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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5429/banned-at-free-republic/

Banned at “Free” Republic

August 4, 2006 by

I posted the following perhaps intelligent, somewhat educational comment in response to a plethora of posts denouncing Chuck Hagel’s stand on the Israeli-Lebanese conflict and his call for a withdrawal of US troops in Iraq within 6 months:

Hagel is a real hero. Many of you seem to be lacking an education of what conservatism really is and have no knowledge of the old right. You might do well to read a history book. Funny how Bill Buckley and George Will are closer to Hagel’s point of view than your own. Read up on Albert Jay Nock, Henry Hazlitt, HL Mencken, Garet Garrett, Isabel Paterson, John T. Flynn, Rose Wilder Lane, and Frank Chodorov.

I then directed them to the Wikipedia page on the subject.

My posting privileges were revoked two seconds thereafter.

I guess if you are going to get banned for your first post, you better make it a good one. To maintain your posting privileges it seems argumentum ad hominem, libel, and slander work best.


Anonymous August 4, 2006 at 7:45 pm

I just don’t read or post to webpages that censor or alter postings. Catallarchy for example is a good site, except for the occassional censor. Free Republic sounds like a blog to avoid.

Dennis Sperduto August 4, 2006 at 8:07 pm


Bravo! Good for you! More educational posts similar to your Free Republic post are needed. I would only add that Harry Elmer Barnes also should have been mentioned.

banker August 4, 2006 at 9:48 pm

Try posting at townhall.com.

Resident Ego August 4, 2006 at 10:14 pm

What’s the point of enclosing “free” within quotation marks? It’s not as if you were a victim of censorship, or any sort of attack on any of your freedoms … which your title seems to imply. Free Republic is a private forum, and individuals posting here — of all places — should know what that entails.

M E Hoffer August 4, 2006 at 10:40 pm

The beloved Old Right–literal Rain, to the Wicked Witch that is “Free” Republic.

And, Rain, to the fields of our current political “debate”, parched of Reason.


Just remember, The Censor fears his own Truth.

Dain August 5, 2006 at 12:59 am


You’re right that it’s a private and independent forum, but the urge to silence those you disagree with is still a violation of the libertarian spirit, at least as I see it. Libertarianism may be strictly a political philosophy, but for those of us that wish to apply it more broadly, Free Republic’s actions still stink.
I’m fine with the use of the word “censor”. In fact I used it in defending a “F— the Troops” Myspace page from possible deletion by an online petition from angry haters.

Dmitry Chernikov August 5, 2006 at 11:06 am

That freerepublic.com is a private forum does not disallow one to judge its goodness, how interesting it is, whether the regular posters there are smart, patient, and useful to bounce ideas off of, whether unorthodox ideas are tolerated, whether it is technologically sophisticated, and so on.

I got banned myself, so “no” to most of these.

Student August 5, 2006 at 2:18 pm

Or you could try being polite?

Lord knows people have been banned for less here at Mises Blog:

Turner August 5, 2006 at 3:07 pm

The site in question is full of impolite comments. I do not think the tone of the post was the problem.

Robert August 5, 2006 at 4:35 pm

Just earlier this week, right here at the Mises blog, I found my comments were disapproved and did not appear. Let’s see if this one appears.

jeffrey August 5, 2006 at 5:30 pm

Robert, more often than not, those who say that their comments were not approved turn out to have misplaced the assignment of responsibility, assuming something to be an administrative decision when in fact it is merely user error. The comments here are only very lightly referred. Many people complain that it isn’t referred enough!

Anonymous2 August 5, 2006 at 5:32 pm

Lord knows people have been banned for less here at Mises Blog:

Ah you’re right I totally forgot about that. I guess I should stop reading the Mises blog because of its censorship stemming from a groupthink mindset. Bye everyone!

Stone August 5, 2006 at 9:03 pm

Here are a few of the posts that were not deleted in what appears to be the thread in question:

“Hagel: Begin shutting the hell up—NOW!!!”

