ agrees with me, or if partisanship is really so bad that something so aggregious can actually fly with the unwashed masses. So, one-sided though my question may have admittedly been, I think it was fair to ask it in the manner I asked it, and I object to it being taken down. Am I wrong?

What do you think?

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19 Answers

JackAdams's avatar

I think you have proved, what I have always claimed, and I thank you for doing so.

dalepetrie's avatar

You are more than welcome. It’s the first time I’ve seen it, but it alarms me.

JackAdams's avatar

Well, I can no longer claim that it is only me who is being treated so unfairly.

It also so happens to others, whom they do not like.

Do you also have Jewish relatives, as I do?

Maybe that has something to do with it…

PupnTaco's avatar

It’s possible that the moderator made a mistake… mods are human and sometimes make a decision quickly without thinking it through. I say this as a moderator myself (on a message board for six years).

dalepetrie's avatar

I’m certainly not going to blame it on racism or religious intollerance. I’m willing to let one instance go, like Dave said, moderators make mistakes. I think they’re being overly cautious though, and I worry about the precedent that sets. Because even if a question IS completely one sided, why should we not be able to ask it? OK, it provokes a heated political discussion, in my mind, in the midst of a Presidential election like this, maybe that’s a “GOOD” thing. I think we should all be respectful, not call names, etc., but if we start going down the path that we can’t be “provocative”, because after all, what are we doing by asking a question other than trying to “provoke” a response, then what good is the site anyway? We might as well ask questions like, “don’t you think fuzzy bunny slippers are dreamy?”

dalepetrie's avatar

I also find it alarming that even Republican stallwarts at Fox News agree with the point I was making…supposedly it’s Pelosi’s fault that the bailout bill failed (if you listen to John Boehner), even though 2/3 of their party voted against it while 3/5 of Democrats voted FOR it, in spite of the fact that it was Bush’s bill!

My question was “Is there anything Republicans won’t blame Democrats for?” I think it’s a valid question. If Republicans can blame the Democrats for how the Republicans vote, what CAN’T they blame on Democrats? And at what point do the unwashed masses get out their bullshit meters when they hear this kind of thing. Again, both sides blame each other for everything, but it seems like a Republican in this environment could stab himself in the eye with a fork, and SOMEHOW he could find a way to blame it on the Democrats. I was just fishing for ideas from all sides…I’d be more than happy to hear a Republican tell me why Boehner’s argument was fair. And I’d argue the point, yes, but I wouldn’t get disrespectful, I wouldn’t call names or be insulting…I’d point out if there was any hypocrisy or untruthfulness in their answers, I’d point it out using facts.

I just see a big difference between provoking a heated discussion which is conducted respectfully and picking an unnecessary fight. I’m not sure the mods agree, and that concerns me.

aidje's avatar

I didn’t see your question beyond what you posted above. It looks like you asked it in a fairly provocative manner. It was a loaded question. Perhaps you should try rewording it, and then maybe the mods will let you repost (it might be a good idea to ask them first, though). Try to make it less incendiary and more directly related to the actual topic.

deaddolly's avatar

Exactly what I don’t like about ‘mods’. Two ppl can read the same thing and get something different from it. If ppl objected to it, after it was posted for awhile, then action should have been taken. I don’t understand what the issue was with what Dale wanted to discuss.
This is a hot bed issue now, no matter what is said will annoy or tick off someone. Here’s an idea: STOP FOLLOWING.

scamp's avatar

What do I think? I think it sounds like sour grapes to me. The mods and owners of this site have every right to decide what content they will allow and what they wont. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to abide by their guidelines. I also see that you seem to be trying to use this question to bring the removed one back into play.

dalepetrie's avatar

I’ve spoken with the ownership of the site, my question was very pointed, but I intended for it to be. It was a judgement call, and I accepted their answer while letting them know how uncomfortably close they seem to be coming to censorship. I don’t think there was ill intent, but I don’t think it was sour grapes either because I do have to abide by their guidelines, but I actually did so. The overriding concern was that they’re trying to keep up the quality of the site by minimizing questions that come off as “this is messed up….don’t you think?” Fair enough, it does make the site of higher quality, though it does limit expression…all things considered, my thoughts weren’t being suppressed, I was really only being asked to change my tone almost imperceptibly. That’s not within the guidelines per se, but I think it’s a reasonable sacrifice to make.

scamp's avatar

I see that you’ve made a compromise of sorts and that your question was re-instated. I’m glad that you were able to come to an agreement. But my opinion of this particular type of question has not changed. I still feel like it came off as sour grapes. I think this discussion would have been better in private with those concerned. I don’t see how this type of question is of any benefit to the site or it’s members.

tinyfaery's avatar

Again? Really? Bored now…

dalepetrie's avatar

scamp, I disagree, I think if I’m concerned about something on the site, particularly a q&a site, who better to get perspective from than the other users. You don’t have to agree with me, but I think I have the right to ask the question.

scamp's avatar

Thanks so much I’ll keep that in my back pocket for later. You may all continue your mod bashing uninterupted by me now.

note ot self: When dalepetrie asks “what do you think”, he really only wants to hear from those who agree with him, so don’t bother answering or risk boring tinyfaery

dalepetrie's avatar

scamp, that’s bullshit and you know it. Look at any of my Q&A’s, I welcome all viewpoints, but it doesn’t mean I have to agree with them. I’ll be the first to tell you if I disagree, but I’ve never once sought to shut you or anyone else up. As I said, you don’t have to agree with me, but I think I have the right to ask the question. Who only wants to hear their own opinion?

dalepetrie's avatar

OK, an addendum. I asked another question last night. No bias of any kind. I put up 3 quotes numbered 1 2 and 3 and 3 people’s names a b and c and asked the collective to identify who said what and offered lurve to the first correct answer. My question was removed because “it didn’t meet quality standards”. For those concerned that this should be a matter between me and the mods, I’ve inquired and I’m awaiting their response, but how am I not to feel (and this isn’t sour grapes) that someone is perhaps trying to target me in some way? I asked 3 questions yesterday and two were banned, despite having asked dozens of questions here and elsewhere and never having had a single on not pass muster before yesterday. It just seems supsicious.

tinyfaery's avatar


lollipop's avatar

@dalepetrie, I think I would draw the same conclusion myself If I were in your position…

LuhvKiller's avatar

People dont want the truth so they take it away….

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