Neutral site for discussions censored on Balkinization blog
I am establishing here a neutral site for discussions that have been censored on the Balkinization law blog. One of the Balkinization bloggers, Marty Lederman, wouldn't even allow a discussion to start. Another Balkinization blogger, eponymous blogger Jack Balkin, cut off a discussion because of the following bigoted comment. The comment is so extreme that at first I thought it was sarcastic but after I read other comments by the same commenter I realized that it was not sarcastic:
"That's right, Bart. Bush should have just gone the whole way and interned every Arab-American under existing Supreme Court precedent."
The above statement is particularly offensive because it shows extreme prejudice against people on the basis of their ethnicity and national origin. Nonetheless, it was wrong to throw out the whole barrel of commenters just because of one bad apple. For the following reasons, there should be no arbitrary censorship of visitors' comments on blogs:
(1) The more popular blogs have become major de facto public forums. Balkinization is ranked as number four in average daily visits (3727) among law blogs that have at least one blogger who is a law professor.
(2) Blogs are being authoritatively cited by court opinions, scholarly journal articles, the official news media, etc., making it particularly important that the cited blogs be as fair and reliable as possible. Visitors' comments enhance fairness and reliability by correcting factual errors and presenting different opinions. In a list of law blogs cited by law journal articles, Balkinization was tied for 3rd place with 32 citations out of a total of 489 citations.
The Balkinization articles where discussion is censored are:
Secret Court Strikes Down Bush NSA Program, Leading to Latest Fuss About FISA
The FISA Fix
What's the Legal Significance of the Data Mining?
Labels: Internet censorship (new #3)