Censorship in Ridgefield


Nextdoor is yet another social media website backed by venture capital funding (read revenue). The intent is noble. Participants must use their real names and provide an address as proof they exist. Now instead of not talking to your neighbors, you can do so without eye contact.

Ridgefield has seven “neighborhoods,’’ overseen by a lead, which sets a dangerous potential in itself. So far, Nextdoor seems to be useful, generally for selling stuff, finding lost pets, fireworks complaints, and making folks aware of community events; mostly benign.

With the “silly season’’ upon us and concerned about past vitriol, I posted the following on Nextdoor on July 29:

“It is unfortunate that we hold public and elected officials to a higher standard than we do ourselves, but it happens. I for one cannot abide racism and misogyny. So I hope those seeking elected office and public service to exercise caution when in the community and to keep their generally unpopular private thoughts private.’’

The following day, the Nextdoor neighborhood lead removed my post as being “political and personal attack.’’ Another prominent citizen, who has the gift of insight, posted “First of all, this conversation is inappropriate for this website. And I think he is referring to a single person.’’

This is censorship. Read my post again. I did not mention anybody by name. That would be slander. Society gets in trouble when assumptions are made. It is ironic that the local overseers of Nextdoor allow free criticism of the local police for their inability to prevent burglary of unlocked cars, discussion of the embarrassment on a flagpole off I-5, and the latest, a verbal war between neighbors regarding newcomers to Ridgefield in their “cookie-cutter’’ homes. If we are deigned to have hypocrisy, it needs to be consistent.

Censorship often occurs because of power abuse, personal prejudice and ideological differences. The right to express hope and opinion was violated. Apparently, Ridgefield has an internet morality police. Since a prominent citizen implied that we may have an elected official out there who expresses unpopular beliefs, all within his or her rights, this is why we have elections.

Richard Hanford



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