To Censor or Not?

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To Censor or Not?

We had a bit of a set to here at PT world headquarters when I asked one of our staff to take down a social media post. It had subtly denigrated a former staffer. There was a complaint, I reacted. In hindsight I was wrong.

Censorship is anathema to a free country. Likewise its not appropriate to yell “fire” in a crowded theater, assuming there is no fire. However today the boffins who run social media have taken it on themselves to censor most anything with which they don’t agree. Yikes.

After some thought, I have come to consider this as a most cowardly approach. Rather than publish something and then let those who disagree have a chance at it, it seems that its better to not allow those thoughts to see the light of day.

Since beginning PT, I have written over four thousand posts on my blog. I doubt if I have gotten 100 responses that disagree with me. I’m certain there are more than 100 people out there that disagree, but few have the courage of a Tony Jordan, or Don Shoup, or Clyde Wilson to disagree or put their ideas out for review.

My mistake was not making this incident a learning experience, but simply censoring and asking that the piece be removed. A good editor or leader would have had the author review the piece and see how it could be adjusted to get the point across without the acrimony accompanying it. Trust me, that can be a challenge.

One of the things that made Johnny Carson so popular was that when he made fun of people, there was no anger or jealousy just below the surface. It was in fun and full or laughs. That is a skill to which we all could aspire.

Freedom is hard. We must protect it. But at the same time we need to take the feelings of others into account. Its difficult to write when angry. We need to learn how to communicate and filter that anger. At the same time, we need to be careful not to censor.

JVH

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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