When internet forums censor

The Internet, with all its discussion forums, should have been an excellent tool for spreading informaton on corruption and abuse of power in various countries. It turns out, however, that a lot of forums delete posts which point to documentation on illegal acts and abuse of power. These posts need not contain anything which violate forum rules (racism, obscenities, slander etc.). The result is that the readers do not get the chance to read about these conditions and are left with a false belief that Internet forums generally offer an opportunity to spread information that other media will not contribute to spread.

Fampo has collected some examples of Internet forums and other websites that delete posts about abuse of power at www.fampo.no/internet_censorship.html. The list is by no means complete and will be updated as we find new examples.

I recently came across one example from Sweden. On his website, Daniel Hammarberg shares a critical article on the Swedish social care. He starts with informing the readers that this article “was rejected by supposedly free and open news commentary site newsmill.se”. Newsmill was a Swedish website for news comments and debate, which was opened to the public on September 3rd 2008. The website was owned by Bonnier Tidsskrifter until January 2013. In June 2013, Newsmill was ‘closed for summer’ and has since then been closed down.

Erik Strand

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