Stupid.Ca – Fascist government propaganda tool? The government is now censoring ideas!
Well, I’ve been participating off and on in the message forums at the Stupid.Ca website. If you don’t know what Stupid.Ca is, it’s basically a propaganda machine funded by the government of Ontario with our tax dollars. I’m sure you’ve seen the television ads that direct you to the Stupid.Ca website. I’ve been using the government run message forums there to enter into debate with people on the subject of the smoking issue. The commercials and most of the propaganda on the website are steeped in deception and half-truths (or, outright lies in more than a couple of cases) and it’s obvious to me that the main goal of the campaign is to indoctrinate people into the philosophy of the anti-smoking agenda. My goal on those forums is to enter into open debate on the subject, thereby exposing the deception and half-truths and giving people the other side of the story, so that they might learn to exercise and develop a modicum of independent thought and actually question the statistics the government is feeding them, instead of taking them as revealed truth at face value.
A number of times my posts have been deleted by the administrators of the site, with a claim that the subject matter had moved more from debate and into mudslinging. I don’t really have much of a problem with that, as a couple of threads had indeed moved that way, as the debate can sometimes tend to become a bit heated. A few times, when these deletions took place, I thought the ‘mudslinging’ argument was really borderline, but I let it pass.
However, I logged on to the site today to find a number of my posts missing. I thought this was strange as there was nothing in the posts which any reasonable person could ever construe as ‘mudslinging’ or inflammatory. There was a private message to me from one of the moderators of the site, however. And, in that message, he let it be known that the reasoning behind the deletion of my posts was that I was questioning the methods of the Stupid.Ca campaign. In short, my opinions and ideas were deemed inappropriate for this public, government run message forum.
Here is the private message I received explaining the reasoning for the deletions: (I have edited out any identifying names, and added comments in brackets)
< —Start Message—>
hey *****! I just wanted to take a moment to explain something to you.
I just deleted several of your posts that were within a thread called ‘smoking’ created by *****.
This was my reasoning…
It seems quite obvious to me that ***** simple made this thread to tell everyone that he had recently quit smoking and that he has been feeling better ever since. He also stated that he was pleased with the stupid.ca campaign. I thought his message was quite positive… not just because of what he said about stupid.ca but because of what he said about how he has felt better ever since quitting smoking. I think it was an inspirational post that others can take something positive from. He didn’t push his thoughts onto anyone, he was just simply stating an opinion and how he felt.
(“just stating an opinion and how he felt”??? Hmmm, I thought that’s what I was doing as well. However, his opinion is allowed to remain on the forum, while my opinion is censored from public view. So, what’s the difference? Ah… his opinion was pro-government; pro-stupid.ca. Mine was anti-government, anti-Stupid.Ca… I get it now. The government liked his opinion; they didn’t like mine. Ergo, the government decides to censor my opinion on the matter. Got it.)
NOTE: (The initial post contained a line that read: “I think its an admirable cause” ((referring to the Stupid.Ca campaign)) My initial response in it’s totality was: “Yes! It’s always admirable to deceive, manipulate and coerce children, if the ends justify the means!” I was, of course, being sarcastic.)
Then I read several of your replies and I just found that your responses were intentionally negative and argumentative. (My “several, argumentative” replies ((2 in total)) came only in response to the initial poster posting lengthy rebuttals) Rather than show support for the fact he quit or respond with something positive you took the discussion in a different direction. (I’m sorry that “direction” was a direction not agreeable to the Ontario government) One which I feel would have been best made within another thread. (I was responding to a post in that thread, how can that be done in another thread? ) Specifically you went off on a tangent of attacking the stupid.ca campaign as a whole, questioning the statistics used within along with taking shots at how Health Canada generates statistics and… well, hehe, all I’m saying is I think you totally missed the heart of the message **** was trying to make. (Everything mentioned here, attributed to me, was done after the person who wrote the initial post responded to my reply with a lengthy rebuttal..But anyway.. I’m sorry to have used a government website to question government actions! I suppose, ‘taking shots’ at Health Canada, which was done by posting direct quotes from Health Canada and then pointing out obvious fallacies in the quotes, is off limits too. I guess questioning government supplied statistics is also a no-no.)
I was going to leave your last post up with an explanation in the thread as to why I was deleting your messages but I did not want you to feel singled out. I didn’t think that would be fair to you. ( But the censoring of my thoughts and ideas on this government funded, public website, you, as a government employee, deeming those thoughts and ideas inappropriate for public consumption, you felt that was fair to me??? )
I just wanted you to know that in the future I may be more vocal in the forums. Rather than take the approach of delete first, private message later I may simply state my rationale in channel so it’s there for everyone to see and there’s less confusion as to “why did ***** delete that?”
While I respected all of your opinions in that thread I really did feel that you were intentionally going out of your way to argue with him, and in doing so, got off topic. (Yes. Sorry to argue with someone who is so neatly towing the party line)
As always, if you have any issues with what I have done, feel free to right[sic] back. If your opinions would have been in any virtually any other thread I would have allowed them but I just felt in that particular thread they were not valid. (My opinions are always ‘valid’ buddy, no matter what ‘thread’ they are in.)
Enjoy your day, ***** **********
< —End Message—>
So there you have it. Someone posted a message praising the questionable practices of a government run propaganda campaign… I committed the sin of questioning their praise and that campaign, and I was censored. Meanwhile children are visiting that site, (They state their target audience as being 12-15 year olds) are being exposed to the lies, deception, coercion and manipulation, while dissenting voices are being held from them — purposefully held from them by the actions of government employees. It’s downright sickening. Here is how I responded to that message:
“Honestly, I feel that you have truly overstepped your bounds on this one. My initial response was no more than 2 sentences and was also just an opinion; my opinion. My ‘several, argumentative’ posts (I believe there was 2 posts in total, possibly 3) were all in direct response to *****, or possibly other’s, replies. ***** posted an opinion, I responded with my own… Yet, mine was censored. (From a public, government funded website, and by a government employee, no less.) I really fail to see how this edit, no matter what your intentions were, was anything significantly more than the silencing of a dissenting voice.”
Oh… and for anyone who thinks that I may be reading too much into this… keep in mind that my rational arguments which pointed out fallacies in the anti-smoking methodologies of Stupid.Ca and Health Canada were deleted within 24 hours, while many posts containing nothing more than insulting and infantile anti-smoking rhetoric, like the following message, has remained on the site for months without any censorship taking place: “k, well you compensate [by] smoking cuz your not smoking enough c0ck” http://stupid.ca/stupid.ca_non_ssl/forums/showpo st.php?p=3920&postcount=13