Deleting a comment is not censorship

I know I have written about censorship, web 2.0 and comments in the past.   I think I am pretty consistent in what I think and write.  Today I read Thomas Hawk's blog to see he is claiming that he is facing censorship because Wal-mart deleted Facebook Comments he made

I feel it is important to say that deleting a comment is not censorship, it is editorial control.  Wal-mart did not sue over the comment, they did not force Thomas Hawk off Facebook, use their money to have his web host try to drop his blog, send goons over to his house,  or they did not try to have him arrested on a trumped up charge.  Those things would be censorship. 

You don't have the right for your letter to a newspaper to be printed in the paper.  In the same way a newspaper has the right to delete your comment on that story.  It is that simple.  There are a dozen reasons why a company, newspaper, author, or blogger might want to delete a comment and all of those reasons are valid.

I support this right for others, because I want this right for myself.  On my Facebook post or on this blog, I want the right to shape the conversation.  I want the right on flickr to delete a comment I feel is insulting.  I want the right to not have something I write to be hijacked. 

There is a very important reason for the idea of deleting a comment is editorial control to be the standard for the internet, that is the state of internet harassment.  If someone makes a comment that an author does not like, they should not have to live up to some arbitrary standard before they can delete the comment.  If any comment makes the person with the Flickr or YouTube account threatened, they should be able to just delete it. 

Thomas Hawk writes that blocking someone one social media is acceptable.  Look at tip 8 on this list.  I guess it is a good headline to say that Wal-Mart censored you when they just deleted a comment on Facebook.  Look at all the retweets and comments on these posts. 

Further Reading: Facebook Social Media Guidelines
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