Yesterday, I was banned from posting comments on Labourlist.com.
I have been posting comments and debating with contributors on that “Grassroots” Forum for a few years now. A few other like minded people have also been banned from posting comments on there: most of them like minded activists who want a Labour Government. And most have been fighting to get or retain one for one for years.
I have written to Laboirlist asking why, but as yet have not had a reply. I was never told that I have been banned; indeed they still keep sending me Emails telling me about articles appearing there.
What concerns me is that there are an awful lot of very obvious trolls posting on there regularly, with the aim, in my view, being to disrupt debate about policy and attack a Corbyn led Labour Party. They remain happily posting their disruptive and inane comments.
I may be wrong. I may well have written something that provides them with the excuse to ban me from posting. Yet none of my actual posts have been deleted or even marked for moderation. So, I am confused as to why I should be excluded from debating with my fellow grassroots Labour supporters, on a forum established to create just such a space on the internet.
What upsets me about this, apart from the loss of contact with the many like minded people fighting to get Labour elected this year, is the possibility that I have been excluded because of WHAT I am saying. Yet, there are many others on there apparently saying similar things.
If anybody reads this and is suffering a similar concern, can you let me know. Free speech is a fundamental requirement of a substantive democracy. If we are beginning to limit it in such places, it is very worrying indeed.