[-empyre-] VII: free speech and its ends

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Thu Oct 11 13:39:51 EST 2012

The situation is an aporia; there are no short-cuts but decisions have to 
be made. When there was hate speech or trolling, the list became unweildy 
and furious; while I as co-moderator might side with subscribers who 
wanted completely freedom, the fact was that - out of pain and anger - 
we'd usually lose about a third of subscriber within the first few weeks, 
and other postings would go down. In a sense, the list was held captive.

On a practical level, there were two ways we dealt with this behind the 
scenes - first, I never made decisions alone; they were always made by the 
co-moderators together; and second, I would also try to nip things in the 
bud (an odd metaphor, ah well) - if someone joined the list and 
immediately posted something defamatory about the 'Hebrews' (which 
happened), I'd immediately unsub that person and ban him or her.

There's no solution right for everyone; as you know, this list as well is 
moderated, and its the moderation that hopefully keeps the discussions 

- Alan

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