Censorship on the International List

Jacob Sanders (Southwark Green Party) is invariably civil and to-the-point. The following post, protesting Green Party endorsement, through platform sharing, of genocidal antisemites,  is characteristic. So why did the moderator of the Green Party International List censor him?

[X]

It is generally accepted on the progressive wing of politics that it is never justified to share platforms with advocates of genocide. There may be occasions when it is right to debate with such people for the purpose of exposing their politics – as was argued when Griffin appeared on Question Time. To participate in a shared platform with advocates of genocide without making any attempt to confront them can only serve to assist in their aim of normalising their disordered values or promoting a perception that they are not really be as bad as they in fact are.

Your assessment of ‘at least some’ doubt about the Green Party’s problems in this regard would not be very encouraging, but in fact even that is overoptimistic. The sad truth is that there is no doubt at all.

The question of guilt by association is not relevant here. There is no suggestion that a person is an advocate of genocide or antisemitism because they share a platform with someone in that category, rather that the platform-sharing is itself wrong. Receiving stolen goods is not the same as theft, but it is an offence nevertheless because it facilitates the crime of theft.

I doubt whether I would agree with the comments of the television interviewees you refer to, and I certainly oppose the attempt to outlaw advocacy of a boycott – but these are different issues.

Regards,

Jacob

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5 thoughts on “Censorship on the International List

  1. Isca Stieglitz

    …and just when you think it can’t get any worse. Experiencing that ‘floaty-pinch-me-is-this-a-dream?’ feeling. Jacob, this is a perfectly reasonable, articulate and reasoned response. It seems that our own policy does not apply to us…yet again! It’s all getting rather tedious and boring eh?!

    Censorship & Privacy

    CMS206 The Green Party is opposed to all forms of censorship in the media and cultural activities for adults. The state and persons holding positions of power to control activities shall not censor freedom of artistic expression or freedom of speech. Where there is a conflict between the right to free expression or speech and the responsibility not to cause offence this should be dealt with by allowing the offended person equal right of reply.

    etc. etc.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Thank you, Isca – I see your knowledge of party policy is more detailed than mine! I didn’t know about that policy – it just seemed to go completely against the principles of natural justice for a post to be excluded merely because the moderator doesn’t agree with it. It seems that the green party’s well-organised Hamas lobby prefers to knock down a parody of others’ views than to participate in a genuine debate.

    Reply
  3. Green Gordon

    Not wanting to be devil’s advocate or anything, but there is a difference between opposing censorship and compelling the media to print everything.

    There is a strong case for moderation of email discussion lists, but only by a fair-minded moderator who is not a prisoner of their own biases.

    Reply
    1. Mira Vogel Post author

      Worth pointing that out, Gordon. The matter of the discretion of the moderator is the important thing here, not the matter of whether censorship can ever be justified – I think most people – particularly those who decline to maintain vigilance over the internal discussions of their organisations – would agree that according to certain important principles it is sometimes necessary. However, anti-Zionism is not a principle, nor could it justify censorship.

      Reply
  4. Isca Stieglitz

    Ditto above. I wasn’t trying to be literal or imply I agree with all of it, just quoting GP policy because it seems to be a favourite activity of said moderator.
    Common sense, balance, fairness and giving a fair ‘go’ without racism/nastiness, seems to work for me. Hope it get published soon.

    Reply

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