Meta, but possibly necessary: Kairosfocus, at UD, has a long, and, to my mind, very odd, piece that refers to this blog, called: FOR RECORD: I object — a “tour of shame” concerning well-poisoning strawman tactics joined to denial of abuse of design theory proponents at TSZ.
Most of the piece I find frankly incomprehensible, but it includes the accusation that I am “enabling evil” here at TSZ:
And, they particularly need to recognise what going along with or making excuses for activists indulging in evil is: enabling.
This brings us to a live case, one implicating a commenter at TSZ, and unfortunately, the blog owner.
apparently because I did not suppress some comment made by OMagain, in response (as it were, given weirdness of the megaphone communication channel between the here and UD) to a comment by Kairosfocus at UD. Now I don’t, as I say, understand the link KF seems to make between mainstream science and fascist regimes, and like OM, I find it odd that KF on the one hand rightly, in my view, warns of the dangers of suppressing dissent, and on the other, wants me to suppress points of view that dissent from his (or, at least, dissent from what KF feels is a misrepresentation of his point of view). But I want to reiterate my own principles here: I will not ban any dissenting view here unless it advocates illegal activities (and possibly not even then – civil disobedience is often ethically justified), nor any member unless they post content that compromises the integrity of people’s computers (including links to porn or malware). This is precisely because I think that suppressing dissent can lead to great evil, although I would point out that turning down an article for publication is not “suppressing” that view, as KF implies with his reference to Granville Sewell’s rejected manuscript on the Second Law of Thermodynamics (far from it – it’s probably had at least as much currency on the web as it would have done if published in print, and I myself have posted links to it, and invited Granville to discuss it here).. Furthermore, I think discussing dissenting views in as civil a manner as is possible to mortals, can lead to great good.
But KF goes on:
But, I cannot stop here, there is something else, which harks back to a longstanding pattern with Dr Liddle that needs to again be pointed out and corrected.
For, shortly thereafter, we see the owner of TSZ continuing with business as usual and the pretence that liberty gives license to exercise bigotry, slander and enabling of abuses, as though nothing serious and wrong had happened just above in the thread from two of her commenters:
[EL:] . . . Well, I chose the name, and the strapline, so I’d better explain what I meant: I meant this site to be a place where people with radically different fundamental assumptions about the world could drill down to find the essence of where they really differ, with as little interference as possible from tribal adherence to their own priors. Difficult to do in practice, but a worthy ambition, I still think.
That is why I am reluctant to ban anyone from the site, and do not do so, unless they make the site unsafe for people’s computers (risk their browing history, expose them to malware). Comments that seem to overstep the boundary between disputation and tribalism and get moved to Guano (not deleted, not removed from public view).
So, what is done about a case of uncivil conduct and outing tactics just above?
Other than, apparently pretend it didn’t happen on her watch.
That speaks volumes, loudest volumes, on what is wrong with the blog, The Skeptical Zone.
Again, I simply do not understand what KF is talking about. I am not aware of any “outing” that has taken place on this blog (I should probably add a rule, which to my knowledge no-one has ever violated anyway, that the real identities of posters here should not be revealed unless of course they are widely known – my own name, for instance, is not a secret). As for uncivil conduct – well, I have no intention of making a rule about “uncivil conduct”, here, although of course I do ask people to try to address the content, not the perceived motivation, of other posters. When things get too heated, all that happens is that posts can get moved to (not hidden in) Guano. And if KF would like to post here, of course the same expectation, in both directions, will apply to him. And I can’t help point out that if UD disallowed “uncivil” comments about people who don’t even post there, there would rather fewer posts about me at UD than there currently are! Sheesh.
KF ends, apparently with a comment addressed directly to me:
With all due respect, by right of reply and on the doctrine of fair comment: it is time to do better, Dr Liddle.
Right of reply? I have no “right of reply” at UD. In contrast, KF has right full of reply here, including, if he wants, full author rights. To me “that speaks volumes, loudest volumes, on what is wrong with” Uncommon Descent.