Sunday, September 20, 2009

Free Speech and This Blog

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for
people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.
-- Noam Chomsky
The above quote is the view of free speech I've adopted ever since I first discovered the Internet many years ago. And a good dose of common sense and law also says that while freedom of expression is a right, there are acceptable limits. From my very first post here I've gone above and beyond what some blogs allow as far as comments go. Consider this post my commenting rules and rationales, as well as to demonstrate a contrast to another certain blog.

I allow:
  • Conversation: As long the language used isn't abusive, offensive or randomly off-topic, I encourage conversations in comments, even if it's just between commenters.
  • Criticism: Again, as long as the language isn't abusive or offensive, I allow criticism and dissenting opinions. This is core to free speech, and the source of Chomsky's opinion(as well as mine).
  • Anonymity: Anonymous criticism is also a part of free speech, as a defense against unlawful retaliation. While I'm certainly not the type to retaliate against anyone for practicing free speech, I am aware that there are some people who have dissenting opinions, but are afraid to voice them for fear of such retaliation. So anonymous commenting is allowed here for that reason, but not to be used to launch attacks.
So those are my commenting policies in a nutshell. The comments here are open for business :)