Thursday, August 12, 2010

"On Censorship"

Censorship. Doesn't happen HERE, you say, in these United States! We have Freedom Of Speech! We can say what we want, when we want to, wherever we want to - virtual or real-time, online or off! C'mon, CN, what in the world are you doing bringing up such an antiquated concept? Puh-lease.

I'll tell you where censorship exists. On sites like Yelp. That's right, you read that correctly. My beloved Yelp is at times the verbal - or proverbial - word Gestapo. Go too far, say too much and you, too, could find yourself kicked off the island, just like my buddy Kit.

Sure, Kit could pen a madly outrageous and oftentimes offensive-to-some review or post on a talk thread. He was also madly entertaining, hilarious and (drumroll please) . . . almost always spot-on in his assessment of the subject matter at hand. Does his vulgarity outweigh his right to self-expression, to - here's that phrase again - freedom of speech? Apparently according to The Powers That Be at Yelp, it did, and his account was deleted.

I think that's a big ol' barrel of hooey.

"Real People. Real Reviews." As another buddy and fellow Yelper would say, "Hmm." I'm throwing out the censorship card on Kit's eviction and proclaiming something to be rotten in the state of Denmark, er, Yelp-land.

What do you think? Have you been subject to, or have you witnessed, recent clamp-downs on personal expression in forums that are meant for just that? If so, have any of them had the element of pay-for-play, where a business or ad-buyer, for example, might have some influence in such censure being applied?

Food for thought, indeed, methinks.

As Always,
Carrie Neal

P.S. If you want to check out the musings of one ex-communicated Yelper, visit Kit's blog at Fried Chicken Lips . . .

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