Should Freelancers Self-Censor Their Political Opinions?

I feel like I am at a crossroads. When I started writing, I did so for two reasons. First, I wanted (as far as creative writing goes) to leave a kind of cultural mark on the world after I am gone. It sounds corny, but my inspiration for trying to write creatively were books like Ulysses by James Joice, 1984, Dr. Zhivago, and War and Peace.

I loved how you could sample the political, cultural, and everyday atmosphere of a bygone age by reading a book.

Sadly, trying to write a good book doesn’t pay the bills. In this case, I started blogging and writing for hire. Blogging fo me always seems to end in disaster. I can do the writing and media creation side. What I can’t do is navigate and keep up with the technical nuances of managing my own website. Just doing that can be a full-time job.

Because of the above, (though while trying to persevere with my current website) I’ve been dabbling with writing on topics on third-party sites. More specifically, I’ve been writing about topics of personal interest. My latest was an objective comparison between high incidences of transgender kids, and how to me, a lot of cases look like evidence of Munchhausen by Proxy Syndrome.

Sadly, my post was removed from the site I published it on in less than 12-hours. I’m also now banned. I’ve also had some answers on Quora removed concerning my interpretation of the current situation in Hong Kong.

To me, it seems like there is now a clear distinction between allowed discourse online and non-allowed discourse online, especially when it comes to social media.

At my core, I feel outraged by this and I want to fight it. However, my logical brain says, “this is also the surest way to get poor fast.” - i.e. I could get doxxed and someone could complain to the freelance platforms I work on.

Of course, I could create anonymous social media accounts and use a pseudonym if and when I publish on third-party sites online. However, this would still (possibly) see me doxxed eventually.

At present, I’m edging toward just self-censoring and not writing on topics which I feel personally passionate about. However, I feel like this undermines my legitimacy as a writer. For example, I used to be a huge Bitcoin fanboy. Now my personal opinion is that cryptocurrency is… Well, inherently evil.

It kind if becomes a question of, ‘To write, or not to write.’ And I’m having trouble coming to a compromise. If I started writing because I had dreams of one day recording a lasting memory of the age I live in, aren’t I selling out just by writing what people want to read?

I’m also frustrated by the fact that we have even come to this point. With this in mind, am I the only one who sees the present as very dangerous from a freedom of expression point of view?

When it comes to political opinion, I’ve come to realize that people are very passionate about it. I was one of those people. It was either my way or the highway - as some would put it. I wanted to make sure everyone saw things from my perspective and no other way was right!

As my views of politics have changed over the years, I began to see things from the others points of view. My personal life and the epic drama that followed me have altered my perspective in more than one way. I take it upon myself to self censor, simply because there is no one right way of doing things.

If I am posting on an opinion/political site, blog, community, forum, etc. then yes, I will go all in. After all, what good is a political site without an all out debate!

If I am reading it on a non political site, that someone just wanted to cause ruckus posting their liberal or conservative opinion - I do the thing that I do best when I don’t like a video - I move on to the next one.

If you are creating a site, then it is your right to state whatever you wish. I am perplexed that Quora would remove an opinion piece. Far as I know, that is an all inclusive forum; therefore, if someone posted a question on politics or an opinion then well . . .

Before being banned, were you “over the top passionate” :wink: or did someone get their feelings hurt because you debated logic they couldn’t refute? Just being nosey as usual.

(I was trying to put an emoji of a nose, but that ended up looking like something else! :laughing: )

I didn’t even debate logic they couldn’t refute. I used to live with a girl in New Zealand who has since transitioned into a man. I am fully supportive of that. Really, it was obvious he was a man. To me, the reason my post was censored likely had to do with it possibly upsetting people. (I’m not like a lone wolf with Beverly Hills postcode after his name who just goes around incensing discontent. :wink:

Quora I’m more annoyed by. I did respond to several Pro-China questions which were backed up by posters posting Youtube videos. I asked the logical question of how since YT is banned in China, anyone with a truly independent opinion could be posting such videos. That seems to have been where I crossed the line.

Yes, I get this. However, this makes it impossible to share your opinions. I can’t create a new site about Brexit, Hong Kong, Gender issues, etc, when topics are like flashpoints of organic interest and might not even be talked about this time next year. I’d just end up paying hundreds for the right to try and speak.

This is what is wrong with the Internet these days, freedom has been privatized by stealth. Most people don’t see it because they are not passionate about causes. Most people just want to get likes or shares on Facebook. Really, though, they are missing the biggest thing to happen to free speech in a generation.

