Frank Knotts, longtime contributor to DelawarePolitics.net, has written his farewell post.
I have come to the conclusion recently that Delaware Politics has taken a turn down a path that I am no longer comfortable with traveling. There are some who will say it was I who made a turn, and that may be fair, but whatever the case, I see myself and the management here heading in two separate directions.
I have always felt that the best way to learn, is to listen to the ideas of others, even those whom we may disagree with. It has become clear that here at Delaware Politics there has been a decision made to silence opposition. Certain ideas and opinions are no longer welcome here. This site belongs to David Anderson, he is free to use it as he sees fit and to allow whomever he sees fit to do as they please.
I personally in the past was given that same freedom to write about topics that were not always in agreement with David, yet he never attempted to silence me or my views. That is no longer the case. There has been a clear new direction here, where one person has taken it upon themselves, with David’s blessing, to delete comments not only from myself, but from anyone who dared to disagree, under the thinnest excuse of them being personal attacks.
The site no longer, in my opinion, welcomes the open and free exchange of ideas that it once did and has instead become a site being run as a totalitarian site by proxy.
There’s a lot of truth in what Frank writes. Many comment threads on that site are rendered unreadable by the excessive use of redaction and deletion of comments.
“There has been a clear new direction here, where one person has taken it upon themselves, with David’s blessing, to delete comments not only from myself, but from anyone who dared to disagree, under the thinnest excuse of them being personal attacks.”
That person is Don Ayotte – with many assists and the blessing of blog owner, David Anderson. Type one word against Don Ayotte and your comment will disappear. Never mind that Mr. Ayotte put himself in the public spotlight by running for public office, if a commenter says something negative about Don Ayotte the comment vanishes or is rendered unreadable. The excuse is civility, but civility only seems to apply to people David Anderson likes.
David Anderson has his “Person of the Year” post up, and of the 9 comments, 4 have been redacted or deleted. These comments dealt with where the Person of the Year, Chaplain Kim Warfield, received one of her degrees. I had read two of the comments before they were pulled and they cited the name of the institution where her degree was granted and pointed out that this university was a diploma mill. The university was Belford University, which according to Wiki:
The school is not accredited by any accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) or Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Neither of the organizations from which Belford claims accreditation, the International Accreditation Agency for Online Universities (IAAOU) and the Universal Council for Online Education Accreditation (UCOEA), are recognized accreditation associations of higher learning.
It has been listed as a diploma mill by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.
In a 2007 article, a Yale Daily News journalist reported that he had applied for a doctorate with what he described as a brief paltry life experience justification, and was approved for his requested degree 12 hours later. He said that the basic price for a doctorate was $549 and entitled the recipient to a transcript showing a 3.0 grade point average. Latin honors could be obtained for an additional fee of $25 and Belford offered to back-date a degree for an additional $75 fee.
The comment, giving the Wiki information above, was deleted, citing personal attacks. Here are the reasons cited for deleting/redacting parts of the comments in that thread:
1. “Deleted for Personal attack”
2. “Deleted incomplete information/slander”
3. [redacted via libel policy]”
4. “deleted attack on religion violation of policy”
Since when is pointing out factual information (Ms. Warfield lists Belford University as one of her credentials) a personal attack? Granted, it’s embarrassing, but she lists the “university” herself.
And I read that first comment on that post before it was deleted and it quoted from the Wiki piece I’ve linked to and quoted. (I didn’t read the other deleted/redacted comments. They were gone by the time I got there) So what was the problem? Not that Ms. Warfield may hold a bogus degree, but that someone – using her own bio – pointed it out?
David Anderson and Don Ayotte simply can’t handle the truth… so they delete it. Often. And I mean OFTEN. This behavior has become the norm over at DP. And I get it’s their blog, and all blogs will at some point yank a comment, but Delaware Politics has taken censorship to new heights.
Frank Knotts will now be writing at his blog Politically Frank.
Tags: Delaware Blogosphere