Freedom of Expression

Comment is (retrospectively) free(ish)

When looking to check if there had been any interesting recent comments following this thread, I was pleased to see my comment linking to Jesus and Mo had been restored. I thought it would be only fair to post a brief update to that effect here. But I then saw what had happened to a comment made in response to my own, calling attention to the fact that I had been censored.  This had been – not just deleted – but consigned to the CiF memory hole without trace (except for the fact that my comment still indicates that it received one response). I’m not quite sure what to make of this.  I suppose, looked at in a benign light, the adjustments could be seen as an attempt to recreate the comment thread as though the censorship had never happened.  But that’s still rewriting history.  I never thought to take a screen shot of my deleted comment – just of the original – but this about turn on the part of CiF is an interesting example of a more refined case of web censorship.  By reinstating comments when most readers have moved on – the main effect is perhaps to make those checking out complaints of censorship jump to the conclusion that the complainers are being neurotic.

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