We noted in a recent post that references to Legal Schnauzer have repeatedly been deleted at al.com's Hoover Forum.
Evidently, I'm not the only one who has experienced this kind of censorship on the al.com forum. Largely because of this censorship, another Hoover Forum has been created. I received the following interesting e-mail from the moderator of that site:
As you may or may not know, your blog has been linked several times on our web site THE Hoover Forum (http://www.hooverforum.com/).
The most recent version of your blog talks about being censored on al.com.
Shortly after our launch in July 2007, THE Hoover Forum was also censored on al.com's forums and all references to it removed. If an al.com forum poster typed out hooverforum.com and submitted the post, the word filter on al.com would reply "OOPS! Your post was rejected because it contained inappropriate language," and the words hooverforum.com would have to be deleted before the poster could proceed.
We have attributed this action to come from al.com's Ken Booth. As you may know, al.com not only streams the Hoover High School football games on their site, but they are also a sponsor of the Hoover football booster club (hooverbuc.com). Since many of our members have posted things that are not complimentary (although truthful) about the coaching staff, al.com has taken issue with this and has censored us.
The entire reason for our forum's existence is because al.com chose to censor posts regarding Hoover High School football, which we felt trampled on Hoover residents' right to exercise their freedom-of-speech rights.
Al.com, Mr. Booth, and the publishers of The Birmingham News are within their rights as a private business to publish and not publish what they want. They are not, however, doing the residents of Alabama a favor as a newspaper to censor certain viewpoints. One of my favorite articles regarding the responsibilities of a newspaper is the following:
"Social Responsibilities of the Newspaper." I won't quote the entire article to you, just the first two paragraphs:
"The press is a quasi-public agency because the founders of its freedom created it for the public purpose--as a substitute for revolution. It is an instrument for democracy to produce reform by methods of peace instead of force.
"The press has even greater social responsibilities than the President, the Congress, or the Judiciary. They are servants of the people to exercise certain rights which the people have entrusted to government. The press, however, is the special servant of the people in that great estate in which the people have reserved to themselves other rights which, by long experience, they have found it foolhardy to surrender to any government--an estate which governments try hard to invade. And in every case in which government invasion has been accomplished, an impotent press has given up the ghost before the people themselves have succumbed."
You may read the entire article here.
Sad that The Birmingham News and al.com don't live up to their end.
THE Hoover Forum