Our first silenced instance

I silenced our first domain this morning (and updated the status page) because a user pointed out questionable content and I agreed with their assessment.

Much has been said about that particular instance and I’m not getting into all that. It did want to comment on the rationale behind the action, though:

First, I completely support that instance’s right to publish what they did. While I personally object to it, cultural norms differ worldwide. They’re OK with some things I don’t want to see; I’m certain the reverse is also true. I absolutely would not support a network-wide ban on that instance and its content just because I dislike it.

That said, I don’t want to host such content on the server I’m paying for. I don’t think there are any novel legal issues involved, and that as an American hosting content on American servers, I believe I should be protected from any user-generated stuff by Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act; basically, I’m not responsible for stuff I don’t upload. However, I don’t want any part of this if I can help it.

My general policy is this: I want to manage Free Radical with the lightest touch possible. In this case, that means I’ve decided to silence – not outright block – that instance. If Free Radical users want to converse with users on that instance, I want them to be able to. By silencing them, that remote content won’t show up on Free Radical’s federated timeline and I’m not spending my own money to host their media files. I think this is the minimal action that accomplishes my goals of not having to see or host content I find offensive.