Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What Free Speech Means To a San Fran Hippy

I just got blocked at
Several stumblers have been blocked for criticizing the former 'Community Affairs Officer' Barry Conway for his heavy handed treatment of conservatives. He frequently shut down conservatives soley for their political views. Nice diversity, eh?
I admit I saw it coming, but my criticism was rather tame compared to some others.
My sin was to post this;

Jul 14, 12:39pm · Edit · Del Well, It appears that our new SU policeman Walter may not be the improvement over the inept Mr-SU that we were hoping for.
He has my brother jparker911, goatboy77 and chocolate-frenzy blocked. It seems they committed the sin of unfavorably reviewing the unfair Mr-SU, Barry.
I fully expect the same treatment. WATCH YOUR BACK!
This is what I wrote back to walterofsu;
It seems that my site has been blocked as being hostile.
Funny that, I get hostile messages and reviews all the time. I am much more temperate than a lot of stumblers.
I have apparently made the unforgivable sin of being slightly critical of Mr-SU.
Well so much for Walter and his San Francisco free speech values.
Why on earth would you block someone with out a message explaining the alleged offence and the method for clearing the supposed breach.

It is really tough to be a conservative in SU. Or is it because I'm white? Maybe because I'm male? Perhaps because I'm straight. No I think you blocked my exercise of free speech because I am a Christian Patriot and a Conservative republican.

Thanks for living up to the San Fran stereotype. Diversity lives...Well wait a minute, no it doesn't. Not here.

Can't say I didn't see it coming.
Turns out they sent a letter to my gmail box, not to my SU box.
In the letter they said the following;

Dear sparker911,

We're sending you this note to let you know that we've restricted access to your StumbleUpon account because it recently violated the Terms of Service you agreed to before joining our community.

Specifically, we reserve the right to remove content that we determine in our sole discretion are unlawful, fraudulent, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene or otherwise objectionable.

Additionally, all StumbleUpon members agree not to use our service to post content that's offensive or promotes hatred or physical harm of any kind or content that harasses or advocates harassment of another person.

The content in question was a review of this page:

I admit that I am not saddened by the departure of Barry Conway from SU. I think his leaving was greatly delayed.
The man was a bully and a punk during his tenure here and wasted everyone's time by defending Rats instead of removing them.
Good luck Walter, replacing Barry should be a snap.

We'll restore access to your account if you'll remove this review and send us a message to confirm. If you have any questions, please review our Terms of Service and Community Rules:
I responded with;
I grudging accede to your censorship of my SU blog site although, as an American, I find the stifling of free speech objectionable. I have removed the mild rebuke of Barry Conway that you find "hostile".
I suggest that you discover the joys of using a dictionary.
My rebuke of Mr Conway was just and truthful. None the less you compel me to remove fair and truthful words. One should not be afraid of words. Remember the old saw about sticks and stones. (That is not to be construed as a threat by any means.)
Censorship to conflicting ideas is more hostile than my criticism was.
As I have followed through with your heavy handed demands, I request that you restore my blogging privileges.
Just in case, I responded to the email with;
Done. I acceded to your somewhat less than courageous censorship demand.
You have compelled me to surrender my right to free speech to protect the sensitive feelings of one or more of your own.
I turn over a new leaf, as evidenced by the following.
You have shown a remarkable degree of courage and tolerance, by convincing me of the errors of my ways. I truly hope that Mr Conway and Walter will, along with all my blogging colleagues, accept my humble apologies.
I did not understand that calling a grown man a punk and a bully would construe a hostile environment. Silly old me. I guess many people here and elsewhere were hostile to me and I never knew.
Thanks for enlightening me. I am a better man for it.

Sincerely humbled,

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