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Discussion on: Censorship on DEV Community 😢🀐

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patricknelson profile image
Patrick Nelson • Edited on

It's a very valid opinion; I think the nuance for me was not on the existence of the feature, but maybe more how authors decided to use it when mixed with politically sensitive issues (which could get heated, importantly). This may actually entrench individuals on each "side" (when drawing lines) in the debate, particularly if they feel they are being unfairly silenced. So, the issue is not with the ability to censor itself (which I agree should still remain on dev.to, even though I "fell victim" to it), but rather the decision that is then made to censor someone after an hours-long back-and-forth that can potentially have unexpected side effects.

But that's up to the author.

On the flip side, I do moderate a minor subreddit of my own. As the moderator, I'm careful not to remove comments unless they violate some pretty obvious rules (i.e. follow "reddiquette," no harassment, bullying, name calling, hate speech, etc etc). This rarely ever happens, but: Even if I end up on the unpopular side of a discussion and end up with some negative karma, I will not flair my posts or delete comments or ban users or anything along those lines. For me it's more important that we have a forum where folks can discuss openly without fear of the moderator disagreeing with them. If it ever went that far (it hasn't yet), I'd rather just take all the negative karma and potentially just delete my comment in shame rather than use my power to moderate the discussion to my liking.

However, that's a completely different context and a totally different forum and type of discussion. Even in a place like dev.to though, I think I would still apply that approach. Particularly in the world of development. I can't count how many times I've had an opinion that ended up changing because I realized I was "doing it wrong" or that there ended up being much better ways of doing something that I never considered.