Censorship: A Failed Policy

Apparently there is a sense, justified or not, that posts to what seems like the most popular local blog are being deleted for purely ideological reasons. Rose’s WatchPaul blog has a thread where people can post comments they claim were censored by “Heraldo”. I am of 2 minds about this issue: 1) Any blogger should have the right to delete any post. A blog is designed to present a personal point of view. It’s not designed to be a public forum that protects the right of anyone to post anything. I delete spam and irrelevant posts and reserve the right to delete excessively profane or obscene posts; 2) Deleting posts of dissenting views is self-defeating. What you want in a blog is traffic and discussion. Controversy is good. It gives you a wider audience. You still retain control of the subject of each post and you can comment on the comments.

So, while I believe bloggers have the right to delete whatever they want, I also believe that deleting opposing comments is stupid. I don’t know yet whether the charges made at Rose’s blog are accurate in this specific case. But in general I believe a blogger risks credibility and opportunity by deleting dissenting posts.

As the Times-Standard pointed out today, there are people stealing political signs of all kinds, left and right. Apparently, this is not uncommon, but the incidents seem to be increasing quite a bit. This is the most stupid type of censorship born out of ignorance and fear. It also accomplishes nothing. The act changes no minds, in fact probably reinforces the positions of the victims and their friends.

As a personal example we had an Obama for President sign stolen from our front yard. My wife put up another sign in our window and I dare someone to enter our house and try to remove it. This stupid little act of censorship made me angry enough to join her in a phone campaign to call undecided voters in swing states to encourage them to vote for Obama. By the way, the results of our little campaign has so far indicated that many of the voters targetted as undecided by the Obama campaign have already become decided. They are voting for Obama.

Humboldt County in Humboldt County At Last

The film Humboldt County that actually had footage shot here a couple years ago is finally getting a commercial release. It’s official release date is September 26th in the following locations:

  • Portland, Oregon
  • Seattle, Washington
  • San Francisco, California
  • Humboldt County, California
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Austin, Texas
Humboldt County Film Poster

Humboldt County Film Poster

But if you’re lucky enough to get a ticket, there will be a showing as part of the WildRivers 101 Film Festival on August 27th at the Eureka Theater. It will be interesting to see how this film turns out. In spite of what the directors claim (that it’s a character driven movie), pot and pot growing are central elements of the film from everything I have seen. If you want to help promote the film, the directors have a grassroots marketing plan they would love to have you participate in.

However the Humboldt County movie fares, the WildRivers 101 Film Festival has a lot of great stuff in store for us in terms of our own film and media industry. Their web site isn’t updated yet, but according to festival director Mary Cruse, here is a list of events:

The 12-day event kicks off with the local premier of the film, HUMBOLDT COUNTY, at the Eureka Theatre at 7 pm, Wed., Aug. 27. This year’s theme is Humboldt County and technology,  with a Localpalooza night, screening feature films made locally, including REMOTE CONTROL GRANDPA, and WHERE THERE’S SMOKE – about woodland California firefighters, including Honeydew volunteer fire department members.

Independent cinema will be embraced by indie icon, actress Karen Black, and many other visiting filmmakers.

There will also be screenings in the Humboldt Redwoods State Parks, and a section of the guide promoting our parks. All proceeds of those events will go to recreation programs in our local Parks.

Also, there will be an all-day digital media event, which was a big hit last year. This will take place on Sept. 6, in Eureka.  The focus of this year’s presentations will be interactive media (video game design, mobisodes, webisodes), how to make money on short content media (through national ads, internet, other methods of distribution), the importance of editing and sound design, and more, as well as an actor’s workshop at the Eureka Theatre.

Stay tuned…

Free Speech Attacked By California Judge – Lamely

Watch out bloggers and web publishers. Don’t do anything too controversial or you may find your site shuttered by the law. In a very strange and clearly tech illiterate move, a California judge ordered the removal of the domain name for a web site (Wikileaks.org) that publishes leaked documents posted anonymously by people around the world. It’s a lame move because the site is still accessible at its IP address ( ).

Apparently, some heavy legal help is on the way for Wikileaks as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU of Northern California plan to intervene on behalf of the site and its owners.

Update: The federal district court judge who order the domain name removal has himself removed his removal order. “Judge Jeffrey White cited concerns about the First Amendment, the effectiveness of disabling the wikileaks.org domain name, and the court’s own jurisdiction over the case as reasons to dissolve his previous orders.”