Sunday, January 28, 2007

BBC Ban Little Green Footballs

Those looking to defend the blogosphere from censorship might want to refocus their energies from blocking a rumoured voluntary code for bloggers to attacking this example of the BBC shutting down any thread which links to the American blog Little Green Footballs. Go to the Little Green Footballs blog and see for yourself if there is anything which deserves to be banned from BBC news forums. It is discussing Islamism critically but what's wrong with that? Other than being a bit right-wing what has LGF done wrong?

The best explanation I've heard for this, from Dave, is that some of the comments on LGF will have attracted someone's ire and the BBC, as a public service broadcaster has to avoid even a distant association with racist opinions. However, every big blog or website attracts unpleasant comments, the Internet comes with crazies. If linking to them is too much of a risk to the BBCs moderation then it has no business running Internet discussion boards.

This appears to be another example of how free speech is increasingly under threat more from the threat of violence and self-censorship than direct state action.

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