Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(February 2001)
 

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Subject: Re: A List-Manager Issue: Dealing with attacks via personal email. (fwd)
From: nolan @ celery . tssi . com
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 20:09:30 -0600 (CST)
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . com (List Managers)

> > Stifling "free speech" in the name of having
> > a "nice" list is heading down a slippery slope.  Personally I wouldn't do it.
> 
> But -- someone will. If you don't keep the trolls from abusing your other
> users, the other users will shut up, and all you end up with is the trolls.
> They drive everyone else off, and you end up with someone ELSE defining what
> is and isn't acceptable on your list isntead of you.

Freedom of speech was never intended to cover speech that someone ELSE is
paying for.  Ronald Reagan once shouted down a heckler by saying "I'm
paying for this microphone!"

And freedom of the press covers those who OWN the press, not those who
write for it, or to it.

In both cases, I think the list manager is entitled if not OBLIGATED to
set the groundrules and enforce them.  

Call up the editor of your local paper and ask if they would run a 
classified ad selling a bicycle under 'houses for sale'.  I bet they won't,
and you cannot force them to do so in court, either.  They have the right
as the owner of the publication to enforce their rules upon it.  So do we.

When I have subscribers irate at me for suppressing their right of free
speech, which they interpret as being able to say anything they want any way
they want to say it, I tell them to set up their own list and run it 
whatever way they want.  One actually did.  After a few months, he came 
back to my list, because it was a hell of a lot less work than running 
his own.  And he has been one of the more vocal supporters of my content
management activity since then, too.
==
Mike Nolan



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