Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Origins of FullosseosuFlap's Dental Blog and Censorship

From and Bill Katz:

A lot of these boards are businesses and as such they recognize that their membership drives the advertising dollars. For whatever reason, if a post or a person posting becomes unsavory to them or the advertisers, they just hit the erase button and pretend it was never there. I’m not even going to get into the logic behind it all because IMO, it’s flawed.

I’ve never seen a situation where this type of editing has really worked on the behalf of the censors. The whole mess usually snowballs when push comes to shove…especially when dealing with an intelligent user base like dentists. Good, bad or indifferent, free speech is free speech and rules of decorum are rules of decorum. Yelling fire in a movie theatre isn’t free speech but that has nothing to do with the varying opinions of some special interest group like a dental BBS.

On the other hand, there are times when I read posts by persons with “vested interests” and just simply shake my head in disbelief. Oh well… Caveat Emptor!

I agree with you Bill.

Look what happened here on DentalCom.

I made some comments and simply referenced clinical photos of a Dental Town fraternity member, Thom Caspers in Washington state and Sameer Puri in encino, California. I did not identify these dentists when I originally posted the photos. The photos were illustrative of problems with the learning curve with the Cerec 3D made by Sirona and distributed by Patterson Dental Company.

Sameer Puri from the Dental Town Meeting group then contacted Justin Shafer and essentially threatened him that if he did not remove the photos then he or Howard would delete all of his posts on Dental Town - thus adversely affecting his business.

The photos were willingly posted to an open architecture internet site and were sent to me by someone who I will not identify. This person continues to send me materials and I will post them in the future on my blog site.

The photos were not copyright protected in any manner.

So, as a result of Sameer's threatensome contact with Justin I was labelled a thief and a bad person.

Justin telephoned me and asked me to edit my posts and I refused at first. I later relented and said I would make some modifications but I now regret even that concession.

Justin terminated our partnership stating I was insensitive to his career and I started my own blog site.

Once you start censoring or editing content you are on a slippery slope.

More later.......

By the way, I am posting this on my blog site in case anyone finds it offensive and seeks to delete it!

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