Talk:Intellectual freedom

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AS IF! Authors Support Intellectual Freedom[edit]

I added this link but another person removed it saying in history is was "dead." I test it even now and it is not dead. Further, while it is merely a lowly blog, this particular blog draws the attention of and includes the writings of dozens of authors on the topic of Intellectual Freedom. I say it should be included.

What do others think? Thank you. --SafeLibraries 01:08, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia guidelines on external links includes under "Links to be avoided": "11. Links to blogs and personal webpages, except those written by a recognized authority." I don't know that this blog passes the threshhold, but I will leave it for someone else to remove or debate the inclusion of it. -- Pastordavid 08:52, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Controversy section[edit]

ElKevbo has removed the Controversy section saying, "(a) this is not about the ALA and (b) it's undue weight to give to one comment made to one editorial)."

First, the first sentence says how the ALA defines intellectual freedom, so the statement "this is not about the ALA" would be misleading.

Second, the claim about undue weight given to one editorial is irrelevant because a) the editorial is in the ALA's own publication, making it quite weighty in this area, b) the editorial is just one example and instead of cutting it out others should be found on the theory that we are trying to build an encyclopedic article rather then cutting it out on the theory that it is undue, and c) I have just added another source, this one by Nat Hentoff, a major critic of the ALA in this particular area. So controversy clearly exists, it clearly is encyclopedic, and it is clearly compliant with wiki goals and policies to include the controversy. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 03:34, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

The definition used for this article happens to be the ALA's. Change it to some other well-recognized definition if you'd like. This article is not about the ALA and adding criticism specific to the ALA to this article is inappropriate. It's perfectly appropriate for the ALA article, however, just not this one. --ElKevbo 05:38, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
I learned from ElKevbo's gamesmanship when he used repeated vandalism by multiple anonymous newbies to get my vandalism reverts considered a violation of the 3 revert rule and I was blocked for 8 hours. This time I will be getting help. It may take me a while to figure it out but I'll be going by the book. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 06:40, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't appreciate your baseless accusations but you're welcome to ask the opinions of other editors on this content dispute. --ElKevbo 06:42, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Not baseless: "User:LegitimateAndEvenCompelling reported by User:ElKevbo (Result: 8h)." --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 07:22, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Right, because that's how long it too to sort it out before the block was lifted. If you want to continue along these lines, do so elsewhere; this has nothing to do with this encyclopedia article. --ElKevbo 07:25, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
It has to do with your untrustworthness in editing this article by cutting out a reference from the ALA and from Nat Hentoff while claiming in history you are doing so because I was the one who added them. You said it was baseless. I showed the source proving it was not. Now you admit it was not baseless by providing a reason for what you did. Since you removed my edits in violation of wiki policy, and since you have revealed your untrustworthiness regarding your statements which you implicitly admit are false, and since the section is not just about the ALA but about the library associations of several nations that have spoken out on the issue of intellectual freedom, I will restore your removals as the vandalism they are, and continue to find ways to help stop your personal vendetta against me that now includes prima facia lies you admit you made. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 07:39, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
For the second time, take the non-article-related discussion elsewhere. My own Talk page would likely be the best place.
Second, I've requested a third opinion on this content dispute. We'll see where that goes and pursue additional dispute resolution as appropriate.
Finally, don't label my edits vandalism. It's a simple content dispute - nothing more, nothing less. I think your edits are wrong, of course, but even I won't label them vandalism. --ElKevbo 07:50, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Third opinion[edit]

A request was made by ElKevbo for a third opinion. This is good. However, the wording of the request miscasts the dispute.

