I'm feeling pretty good about that decision today.
LeDaro reported today that a previous post of his had appeared on Liblogs and then mysteriously disappeared. There is still no indication of whether that was a glitch or an intentional removal, but just before LeDaro made his first post, Jason Cherniak posted a statement of his own on Liblogs' front page:
Israel and Gaza
Liblogs is not affiliated with the Liberal Party of Canada. It is a non-profit organization without charitable status and we provide an advertising service to bloggers who identify themselves as Liberal Party supporters. We take no responsibility for what those bloggers write and only remove them for actions that go beyond reasonable discourse. Such decisions are made by a Board of Directors and I am only one vote out of five.
As President of Liblogs, I speak on behalf of the organization. While I will never force bloggers to adopt my view, I feel it is my responsibility to lay out the official position of Liblogs on the fighting in Israel and Gaza. Individual bloggers are free to disagree as long as they do so in a mature and civil manner.
He then proceeds to lay out what amounts to his personal opinions on the current situation in Gaza.
Now, I don't want to get too much of a discussion of censorship here. I suspect that the issue was not so much LeDaro's post as much as the graphic photos that accompanied it. If that is the case, and since Liblogs displays photos along with text in its previews, I can see that being a legitimate, if questionable, editorial decision. And it is true that several Libloggers have made posts even more critical of Israel's actions than LeDaro's that have not been deleted.
What concerns me more is Cherniak's use of Liblog's home page as his personal pulpit. While his previous statement asking for cool heads and civility on the issue was an appropriate one for him to make as Liblogs president, what he posted today was downright bizarre. "The official position of Liblogs on the fighting in Israel and Gaza"?! In what possible way is it appropriate for a blog aggregator to have an "official position" on such a contentious and ongoing situation - particularly when that position happens to be identical with the personal position of one member of that aggregator's board?
All of which makes me wonder - are the other Liblogs board members cool with this? Is Jeff, whose own opinions on the situation seem to differ somewhat from Jason's, on board with this new "official position"?
Like I said, I'm not a Liblog member and so none of this is really any of my business. But I know and respect people who are involved to one degree or another, so to them I would respectfully suggest that they have a little chat with Mr. Cherniak and recommend that he consider reviving his personal blog if he wishes to express his views on this or any other topic.
That's what blogs are for.
UPDATE: I asked Jeff Jedras about his feelings on this over at his place, and here is his response:
Jennifer, I believe Jason erred by saying "official position of Liblogs." Liblogs has no official position, other than keep it clean people. The opinion expressed in the admin note was his own. And I'd prefer admin notes be confined to administrative matters, as yesterday's note largely was. And we all, being Jason and the board, agree that a note at the top of the aggregate is not the best way to disseminate messages to the membership. We're working on coming up with a new method of posting such messages in the future that is less obtrusive, and more like a regular post that will fall down the page. And since Jason's current message has certaintly been disemenated by now, it should be offline this evening/early morning I would suspect.
And so it is. Fair enough. Thanks, Jeff.