Thursday, May 29, 2008

Don't Censor Your Community

I've been trying to share the meager fruits of my labor with others in the same plight on various forums around the internets, and I'm disturbed (but not surprised) at the level of censorship being exercised by moderators on AT&T Wireless's forums.  First they censored the name of their own CEO, then they went on to delete an entire post about other places they could find like minded people in the same situation.  But the most egregious act of censorship was redacting the phone number for the Office of the President.  This is the note I received from one of their moderators:

We'd like to ask that you not post contact info for the Office of the President in posts or PMs until an AT&T moderator can PM you. Failure to follow moderator directions can result in loss of posting privileges.

It's plainly obvious to me that no frustrated customer with enough energy to register and post on a forum will limit their activities to just that one site.  Word is going to get out one way or another, and in the meantime the only thing you gain by censoring your base is a reputation for tyranny and/or self-delusion.  It reminds me of the time DMCA notices were being wildly thrown about in order to squelch the spread of HD-DVD's encryption key.

You want the number to the Office of the President tucked away and under your control?  Well this is my blog and I'll post it here if I damn well please.  It's not like it's not already all over the place anyway

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