  • Intellectual freedom - Talk:Intellectual freedom: Should this article include a section labeled "Criticism" containing criticism of the American Library Association's stance on intellectual freedom? 07:47, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

The question should not be whether the article should contain criticism of the ALA's view of intellectual freedom. On its face, that's irrelevant to this article and such a section should not be included. Rather, the question is should the article contain a controversy section including the views of intellectual freedom denials by the library associations of numerous countries, including the ALA of the USA, as evidenced by wiki worthy sources including the ALA itself, and should one person repeatedly make wholesale removals of another wikipedian's work without seeking consensus and just because of the identity of the other wikipedian, particularly where the Talk page reveals an admission of misinformation by the person consistently removing the other wikipedian's work and reveals prior use of gamesmanship by that person. Long question, but more honest and accurate. Even in the stating of his original question in his request for a third opinion, this person has a habit of turning words to change the facts or disclose only the partial truth and promote a POV. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 08:35, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Elkevbo that this article is only tangentially about the ALA -- the topic, and thus focus, is on the concept of Intellectual Freedom. Comments about a controversy within the ALA may belong on the ALA article (but that is a decision to be hashed out there). Further, LegitimateAndEvenCompelling seems to have a fairly explicit POV (given the safelibraries.org connection), and he/she may want to think about the conflict of interest involved in editing articles such as this. I am removing the controversies section and watchlisting this page. -- Pastordavid 08:39, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Speaking of POV and conflict of interest, may I say this page was created by a leading member of the ALA. Even he did not remove the Controversy section since it was created months ago. I find it unusual that my placement of intellectual freedom controversies worldwide reported in the news only a day or so ago on the intellectual freedom page is questioned as POV and coflict of interest, which it is not--my safelibraries experience only means I am aware of the controversy in the first place--but the creation of this page by the ALA itself combined with the obvious ALA slant goes unnoticed, as well as the removal of my work by an IP address that maps to the ALA (not ElKevbo). I need help. Can somebody help here? How can I get help? There is a clear problem here. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 08:51, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Pastordavid, your post time is only 4 minutes after mine. In 4 minutes, did you have the time to read and respond specifically to me, or did you not see my response when you replied. Thanks. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 09:03, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Modify the page. Tone down the ALA references. You could nominate the article for deletion but I don't think it would pass as this is an important topic and the article itself is not unsalvageable. I'd even suggest expanding the article as appropriate for the topic and available references, many of which would presumably come from other organizations and persons. I would guess the AAUP may have something to say about this issue as it seems to be very closely related to academic freedom. Would there be anything about this topic in any of the UN's documents (I'm thinking there might be a human rights angle with this issue)? How about a US Constitutional angle?
I reserve judgement on whether or not there is a conflict of interest on the part of editors allegedly associated with the ALA - this is not the ALA article and if those editors are indeed associated with the ALA then one must assume they are well versed in this particular subject. It's not a simple issue and there is the potential for a conflict of interest but I'm not sure they really need to be discussed right now. I'd rather the article simply be improved and if there does emerge a clear pattern of skewing the article or editing with a particular bias then we'll deal with it when it happens.
If you'd like to pursue the conflict of interest issues, you might want to start here. I'd be interested to see where it goes as you may have a valid concern. --ElKevbo 09:06, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
L&EvenC, yes, I did read your response ... actually, I had already written what I had to say, and did not see anything in your comment that would make me change my opinion. I still think that the content in question -- an internal ALA controversy -- belongs in an article on the ALA, not in this article.
I absolutely think it would be a great idea to expand this article, including more than the ALA reference, and would encourage you to do so. But the only ALA "slant" that I see right now is that an ALA definition is used.
As to the COI of other editors ... that may be true, I don't know, and don't have the time to investigate it. Your COI popped right out at me. COI does not mean, for me, that one shouldn't edit ... rather, it should make us cautious in being strident in POV editing, and being aware of our own CsOI (we all have them) should make us all careful about making sure that we aren't pursuing a POV instead of facts. -- Pastordavid 09:14, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the third opinion, PastorDavid! I'll be sure to stop back by the requests for third opinion and pass along the good karma by offering my services. --ElKevbo 09:16, 4 March 2007 (UTC)


