Sometimes I just can't leave things alone. Earlier today I stumbled into a bit of a Twitter storm with another user, someone who is ostensibly Pro-Union, whereas I am pro-Scottish Independence. This tweet wasn't about that, but instead, it was about copyright.
The whole thing reminded me of this from XKCD.
Over the weekend Wings Over Scotland, a site needed online as much as any you could imagine for it's critical thought on Independence matters (full disclosure; I don't care for the owner of the site and the writer's personal views, but that is by the by when it comes to the subsequent tweets), lost their YouTube account in a strange turn of events involving copyright strikes and a few other oddities. It made it on to the BBC Radio and later the BBC News website, and is causing a bit of a stooshie.
I waded in when someone conflated the BBC's copyright actions with the Twitter actions of Mr Campbell, the owner of the Wings site. In the reply to the BBC's tweet about the news, they asked simply if the use of Twitter's block function, and Mr Campbell's use of a "block list" of people on Twitter, amounted to censorship.
The answer is no, it does not. Censorship, of the kind this person was suggesting, has to be state mandated. This is common knowledge, of course. It is implicit knowledge.
Censorship of television and film is undertaken by the state by regulations created by the government; ie, it is censorship, and ones that we are happy with culturally. I have blogged about censorship in the past in my wee flit with viral fame a few years ago.
To avoid any doubt, here is the tweet, and my reply, that I am talking about.
I know, i can hear you groaning in the back - I shouldn't have taken the bait. I should have walked away, because who cares? This person isn't going to listen to the account of a middling ambient podcast by a bearded pretentious fool, are they? Right?
Well they did. They responded by "comment retweeting", which is a neat feature that allows you to slip the persons (in this case, my own) tweet directly into their timeline with a pithy comment insert above it. In my case, the pithy comment was a slanderous suggestion that I am a fascist. Things on the internet rarely go at a normal pace.
Obviously, this didn't go down well. Instead of back tracking on their statement, they repeated in, and then made the claim that "encourage others to attack me" when I had done no such thing. I called them out on that as well, as that was two complete untruths in a few exchanges about something they were demonstrably wrong about.
The simple fact is that someone blocking someone on Twitter does not amount to censorship in any way, shape or form, even if that is "concerted" by someone else, a third party. Even if you vehemently disagree with that person, it's just simple - it isn't censorship, in the same way that me not buying the Daily Mail isn't censorship.
But of course, this person has around 800 more followers than me and who actually care about this, so a few people steamed in to like the tweets and, rather ironically, block me as a result, which amused me greatly.
The thing is that I was mid dinner making and it was a diversion, and one I actually enjoyed. A wee bit of fun, chatting with someone on the other end of the spectrum politically - until they started to post endless screenshots of Mr Campbell's more controversial (that i am no way endorsing) personal Twitter postings as a way of showing that I was defending a "vile little man", for some reason, which lead to me realise - in this scenario - I'm not the one who is refusing to back down, they are.
It ended as abruptly as it started really, with not a bang but a whimper. And I am only writing this post because it amused me.