NEW YORK – So there comes Jason Gots, a proud New Yorker, a writer, editor, and online curriculum developer (for middle schoolers and college students!), and now in a prison guard ‘experiment’ at Big Think in New York (read: he was made ‘managing director’), a platform for ideas that are “relevant, significant, and applicable,” who feels deeply offended by the idea that The New York Times is linguistically and culturally limited, and who apparently regards the use of foreign key terminologies in English writings as bigotry (he says he is a teacher).
He doesn’t think that ‘Style guides’ (see image) that preach the purity of language are racist and out-dated. He’s not a friend of the future liberalization of foreign words in English writings either. Foreigners should the fuck up, anyway, right?! Let’s punish the author, and teach him a lesson! So he censors the piece on ‘Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times’, deletes the author’s profile, and removes the ‘Dragon and Pandas’ account from Big Think, all without prior warning or notice. [The remaining 79 articles are no longer accessible by the author, and they remain in Big Think limbo (they could see arbitrary red pen, too, any time).] “You have no legal or civil rights to be published on Big Think,” he justifies the purge -in retrospect. He lazily claimed he could not reach your author (there is internal email, a comment section, public profile, the website…). Ironically, the censored piece prominently showed up in Big Think searches right alongside Noam Chomsky’s ‘On the Freedom of Expression.”
Self-appointed censors like Jason Gots, especially those who claim to be writers (!) and educators (!), are suppressing the freedom of expression, and are making Big Think look like Big Brother. No one likes thought-policing. Mr. Gots doesn’t believe that people should speak to power, e. g. The New York Times; on the contrary he believes that power must be used to censor the people. So, that’s the first thing he’ll do: Cleanse the environment from inconvenient truths and views he doesn’t like or approve of. Censorship, sadly, is rampant in US media. And so are anti-foreign sentiments. In a way, I couldn’t have wished for more proof than getting an article addressing this very problem taken down by the censors. If anything, it precisely proves my point. But then, I also feel deeply concerned, frighteningly so, about America’s great ‘freedom’ hypocrisy and its rising contempt for and rejection of foreign cultures, languages, and terms. You can read the piece on ‘Orwellian Rules of Writing at The New York Times’ here.