Monday, October 04, 2010

How To Silence A Blogger

This essay from the Examiner should make your blood run cold, particularly if you value the First Amendment.

Brief excerpt below the fold:

Death threats and taxes: How one 'wealthy' blogger was silenced

Everyone has an opinion on taxes -- and usually it's a negative one. So a recent blog post by University of Chicago law professor Todd Henderson shouldn't have come as much of a surprise. But the resulting firestorm prompted such a negative reaction that Henderson pulled the post and abandoned blogging altogether....
Read the rest HERE and more HERE. Excerpt from the latter link:
...[A]lmost as soon as he hit the send button, a firestorm erupted.. Henderson says he was inundated with e-mails that divided along the lines of “die yuppie scum” and “thank you for saying what we couldn’t say.” He says the vehement tone of the responses -- he called it “an electronic lynch mob” -- and fears for his family forced him to delete the post and quit blogging altogether....
What would force you bloggers to shut up?

In my view, the threat of losing one's job already prevents many from exercising their First Amendment right to freedom of speech. In these trying economic times, exercising caution is a wise step, I think.

Many of us bloggers and commenters already use pseudonyms – for various reasons, of course. In my case, I use a pseudonym so as to protect the safety of my students. I admit that, at my age, I'm no longer much concerned with my own personal safety. I will also admit that, from day one of blogging, I have had some concerns about litigation consequences.

My question to you: Is the use of pseudonyms a form of self-censorship that we bloggers should avoid?

Your comments to the above question and to the news item itself are welcome.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 10/04/2010 04:00:00 AM