So this should have some interesting discussions through the comments :) By all means if anyone else wants to chime in be my guest.
So I guess I'll kick it off.
The initial discussion concerned Carolyn's concerns that moderation on a blog regarding certain forms of comments was contrary to freedom of speech.
Lets start with the pro for that.
It means that the commentators responses in that discussion in its immediate context are limited. At the very least this does appear to be against the spirit and substance of freedom of speech.
Con. The commentator still has the capacity to have their own blog and hence express their views. They are no longer in the initial context of the initial discussion however so that suggests moderation still goes against the spirit of free speech even if the substance is not hindered.
However comments on a blog are published in effect by the blogger, as such are they not falling within the bloggers free speech? Is the moderation by the blogger, so long as the comentator can blog themselves elsewhere, of their own blog not in fact an excercise of their own freedom of speech? Do the comments publication then exist as purely the comentators free speech or are they also part of the bloggers free speech?
In general a blog is considered to be an edited publication like a magazine or newspaper. Where the editor decides what will and will not be part of the publication.
Is this fair and valid is the question?
I previously suggested an analogy I like about street-speech VS lawn speech.
In the street if you offend someone they have every right to walk away and
ignore you. On their own private lawn however they have every right to ask you
to leave their property or to define by what rules you must abide to remain
there.Well a blog is like a front lawn, accessible from the public street where
you can be invited to sit on the porch or verandah and chat, or asked to leave
and threatened with having the hose turned on you or the police called if you
continue to be rude.
I think it's a good analogy and can show how personal space extends into public spheres. Like a t-shirt slogan or the way one dresses free expression exiss in public space with few valid limitations. However a persons home, or lawn, is owned. It is personal space in which activity is to a large degree conditional. It exists by consent, consent which may be withdrawn.
So someone may object to what someone is wearing or saying while they are in their front yard and may validly withdraw consent for them to be there on that account but they cannot do so if the person is merely walking down the street, a public space, so long as their appearance and speech in no way overrides others rights.
The error of many who object to the words or appearance of others in public space that upsets them is that they are failing to recognise that they are extending their personals space over the other persons. One may have fair control over ones front yard as an extension of personal space but not over the shopping mall.
And might I add thats so even if one owns the shopping mall! A business is more than personal space, it provides a neccessary public service and as such is partially public space and partially personal space and as such cannot discriminate in the way that the business owner may with their own front lawn. The same is true of a rented property. To enter into business is to engage in a social contract, the individuals obligations to the rights of others are more pronounced in a way that control over ones front lawn does not interfere with. If someone cannot have access to your lawn to talk t you there rights are not harmed. If they cannot enter your shopping mall to buy bread and milk their access to goods neccessary for life are limited, so their rights are indeed harmed.
So Carolyn and anyone else interested, agree? Disagree? Have anything you wish to add? This need only be the launching point so any rights/liberty based related issue is welcome, it need not be a narrowly focussed discussion.