I think everyone has a right to his own opinion, and I more than most, I would guess, respect that right.
Coupling that with the fact that it doesn’t matter to me whether people like my writing, hate my writing, or don’t have an opinion on it; I’m just happy they’re interested enough in it to read it.
Although I am kind of amazed when people form an opinion about me personally from reading what I write, without actually knowing me.
But because my blog is so very well read throughout the United States and in the five dozen or more countries across five continents, I do wonder why sometimes a group or two will ‘punish’ something I write in a Facebook group.
And since I’m the curious type, I always research who bans or mutes someone posting my articles and try to figure out the reason why.
I wrote an open letter a little while back to the Hartsgroves, the Parkers and all the other families who worked hard in Highlands, worked hard for Highlands, and brought their families up with love and recognition of the good things in life, that for generations after, they did the same.
I wrote it because it was these families who welcomed me as a young bride, who taught me all the wonderful things they had known, and had been passed down by their forebears, who helped me raise my own family in this wonderful town.
Families for whom I will be eternally grateful.
The story was on my blog and was posted to a number of Highlands Facebook group sites, both because I wanted the families who shaped me to know how much I appreciate it and to tell the families just moving into town just how terrific it is.
One site, actually one Administrator/Monitor of a group punished me by muting the individual who posted my link, Highlands Almost unCensored https://www.facebook.com/groups/399943843698776
The administrator said the person posting was not going to be able to publish anything, respond to anybody, do anything on that page Highlands Almost unCensored for a week.
I was surprised. The letter certainly did not say anything negative. It did not attack anyone for anything. It was simply a love letter to the town and an alert to the folks who made it that if they didn’t do something about it, the town they know and love would be a thing of the past.
So for that was someone was being shut up? For that, my blog was effectively punished?
No, no, no. This is America, we all have freedom of speech I knew. So I had to check out who the administrator is and why they would ban someone for seven days because of something I wrote
After all, doesn’t everyone who administers a group want all the news included? Doesn’t everyone who administers a group want the public to be well-informed? Especially one that purports to be "unCensored"?
No I guess not.
And I blame that thinking of mine on the fact that Facebook, unlike newspapers when they were really newspapers, and journalism, when all journalists were respected, is just stuff that people want to say.
Right, wrong or indifferent, if people see it on Facebook, then think it’s Gospel truth. And it was certainly looking to me like some people did not me writing how wonderful Highlands was and still is.
But when I learned who did the muting on Highlands Almost unCensored, I was ashamed of the levels to which a Highlands resident would stoop.
Further, I was more than ashamed, actually frightened, that an elected official, would in essence, and possibly by proxy, sanction this repression and chilling of freedom of speech.
The person that was posting the majority of my articles (and before I receive comments about someone posting on my behalf, read this section of my blog https://www.venividiscripto.com/blog/categories/it-s-good-for-the-eyes) Highlands Almost unCensored simply was not allowed, along with anything else I wrote, for seven days.
I got the impression the administrator wanted to tell me I am bad, bad, bad, I must be punished, and then maybe, just maybe, I would learn a lesson.
I don’t exactly know what the lesson was I was supposed to learn. But I do notice now that that administrator is gone. And I learned it is not a man, but a woman who chose to tell me my love letter to Highlands families isn’t good enough for the site she administered.
Her actions still indicate to me that whether she is protecting for whatever reason an elected official or had some other reason to mute me, I’ll never know because she hasn't demonstrated the intestinal fortitude to speak with me, or the person who was posting on my behalf.
The woman who effectively muted me for seven days because I choose to say good things about Highlands and its people, lives with the man to whom she’s engaged, a man who is an elected councilman in Highlands ... even if only until the end of this year.
As an elected official, and one representing the town I was showering with thanks, I would hope he would never be a partner to such suppression of a story by a respected writer.
Since he is an elected official, I certainly would hope he would want to rise to a higher standard, and at least be aware of what someone else in his same house is muting.
And I would hope he, who certainly recognizes the power of the ballot and the responsibility an elected official must accept and honor, would at least know what’s going on in his own house.
The alternative is, and I shudder to think of this, is it possible he himself wanted me silenced for seven days but did not have the gumption to make that public?
The story that was muted and caused me to be silenced for seven days? Here it is again. In case you missed it. https://www.venividiscripto.com/post/highlands-out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new