“Hagel has a mush brain, we go and lose face with the endless people who seek freedom.”

“When is this Jackass up for reelection?”

“Pandering to the Moonbat-wacko voters…is he in a tight election race?”

“Stuff a sock in it Hagel. Better yet, a box of DCON”

“Sad Sack Hagel can’t buy a clue!!”

“Hagel’s old man should have considered an early withdrawal…like before conception occurred!”

“Hagel. Moron and Unpatriotic Wimp…”

“This POS is running for President in 2008? Is he smoking crack?”

“You’ve been a conservative since you were in the 6th grade? Sounds as if you’re still in the 6th grade.”

The educational post on the old right is indeed tame in comparison. The content was most probably the reason for the revoking of privileges.

N. Joseph Potts August 5, 2006 at 9:23 pm

Ptak’s post was CLEARLY out of keeping with the spirit of the thread as quoted here by Stone (thanks). Ptak is equally clearly more at home among us. We’re glad to have you Ptak, even IF it’s for the reason that this is one of the few places you aren’t banned.

And as for whom we have, it seems we’ve got John T. Kennedy back as Student. Well, bannings in the broad sense are only for a term (I suppose the permanent kind is called “exile”). I inspected the thread Kennedy got snuffed for and all I can say is, I see the POSSIBILITY that Kennedy could be a valuable (if perhaps contrarian) commenter here, yet. And I say that with no suggestion that he will, or should, “mend his ways” in any essential way.

N. Joseph Potts August 5, 2006 at 9:55 pm

OK, so I went over to Free Republic for the first, and probably the last, time, and found the hole where Ptak’s comment WAS.

If my inspection of the records is correct, even when the Mises moderator lifts a commenter’s commenting privilege, the offending comments STAY ON THE RECORD.

This is not the case over at Free Republic. Ptak’s comment was REMOVED. Whatever is or is not censorship, it would seem the model over at Free Republic is closer to it than what is practiced here at Mises. Quite a lot closer.

Reflex October 26, 2010 at 2:19 am

How things change. This modus operandi is now in vogue even here.

Daniel M. Ryan August 6, 2006 at 9:14 am

It’s a shame that Mr. Ptak got banned over at the Free Republic for doing nothing other than noting a disconnect between the old Right and the new, even if it’s not that surprising that the neo-Right has degenerated to the extent it has.

I have one comment relating to the others here. Advocates of the free market are in a bit of a spot when complaining about being banned from a private forum. On the one hand, raising a hue and cry will tend to wake up statist urges towards government censorship of all Interent fora, so we have to complain softly. On the other hand, speaking softly does imply that being booted off a forum, rightly or wrongly, isn’t that big a deal to us.

Canadians like myself are quite used to the ambidextrous mode of reasoning, as we’re well aware that there are two ways a person can fall off a tightrope.

Mark August 6, 2006 at 11:34 pm

I’ve been banned from Free Republic as well. No reason given. They hate libertarians and often ban people who don’t tow the party line.

Free Republic is a dreadful site. Absolutely awful.

Nick Bradley August 7, 2006 at 4:02 pm

I am a “FReeper” myself, but I don’t really post that much anymore; The only time that I ever encountered blatant censorship is when people are hostile to Bush’s Open-Border policy. This has caused links to VDARE.com (a paleo-con website) to be automatically blocked. Censors also remove blatant trolls on the site in order to keep discussions civil and orderly; LvMI does the same, somewhat.

Freddy Rumson October 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm

“Free” Republic is NOT free in any sense of the word. They have cyber bullies who slander anyone who dares depart from the party script.
Some character named “humble gunner” will harass and libel you and use “freeper” jargon like “pimp” if you dare speak an original thought.

When reported to admin moderator you will be called a “TROLL” and all posts deleted.

This after donating around a hundred bucks over a 4 year period.