No, no, I'm not complaining about that (conflict of interest). Pastordavid raised it, about me, but I did not raise it. Your suggestion to expand the page is excellent. If it were already expanded, my edits would have fit right it. Partly because the page is so sparse right now did alarm bells go off, I suppose. But we are encouraged to add to wikipedia. So I added. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 09:17, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Pastordavid, I challenge you to attempt to add this to the ALA page. See what happens. That page is more closely watched and cleaned by the ALA than this page. By the way, you brushed off the grooming the ALA gives this page. Remember, this is wikipedia, not ala.org. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 09:24, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
As to adding the material to the ALA page, I said that it may belong there. Quite frankly, I don't know enough about the issues involved to make a decision one way or the other about that. However, whether or not it is on that page is irrelevent to whether or not it is included in this article -- to include it here because other editors don't want it there would make this article a POV fork of the ALA article, rather than an article on intellectual freedom. I did comment on the possible CsOI of other editors, although I apologize if it appeared that I brushed off your concern ... there are, as ElKevbo pointed out, avenues for pursuing that question. -- Pastordavid 09:38, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

"Intellectual freedom misunderstood" section[edit]

I have a few problems with this section. Overall, I feel it suffers from POV reasons. Here are my specific reasons why:

  1. It is inherently POV to say that some people have "misunderstood" intellectual freedom, since that indicates that there is a "correct" view of intellectual freedom that some people don't understand. People have different views of intellectual freedom, but that doesn't mean that they've "misunderstood" it.
  2. Likewise, saying that those who believe that the USSR had intellectual freedom have "misunderstood" intellectual freedom is POV. The degree of intellectual freedom in the Soviet Union is a subject widely debated by historians and it's improper to say that people who hold a certain point of view have "misunderstood," essentially saying that they are wrong. The article, as written, asserts the view that the Soviet Union had no intellectual freedom and therefore anybody who thinks otherwise is wrong. (Note: I personally believe that the USSR did indeed lack intellectual freedom, but my point is that's my opinion and not an established fact.)
  3. Mona Charen is not a reliable source for claiming who has and has not properly understood intellectual freedom. She is a commentator with an agenda, in this case the agenda being to show how liberals have been clueless with regards to the Soviet Union. Using her to back up this "misunderstanding" business seems to make this entire section a subtle jab at liberals.

