Editing Is Not Censorship


A reader says our decision to remove several anonymous comments violates the First Amendment and amounts to "censorship."

Makes you wonder what they teach in school these days.

The First Amendment protects our right to speak freely without government sanction.

Publications make decisions about what to publish all the time, based on their own standards.

What we did is not called "censorship," which is government control of speech.

It's called "editing."

Meanwhile, we're getting some good responses to our request for on-the-record comments about BearingPoint. More on that as it develops.


3 Comments for "Editing Is Not Censorship"

  • Geoff Schardein June 04, 2009 9:50 am

    I didn't mean to be snarky, blunt yes, snarky no. I prefer to say what I mean and stand by it. Opinions can be changed which is fine, but beliefs should be the fundamental foundations on which our decisions are based. My oldest daughter prefers to come to me with tough situations as I try to see both sides where my wife tends to stop listening having already made up her mind. It does not mean my daughter automatically gets a 'bye' but she does get to be heard. I have found that there is seldom absolutes and are valid reasons for most positions which is why I believe civil discourse is a good idea. Anonymity is a good idea only when an absolute political regime has ultimate authority abusing power to punish opposing views. 1st amendment does not cover editing for legitimate reasons of a privately owned enterprises.

  • Steven Levy June 03, 2009 11:06 am

    I agree with your snarky but accurate comment about what they're teaching in school these days. I look at my daughter's upcoming HS curriculum, and I see nothing that would qualify as "civics" -- i.e., an understanding of how our society works. America is held together not by common religion or ethnicity, but by culture, Constitution, and our relatively short history. I think that's part of the reason why it's almost impossible to have a civil discussion about political ideas these days. And that's tearing us apart....

  • Geoff Schardein June 02, 2009 10:00 am

    We are now in the society of ME where children are taught that excelling and being more capable is not the way to go. When everyone is forced to conform and meet standards and gets praise for mediocrity no one is willing to stand by their word and their convictions. It is easy to snipe when you don't have to put your name to the remark but if you have to stand behind your words, well now that is different. I was told by wise uncle that "Even fish would not get in trouble if they knew when to keep their mouths shut." Surely if a comment is worth making it is worth saying who you are or your words are just so much noise in the background. I agree with the editorial decision to remove anonymous rants. If you mean it, say it, and say who you are! With freedom of speech comes the responsibility to stand by your words.

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