This is essentially the heart of the complaints by Sal, and Lizzie and co.
I say no, it is not. We have a situation here where Lizzie and Patrick can chose to remove any post they don’t like, for any reasons they create, without explaining why, and relegate it to a garbage dump section. And then they claim, that because technically someone could go into the dump and read the banished posts, that this is somehow ethical moderation.
This is absurd of course, because the post is then taken completely out of context, and it does not show what the post was in reply to. It really is just a smokescreen technique for the site to fight their war on ideas, without admitting they are practicing censorship.
They know full well it is unlikely to ever be read in guano, so what is the point of putting it there? It is simply so Lizzie can pretend she doesn’t censor, which is really a subtle lie. Barry admits that he is forced to ban some posters.
But there is one even bigger difference. Barry’s site is a content site! He has news, real news! His site is not predicated on comments, it is about providing information. It necessitates a certain amount of moderation, in order to maintain the stories as the heart of the content, not the invective spews of people like Richard or Patrick.
So whilst Sal and Lizzie complain about the moderation of Barry, let’s not be deceived by what they routinely practice here at TSZ. A long while back, I reposted the exact words of another posted who was espousing nonsense ideas. I reposted his lines to me, and my post was immediately put into guano by Alan, while the materialist was allowed to same the exact same thing. And just yesterday, when Sal was asking why Barry banned him, I said maybe Barry had more than just one reason for feeling Sal was a kook (clearly an on topic point and clearly within the rules). It was guanoed by Lizzie with no reply as to why.
Hypocrites. I personally feel this is worse than standards. This site was started as a hypocritical statement to Barry’s controlling of garbage at UD. Thus Barry’s methods are more ethical in my view.