As such, I feel this section has to go. I don't think these problems can be fixed through cleanup or de-POV'ing, since the whole idea of "misunderstanding" intellectual freedom implies that there is a "correct" view. The section is inherently POV. Thoughts? --Hnsampat (talk) 22:42, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Interesting. She (Mona Charen) makes a valid point, however, and she really cannot be dismissed so easily as Hnsampat dismisses her. My view of the valid point is irrelevant. That said, the valid point is that a totalitarian government that claims to provide unlimited intellectual freedoms is inherently untrue.
Be that as it may, that's not the point of this article. This article is not here to make liberals look bad or make totalitarian governments look bad. The article is here to describe intellectual freedom. It is certainly wikiworthy that totalitarian governments claim to observe intellectual freedoms or that those supporting those governments claim that intellectual freedoms are being observed. Mona Charen's book is a wikiworthy source for including in the article that totalitarian governments claim to observe intellectual freedoms and that those supporting such governments claim that intellectual freedoms are being observed. (For example, the American Library Association claims Cuban librarians have intellectual freedoms, and those that don't are only agents of the United States--see Long Live the Revolution.) Hence the article says, "Intellectual freedom can sometimes be misunderstood. A totalitarian regime such as the former USSR, for example, was believed by some to have intellectual freedom." And that is well sourced to Mona Charen, and it can likely be sourced in many other places, but it sure does add to an encyclopedic article about intellectual freedom.
The history comment on the second removal of the paragraph says, "I removed the section for POV reasons, namely that in quoting Mona Charen and in wikilinking to "useful idiots," the section is a subtle jab at liberals." That implies that the author felt linking to a book called "useful idiots" casts a bad shadow on liberals. But that is just a POV on the meaning of the title, and it is not a sufficient reason to remove from this article a well sourced, encyclopedic addition to an article on intellectual freedom.
By the way, I thank that editor for bring the matter to this talk page. I encourage people to have a say.--LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 23:40, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
To clarify, when I was referring to wikilinking to "useful idiots," I wasn't referring to the book but rather to the fact that the word "some" in the sentence "...believed by some to have intellectual freedom," was wikilinked to useful idiots, implying that those who believed that the USSR had intellectual freedom are "useful idiots," which is a POV term. In any case, my main point is that we must keep in mind that there is no set standard for how much intellectual freedom constitutes "true" intellectual freedom. Also, we must keep in mind that historians debate constantly exactly what went on on the other side of the Iron Curtain. We can and should talk about what sort of intellectual freedoms did and did not exist in the USSR, citing reliable sources (last I checked, Mona Charen is not a historian but rather a political commentator), and we can and should talk about the differences in the American and Soviet views of how much freedom constituted "true" intellectual freedom. However, we should not dismiss those who claim that the Soviet Union had some intellectual freedom and say that they've "misunderstood" what intellectual freedom is. (I say again, I'm not claiming that the Soviets had any intellectual freedom. I'm playing devil's advocate here because that's what NPOV is all about, making sure that all prevailing viewpoints are recognized, even the ones we disagree with.) --Hnsampat (talk) 00:18, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Saying "we should not dismiss those who claim that the Soviet Union had some intellectual freedom and say that they've 'misunderstood' what intellectual freedom is" is like saying "we should not dismiss those who claim that the Holocaust was a hoax and say that they've 'misunderstood' what a Holocaust is." --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 00:25, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
On Wikipedia, we wouldn't say that Holocaust deniers have "misunderstood" what a Holocaust is. That would mean that the article is asserting an opinion, namely the opinion that Holocaust deniers are wrong. It would be a correct opinion, but it's still an opinion. Instead, we would simply, neutrally point out the overwhelming evidence showing that that Holocaust did occur and then include a section or a separate article pointing out that there are naysayers, without giving that minority opinion any undue weight. Let me show you facts and opinions as they relate to this article:
FACT: The Soviet government severely limited intellectual freedom in the USSR.
FACT: Some historians have asserted that the limits on intellectual freedom in the USSR were not as severe as is popularly believed.
OPINION: Those who think that there was any intellectual freedom in the USSR are wrong or have "misunderstood" what intellectual freedom is.
See what I mean? All I'm saying here is that the article should not assert any opinions. That's what this section is doing and it's what this section is inherently designed to do. Hence, I feel it's got to go. --Hnsampat (talk) 02:28, 23 June 2008 (UTC)


