Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Shutting down free speech

(For the record, should this happen to us, we will move this site to TownHall.)

It seems some Obama supporters have been targeting anti-Obama blogs on Blogger. These people are Hillary supporters who have not yet jumped onto his bandwagon. Now our readers know that we are: A) Conservatives, B) We have no love for Obama, C) We have no love for Hillary, and D) We don't engage in any sort of mischief that could be considered a term of service violation on our site. We have worked long and hard to maintain our site, and to remain as relevant and fact-based (read: accurate) as possible,

But this borders on speech and thought police tactics:

Carissa Snedeker could be excused in thinking that she should have no problems in expressing her political views in the blogosphere. The Democrat had created Blue Lyon a few years ago, but had recently begun blogging about her membership in a growing group of Hillary Clinton supporters who didn’t yet support Barack Obama. Much to her surprise, when she attempted to log into her account, Blogger — run now by Google — had locked her out, as Simon Owens reports at Bloggasm:

“At first I thought it was just this random thing with Blogger’s spam bots,” she told me in a phone interview. “I thought that perhaps in their looking across the blogger universe, that I got accidentally flagged somehow. Stuff like that happens.”

But a short time later Snedeker received an email from another blogger claiming that a number of anti-Obama blogs had been “hacked” that same night. After some digging it became apparent that several Blogspot accounts had been shut down because of similar spam issues, and nearly all of them had three things in common: Most were pro-Hillary Clinton blogs, all were anti-Barack Obama, and several were listed on
justsaynodeal.com, an anti-Obama website.

A “Flag Blog” link sits at the very top of every free Blogspot account. If a person finds objectionable content on a Blogspot site or suspects it’s publishing spam, he or she can click on the link and it will send a notice to Google requesting “human review.”

I spoke to several of the bloggers who had accounts locked and every single one was convinced that it was Obama supporters who had flagged the blogs in some kind of concerted effort to silence them. But when I asked for specific evidence of this, most simply pointed out that only anti-Obama blogs were targeted — a fact that is certainly suspicious but not especially conclusive.

Read the whole piece over at Bloggasm for the full skinny. Mr. Owens notes that Ms. Snedeker is not the only one who has been targeted by Obama supporters. There have been others, and the harrassment doesn't just go to only bloggers using Google's Blogger program. Larry Sinclair (whom we have no love for either) has also been targeted.

If this is the politics of "hope" and "change" that his supporters believe in, then he needs to be stopped right now. The Democrats are already gearing up to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, which will kill talk radio. Legislation in the Congress to give bloggers the same First Amendment protections that the press has is stalled. Democrats want to silence our side of the ideological spectrum because they can't debate the issues. So in an effort to combat us, they seek to muzzle us.

This is not a spam site. This is not a site that delves into the politically stupid. (Sinclair's supposed "whitey" tape was a fake,a nd we knew that once the rumor got started.) If Blogger chooses to shut us down -- a "guilty-until-proven-innocent" scenario -- we will not return here, ever. Of course, as Captain Ed notes, Google/Blogger should be taking better care of it's customers, but that woiuld require them to hire competent people.

At the top of every Blogger blog there is an icon to click if people find the blog to be particularly offensive. That's all it takes to shut the blog down. Google will review the site to see if there is anything on their that could be deemed offensive, or if it's a spam blog, but that process takes days to accomplish, and again, the competence factor comes into play.

Muzzling us isn't going to shut us down. We'll move elsewhere. We'll continue the fight because that's why we got involved in blogging in the first place. We're political junkies, and we like to discuss such things. We love to write about politics, current events, and the law. We're not into "what's your favorite color, senator?" If we were like that, we'd be blogging at the KosKiddies sandbox.

Publius II


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