Anonymity and Censorship

I think I know what constitutes genuine anti-semitism. I’ve just had a comment submitted on one of my blog posts (the ‘Oo let ’em in’ one) which definitely falls into that category. It’s from someone who has never commented on any of my posts before, so far as I can tell; but as it’s written under a pseudonym I can’t know for sure. I’ve always strongly objected to anonymous or pseudonymous posts, unless there’s a very good reason for the anonymity: personal risk, for example. I regard them as cowardly, like anonymous letters were seen in the old days. A few years ago I wrote a series of posts about this practice, for the LRB Blog, I think. And I never respond to such comments.

This one’s main argument (so far as I can work it out) is that Jews are at the hub of a world-wide conspiracy to flood otherwise happy countries with foreign immigrants, because Jews can’t ‘control’ happy people as they would like to do. The solution: ‘We just have to get the wretched jews off the back of humanity.’ – OK, my bar for calling something ‘anti-semitic’ might be pitched quite high; but this clearly offends.

My problem is this. I don’t believe in censorship, and have never ‘disallowed’ a comment on this blogsite, unless the author has asked me not to post it. It is interesting to see other people’s views, even if one disagrees with them. Maybe I should allow this comment: partly in order to read the responses to that. I’m strongly inclined not to; but would be interested in other readers’ views.

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2 Responses to Anonymity and Censorship

  1. I think the issue, which is based on two irreconcilable principles, cannot be resolved purely through rational argument; even though rational arguments can be used to justify taking one side or the other.
    My own entirely subjective viewpoint is that it is highly unlikely that a reader of Porter’s Pensees would be motivated to hate by reading a nonsensical and anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. On the other hand, publishing the comment reminds readers – in case they were inclined to forget – that the spirit of toxic irrationality is alive and a constant threat.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kstankers5 says:

    Like yourseld I’m not normally inclined to censorship but in this case the line of ‘incitement to hatred’ has definitely been crossed, and for that reason I wouldn’t allow it.

    Liked by 2 people

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