Even Blogging Requires A Bit of Housekeeping
Sep 26, 2012
This post is a response to a question that has been repeatedly asked of me by a certain participant here on this blog. Since the question was posed to me publicly, I felt it was necessary to respond likewise.
The way in which this blog is moderated is understandably a concern for all our participants. Hopefully, this post will help to remind our readers of what Shot of Prevention has tried to accomplish since it was established several years ago. There are unique challenges that come with allowing an open discussion of immunization issues and we appreciate your patience as we continue to work through them.
I would like to point out that you have repeatedly questioned this blog regarding “how many people from both sides” have been blocked from posting. However, your question actually reveals a great deal about the way in which you believe we operate, without a thorough understanding of our policies and limitations. Therefore, please allow me to explain.
First, you have inaccurately assumed that Shot of Prevention somehow keeps track of “sides”. That is absolutely not the case. One of the main reasons this blog was created was because we recognize the numerous positions that people hold in regards to immunization issues. While your comments suggest that you are concerned about censorship, you have failed to recognize the different viewpoints that are repeatedly expressed in the comments on this blog, and yet you continue to identify an extremely complex topic, such as immunizations, as having two “sides”. In our effort to facilitate discussion, we feel it is unproductive to pigeon-hole all positions into two “sides”. Rather one of our main desires is to allow an open forum so that people who have legitimate concerns or questions about immunizations can get the answers they need to make evidence-based, informed decisions. Also, it is important to acknowledge that even people who have similar views regarding vaccinations may disagree in regards to immunization practices and policies. That is why we want Shot of Prevention to be a place for discussion and an exchange of ideas among all participants. This helps to educate everyone, myself included.
In regards to our comment policy I wish to assure you, and all our readers, that our decisions to limit a person’s ability to post on this blog are not based on a person’s vaccination views, but rather the way in which they choose to communicate those views with others.
It is true that both people who support vaccines, as well as those who do not, have had their comments removed because of something that was deemed inappropriate. Additionally, WordPress will often place comments directly into moderation, or even spam, based on the way in which the server identifies specific links or key words. Unfortunately there are glitches and limitations within the WordPress system, just like any other server, and we are constantly working to address those to the best of our abilities. However, there have also been a few instances in which a person was blocked from further posting after inappropriate conduct. Recently, we’ve even had an issue where a person who had been blocked has, on occasion, returned to post under another name. Once we are able to confirm this, all subsequent comments that a banned person has made will be removed, regardless of content.
I should also point out that thanks to this great country we live in (and to the many honorable people who have sacrificed their lives for this right) you are not being censored and are free to speak your mind. In fact, you are free to create your own blog, establish your own comment policy and enforce it as you deem necessary. When you do so, I hope you will consider allowing an open forum because we have found that to be one of the reasons we have gained so much support for this blog. It is disappointing that we have yet to find a blog or Facebook page that heavily criticizes vaccines that will also allow people to post evidence in support of vaccines. Many of our blog followers participate here because they were immediately banned from participating at other sites simply because their immunization views differed from the blog and Facebook administrators of those other sites. If you feel this is evidence of censorship, than perhaps you may want to venture onto those blogs and Facebook pages and take up your cause there. If you are unsure where to start, I’m certain that there are plenty of people who would be happy to point you in the right direction.
In closing, I wonder if you may care to explain why you feel it is necessary to create several identities for yourself on this blog (such as End Censorship, Lama and the more recent Anne – not to be confused with the Anne which also posted under the names of Meg and Ella). Unfortunately, this is a tactic that we find misleading, dishonest and even disrespectful. Several people have taken the time to respond to your comments under your various identities, so perhaps you will be considerate enough to explain why you feel you must misrepresent yourself in this way. May I remind you that none of your identities have been blocked from posting so you are completely free to respond under the name of any of your multiple personalities. Of course, I too will be anxious to hear your response.
Now that we have this concluded our housekeeping for the day, we hope to get back to our regular programming tomorrow. Thank you to all our readers for your continued patience and understanding while we work through these policy concerns. With everyone’s help, we can continue to maintain an open forum in which we can discuss current immunization issues. Of course, if anyone should have any comments or suggestions for us, please feel to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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