Friday, October 13, 2006

Freedom of Speech?

This troll-type person who's been plaguing my site and a couple of others is yelling about the revocation of his "freedom of speech." Because of him, several bloggers have been forced to moderate their Comments and disable their tagboards.

Let's talk about "Freedom of Speech." First and foremost, freedom of speech, or freedom of expression, is not, contrary to popular opinion, unilaterally guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. In principle, freedom of speech ensures that dissenting views will be tolerated within a society without censorship or legal penalty. That right is not, however, absolute. One may not, for example, spew venom with impunity. One may not freely spread hatred or sedition. The Supreme Court has ruled many times on what is and is not protected speech. Bottom line, it's waaaaay subject to interpretation.

The person who is screaming about my infringement of his right to free speech is conveniently overlooking the main tenet of the First Amendment. If he dissents from my viewpoint on a particular issue, if he posted a comment expressing a diverse opinion from something I've written, that would be fair and I wouldn't challenge it. That is not what he has done. Rather, he posted rants about some site I'm not even familiar with, insults about people I don't know, insults about people I do know, personal insults to me because I know a couple of the people he so intensely dislikes. He threatened to "take over my site" by waiting until I go to bed at night and then plastering my blog with his garbage. I take a very dim view of that.

I don't take well to threats, I don't have to welcome personal insults, and I don't have to give anyone free rein to slime any site of mine -- not now, not ever. Like it or not, the First Amendment in no way, shape, or fashion dictates that I have to put up with that. And I assure you that if it did, I'd disregard it entirely and censor any such malicious intent anyway.

What I'm saying to this person is that if you have an argument with someone, take it up with them. You have no beef with me; we don't even know each other. It's against all the rules of fair play to drag innocent bystanders into your own personal crises, real or imagined. I don't know why you would even attempt to do what you've been doing. It's not rational, it's not reasonable. It makes no sense.

Your problem isn't with my blog entries; it's with people I don't even know. If in the future, when Comments are off moderation, you have a dissenting opinion about something I've written, fine, post it. More power to you. It would be wrong of me to censor something like that. Personal insults that have nothing to do with blog entries will be zapped, though. Immediately. Every time. That's my right. This is my blog. It's not a democracy. It's a total autocracy.

15 comments:

kanrei said...

He will slow down after he speeds up. He loves the concept of "free speech" for himself but attacks anyone else who uses it.

The First Amendment only guarentees that Congress shall pass no law repressing freedom of speech. It says nothing about me doing it on my site.

Serena Joy said...

Exactly, Kan. From time immemorial, people have attempted to construe various rules for their own purposes, to give themselves special dispensation to do whatever they want to do -- and to hell with everybody else. This person is so transparent it's laughable. Although, I'm not laughing about his malicious trolling.

We all have the right to "repress" trolls on our sites. If they don't like it, let them get their own sites and do their thing there. They're not doing it to us.

RexZeitgiest said...

Its all Kanreis fault!

Serena Joy said...

We don't have to troll Kanrei now, do we? [Just kidding, Kan!]

troll said...

Serena you are right this isn't about you. It's more about the people who had me banned from another site. Serena the other site was something I enjoyed greatly. I used to spend every waking hour on that site. I guess you have never felt the joy of humiliating people. That feeling is probably the greatest feeling I will ever know. It is a shame you never visited there. Kanrei can tell you how wonderful it was. Some people resented my free speech and saw that I was banned. I was hoping blogger would be a replacement but It isn't.

Anonymous said...

LOL. Brothers Grimm protect my site =P

Serena Joy said...

"Troll," I'm letting this comment stand because it's relatively non-insulting and it offers some sort of explanation for your behavior. It's not a healthy explanation, but it opens a small window into what's motivating you.

I don't know anything about that other site, don't even know how to find it. It is, therefore, a moot point. I will say this, though -- if it was about humiliating people, I'd want no part of it. Clearly, the people no longer affiliated with it did NOT find it so wonderful. If you took your greatest joy from humiliating people, please, find something else to do.

If you don't mind a suggestion, why not open your own blog where you can talk with your friends and do whatever it is that you do? It seems to me like a reasonable solution for your unhappiness.

Anonymous said...

That post makes me think it is a guy who used the name "Jackass". He was a good guy though for the most part. He did go there to fight with people, but that is what that site was designed for. The problem is that he seems to think these sites are that way as well.
Jack,
If this that is you, I have tried very hard to separate my site from that stupid war nonsense. Even Rex and Lisa co-exist on my site without fighting. If you can promise to drop the Jew baiting and posting people's real names I will life the moderation. I have always liked you and still did until this moment when it appears you are the stalker.
Serena has nothing at all to do with any of this. You are stalking her because she had the misfortune of landing on my site and liking it. She is NOT a drudge or PWZ person. You are harrassing someone 100% innocent with the attacks on this site.

Serena Joy said...

Hey, Kan, I don't see finding and sticking with your site as a misfortune. I like the Lemming House! Rather than sliming blogs with insults to you and other people, stalkers ought to just stay away from sites they don't like. How hard could it be?

Moristotle said...

Hey, Serena, greetings from Oxnard, California. I'm on vacation, even sort of getting into it, after dreading it for taking me away from my daily routine at home.

What an unimaginable fairlyland of beautiful homes picturesquely situated is Santa Barbara (a few miles up the coast). My niece told us that the median (MEDIAN!) price of a house there is $1.2 million. She's a librarian at Santa Barbara City College. Can you imagine a "mere" city college located on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, touristy beaches, a yacht harbor, and a wharf featuring fine restaurants, all surrounded on the land side by mountains?

As I said, I'm sort of getting into this. Haven't had an idea for my own blog in several days....

Serena Joy said...

Hey, Mori! I wondered where you'd gotten off to. Santa Barbara sounds fantastic. Enjoy the rest of your vacation. I'm sure you'll bring back plenty of ideas.

Moristotle said...

Serena, I got one last night (an idea)! And, if you check out today's post at Moristotle, you could also notice that I now list YOUR blog along with, for example, Southern Writer's. I should have listed it long ago and am sorry that I didn't. By the way, I like how you include "United States" with "Virginia." No chauvinist, you!

Serena Joy said...

And a splendid idea it was. What a beautiful sentiment, eloquently expressed. I hope you showed that entry to your wife. Trust me, she'd love it.

Woo-hoo! I'm in the sidebar. I'm uptown now. I'm an uptown sidebar girl. I'm very silly this morning. That's because now I can't seem to get a thought. And when that happens, any little vicarious glimmer will do. :)

Moristotle said...

I'll send her a subtle link from my blog to check out the post....

Serena Joy said...

Good idea. She'll enjoy it.