Censorship of Thoughtful Post By University of Minnesota Alum Further Illustrates Pattern of Suppressing Criticism
- Blog Post by: Bill Gleason
- May 7, 2011 - 10:00 AM
Added Later: Response from Chris Coughlan-Smith:
- Group: University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA)
- Discussion: Is UMAA censoring submitted posts?
Hi, Professor Gleason. I can assure there is no effort to suppress discussion on this community. We have a policy in place on the approval of discussions, filtering commercial and promotional items to the correct area and deleting only profane and offensive material.
An error appears to have been made over the weekend and our policy has been reiterated with all who moderate the discussions.
I've personally approved Mr. McNabb's comments in the past and will continue to do so. I wish one of you would have asked someone in this office for a clarification. Thank you.
Chris, group founder and owner
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Recently I learned of yet another attempt to stifle criticism at the University of Minnesota. It is sad, indeed, that the administration and the alumni association are engaging in the tactics of censorship and intimidation.
I sincerely hope that the next president will not tolerate this kind of activity at our university.
From my friend and fellow alum, Michael McNabb:
The University of Minnesota Alumni Association has a LinkedIn web site for posts submitted by alumni. I have sent several single sentence posts with links to essays in The Periodic Table, such as:
See the attached My Activity section of the UMAA site.
On April 30 the UMAA site blocked the submission of a single sentence post [Administration seeks to stifle criticism of research] with links to these posts:
When I scrolled down to the end of the My Activity section I saw the following question:
Are you sure that you want to permanently remove, block and delete all contributions from this member?
Then I checked the main section of the UMAA site and saw that my previous posts had been deleted.
The mission statement of the Alumni Association states that it is "dedicated to connecting alumni, students and friends in lifelong support of the University of Minnesota and each other."
It appears that the Alumni Association considers the current administration and the University to be one and the same for it excludes any perspective that challenges a course of action undertaken by the administration. (It is far easier to exclude than to allow alumni to hear different perspectives and to engage in an exchange of ideas.)
A "guiding principle" of the Alumni Association is that it "represents the independent voice of the alumni." See the UMAA site above. By excluding different perspectives of alumni the Alumni Association acts as the representative of the administration to silence the independent voices of those alumni.
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