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#5306: Corbett replies to Simidor on freedom of expression in Haiti
>From Bob Corbett:
I was deeply moved, saddened and even frightened by Daniel Simidor's
report on the press and recent activities in Haiti. However, I
do want to particularly respond to Daniel's last sentence:
"How long before the so-called cyber-Cacos get run out of the Corbett
There are two senses in which people could get run out of Corbettland:
1. Corbett runs them out.
2. Fear (or boredom, hopelessness, frustration or other similar
crippling emotions) runs them out.
To the first I can reply that as long as I have my health and
computer the first is not likely to happen. I will continue to post
items or every stripe, and the frequent criticism I get when I post an
item which some group or other doesn't like isn't hard for me to take, it
washes off fairly easily.
There are many I've displeased with censorship on the list, but
I don't think there has ever been a case when I censored a VIEW of HAITI.
I do (and will continue) to censor personal attacks on list members
for what they say on the list, but not ideas themselves.
The second form of driving people away -- things that come from the
persons themselves -- is something I can do little about. I have been
criticized by many for allowing anonymous posts. I believe these are
absolutely crucial to enable people who are in fear of saying some things
with their own names connected, to have some freedom to say them.
What is important is the VIEW expressed, not the person expressing it.
I don't want to suggest for a moment that a name connected to a post is
not valuable. Coming to know a person's name, or at least their internet
alias, is useful. It gives us a view of this person over time. I would
think most of us have our own private list of whose views we regularly
find useful, valuable and trustworthy, and another list of those whom we
don't take too seriously, if we don't just automatically hit the delete
button. (Hey, feel sorry for me; I'm the ONLY one who can't avoid
messages with the delete button!)
I urge all members of the list to not hesitate to post items here
using the anonymous postings when you feel the need. It's better we
hear the views than be deprived of them.
As to the first: frustrations you feel with me for my censorship;
well, don't hesitate to criticize me for about it. I always consider
the criticisms when I get them, though I am rather vigorously wedded
to my few principles of censorship and am likely to stick with them.
We need to keep the information flowing, the debates alive. The
positical, economic, material and personal sitation of Haiti is in
dire straits. This is a group of over 1000 concerned folks. It's
important to make this forum work in the interests of a safer and
better Haiti where people may have a decent life. This mode of
communication is easier to protect from pressure than most any other.
I personally have no costs or financial stake in it, so that motivation is
gone. I don't live in Haiti or have property or such, so I am fairly
safe from intimidation. I simply don't have an ideological stake
in Haiti other than wanting people to have a decent life, thus I'm
in a priviledged position of being more able to allow a variety of
conflicting, if not contradictory views. The critical factor is YOU,
the list members. If you don't provide the views and new, then the list
is an impotent tool for Haiti's future.