A couple of questions: 1. Is this whole concept ("intellectual freedom can be found in authoritarian regimes") really neccessary for the article? 2. If so, would it not be best to integrate this concept into the main part of the article rather than keeping it as a separate paragraph? --Benfergy (talk) 02:25, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Actually, the concept that has been put into the article is the exact opposite, namely that intellectual freedom simply cannot be found in totalitarian regimes and that anybody who says otherwise is wrong. (Forgive me if I'm oversimplifying here.) It's a broad generalization and really shouldn't be in the article. There should, however, be a discussion of how intellectual freedom is severely oppressed under authoritarian and totalitarian regimes and how those regimes sometimes try to create the illusion of intellectual freedom. But, again, the article must not assert an opinion. --Hnsampat (talk) 02:32, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
I do see what you are saying. But look:
Intellectual freedom can sometimes be misunderstood. A totalitarian regime such as the former USSR, for example, was believed by some to have intellectual freedom. "The USSR, they believed, had complete intellectual freedom. 'The best literature from Homer to Thomas Mann, the best thought from Aristotle to Lenin [Lenin!], is available to the masses of the Soviet people.'"[4]
The source is saying intellectual freedom is misunderstood, not some wiki editor. "The USSR, they believed, had complete intellectual freedom." "They believed." The author said that, not some wiki editor.
The text, as is, looks without fault to me.
However, perhaps the problem is that standing by itself it appears to have undue weight. Hnsampat's suggestion to beef up the article as was suggested would likely alleviate that problem. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 03:00, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
I also like Benfergy's solution to integrate the material. That would alleviate the undue weight situation as well. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 03:01, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
But, here's the problem. The article is making an underlying presumption that intellectual freedom did not exist in the USSR. This is a pretty blanket generalization. The nature of intellectual freedom in the USSR was way more complicated than just a blanket idea that it did not exist altogether. If we take out all of the formal language and reword this paragraph much more crudely, this is the gist of what it's saying: "Some people don't get what intellectual freedom is. I mean, we all know that the Soviet Union had no intellectual freedom, right? And yet there were some morons who thought that the Soviet Union had intellectual freedom just because some books were available to the Soviet people, including ones by Lenin! I mean, did you think the Soviets wouldn't let their people read Lenin? Come on!" Forgive me for grossly oversimplifying that paragraph, but do you see my point? See how the pargraph implicitly asserts several opinions without meaning to? We also can't dismiss this by saying that it's the author's opinion because if we want to do that then we need to make it clear in the article that we mean this to be the author's opinion and not the article's. Right now, that quote is in there without attribution and it looks like it's the article's POV. Let me show you what I mean using the Holocaust examples from before:
NOT NEUTRAL: The Holocaust never occurred. "They have fabricated a legend under the name Massacre of the Jews, and they hold it higher than God himself, religion itself and the prophets themselves."
NEUTRAL: Some prominent world figures have asserted that the Holocaust never occurred. For instance, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad said, "They have fabricated a legend under the name Massacre of the Jews, and they hold it higher than God himself, religion itself and the prophets themselves."
This is not the best example in the world since it still includes some weasel words at the beginning, but you get the idea. In any case, I think we're on the right track. If we expand the ideas begun in this section, give it a more NPOV section title, etc., we should have something useful, well-sourced, and neutral. :) --Hnsampat (talk) 03:41, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Agree with last paragraph.
Disagree with "See how the pargraph implicitly asserts several opinions without meaning to?" No, I don't see that. I see that is what you are inferring.
Disagree with "Right now, that quote is in there without attribution and it looks like it's the article's POV." No, it is attributed to Mona Charen, and one of her books specifically. No, it does not look like the article's POV as a quote is there and it is surrounded by quotation marks. Quotation marks generally remove concerns of POV on the part of an encyclopedic article.
I sense an urgency to remove the Mona Charen quote, and I sense a POV reason for doing so. I hope that is not the case.
You know what else? Intellectual freedom is in fact sometimes misunderstood. For example, as the Annoyed Librarian points out, some people think "Intellectual Freedom Means the Freedom to Think Like Us!" (Could that be one reason why she is annoyed?)
I do not understand your need to remove Mona Charen from the page, except for your comments about her "agenda." Projection, perhaps? --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 05:56, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
I assure you that I don't have something personally against Mona Charen or something like that. Truth be told, I didn't even know who she was before I read this article. It's also not something against political commentators in general. If you check out my edit history, you'll see that I have a long history of advocating for NPOV, even if it requires me to play "devil's advocate." My issue in this article is with the idea that the Mona Charen quote is being used to put forth an opinion in the article. In saying that somebody has "misunderstood" something, we are inherently injecting judgment, which violates the principles of NPOV.
