Thank you, everyone, for your support of the CBC Radio Orchestra and its role in Canadian culture. Be aware that censorship is going on at the www.insidethecbc.com site. CBC Executive Mark Steinmetz has been known to block "too controversial" comments.
Make your comments known but watch out for the government censor!
Before I respond to the censorship accusations above, here is my own comment-blocking policy on the Collaborative Piano Blog.
1. Duplicate comments. Often Blogger experiences posting hiccups and stalls when comments are submitted. The commenter then resubmits and I have two comments to moderate.
2. Spammy comments. Often internet marketers spam the comments of high-traffic blogs in order to get hits to their sites. That's why many bloggers moderate their comments.
3. Individuals that beg for links. I prefer comments on my site to advance the conversation forward rather than be merely random plugs for other websites. If a comment is a request for a link (except in posts where I happen to be putting out a request for new classical music blog url's, for example) I'll generally delete it.
4. Vicious accusations against individuals or companies. I won't post comments that deal with outrageous comments about others.
I almost always post negative comments about myself and my writing, as I feel it makes for a better blog and a better viewpoint on the subjects I write about.
One might argue that the quoted comment above might fall within the fourth category and I should have deleted it since the comment-shredding is still only alleged, but I think that the matter at hand (the CBC Radio Orchestra affair) is important enough that the comment warrants both reposting and a full-length response from myself.
The blog in question, Inside the CBC, is in fact the "official blog of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation". It is written by freelance radio producer Tod Maffin, and by his own admission (see his about page), treads the fine line between in-house employee blog and public blog. As is the case with corporate blogs, Inside the CBC may be subject to some sort of in-house censorship in order for the company (the CBC) to present a unified public image.
Here's the part that many people will disagree with:
Inside the CBC has every right to censor comments they feel are inappropriate.
Think of newspapers--they have to pick and choose which letters to the editor they decide to print in the next day's edition. But, since they usually receive more letters than they have room to print, they need to choose which ones they use.
The blogging medium has changed all that, with commenting systems offering almost unlimited space for blog readers to post their comments. However, the fact of the matter is that owners of a publication, whether it be newspaper, magazine, e-zine, or blog, have every right to pick and choose which submitted comments are circulated.
On the other hand, as a public corporation of one of the most vibrant democracies on the planet, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation may have an ethical and democratic responsibility to maintain the freedom of speech on its in-house organs in order to reflect the views of the taxpayers that fund the public corporation.
But although I respectfully disagree with Tod's opinions on the disbanding of the CBC Radio Orchestra, as a fellow blogger I fully support Tod's responsibility towards being both a blogger and a public employee and the right to run his blog as he sees fit.
If you want to read further on the rights of bloggers, take a look at the Electronic Frontier Foundation's resources on Bloggers' Rights.
With the public hue and cry arising from the disbanding of the CBC Radio Orchestra, I would encourage those that wish to get the word out to use more vehicles than just blog comments to make their voice heard. These tools include starting their own blogs, using Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook groups, or publishing their own websites. We have both freedom of speech and the technology that allows the dissemination of information to an unprecedented extent. Let's use it!