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Some thoughts on censorship in this mailing list.

From: Marcel
Subject: Some thoughts on censorship in this mailing list.
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2019 20:00:07 +0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.2.0

The fact that so many of my posts have been censored alter the dynamics
of my interaction with this list, making me seem as though my posts make
no sense. I am not a bad writer and have put as much thought as I could
into drafting the longer posts.

It is very disheartening to be silenced this way. It is definitely not
possible to have a discussion when every post is judged subjectively by
moderators who are both judge and jury. Right now, as I type this post,
I wonder if I will have wasted another half an hour of my life writing,
only to receive another generic "Your message has been rejected" email.

I was happy to see Dora Scilipoti's post made it through the censors,
because she made some very good points. Censorship (if it must exist at
all) should be reserved for very serious offenses, and should be applied
transparently enough that everyone can tell something has been censored.

This kind of subjective censorship based on the Kind Communication
Guidelines breaks down the conversations and discourages the people
(like myself) who are being censored from participating. I would tend to
think RMS called them "Guidelines" as opposed to "Laws" or
"Commandments" for a good reason.

The worst aspect about this whole episode--from my perspective in
isolation--is that nobody can tell that I am trying to respond
thoughtfully and intelligently to their posts; the censors do not even
need to forward a note to forum members saying that such and such other
member has been silenced nor do they need to provide a specific response
mentioning the "offending" portion of the post. This makes the
censorship even more violent.

I have drafted three different versions of a response to Sandra's
response to my post so far, and all three have been rejected. Several
hours of my life have been wasted.

I have seen these tactics put into play at large in some unfree places I
have visited, and it serves partly to make the general populations
believe that there is no dissent: i.e. Look, nobody else is complaining!

I have respect not only for RMS but for everyone who has helped make the
Free Software Movement what it is today. I also have deep respect for
the contributions of all, and I use programs on a daily basis that have
been created by people I disagree with deeply when it comes to this
"governance" matter (and what I read, correctly or not, as a power grab).

Censoring and silencing within an organization that is devoted to
enlarging our freedoms, under the auspices of civilized exchange, is
something that makes me feel embarrassed for us all.

Censorship always hides behind purported civility and morality; it is
its /modus operandi/.

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