:dizzy_face: If a dude that I was or had a relationship with decided to gender swap, I’d be freaked out! You’re handling this quite well! Come on, I know this isn’t what this topic is about but you have to admit that line did stand out! :smile:

I have to admit that upset me so I may have to censor you! :angry: - - - kidding!!

I know what you mean! When we have ample folks on this site, you can create a private sub-site for political debate and be the moderator for it. I figured if at least two spammers have found their way here, sooner or later, legit freelancers will find their way here as well! :slight_smile:

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We lived in the same house. We were not in a relationship.

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Eh, I’ve stopped talking politics in my private life for the most past. People appear to think I’ve turned into a ’ mentally ill alt right white supremacist’ which is mystifying to me, as I am none of those things. All it took was expressing an opinion that Trump might be slightly better than Clinton in 2016 (that’s the alt-right), followed up with pointing out that people being rabid about Trump had failed to pick up on serious flaws in the Obama administration (that’s the white supremacy) and reminding people that Bush Jr was not a cuddly old candyman but a war criminal (still an alt-right white supremacist POV, for reasons I have not yet worked out). Mentally ill? I pointed out that the Assange situation was a lot fishier than it might seem.

…and those comments are from people I know IRL! Most of whom do seem to have gone fruit-de-loop since 2016, particularly the Americans; I don’t really understand how one bright orange man with loud and obnoxious opinions can have such an effect on otherwise rational people, but there you go. At least he hasn’t started a war yet, unlike just about all of his predecessors?

Basically, people gone mad and we appear to be entering into an era of wrongthink. Probably better to politely keep your ‘radical’ thoughts to yourself, as there’s no telling where the future leads to. Either way, it’ll all end in tears.

Interesting that Quora removed your HK stuff though - was it about those tanks that entered the city a couple of days ago rather ominously? Seems a nice civilian massacre might be the sort of thing that would take people’s minds of Epstein and the complicity of virtually the entire US ruling class with his, um, things.

Of course, that might be another sleight of hand for the TAPS Act, or even other things, such as the unnatural influence (via lobbies) of a country that should not be named in the politics of sovereign nations that violates international law - but is seen as perfectly OK in both the UK and US. Then of course, you’ve got Boris Johnson dismissing the inquiry into extraorginary rendition and torture as one of, if not his first act of his (hopefully short-lived) premiership. Or perhaps that secret services collude with national newspapers to publish stories and even have staff on payroll? I can go on, but that’s enough.

But that’s just me. It doesn’t help that most online platforms are private entities and as such are not beholden to practice free speech - this is especially important when looking at ownership of sites. Reddit, for example, recently took quite a lot of money from Tencent, a Chinese company; how might that affect Reddit’s free speech should the worst come to Hong Kong? Hopefully it won’t, but if it does…

I choose not to look at the world with a paranoid eye, but there’s no doubting that the walls are closing in on certain demographics, while others flourish. To me, it’s classic divide and rule - keep the peasants fighting over Orange Man, Transsexuals, and Racists as you continue whatever your evil masterplan is.

And it’s going wonderfully.

Sadly though, mentioning even fragments of this makes me a mentally ill, alt-right white supremacist. Even though I don’t appear to be any of those things when I look in the mirror of a morning. :woman_shrugging:

I have a Transsexual cousin of 15 years who is dong just find, so I don’t have any issues with it either - just so long as the person is an adult and it’s the right decision for them. I am less sure about teaching children about it… it’s no easy procedure on any front, and perhaps they should just be allowed to enjoy their childhood with support no matter what? Anyway. That’s a whole other modern-day can of worms that didn’t exist when my cousin had the op, and we’re both mystified by it. I believe that’s the equivilent of saying ‘my best friend is black so I’m not racist!’.

Anyway, enough waffle. The modern world is gearing up for something, so anyone who wants a quite life should probably STFU about their politics and go underground unless they want to be caught up in the parapets when the real crossfire starts.

I miss the old days of the internet before everyone went mad :frowning:

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Err, how is calling a white dude a war criminal alt-right white supremacist POV?

As for Trump, well, not many people in Serbia would support any Clinton, since Clintons dropped bombs on Serbia in 1999 (and caused “collateral damage” of many dead civilians, including more than 80 kids). That’s not to say that people in Serbia think that Trump is awesome (or that many would vote for him, given the chance), but, hey, he’s not Clinton.

I don’t know if you had seen this. :zipper_mouth_face:

No… And now I’m thinking about the Poe’s law.

:joy:

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