Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Blogs as Public Fora?

One of my fellow citizens of the blogosphere may be outed from her anonymous position. Check out the story via Pharyngula. This raises the interesting question (not really that interesting) of what free speech rights one has online. Do you have a first Amendment right to post a coment on my blog? Provided it is a privately owned blog, the answer is clearly “no.” It is my understanding that Dr. B’s blog is not on a government financed server. So what exactly is this guy doing? A believe this is a good case for Rule 11 sanctions.


Blogger Matt said...

P posts some pro-Alito comments on D1's weblog. D1 tells P to piss off. D2, a professor, writes P's advisor calling P a jerk. P, currently working on his dissertation, sues Ds for harm to his career.

The Ds have portrayed P as a stalker. I've read the Alito thread in question, and P didn't do anything mean or threatening in that thread. So D2 is an asshat for sending that email to P's advisor, and P is an asshat for getting all puffed up and threatening to sue. D1 was ok to delete the comment, but I haven't seen P's supposed threats and stalking behavior.

P's supporters see P as a victim of the liberal academic establishment. P is a conservative, and it is for this he is made to suffer.

Now, I'm a pro-choice pinko, but I see what they're saying. I think he's a douchebag for suing over the matter instead of, say, talking with his advisor about the situation and then just avoiding the blog.

But it's also incredibly obnoxious that somebody who puts forth a decent effort at reasonable discourse be immediately labeled a troll and banished from the website.

I'm a liberal, but liberals acting like this are just asses. They should've either calmly rebutted his arguments or ignored him. Instead, they made it personal and got all kooky.

Perhaps I'd feel different if I saw him acting in an overtly threatening manner. I'll browse bitchphd and see if that's the case.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Fishfrog said...

As you explain it, I totally agree. If you run a blog and someone posts something you don't agree with, you should respond and attempt to dissemble your opponent. If you insist on being a jerk, I guess its OK to simply delete the comment. However, it is out of line to attempt to harm someone's career in retaliation for a comment. That's unamerican.
P.S. I appreciate Matt explaining the situation, because I was not real clear what was going on based on PZ's summary.

4:17 PM  

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