Via the online "Contact Us" page
, I initiated the following message chain, after being asked by acquaintances why I was no longer commenting on Coloradoan
stories. The modus operandi of the banning isn't outright banning. No, the Fort Collins Coloradoan
allows you to log in and comment, and they allow themselves the privilege of using your posting or getting story ideas from it, while keeping others form seeing it by not placing it on the online public web site. Interestingly, the Coloradoan
staff can block your account from showing the comment, but can't block the correct comment count. It's a tattle-tale idiosyncrasy of the content management system they are using, though, regardless.
Here's the initial post to online contact form (there was no response to the first communication):
Thursday, December 02, 2010
I'm demanding that you remove this despicable little block you have on my account. As it stands, I can post, but nobody but myself can see it. If I log out and refresh the browser, the post disappears.
That's unacceptable. I've posted nothing profane, inciting of violence, or untrue. All I've posted has been my own composition, as personal opinion.
Since others are freely allowed to do so, you have to allow me to do so also. If not, take the bulletin board down, because I will defend my right of free speech in the courts if necessary. An organization that bases it's existence on free speech can't be allowed to censor individuals because they find the individual's writings inconvenient to the local power structure.
I'll also have a counter bulletin board site up this weekend. Probably alreaud.net/ColoradoanAntiCensorshipBlog, or as soon as I have the time. The only rules on that site will be no threats and you'll be liberally linked in...
Alfred P. Reaud
Bob Moore responded(12/2/2010):
When you created your Coloradoan.com account, you agreed to terms of service, which included a description of acceptable and unacceptable postings. Despite agreeing to the terms of service, you chose to engage in repeated brawling and personal attacks, which led us to block your account.
The Coloradoan offers these discussion forums as a format for people to discuss issues and even have some fun. One thing we know from experience is that a handful of abusive posters can quickly drive away traffic from our site. We're not going to let that happen. We are not compelled to offer anyone a forum to say anything they want. That's why we have the terms of service. I'm sorry that you agreed to the terms of service and then decided to ignore them.
You obviously don't like the terms of service we've established and prefer something different. That's OK. You can find any number of forums on the web that have different requirements. I'm glad you're setting up your own bulletin board to hosts discussions in a manner you see fit. Best of luck.
To which I responded(12/4/2010):
Please document ONE instance of personal attacks or brawling with anybody. Please do so because I am very serious about this matter. Please document how many times I've been recommended vs. how many times I've been reported for abuse.
You obviously mistake me with somebody else on your site. As a long term poster, on both your blog and internationally on sites such a Reuters, I'm sad to say that you are totally misinformed Bob. My postings are consistent, concise, and to the point, and highly recommended, as the recommendation counts show. I don't use profanity, don't attack the posters as other regular posters do that are not sanctioned, and try to bring positive dialectic to the board at all times.
There reasons you state Bob for banning me are patently false. Therefore I must assume that the banning is politically related due to my succinate postings that have hit the nail on the head regularly. Therefore I will not allow the banning to stand. Be advised that this is a free speech issue and that I will treat it as such in the proper jurisdiction.
If the Coloradoan/Gannet deems that it can ban a long time blogger from exercising their right of free speech, in a non-abusive, non-threatening manner, on a bulletin broad that they have registered on, after allowing that blogger to do so for years, then be prepared to be challenged on the issue. The Coloradoan alleges that I've violated the terms of service, be prepared to document it.
Bob, the Coloradoan has until Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 18:00 hours, to remove the block. In the event the Coloradoan chooses not to, I'll proceed to vigorously defend my rights as a long term blogger on your site to continue to do so as I've violated no term of service. You're forcing me to procure a website and administer it to exercise my right of free speech. My firm, Happy Cat Technologies, charges $35.00 for IT services. If I'm forced to expend the time, I'll intend to be compensated for it.
Thanks for your time Bob, and please have a great weekend.
Alfred P. Reaud
To that email, I've gotten no response and don't believe I will. Here's the deal though, and challenge. I'll not take it to the Courts. Bugger that... To benefit others of the censored is a more effective solution to the whole censorship issue. If this site bothers the Fort Collins Coloradoan
, go to the court and get it shut down. But, IMHO, mine is a politically motivated banning, and everybody who has read my comments on the Fort Collins Coloradoan
knows that Bob's reasons for the banning, as stated above, fail to hold water.
This web site is an exercise in free speech for everybody. You have a story to comment on, PLEASE FEEL FREE
to do so here, if the Fort Collins Coloradoan
won't allow you to (or if they will, it doesn't matter
). There's no charge and no bullshit. The rules are the simple
and the same for everybody. If the Coloradoan
wants to ban people from posting on their website for whatever lame or assinine reason, well, that's fine, they own it, and therefore what Bob Moore says, "We are not compelled to offer anyone a forum to say anything they want.
" is true. Somebody could probably push it as a long term poster, but why? It was just easier to create this website!
Principles and convictions are good things to have, when not taken to extremes, and remembering to always choose your battles wisely. Is your right to free speech worth the fight? I believe it is. So again I ask Monsieur Bob, why did the previous editor leave the Fort Collins Coloradoan
? Can you document my bad behavior M. Bob? Or is the dialectic just too strong for y'all?
CatWhisperer (aka Al Reaud