The age of black-owned anything is in danger. The fault lies not within the lack of ownership, but the increase of complacency. Blackvoices.com, one of the largest African-American web portals, is no different.
When America Online purchased the Tribune-owned website, a lot of the freedom of expression (both literally and physically) was taken out of the site’s popular message boards. Threads started disappearing, signatures at the end of messages were deleted, language control was induced. Since the change, some members have already left, while some managed to weather the storm.
Tensions came to a head when a female member of the board was outed by her friends as a porn star. Most didn’t believe it, and thought it was rumor until a video clip was posted with her in it. It was later confirmed by her friends.
Now several threads exist on the subject of her career choice, and the fact that she lied to a lot of the people close to her. The moderators of AOL are viewing this as an invasion of her privacy and therefore see fit to cap all the threads about her career, and her in general for that matter. People have been so frustrated by this they’ve begun to make blogs just to voice their opinions.
My beef with the users of Blackvoices.com is simply one thing: money. If we take our dollars and pool our resources together, we can create a site just like Blackvoices.com before the AOL days. Considering most of us feel better just to complain, we shouldn’t feel surprised we are getting the short end of the stick.
Yes, there are message boards with the same amount of members and the same amount of topics. Those places however lack the character and the name that defines such a site, a place for a black voice to be heard. Now that voice has been silenced by the takeover. Shouldn’t we just up and leave?
It’s time to leave Blackvoices.com and make a new home for ourselves by our own means. No company has the right to censor a people no matter how sensitive the topic. That’s how Freedom works.