What did the internet ever do for music?
What did the internet ever do for music?

Censorship – where do we draw the line?

Censorship- where do we draw the line

Running a website is a tricky business.

Every day there is something that causes the ugly head of censorship to raise its head.

Where do you draw the line? Should we censor our comments section on the site? Are all opinions valid? What if someone if posting total lies? Part of me says that everything should go, that any comment should be allowed and that all debate is welcome.

The internet has blown this wide open. Now everyone can say anything, unfortunately most of this comes without a name attached to it.. that’s the ugly side of the internet – opinion without honesty – anonymous ranting – libel and slander are common parlance on the internet; you literally can say anything about anybody and there is no kick back.

Is this censorship or good manners? Should people be allowed to say what they like and say it without putting their name to their opinions. Even if the name is on the piece – what if it’s a lie presented as the truth? Is the internet the right place to argue about it?

In recent weeks the footballer case has started the focus on twitter etc. There is the potential for libel on the net, the potential to maybe get sued, is this right or wrong? Whould you have the right to say what you want?

This week someone on the internet made up a bizarre story about me- it was pretty mental stuff. The story was taken down by someone else. Should I have insisted the story remained up there? Does it matter if people believe even the most ridiculous lie and slander? Is this a correct censorship? Should it be anything goes even if it’s made up, or do I have the right to not have to put up with people making stuff up?

On the same token do the press have a right to know? Are people who are famous really fair game? is it the media’s right to pour over their private life?

We are entering a very grey area. I believe that like the collapse of the music industry any attempt to reign in the internet will be difficult and that the genie is already out of the bottle. We are living in a time when pub gossip is international and that the internet can be very poisonous indeed.

Previous articleStranglers’ Jet Black writes book about how to start a riot
Next articleShaun Ryder reckons Stone Roses will reform, maybe
Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. It’s a case that you can only regulate what’s written on your site, since it’s the publisher of material who commits the libel

  2. It is an interesting area of topic. About 9 years ago there was a HUGE thread on Bob Dylan own website chat board that went into the details of his drug usage, spcifically heroin and crack cocaine.
    The thread blooned into some 900 pages long, with most replies rebuking the claims and asking for the thread to be taken down. Dylan’s management or web management concured and the thread was taken down. Infact, the entire chat forum was taken down for a while.
    Now, some 10 years later, freely admits that he used heroin in the 60s and cocaine heavily in the 80s.
    So, a thread that so many were appalled by, and that was deemed unfit to stay up as an active thread, turned out to be true.

  3. On the footballer case, I have to say I have sympathy for the footballer. We have all lived haven’t we? I’m 47 and have been through affairs, split ups, etc etc, we all have if we’ve lived. The last thing you want at the darkest times is to be spread all over the papers. The tabloid press have no morals, they will print whatever they can to sell more papers. The footballer is “famous” because he is very good at what he does. That doesn’t give the press the right to invade his private life to such an extent that it is destroyed.

  4. Three issues that mess with my head re: censorship.




    Work those out and we’re sorted.

  5. The question remains whether internet is just another good invention that is rapidly going sour. Something that can be used to connect entire planet, be a source of (uncensored!) information and a great tool to simplify our lives, is oftentimes being used to vent hatred, deceive, manipulate. *

    Whether or not to censor comments: i think you should consider it. During one of the discussions on this site i had the dubious honor of dealing with a person i never wanted to deal with. Maybe you remember, we exchanged e-mails on the matter. This person was using the discussion page as her dear diary moment, in order to draw attention from a certain male artist she’s been apparently obsessed with for a long period of time. *

    I still don’t know where the truth was in that whole situation (nor do i care either) but her participation unfortunately had the power to lessen the enthusiasm of many others, who did have interesting points of view to add. *

    So yeah… where do you draw the line?
    And how to decide wisely? *

    Personally, i have no idea. *

    But when it is clear that the person is not here with the intention of having an online conversation, in order to expand ones’ own views. Who does not desire to stick to the rule of ‘agree to disagree’, yet instead uses the page as a venting place for the frustrations he or she is having in daily life… Then i say: intervene. *

    Strong opinions are ok. Misunderstandings are ok. As long as communication is going. As long as both parties are willing to sustain the healthy boundaries of mutual respect. *

    In my own experience, having interesting discussions with people who did not share my point of view, led to very interesting moments for both of us. For who cares about being right? I do not. It’s all about communication. This is the real beauty of humans coming together: whether in person, or online. Community. Communication. Joining of minds. Expansion.*

    But unfortunately the ones who truly have something meaningful to say, shy the internet. For they get tired of having mindless arguments. *

    Words are tricky creatures… You interpret them according to your own level of consciousness. Something that looks so simple and easy to your own self, can mean totally something different to another. *

    Still – if something does not feel right to you… just draw the line. Cut it off, before it gets out of hand. I hate to be sharply clear to people when they go over my boundaries in the realms of internet communication, but i know from experience that being nice to a certain type of ‘online personality’ is never a good idea. *

    This is how i surf through life : via the highways of feeling. *

    If something or someone gives me a rotten feeling, i flush them right away. Sometimes still too nice… i give them about 10 second chances.
    But in the end my feeling always proves to be correct. *

    For after all: the waves of feeling contain much more information than any logical mind can process. Perhaps in the near future we will all finally be communication via telepathic means? Hahahaha! Oh boy……………….


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here