But, really, we're arguing over the wrong point. Right now, the point of that paragraph is to point out that intellectual freedom is sometimes "misunderstood." This naturally raises the question, "By whom?" The paragraph doesn't answer that directly, but in including this particular quote, it's clear that the "they" we're referring to are liberals. But, that's not what we really want the paragraph to say, is it? We want it to point out how authoritarian governments claim to have nominal intellectual freedom, but they really don't. So, let's have the paragraph say that.
Accordingly, I've reworded the section to something a little more neutral. It's not perfect and it's still compromised by weasel words, but it is, in my opinion, an improvement over what it was before.
I still think that we should replace the Mona Charen quote with a quote from a historian or some other more reliable source. We must keep in mind that what Mona Charen says is strictly her personal opinion and we can't use it to back up facts. If she was an authority on history, her scholarly opinion could be used to back up facts, but she's not a historian and so we can only use her opinion to back up statements about opinions (e.g., "Some feel that liberals are out-of-touch, such as commentator Mona Charen, who says...") Furthermore, her quote does not help our purpose here. Our purpose is to point out that authoritarian governments suppress intellectual freedom. Her quote is designed to bash liberals as being too stupid to realize that authoritarian governments suppress intellectual freedom. (By the way, exactly who is she quoting in her quote?) Since her quote doesn't go along with our purpose here, I've removed it. (I tried to find some way to be able to include it, in the interest of consensus-building, but I couldn't find a way to do it. The quote's purpose and the rewritten paragraph's purpose are completely different.) Thanks for understanding and for your cordiality. --Hnsampat (talk) 12:56, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Okay, let's see how it develops with your changes. But I still disagree with "Our purpose is to point out that authoritarian governments suppress intellectual freedom." That is not the sole purpose. Our purpose is to write an encyclopedic article. That includes what you said, but it also includes other things. For example, the things Mona Charen points out are still valid and still should be included ultimately. I'm not thrilled that you made changes without any consensus, but if Mona's point is encyclopedic and is not otherwise included, I'll add it back eventually. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 00:34, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Do you at least agree with me on what Mona's point is? I am saying that Mona's point is that "some people" (i.e., liberals) have failed to recognize that authoritarian governments like the USSR have suppressed intellectual freedom. If we both agree that that's what Mona is saying, then it's not a point worthy of inclusion in an encyclopedia. It's a broad sweeping generalization made by a political commentator and that is not a reliable source of information. I mean, would you say that Michael Moore is a good source for saying that the George W. Bush administration has been dishonest with the American people? No, you wouldn't, because Michael Moore is a biased political commentator with an agenda and therefore not a reliable source for this kind of information. I'm sorry, but we seem to have hit a fundamental impasse. You can't seem to understand why I think the quote has to go and I can't seem to see how you're justifying including the Mona Charen quote. Help? --Hnsampat (talk) 01:09, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm can't speak for Mona, she said what she said. And I know the point was only a single point in a whole panoply of things that should be added to this article, as you pointed out and are starting to construct. This page is not about liberals or useful idiots so I would talk about that either. Sure I could say this or that but who cares.
What the page really needs is more eyes, more opinions, more contributors. That's what I think, and I'm sure you agree. You see I'm no expert on he subject. But when I saw that quote I realized it fit this article for its assertions regarding the subject of this article, not those someone might infer about liberals, etc. So I added it. I realize there is so much more to say, but building good pages is not usually done overnight. So added what I did was at least a start on improving this article. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 01:39, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I applaud your efforts and I trust you to be acting in good faith. We've got a good start now and we agree on the main points. So, let's get some more eyes, more opinions, and more contributors involved and let's build this article up! :) --Hnsampat (talk) 01:50, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Come to think of it, look at what's on the bottom of the page: "This library-related article is a stub." Good. It's a stub. Needs building. Needs latitude. Great. But why is it "library-related"? It is a general principle that has applications in numerous areas, including libraries. This being "library-related" may in itself be POV. Indeed, it appears the article was created by a person who opposes intellectual freedom for Cuban librarians, and even goes so far as to censor out comments on his blog he does not want people to see [leaving out citation unless requested]. Come to think of it, and I'm not joking or being mean, just saying my opinion, it's people like him who Mona Charon had in mind. His kind of claimed adherence to intellectual freedom in public that differs from how he applies intellectual freedom in practice is an example, to me, of what Mona Charon was saying. And here he is writing up an article on intellectual freedom. That is exactly why this article needs serious work to make it encyclopedic instead of a soapbox for that editor's organization. Of course, I could be reading the page history wrong or just wrong in general. Wouldn't be the first time. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 02:11, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

