It is close to the end of the year and it is time for a stock take on this blog.
I want to begin with the purpose of this blog. It was set up at short notice following the news that Sinclair’s Catallaxy blog was shutting down. It was meant to be a Free Speech blog where anyone can come in to take part. But to also make sure that it was not disrupted by trolls and ill-intentioned posters, we included a few blog rules. All regulars here are familiar with them esp. the No D**kheads Policy.
Quite simply that means: Respect for the blog and those who are a part of it now, or have been in the past. No personal attacks or abuse. No incitement or support for violence. Don’t carry battles from other Cat blogs to this site.
The second rule is to be a little cautious and not post anything that could cause legal hassles for the blog.
Apart from the above rules (details in Rules), it is a Free Speech site. It is not an echo chamber so if you don’t agree with what someone has posted you can say you disagree. You can explain why you disagree. You can question others about what they post. If you strongly believe in something you can comment about it. Post your opinions or post the opinions from other sites with links and names.
You can comment on any subject even if it is not in the news and no one else is talking about it.
You can write a Post on a topic that matters to you and can email it to me.
That is what is called Free Speech. As long as the rules of respect are followed, in other words, everyone (except d**kheads) is welcome to post any topic on the site. This has worked well for many months as those who post also use self-moderation.
Why do I have to repeat all this?
Because in the past few weeks, on two days (31 October and 1 November), the rules were broken on the blog. The site is monitored and I noticed each comment the day it was posted. But I made the decision to allow these d**khead comments to stay on the blog so that they can be viewed by blog readers and they can form their opinion.
I have stated in the last review that I would rather shut down the blog than allow it to run with disrespectful commenters posting nasty comments and turning this site into a gutter. No self-respecting person would post such trashy comments. Anyone who writes in such a foul manner is not welcome here.
The Report comment link is for reporting of comments where rules are broken. Not for reporting comments you do not agree with. If something posted in not agreeable to you you can type 1 sentence to say you disagree. Or you can type 5 or 10 or 50 sentences to explain why you disagree.
What is Free Speech? The left-wing pick and choose who can speak freely. All other speech is “hate speech”. The government is trying to pass a Disinformation bill in order to suppress Free Speech. It will happen because few people really understand what it is. We can’t just blame the woke left as we now have examples on this blog we see the same on the right-wing. Some want free speech only if that speech agrees with their opinions. Other wise, just like the left-wing, they too want it to be banned and blogs to be shut down. That is why the d**khead comments are still on the blog. So you can see what is free speech and who is calling for it to be shut down.
Free Speech means we can respectfully listen to all views, especially the ones we don’t agree with. But we don’t have to only listen, we can also respectfully disagree. There are comments posted on the blog that I disagree with. But if they are within the rules, I allow them to remain on the thread.
To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.
The blog is here for the benefit of intelligent people who understand and follow the basic blog rules and want a platform for Free Speech.
Please remember that those contributing to the blog are doing so as volunteers and in the same tradition set up by Sinc: the Cat is a labour of love. Whether it is the Admin side of setting up the blog, paying the costs or keeping it running, or on the Users side with posting comments or writing Posts. All contributors are also busy with jobs and other responsibilities. They are not people who have plenty of spare time. If you think you can do a better job, let me know. I would be happy to have some help as I am busy with other tasks and commitments.