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Political correctness and censorship by editor

Original post made by Resident on May 14, 2010

Let's see how long this post will last. I want to raise public's attention to unwarranted and unjustified censorship of politically charged topics that happens on this forum. An example would be "Arizona boycott" topic which paloaltoonline editor turned into "registered members only" thread, which was a way to shut it down. The original post just asked a question of what is wrong with Arizona law, but the editor immediately reacted with closing the discussion to reg members only. I am afraid this post will be removed as well as it raises the issue of censorship and political correctness. I am all for removing posts that are offensive, but what is wrong with civilized discussion of a political topic? People still have the right for free speech, or do they not?

Comments (9)

Posted by Hmm, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 14, 2010 at 11:44 am

When editors make those choices, it is called "editing" - it is only censorship when someone in authority does it. You may disagree - but it is their forum.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2010 at 11:48 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Censorship is a government act. Editorial discretion is a private act. I questioned the removal of one of the Arizona submissions because it removed a citation that concurred with my position, but then I am here by their permission.

Posted by Ross, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm

In b4 delete

Posted by Resident, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 14, 2010 at 1:33 pm

"Editing" or "censoring" is just semantics, the real question here who is afraid of a civilized discussion of a controversial political topic.
Who pays for palo alto online? If it is funded by my tax dollars I want to be heard. Nothing in the Arizona boycott post contradicted terms and conditions of this forum, so why it was turned into members only thread and why some (completely civilized) posts were removed is worrysome.

Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on May 14, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Palo Alto Online is part of the Weekly. Which is paid for by merchant and real estate advertising dollars. It is a commercial operation - no tax dollars. The editors can do what they want...just like MSNBC and Fox News (to pick two obviously polarized POV "news" organizations).

Posted by Jon Journalist, a resident of Professorville
on May 14, 2010 at 6:48 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm

According to Resident, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on May 14, 2010 at 1:33 pm:

""Editing" or "censoring" is just semantics, the real question here who is afraid of a civilized discussion of a controversial political topic."

Censorship is something we all do every day-- at least those of us who value being polite. Sometimes "censorship" is used as a shorthand for "government censorship of political speech". The latter is generally protected in the U.S. by the First Amendment. Your posts on a private website are not.

"Who pays for palo alto online? If it is funded by my tax dollars I want to be heard. "

Palo Alto online has nothing to do any governmental entity. 99.999% (made up) of all websites, blogs, etc., are private. Governmental websites are usually things like the Department of Energy's website containing statistics about fuel. e.g.:

Web Link

I have no idea why anyone would imagine that all this fascinating material would be on a government website. In the U.S., the domain name is a clue. This site is a ".com" site -- commercial. US government websites end in ".gov", state (e.g Calfornia) gov't websites may end in the state abbreviation followed by .gov, e.g."".

Posted by food for thought, a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2010 at 11:22 pm

I have to give them credit. They are fast with their censoring too. Sometimes I wonder if I actually posted an article because it is gone so fast. But seriously, what do you expect out of the People's Republic of California anyway? You should be glad they allow any politically incorrect posts at all.

Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Think of it this way.

PA Online pays people to censor Town Square. Those so employed make a good living. It keeps them off welfare.

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