They are the scum of the conservative movement- mini Stalinist cowards

Reactionary August 7, 2006 at 4:31 pm

In my opinion, the site has attracted the donations of wealthy neo-conservatives who have made it clear to the site’s owner what their standards are. The site’s owner is disabled from multiple sclerosis, and probably feels he does not have a lot of options.

I am told also that there’s a lot of reciprocal traffic between FR and the 700 Club website. That basically summarizes the situation.

Brett Celinski August 7, 2006 at 7:24 pm

They’re a minority. I feel grateful that those people have at least a little less control of the government racket than they used to.

Michelle October 24, 2006 at 3:22 pm

I got banned for being frustrated with Republicans for not being conservative ENOUGH!

So I guess FR can say that they are a place for conservative grass roots, but by God you better tow the Republican Party line.

Yancey Ward October 24, 2006 at 4:12 pm

FreeRepublic.com is a cesspool. However, there are many, many such weblogs, for example DemocraticUnderground.com (I was banned for suggesting that Kerry really did lose Ohio), or DailyKos, and LittleGreenFrogs. In general, I avoid making comments at all sites that have a policy of deleting comments with which the weblog moderator disagrees.

However, I have no problem with removing offensive and/or abusive comments. There is no place for incivility, even when you disagree with someone’s viewpoint.

jagr April 6, 2007 at 2:13 am

I was banned from Free Republic last week, after being an active member for 5 years. The supposed reason for my banning was opposing military action against Iran (in no small part because our military is already stretched thin) and taking issue with the fact that people were making broadbrushed accusations against all Arabs & Muslims; somehow my criticism of someone’s remark to “wipe THEM all out” was seen as liberal apologism. FR has changed.


Truthteller November 23, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I was banned after 10 years. It HAS changed. Ol’ “JRob” gone bonkers IMHO.

Matt May 17, 2007 at 2:40 pm

I was just banned for making the comparison between immigration restriction and tariffs. I’ve never been banned by a forum before; I guess now I know what it must feel like to use the internet in China :-S

powerclam August 19, 2007 at 2:45 pm

I was banned from FreeRepublic for 1 of 2 reasons (not sure which, and no explanation was given):
1 – Pointing out that Romney cannot reasonably be held to task for stock that is in a blind trust (and the anti-Moron bigotry on Romney threads is staggering).


2 – (in a thread complaining about Fox labeling FR a hate-site) pointing out that there are many topic which DO tend to bring out hateful postings.

In both cases my comments were civil, polite, and constructive.

I had also complained on occaision that the single-issue Anti-Abortion Absolutists were being unfair and harmful to the Republican party as a whole.

I consider myself either a conservative libertarian or a libertarian conservative, and proe-religion but not radical. It is clear that FreeRepublic has no use or tolerance for such posters.

FWIW, I got along (more or less) fine at FR for several years. I personally think that FR has instituted an anti-Romney policy.
In the “is FR a hate-site” thread several other posters pointed out the increase in anti-Mormon bigotry. Jim Robinson’s reply to each was essentially, “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

I was surprised and disappointed by this.

Steve September 18, 2007 at 10:36 pm

Just got banned tonight for being “a liberal troll”. I dared describe a plausible scenario for Rudy to win and noted that Romney was at least deliverying the message of conservatism. Oh, yeah. My post was to Jim Robinson. The guy must have a thin skin. I do believe that they are systematically purging the Romney supporters as they did with Rudy supporters in April. Its going to be an awfully dull site with all its members chanting in unison, “Save us Fred from our government!”

FreedomNeocon November 5, 2007 at 5:32 pm

I hate liberals and am a PROUD Neocon, ya’ know imposing democracy and all that.

Been on FReerepublic for a few years now.

Just been banned too (well posting rights stripped)

The reason? I dared to defend Rudy.

Just so you guys know how far FR is fallen, even someone like me is no longer welcome over there…

Anthony November 5, 2007 at 7:26 pm

I couldn’t possibly imagine why not. :) You seem to be such an amiable fellow.

