Monday, 15 February 2010

Freedom of expression

A current issue

Normon Perrin writes –

How about cock and bull, cocks and hens?

Yes indeedy, Norman. And what about Lord Thomond's cocks? I invoked these in September, to be greeted by a comment demanding that my site be closed down! Perhaps I am lucky that the anonymous contributor did not 'report' it. Perhaps 'Anonymous did, and Blogger chose to ignore it – if so all credit to whomsoever, long may it last.

Let us not, however, get hung up on discussing a single, unimportant word. Without any need to conjure up conspiracy theory, and certainly not wishing to appear paranoid, my concern is the much larger forces that might be at work here.

If you are the UK, you may be watching the delectable Ms Aleks Krotoski (PhD) on BBC 2 on Saturday nights. Last Saturday's issue included an excellent and worrying account of homogenisation of the Web

Doug Roskoff 's contribution is germane here (he is the great critic of FREE, a notion that I myself have perhaps too uncritically embraced – 'why the net has moved from being part of a human potential movement to part of the, really, anti-human movement'.

And what about Conductive Education?

The big change discernible so far has been today's 'sensitivity' about publishing children's names and faces, in some countries anyway. I am all for genuinely felt and sensibly founded sensitivity – and just wish that there were a lot more genuine such manifest in people's dealings with each other, in every context. I do, however, worry about bureaucratised and routine blanket application of selected expressions of this, the 'sensitivity' expressed sometimes sounding to be more towards agencies' liability to supposed standards or civil action!

The world of Conductive Education is a useful little microcosm. I shall have to be more alert to the various ways that CE's activities on the Internet might be open to forces to Bowdlerise and homogenise its message.

Maybe I am alone within Conductive Education in having met such a problem. Has anyone else out there? Do please tell.

Earlier item on this topic

Sutton, A, (2010) What a cock up, Conductive World, 15 February

1 comment:

  1. Andrew,

    I experienced this embarrassment in a public place too.

    I travelled a lot by plane last year so I tried to put postings on my blog while on my travels to keep up, but it proved to be very difficult. I tried to open my blog at public computers, those that stick up on post all over the place, at airports in London, Oslo and in Dusseldorf.

    I had no luck my blog was barred.

    I haven’t tried it for a while now as I don’t bother wasting my money anymore, and I don’t know if I am also barred in a public library, I have never tried.

    I have no idea why my blog is barred “they”, the censor-robots, don’t actually tell you this on the screen, but the censorship started just after I wrote my posting on Sex and Conductive Education.

    Of course there are also my “works of art”, my life drawings. These too could be the cause of the airport censorship, although there are no “flesh-tones” on my drawings to be detected.

    The first time this happened to me at the airport I was not only embarrassed but I was also some what surprised by the censorship considering the sort of magazines that were on offer at the newsagents right next to me.