Webster's defines censorship as "the institution, system, or practice of censoring." It defines censoring as "to subject to censorship." You have got to love that circular thinking.
However, censor, besides the first meaning dealing with Roman magistrates, goes on to the second definition of "one who supervises conduct and morals" (hmm ... perhaps we should change the term on our SlowTalk forum from Moderator to Censor?). It also defines censor as "an official who examines materials ... for objectionable materials." And finally, "an official ... who reads communications ... and deletes material considered harmful to the interests of his organization."
So reading that, it seems that the administration of Slow Travel Talk does censor. But here's my question, "What's wrong with that???"
Seriously, do you think the New York Times prints every letter to the editor they receive let alone in its original form? Must the American Cancer Society publish a rebuttal from Big Tobacco in every mailing they send out? Does Consumer Reports have to print every manufacturer's point of view in every single magazine they publish? No!!!
Because it's their sandbox and they get to decide the rules! They get to decide what is "harmful to the interests of 'their' organization."
Think of it this way, you can scream all you want in the street in front of my house about something I totally disagree with, but the minute you step on my property and do it, I have a right to tell you to stop. As my father was very fond of saying, "My house. My rules."
Slow Travel Talk is the same way, we even state it on our website, we have the right to remove any content from the message board deemed "unworthy." We're not covert in this. We don't hide this fact. In the Terms of Service every member agrees to before posting on the message board it clearly states, "Any postings that are deemed unacceptable by any moderator may be deleted or edited." So why the big surprise when it happens? Why the moral indignation?
And if you think we're really "evil" for censoring, let me ask how many people have seen negative feedback in the testimonials section on a business's website? Do you think when people fill out those guest feedback sections, if they pan the business, the business posts it? Give me a break.
Oh, and I'll finish my rant on one final note. Feel free to comment all you want, but if you post a comment I don't agree with. I will censor it. And that's okay.