Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is something very important and many battles have been going on for taking care people could have the freedom to think and say things.
Both Freedom of Speech and the Right to Offend must ideally be sacrosanct. Usually when Constitutions provide for Freedom of Speech, it exempts those that yell ‘Fire’ in theaters or resort to slander, that is understood as false attribution that can cause damage to ones reputation.
It naturally is not easy to know when damage can be done to somebody else; It also depends how much a person is a public figure and as such would have to endure much more critic than a private or unknown figure of the public.
Me being censored
For those who do not know the site, it is a religious news site, concentrating on what is going on in the Christadelphian community, of which I am a member and the responsible person for the district Belgium (a very tiny country sandwiched between Holland, Germany, Luxembourg and France).
Taking care to gather
Having also an ecclesia (or church) under my wings, I must take care of ‘the flock’ and should try to bring people in Belgium and Holland together under the name of Christ, which we consider as the cornerstone of the Church of God. We as children of God consider other believers as brother and sister in Christ. For us it is important that we follow that Nazarene Jewish teacher. One of the tasks given by Jeshua (Jesus Christ) is to come together regularly to study the Word of God and to remember the night when he took bread and blessed it.
Concerning that meeting or to be able to gather, there have been lots of problems by the years. A certain person from the North, living in Riga, having baptised also a lot of people in our regions (Holland, Belgium and France) would not allow his followers to meet with members of the Christadelphian Bible Mission or CBM.
Not bounded by any organisation
Though I am thankful for the financial support I may receive from the CBM I, nor the members of my ecclesia (church), are bounded to any person nor organisation except to Christ Jesus. We always were and are still open to any member of any community who want to worship God.
In Belgium we even did not mind to surpass the CBM to work together with the other organisation which has “Care” and “links” in its name. So people would think that organisation would at least try to “take care” of the Christadelphian believers, because they also call themselves Christadelphian. But it turned out differently. Though we did try for years to link with them, we came pushed in such situation we got them and our own supporting organisation at one point against us because we wanted to find reconciliation with the other.
Several efforts to reconcile
After lots of efforts by several of the Belgian Christadelphian members of my ecclesia and of the linkman from the CBM it became hopeless and we lost all hope. Therefore I placed and English and Dutch article to explain to the public which questioned us what was going on and what was the stand of us in this ongoing battle.
After the publication of No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks and Duncan Heaster en Carelinks onverbiddelijke verhinderaars the spoken off Mr. D.H. undertook all action to silence us and to make things worse for us, also accusing me of slander. Because he accused me of slander I defended me and gave the public a translation from the Dutch in English, and for the text I had not written in Dutch a translation from the English text into Dutch.
SilencedTo my surprise reactions on those defence notes where suddenly withdrawn without me knowing it. that I do find very strange, that on my own blog suddenly somebody else can take away the reactions, without me knowing it and without my consent.
For bloggers this is a very bad precedent, showing that certain people can silence others just by blasphemous talk or slander or by accusing them from something which is not so.
I noticed by now (evening of 14/02/2014) the website can be seen again. So I would appreciate it if you let me know if you can not see it. The reaction or comments made on the article(s) though are still not available to the public for as much that I myself also can not see them, except with a notice ‘private’ on my Google+ account. Normally I leave all comments public. Today I cannot turn the comments myself in public.
This I do call censorship and I can only notice it is because of a grudge or jealousy an other person somewhere in this world put me in silence. How can such a thing be in a “free world”? Why did Google not wrote to me first or gave me the allowance to react on the accusations?
Apology to readers and those who wanted or did place comments
For those who commented on the above mentioned articles and can not see their comment, I do apologise. Like on this website all comments should be visible for every body. Christadelphian World was some time off public, beyond my own wishes.
We should wonder how it can be that so many sex websites and so many websites proclaiming violence can be undisturbed on the net, but a blog of such a ‘small’ person like me, talking about believe in God can be silenced.
Those who believe in freedom of speech should take care that such limitations to utter ideas cannot happen just like that, without the involved parties having come together and discussed the matter. You may also question how it can be that a server or provider can censor such writings, when to my eyes they are not so offensive like so much other stuff that can be found freely on the internet.
If one considers all the vile words which are often used on internet sites and forums.
For those who think my complaints where not grounded I always would welcome them to find the many writings which have gone to and fro from the different parties involved.
This article, I do agree, I found to have to publish it, because I became very frustrated by the whole situation.
It is placed under the category “Dagboek” and should as such be considered as part of “my Diary”.
Please continue reading, if you are interested, and see also my open reaction about this dangerous situation of censorship in my writing: Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
Please do find additional reading:
- Democracy and Freedom according to Atatürk
- Turkey a wolf in the sheep house of the European Union
- Faith related boycotts
- Internet absurdities
- Christadelphians children of God
- Christadelphian beliefs
- Major Points of Belief
- Christadelphian or My Beliefs and the World
- What we believe
- What Christadelphians teach
- Intentions of an Ecclesia
- Meeting – Vergadering
- Congregation – Congregatie
- Christianity without the Trinity
- How we think shows through in how we act
- Gathering or meeting of believers
- Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
- What’s church for, anyway?
- Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
- The task given to us to love each other
- Priority to form a loving brotherhood
- Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
- No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
- 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
- One Mediator between God and man
- Breathing and growing with no heir
- A small circle taking a nation hostage
- Kitty Werthmann her account of grewing up in Austria under Nazi regime
- Technology › Microsoft denies global censorship of China-related searches (japantoday.com)
Microsoft Corp denied on Wednesday it was omitting websites from its Bing search engine results for users outside China after a Chinese rights group said the U.S. firm was censoring material the government deems politically sensitive.GreatFire.org, a China-based freedom of speech advocacy group, said in a statement on Tuesday that Bing was filtering out both English and Chinese language search results for terms such as “Dalai Lama”, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader whom Beijing brands as a violence-seeking separatist, charges he denies.
- Students for Life Group of the Year faces discrimination (liveactionnews.org)
In January, Bama Students for Life at the University of Alabama was named Group of the Year by Students for Life of America for all of their hard work and dedication to raising awareness about abortion and saving lives. Now, they face discrimination and an attack on their freedom of speech on their campus.The university administration removed Bama Students for Life’s pro-life display without notifying the group because they say that some students found the display “offensive.” The display included facts about abortion, the photos of women who have died from abortion in recent years, and images of aborted babies.
- Microsoft denies global censorship of China-related searches (scooprocket.com)
GreatFire.org, a China-based freedom of speech advocacy group, said in a statement on Tuesday that Bing was filtering out both English and Chinese language search results for terms such as “Dalai Lama”, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader whom Beijing brands as a violence-seeking separatist, charges he denies. Microsoft, responding to the rights group’s allegations, said a system fault had removed some search results for users outside China. The company has in the past come under fire for censoring the Chinese version of internet phone and messaging software Skype.
- Online Privacy and Self-Censorship (a85791.wordpress.com)
The article written by Alexis Madrigal is about Facebook users and self-censorship. The article explains this phenomenon on a sample of 3.9 million Facebook users. Indeed, several users do type more than five characters on the input box and delete them before posting them. Deleting the message before sharing it on Facebook is called “last minute self-censorship”; according to the same article one third of all Facebook posts are self-censored. Not only do Facebook users self-censor posts that are meant to be posted on the input box, but they also self-censor comments. The author claims that this phenomenon of self-censorship is gendered; he argues that men self-censor more often especially if they have a great number of male friends on Facebook. On the other hand, Facebook users having a more diverse group of friends are less likely to self-censor their information on the social network.
- Censorship (jennieabat.com)
Why do you constantly want to infringe on my freedom of speech?
- Internet Censorship: Pros and Cons (cit200winter2013.wordpress.com)
One of the goals of internet censorship is to protect children while they are surfing the web. It blocks children from accessing pornography, profanity and sexual content. A new thing that is going around is the rules of the internet. Do you really want your child to access a website with Rule 34? For all of you who do not know what that rule is, Rule 34 states that “if it exists there is a porn of it.”Another goal of internet censorship is to keep families from having to deal with images of loved ones that have passed. Google is a great resource when doing research but harm could come from it. A good case of this happened a few weeks ago, the father that went on Google Earth and found his sons dead body.
- Internet censorship result (mediafort.wordpress.com)
http://alexbentley545.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/internet-censorship/ (Here is the pie chart results for should internet be censored)The result is out of 10 people, half of the people asked thought the internet should be censored. One person wasn’t sure and the rest believed it should be censored. The way I gathered it was by handing out a questionnaire sheet to everyone asking their age, gender and thoughts on internet censorship. I got some inspiration for the questions from Debate org, as I wanted to see their responses and see it is similar to the responses to the online debate. Once I’d collected the questionnaires I went online and used pie chart website to create one, by doing this the chart came back a visual percentage of the questionnaires.
These results are different to the ones I have seen as on other websites like Debates.org (http://www.debate.org/internet-censorship/) where 12% of people agree with censorship and 88% disagree with censorship.
- A Little More on Taboos – and Censorship (brianrushwriter.wordpress.com)
I observed two events today in the world of publishing and book distribution that alarm and offend me.First, it appears that Kobo has removed all directly self-published titles and many of the titles distributed by third parties (such as Smashwords and Draft2Digital) from its UK e-store. This was done in response to complaints about erotica being sold through that store. Apparently it’s only the UK store that’s involved here, so Kobo outlets in other countries including the U.S. are still carrying self-published titles.
- An Inside Look at the Fight for Freedom of Speech in College Newspapers (jadaliyya.com)
This was supposed to be my traditional goodbye column before my term as the opinions editor came to an end last week, but it was censored by my own workplace, from the very section of which I was the editor. The new Targum editorial staff is fully aware and supportive of this now being published.
- Google chairman suggests censorship of Internet will eventually come to an end (dottech.org)
Google chairman Eric Schmidt believes that there will come a time when censorship of the Internet will come to an end.“I believe there’s a real chance that we can eliminate censorship and the possibility of censorship in a decade.” Schmidt said. He went on to suggest, “The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything.”
There are ways for those living in countries where governments block anything from YouTube to Justin Beiber to get around the censorship. Some citizens use virtual private networks to bounce their traffic through servers located outside the country. This allows them to view sites their government would deem inappropriate.