Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:40 PM
"Freedom of speech" is not, by default, the underlying principle of a privately owned and funded forum. We could have an application process, require specific credentials to join, etc. and we don't need a reason to block or ban anyone, although we do so only under a few circumstances. We could make all of it visible, but only let certain people post and reply, or we could make it invisible to non-members. We could allow anyone to post, even if they aren't registered. We don't, but we could.
We limit speech on Ballet Alert! -- we don't allow ad hominem attacks, unofficial news, discussing the discussion (except in rare cases, like this one), non-arts-related politics and religion, and non-ballet or arts-related discussions aside from "Happy [Holiday]" and "I've had a baby." That is well within our rights as a private entity.
What we are is a mostly open forum, and unless posting rights are limited by group (New Members) or because of previous violations, the vast majority of our members can post, as long as the posts are within BA policy. What we're not is a place where members harass and police each other through PM, but since we can't read them, we don't know if this is happening until we're told about it, and we can't take action unless we know who is doing so.