I'll go ahead and change it back into an uncategorized stub. Be careful, though. What you said above is pretty strong and could be interpreted by some as a personal attack against the editor in question. I'm assuming good faith on your part, but others (e.g., admins) might not. Remember, we don't want this article becoming a soapbox for anybody. Please be careful not to let any of your personal opinions (no matter how passionate they are) cloud your judgment as far as what should and should not be included in this article. Thanks! --Hnsampat (talk) 10:15, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

And that is exactly why I did not include the link to my personal material on this person. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 03:27, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Hnsampat, someone dumped your stub change, restored the library stub, and added a human rights stub. Although the latter stub may be appropriate, if I had to predict, you too may soon find out we are encroaching on people's personal soapboxes. We'll see. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 10:12, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't read much into it. I probably should've seen this coming. I had forgotten that all stubs on Wikipedia get sorted sooner or later. You seem to have had experience with somebody using the topic of libraries as a soapbox, although I'm not sure what and how, but to me (an outsider), the library stub seems appropriate. Intellectual freedom and libraries do go kind of hand-in-hand, no? --Hnsampat (talk) 21:19, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Something like international politics is way more appropriate, in my opinion. How governments worldwide address issues of intellectual freedom is far more important and interesting and newsworthy than how libraries in Canada and the USA address those issues. Worldwide intellectual freedom is a serious issue.
Intellectual freedom as promoted by the American Library Association is more mundane and is used largely by the ALA as a reason to allow children access to inappropriate material despite what the US Supreme Court said in US v. ALA: "The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree." The first editor who created this article is a member of the leadership council of the ALA. Naturally the ALA has an interest in using Wikipedia to promote its point of view, as it does on other wiki pages with other high ranking members, including those habitually using sock puppets. Talk about bias!
Yes, I sound like I've had a history with them, but that history is one of trying to make the articles they protect into actual wikiworthy articles. If I recall, one article they wrote on wikipedia was an exact duplicate of the same one-sided article on an ala.org web page. The goal here is compliance with wiki policy and the production of a high quality article on intellectual freedom. To promote that end, I deem it valuable to give a heads up as I have. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 23:47, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
You know, it seems to me the stub sorter reviewed the article and chose the library stub. Quite understandable. But its emphasis is on libraries in the first place precisely because it was created by an ALA council member. Naturally the stub sorter saw it that way. But shall his and his organization's bias be permanently ingrained into this article simply because he was the first to post content and it was only about libraries and it was only an ALA point of view? --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 00:02, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

New information from the Library Journal on this topic: "Censors" Are So Scary, by Annoyed Librarian, Library Journal, 6 Oct. 2008. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 03:02, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

New Addition[edit]

In light of the fact that there is a section for intellectual freedom under totalitarian regimes I thought it might be relevant to include a section on intellectual freedom in democratic countries during times of crises. I'd like to use as an example the situation around civil rights and freedom of speech during WW2 in Canada and doing so by citing the War Measures Act, the Defence of Canada Regulations, and the Padlaw Act (in Quebec). In doing so I'd like to draw attention to a few particular individuals who attempted to bring civil rights abuses to the public eye at the time. Any thoughts or suggestions? I plan on adding it soon. Jkerr208 (talk) 00:29, 22 October 2011 (UTC) (talk)

New(er) Addition[edit]

I added one brief sentence on the origins of intellectual freedom as a concept to the first section, as there wasn't anything that mentioned how it originated.

I also added a sub-section on the Intellectual Freedom Manual to the Intellectual Freedom and Librarianship section. It seems to be the essential text (at least in the U.S.) on intellectual freedom and its relation to libraries, so I felt it was worthy of including. I welcome any feedback.Ari Tea (talk) 04:36, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

History (U.S.)[edit]

@AubrietaD many thanks for your great expansion of the article recently! The history section is U.S.-only. Is the claim about the contemporary definition being developed through U.S. cases true globally? It could use a citation for that. If it is not the case, the section is extensive enough that maybe there should be an Intellectual freedom in the United States article? Thanks again, not complaining, just wanted to begin a discussion about the section. Mike Linksvayer (talk) 03:45, 22 August 2014 (UTC)