Censorship, Unpublishing, and New Media

The actual reasons may never be discovered, but Boing Boing, the perennially top ten ranked blog, has “unpublished (NSFW)” stories by, about, or mentioning author and sex columnist Violet Blue (NSFW).

Much has already been said about the Orwellianism of “unpublishing” and how it conflicts with the ethics of the web, as well as the incongruence between these actions and Boing Boing’s position on web censorship, media manipulation, and revisionism. And on July 1 Boing Boing itself joined the discussion. Thad didn’t go so well.

One theory suggests that Blue’s April 2007 column slamming Amanda Congdon may have touched this off. Another theory suggests that Boing Boing was pressured by (or simply wanted to please) closely embedded Federated Media. And if you think you know how this will play out, then play the news game (above), where they suggest this all started with a lovers’ spat.

My interest in this, however, is in how new media like Boing Boing are struggling with growth from small personal sites to multi-million dollar businesses ($one million in 2006). The question now is if the site will survive the transition without alienating the community that makes such sites successful in the first place.

Customer Relations Done Right

Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir is one of my favorite photographers on Flickr. Her photos are amazing, and it’s clear a lot of people agree. That’s the easy part. Then two problems arose: First Rebekka discovered that somebody was selling her photos for profit, and she posted about it. The community was shocked, and angry. And then, and […] » about 600 words

Beyonce and Swimsuits Not Appropriate For Librarians

My ALA email newsletter arrived today with this story: Sports Illustrated decides libraries don’t need swimsuit issue Librarians on Publib and other discussion lists discovered in the first week of March that none of them had received the February 14 “swimsuit issue” of Sports Illustrated. Inquiries to publisher Time Warner eventually resulted in a statement […] » about 200 words

Microsoft Vs. Bloggers In Accusations of MSN Spaces Censorship

I’ve been citing pieces of branding consultant james Torio‘s master’s thesis for some time now. But because the thesis is long, and I want to cite a few small pieces, and those pieces aren’t directly URL addressable, I’m quoting them here. Clickable URLs are added, but everything else should be exactly as Torio wrote it. […] » about 1000 words

If I Close My Eyes, Does It Go Away? <br />Can Bush Censor His Shame Away?

Reuters: FEMA accused of censorship: “It’s impossible for me to imagine how you report a story whose subject is death without allowing the public to see images of the subject of the story,” said Larry Siems of the PEN American Center, an authors’ group that defends free expression. Brian Williams’ MSNBC Nightly News Blog: While […] » about 300 words

American Reporter’s Nagasaki Story Emerges After 60 Years Of Censorship

George Weller won a Pulitzer Prize, a Polk Award, and was named a Neimann Fellow during his fifty-some-odd year career during which he covered much of Europe and Asia for the New York Times and Chicago Daily News. Weller died in 2002 at age 95, leaving behind a body of work that tells much of […] » about 500 words