Perhaps the only reasonably fair moderator, at my top love-to-hate social media spot, recently made a remark on that forum defending the practice of censorship and banning-for-disagreeing with "authority" (the moderators). He makes a good point, bringing up the fact that the public discussion forum is private property. It is private property. Therefore, legally, no defense is needed and I firmly believe private property rights should be respected. Of course, when private property makes money in a public setting, as this particular forum does, then it does subject itself to customer opinion.
He likens the forum to a house party. Everybody is invited, but if they don't like you because you're the vocal dork, or because you "attack" the hosts, then they can toss you out of the house. Fair enough, I can't argue with that. However, I do think the house party is just a bit different from what is described and could be a bit more accurate.
The house party is populated by guys from work at your government job, where people know each other professionally. When you show up, they make a bit of money off the paintings put up on the wall by various advertising agencies. You get to the party and everybody is talking about work. One group is talking about the boss they hate, another is talking about the latest batch of stupid policies, while a third group is telling some local kids how great their job is and how only the best get to work in their department in between doing keg stands. You join one of the circles of people and join in a conversation, saying that things aren't going all that well at work, and how you think folks need to prepare themselves for a crisis you see looming. Somebody from the keg stand circle comes over, with the blue colored alcohol dripping down the front of their shirt, and loudly disagrees telling you to "shut your man pleaser or else!" You try to explain your viewpoint, while noticing some young girl getting sexually assaulted in the corner after her turn at the kegger, and you respond, "I just don't think we're morally focused on doing the right thing, and I think we have lost our way and need to re-cage." More importantly, you refuse to shut up about it in the face of the drunk.
"Get out of my house!" says the drunk. You notice he's a bit older than everybody else and doesn't even work in your department anymore and you wonder why he's throwing the party. But you don't focus on that too much as he pushes you out the door and slams it shut. Then you get barraged through the window by the crowd of drunks, "You're crazy! You're a lunatic! You shouldn't be working in government if you think it's so bad! I can't believe they let you have keys to the building!" You shout, "but I can explain if we just have a rational discussion..." but it's too late. The doors are shut and the crowd can't hear over their fever pitch insults.
As you walk away, you can't help but notice the guy smoking a cigar next to the curtains succeeded in setting the house on fire, as you can see the flames getting a little higher and brighter. You recognize the fire will likely take down the neighbors house and the house next to him and perhaps the whole neighborhood. It's one of the driest seasons ever, and the news repeatedly warns of the epic fire hazard. You think, "man, these morons could really do some damage." Your first instinct is to call the fire department. Then you realize most of the fire department was at the party.
Reminds you of a couple of comments you overheard on your way out:
VERTIGO: So you think it's ok for a mod to change someone's post to something completely different than the original text, then when called out for it by other users on the site, completely erase any evidence of your douchebaggery. Nice standards.
KARL HUNGUS: Yep. Complete hypocrisy, from one of our so-called "leaders." Hard to take you seriously...when you don't man up. Not at all surprising, really... Par for the course for you and your peers. I'm sure this post will be deleted soon.
JOE1234: I'm sure even talking about this will lead to a ban... The PM's were rather threatening and...emotional, and I took this to mean I'm not allowed to talk about guns, ever...I wouldn't call this place a bastion of free speech...
Ain't nuthin' but a gangsta party!