In a recent post here, Ando Arike reveals that he is the latest victim of the blatant censorship on the popular leftist website Common Dreams. He says that all of his past and current posts have been deleted from the discussion boards. I can confirm that his story is 100% accurate. I remember reading many of his comments there – and they are all gone now.
Craig Brown is the editor-in-chief of Common Dreams, and he is responsible for such decisions. Ando Arike's recent banning is more evidence of Craig Brown's continuing dishonest and authoritarian practices. These actions are shameful, and they should be called out for what they are: pure censorship. Another voice has been silenced by the fake progressive, Craig Brown.
This exact thing has happened to many commenters on CD before. Why don't more people know about it? Because Craig Brown goes out of his way to hide the truth about his nefarious actions. All censors need to work in the dark –- because censorship that is readily visible is far less effective.
In a note added to CD's comment policy, Craig Brown declares:
"We do not censor comments for their political opinion. Period."
This is simply a bald-faced lie. Craig Brown bans commenters for their political opinions all the time. If you doubt this, search "common dreams, censorship, banning" and read any of the articles or blog posts that are listed. One of the best summaries of Common Dreams' censorship is found in Metaphoria ("Progressives Disappearing Progressives"). Here's a link: http://www.metaphoria.org/issues/08vol16/ac4t0905.html
One of the fastest ways to get banned and erased from Common Dreams is to mention the censorship that occurs there. The more truthful you are about this taboo subject, the quicker your comment will be erased. Craig Brown is ruthless and unrelenting on this point. (If you are a daring sort, why not try this yourself and see what happens?)
Ando Arike has been commenting on Common Dreams for some time, so now there are big gaps in the discussion records where his comments used to be posted. This not only decreases the CD community's level of shared knowledge, it also makes it impossible for researchers to use this site as an accurate resource regarding social history. On a personal level, Ando Arike has to contend with the theft of his contributions from a communal discussion. This kind of punishment is akin to the banishment that was inflicted on criminals (or simply dissenters) in medieval societies. They often feared this more than any other punishment, as it is very painful psychologically and emotionally. I know how much anguish I endured when I was erased from the Common Dreams website.
Even one single incident like this -- the unwarranted deletion of a regular commenter's entire history from the site -- should be adequate grounds for Common Dreams readers to withhold all donations and demand that Craig Brown be removed from his participation on the site. Genuine leftists would certainly withdraw their support from CD and condemn Brown for the hypocrite he truly is. After all, Craig Brown's censorship is a direct attack on people's thoughts and ideas, and his intention is to suppress them and frighten others from speaking out. This is what totalitarians do. It is unconscionable.
What really disturbs me is that many writers (like Ralph Nader, Dave Lindorff, Naomi Klein, Glenn Greenwald, and others) have been informed about this censorship -- yet they continue to contribute their work to the site. They are just as much to blame as the censors at Common Dreams -- for condoning actions against others that they would never tolerate being taken against themselves. Ralph Nader is particularly culpable on this point, as he has repeatedly criticized people for "self-censorship" -- for failing to voice their opinions on civic issues. Yet, he has turned his back on Craig Brown's repeated abuse of people who have tried to do just that. And so it continues: Ralph Nader keeps contributing articles to Common Dreams, and Craig Brown keeps censoring commenters who hold beliefs or report truthful facts that he finds unacceptable.
This kind of behavior does not "build progressive community." On the contrary, it destroys true progressive community – because true progressives condemn the repression of honest and open discussions.
If the only forums available to those of us on the left are compromised in this fashion, what can we do? Where can we meet and discuss important issues without fear of censorship or reprisal?
* * *
If your readers are interested, I will provide further information about my contacts with Ralph Nader and Glenn Greenwald regarding censorship on Common Dreams. I will also offer some of the fascinating information I've learned in my research of "left gatekeeper" websites like CD. They serve a very Important function in helping to manage the population of United States.
I will close with this quote:
"The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves."
--Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
Sunday, February 16, 2014
- Linh Dinh
- Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.