I can't help feel that there is a degree of poetic justice served, in spite of the fact I am against PM's action. The reason is that Alex Au, for all the hyped up claims by rights activists that he is a fighter for free expression, has his own form of bias and censorship.
Alex Au, just like the PAP, censors opinions that are not in line with his opinion. More importantly, he disguises his censorship with the fallacious idea that he wants to keep his website "clean", when in actual fact, it is just a guise to censor what he does not agree.
Has Alex's own cockiness and ego, which he opines himself to have a higher standard than other bloggers (and possibly about everyone else too), when it comes to presenting arguments to support his causes, led him to dig a hole he has fallen into?
Taking a look at Alex's cockiness -
Below is an image, which is a report from the ST (dated 5 Feb 2013), explaining Alex actually made it worse for himself by implying he only allows comments on his site to be approved if it meets his standard.
(click on image to enlarge)
In Mr Au's case, PM Lee took issue first with the blogger's own post on the town council saga. But he also held Mr Au responsible for defamatory comments posted in response to his article.
Many of the more than 20 posts cited alleged corruption.
The lawyer's letter also cited Mr Au's moderation policy as evidence that he endorses the comments.
On his blog Yawning Bread, Mr Au says "comments are disallowed unless they satisfy the guidelines in the main", meaning they must be relevant, cogently argued and provide references for assertions.
The defamatory comments, the lawyer's letter charged, thus "contain statements which you subscribe to and endorse, in the sense that they satisfy you to be rational, reasonable and having basis in reputable sources".
Lawyers said the case showed that moderating online comments can be tricky.
Even without moderation, websites can be held liable for others' defamatory remarks.
But by giving the impression that he had exerted editorial authority over such comments, Mr Au could no longer use the defence of unintentional defamation, noted Mr Loh Kia Meng of Rodyk Davidson.
Lawyer Chia Boon Teck said Mr Au's policy "may make things worse for himself... (as) his purported moderation may unwittingly be lending credibility to the defamatory postings".
The next link is the "re comment" page on his site. Note the cockiness and condescending tone of arrogance, implying that only comments that meet his standards will be published. Stupidly, that means that all the comments that maligned PM Lee was endorsed by Alex, doesn't it? Stupid guy. Yawning Bread's "re comments page"
Alex is no supporter of free speech, censors opinion he does not like -
Alex purports to be fighting for free speech. That is not correct. He is only fighting for free speech when it comes to his pet causes - ie gay rights, LGBT rights, human rights. But no free speech or rights of religionists or others who do not agree with his opinion.
Here is an article I wrote about how hypocritical Alex Au can be. It is about how LGBTs feel they have a right to dictate what Sex Ed in schools should be, right after they themselves claim that MOE and parents should not dictate so! (Link - Liberals and LGBTs should stop forcing their ideals on others). In the article I wrote, I highlighted how Alex threatened to delete a post which he does not agree with. Extract below:
1. Appoints self as authority on "safe sex", overriding moral educators in schools, to the point of endangering schoolchildren
He uses his blog to promote use of condoms to school children, appointing himself as the "authority" on how to engage sex, in spite of the fact there are many families who are against liberal sex. He even has the audacity to down the school's authority. St Patrick’s patch 1: How to use a condom
His contention is that the school (St Pat's) got it wrong. He then takes it upon himself to "educate and correct" the situation, not even considering this is a Catholic school which has its own ideology about "safe sex". Take note of his audacious claim, purporting to have the moral right to teach other people's children - link.
Be warned: This post is meant as information for school students. I will not tolerate anyone hijacking this thread to add misinformation. So there will be a point when I will delete.
The "misinformation" he wants to delete is that the condom is not 100% safe. What is so humanistic about this ideology that you can be safe from HIV, if you wear the condom? Isn't that a fatal lie he is trying to tell school students, who are other people's children?
What's so humanistic about him, if he is willing to sacrifice the safety and health of other people's children, so that he can promote his liberal lifestyle of free and easy sex? Isn't this the kind of shady character that lurks on the internet, whom many parents fear will lure their children to experiment with strange men to have sex?
Note his eagerness to censor opinion that is not in line with his. On top of that, he justifies it as if he is the moral torch for adolescent boys in schools. Hellooo? A gay, claiming to be a moral torch for adolescent kids? Yes, isn't that the very kind of suspicious character every parent would like their children to stay away from?
Alex is so cocky, he sees himself a godsend angel, teaching young underage schoolboys how to have 'safe sex', when parents actually see him as a potential odious pedophile monster influencing their children with his unsavoury ideals!
I have mixed feelings about PM's letter to Alex Au. On one hand, I feel that PM has gone overboard and that is against the very core of allowing free expression.
However, at the same time, I feel that it was about time that Alex be told in the face that he himself has been acting the very way he condemns PAP for - ie censoring opinion that he does not like in a very heavy handed way. Not to mention that same uncanny cockiness he displays (like the PAP), that he feels he is the saviour of humankind and the know-all.
Let's just say that every cloud has a silver lining.
PS - I am not against censorship of ideas per se. I am against hypocrisy, ie. those who purport to fight for freedom of expression, yet set their own standards to censor others. If you want to censor, you shouldn't adverstise yourself as a campaigner for free expression. Simple as that.
As for myself, although I support free expression, I don't claim to be a fighter for that cause. If there is freedom of expression, that is good. If there is none, no big deal. The world won't end.