TokyoTom November 6, 2007 at 12:42 am

Justin, I’ve been banned there, RedState and most recently NewsBusters. None of them can stand criticism from the right, which they generally misperceive as being “liberal”.

Most of these folks really don’t want to think, and enjoying giving free rein to emotional and tribal hostile reactions to those perceived as outsiders.

This is what growth of government, and fighting over the pork spigots, has brought to us – an “endless war” on our domestic liberty and national interests and manipulation of tribal impulses by the parasites in charge. Those who run these sites are caught up in emotion and use the emotional charge to help them avoid thinking about the negative consequences of their own blind partisanship. Better to think of how evil the “liberals” are.

Mark & Michelle, try replacing “tow” with “toe” in your metaphor, which is about lining up for inspection: In the days of wooden warships, when men were required to muster at quarters, it was customary to arrange them in neat ranks, using the tar-filled seams in the deck as references for straightness. When the division petty officer stood at one end and checked out the alignment, any man not properly located would be ordered to “toe the line.” And with midshipmen and boys, young fellows in training to be officers or sailors, standing for long periods toeing the line was a punishment for minor misdeeds. Today, of course, the phrase means that one should obey social rules. http://www.polkcounty.org/timonier/speaks/book01.html


JerryM March 8, 2010 at 10:13 am

I was too banned by Free Republic. Let’s be honest, Free Republic is symbolic of many on the far right who don’t tolerate any dissenting view. Ironically, those who do post on free republic have no restraints on their attacks who disagree with them. I respect libertarians but Free Republic is not libertarian, it is made up of people who think if you disagree with them, that you are a traitor to America. I don’t think the Chinese government censors posters as quickly and strongly as “Free” Republic. Hey, maybe if they need employment in the future, the operators of this website could work for Chinese censors? I wish that “Free” Republic would look up the word free in a dictionary. Maybe they are trying to be ironic.

Truthteller November 23, 2010 at 2:12 pm

My experience precisely. If they don’t like what you post, they go running to “Daddy” Jim and “tell on you.” And yes – you either agree totally with them – or you are a “RINO traitor.”

Idiots like this are why conservatives struggle. The media focuses on them as representative of the philosophy while they’re just a bunch of little boys wearing camo pants and posting in their mom’s basement.

I’m serious!

Harry E December 9, 2010 at 5:14 pm

I was “suspended” (might as well say I was banned) from the site after I tried to argue with some rabid Greco-Nationalist named Eleni. If you say one good thing about Germany or Turkey around her or even mention that Greece is getting economic aid from Germans, she WILL report you.
I started off debating her, then when it become clear that she replying reasonably with my post, I began to tease her a little and say “Maybe Greece should become part of a new Ottoman Empire if it doesn’t solve it’s debt problem and bankruptcy” then she got some boys who were probaby moderators to label me as a “troll” when she posts like chronic troller herself. However, I will still lurk the forums every now and then.

For those who insist on registering for membership on FreeRepublic. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT say one thing good about Muslim countries, criticize Israel in any way, criticize the War in Iraq or Afghanistan or denounce neoconservatism.

Julia October 26, 2010 at 2:21 am

How’s it proceeding? I liked reading through this write-up. My husband and I’ve been researching for this type of article for the longest time and We know that your details around the matter at hand is spot on. I will be confident to introduce this to my friends.

Truthteller November 23, 2010 at 2:07 pm

I got banned from FR after posting there for ten years.

My crime – posting something positive about Romney.

What happens over there is you get swarmed by bible-thumping psychos if you post anything good about Mitt. They’re convinced Mormonism is a cult.

Probably just as well that I got banned. I was getting the sense that the posters were becoming more and more like the caricature of conservatives – ignorant, bigoted, douchebags. The buttkissing of Robinson is only rivaled by the buttlicking of the Kos Kidz of Moulitsas.

aseattleconservative February 26, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Go figure, I was just banned ( 2-24-11) from FR for exposing the fraudulent Libertarian agenda!

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