Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Idle Randomness

Two thoughts today, neither one sufficiently complex--at least right now--for their own dedicated posts.

First: the whole Facebook "friend/unfriend" phenomenon.
Second: do I have the right to moderate and "censor" comments on my personal blog?

Discussed below.

First: why should I be made to feel guilty because I "unfriend" you on Facebook? I mean, honestly?

Background: I do not know about you, but my Facebook wall is locked down pretty tightly, restricted only to my friends. I have a friend who has recently decided that our once-mutual faith and belief system is no longer "doing it" for him. He has lost his testimony, is now falling away from the Gospel of Christ and, in so doing, is becoming quite caustic and belligerent about religion in his Facebook posts. I know he thinks it is humor, as do his little circle of like-minded friends that swarm around his anti-Church posts.

For example: "When you are sad, it is most likely because you are actually feeling guilt for something you once did that you forgot but God never did forget and never will. You're going to Hell."

His friends immediatly gather around, some of whom are actually text-laughing like Beavis and Butthead, but all of whom are chuckling like hyenas and making similar comments about spirituality, guilt, the evils of believing in organized religion and Christ, not to mention how ridiculous it is that people should be made to feel guilty about doing what feels good.

I want to believe that it is a phase, that it is something else that is making him feel this way. He has always been a bit liberal in his beliefs (spiritual and political), at least since I have known him. We have always been able to find some common ground upon which we can agree, however tenuous. However, just recently he has started mocking Christ and Christian values. I refuse to even cite an example, however.

Ummm.... I am not sure it matters WHO you are, but you really do not want to mock one of the Godhead, do you? I mean, is that smart?

In short, all of what he posts lately is pretty offensive to the other 143 friends I have. I have received comments about it.

So: should I feel any guilt about either (1) hiding his posts or (2) unfriending him altogether? In the past he has blasted his family members who have defriended him (although how one learns one has been defriended, I do not know) and has let it affect his familial relationships. That is why I hestiate. He is still a friend for whom I will continue to pray and a colleague with whom I need to interact on a weekly basis. But do I really need to be subjected to his anti-religious sarcasm and vitriol on a daily basis?

Perhaps I will simply hide him for now.

[Sigh] Why on earth does social media turn so many adults into whiny little children?

Second: Do I have the right to moderate and "censor" what goes on here, on my own personal blog?

I am of differing opinions here. I can see both sides; I do not AGREE with both sides, but I can see the arguments.

[Aside: I should note that I have good readers and, at least to this point in time, have been extremely fortunate on this issue. I have fellow bloggers, however, who are constantly being attacked ON THEIR OWN BLOGS, and then criticized when they do something about the attacks.]

I realize that by putting my opinions out here on the internet and inviting comments on what I write, I lose a little bit of credibility with the argument. However, it is my space, my little bit of the 'web.

I believe that I can say that I have never once deleted or moderated a comment that made a negative or contrary argument to one of my posts. I delete spam on a regular basis, but only spam. I do not believe in deleting comments, but then I have not yet received one that is openly offensive. I cannot say what I will do in the event that happens.

But is it "censorship"? I think that is stretching it. To me, a "censor" is one who has some authority or control over others. While you could argue that I have control over your posts, and deleting said posts is an act of censorship, that might be true if it was, technically, a public forum.

Think of it in this way: I have invited a group of you into my house. Many of you are complimentary of my house, my LW, the Horde, and comment favorably about my religious artwork and books throughout the house. However, several of you take it upon yourself to belittle my beliefs, throw food at the walls, and put down my LW and the Horde, not to mention the expletives that you fling around. Would any of you actually fault me for throwing that small minority out of my house and try and spray Lysol around to get rid of the odor? Would any of you really tolerate me doing the same in your house?

Would any of you, in that instance, consider me a censor?

Why then consider me a censor for doing the same to those who come into my little house on the 'web and do the same thing?

Hey, mock me all you want on your blog. That is your space. You and your little friends can do that all you want, remembering of course the libel laws. But when you come into my space and mock me, my beliefs, or -- Heaven help you -- my family? You are in my house and can expect to be shown the door.

And before you pull out the "free speech" or a Constitutional argument--technically speaking, only the Government can violate a person's Constitutional rights. And for better or worse, I ain't the Government. In my house, your right to swing your arms around wildly ends at the tip of my nose.

If any of you have additional thoughts for me, I would welcome them.


theMuddledMarketPlace said...

we can discuss...but there's a whole world of a difference between discussion and an argument....

i think

Iguana Montana said...

OK.... I would love to hear more.

romantic_pessimist said...

hope you don't mind...I totally agree with your feelings toward 'defriending' on facebook...

I have defriended people who have viewpoints that I don't want associated with 'my slice of the web'.

I work in education. One lesson that is staring to be repeated over and over is not to post anything on the web that you wouldn't say in person...I use that rule in decided what I want to show up on my facebook page...