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Why censor, should we not be able to self-regulate?

As I was listening to the pieces by the Ahn sisters I found myself reading a few of the comments and realized that pieces had been removed. At first I was confused but it dawned on to me that I had been denied the right, (privilege?) to determine the validity of a person's statement. Now i come from a place where freedom of speech is permitted and encouraged so it might be easier for me to speak but as a former soldier it was part and parcel to help give a voice to those who needed and provide a voice for those unable. Would it not be better to allow peers (even though I would hardly consider myself a peer or those who frequent TED)to provide a counterweight to those who are misinformed...(or for any reason)
I am not saying freedom of speech without consequence, merely a different way of dealing with an opposing view.

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  • Mar 23 2011: Talking about comments in general, some sites have a "hidden due to inflammatory speech etc" with a button that will let you see it - if you want to. I find this preferable. most of the time when it's just straight out censored, I'm more curious about what the person said that garnered such a long list of comments on it. Voting policies turn into the "ad populum" rule where, on democratic principles, censorship can be upheld.

    Internet discussions also, oddly, have a tendency to get heated in a way only politicians do nowadays. For that reason, flagging and censorship is prevalent elsewhere (I'm thankful the conversation is normally very rational and calm here).

    In the end, I liked freedom of speech before all this technology. Back then you had truly free speech and you could say what you wanted when you wanted. However, if someone disagreed completely, they challenged you to a pistol's-duel to the death. The result was freedom of speech + the requirement to think twice before you speak.

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