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Subject: Censorship (fwd)
From: Brian Oates <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Brian Oates <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 9 Nov 1995 10:27:42 -0800
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 09:46:21 -0800 (PST)
From: Brian Oates <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Censorship
 
I have been reading the recent comments on ALGAE-L regarding the letter
of Athaniasdis with great dismay. Here we have a supposedly open forum
for phycological discussion and the first time something controversial
comes along we are told that it is not appropriate. If, as many of you
have suggested, comments be made only to those directly involved, then
why do we bother having a list server? If we accept this policy then
ALGAE-L becomes solely an avenue for helping to find email addresses
and fielding requests to do library research for others.
 
With regard to the question of censorship, I believe that it is, since
censorship is the suppression of any material thought to be undesirable.
Since nobody in this group has been empowered with censorship why not let
the reader decide? With a couple of key strokes the unwanted material is
gone. If writers make tactless destructive criticisms, rather than
constructive ones, they will clearly be visible to the readership.
 
With regard to the letter of Athaniasdis, couldn't Bill Woelkerling and
Adele Harvey simply have written the ALGAE-L and expose the weaknesses in
the critique? Politely, of course.
 
Brian Oates
Department of Botany
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B. C. Canada V6T 1X7

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