There is an interesting post by Paul Bernal, directed to the Labour Party, but with general relevance to our approach to freedom of speech in the digital age:
‘In the current climate, there are regular calls to deal with such things as pornography and ‘trolling’ on the internet – but most of what is actually suggested amounts to little more than censorship. We need to be very careful about this indeed – the risks of censorship are highly significant.’
However I do not know how sincerely or deeply Chris has engaged with the post. I have pointed out before how he has deliberately curtailed my ‘freedom of speech’ in the past:
My comment under Paul’s post is ‘awaiting moderation’. It says:
I am passionate about free speech. but I find that many ‘liberals’ from whatever party allegiance tend to pay lip service to free speech whilst actively limiting it when it suits.
Chris ashford for example, who said he agreed with your post blocks me on twitter and only publishes some of my comments on his blog. He also calls me a ‘troll’ which serves to undermine trust in me as someone with anything worthwhile to say.
But then I always did think ‘hypocrisy’ was on every major party’s manifesto.
Apart from blocking me on twitter, calling me a ‘troll’, not publishing some of my comments on his blog, and telling his academic colleagues to ‘ignore’ me online, I now have discovered that Ashford has also ‘badmouthed’ me to individual academics he knows personally. I found out because we have friends and colleagues in common.
As I said on twitter before, some academics treat me as if I am completely separate from their ‘world’. All they need to do is to flick their wrists and I will be gone. No. I am part of their world, for better or for worse. I was BORN into it. My academic ‘credentials’ and lineage is stronger than most. It is going to be difficult to get rid of me.
And that should be thought of as a good thing by Chris Ashford. He believes in freedom of speech, right? Even for trolls like me!