The American Library Association 's [ALA] so-called Office for Intellectual Freedom [OIF] has a new OIF blog. For a few days, the new blog contained a means for commenting just like most other blogs. I know because I used it to respond to an existing comment—to no avail, as it turned out. Days after the blog was launched, the ALA removed the comment feature from the blog and removed at least one existing comment.
With ability to leave comments excised, the "blog" is little more than an organized collection of OIF pronouncements. For example, here is the most recent blog post: Code of Ethics 70th Anniversity Celebration at Midwinter. It's dated yesterday, January 9, after the date of the promised new blog, yet it does not allow for any comments: "Responses are currently closed.... Comments are closed."
People can do whatever they like on their own blogs, but they are not claiming adherence to a near century of ethics, decrying censorship, nor promoting intellectual freedom. Isn't it hypocritical for the OIF to even appear to suppress intellectual freedom, to censor out existing comments?
Is there anyone at the ALA who cares that the OIF squelching free speech or giving the appearance of censorship weakens the ALA's claims about the censorship of others? Is this double standard acceptable, particularly from the OIF? Has the new OIF Blog deleted free speech?
In the interests of intellectual freedom and freedom of speech, feel free to leave any comments you wish.
UPDATE 29 SEPTEMBER 2010: I now confirm the OIF Blog is finally allowing comments, even mine.
UPDATE #2 29 SEPTEMBER 2010: My comment has again been removed! Further, another OIF blog post had six comments from known ALA members, I left one only quoting Judith Krug that was in moderation phase, but that has disappeared as well as the six comments! So, about two years after my original post, the ALA OIF is again removing comments!!