Today, there’s a recced diary at Kos lamenting the departure of blackwaterdog, which I documented when it happened. ?The purge at Kos is ongoing, and it’s really a sad commentary on the state of the Democratic Party netroots, in one particular manner. ?When I returned to DailyKos after numerous bannings, I wrote about the value of what Markos Moulitsas has created in DailyKos.
If you want to change our country, DailyKos is a required arena of engagement. ?And for that, Markos Moulitsas deserves all the credit in the world. I’d love to someday debate Markos, have a drink, put the past in the past, and thank him, to his face, for creating with his own hands this historically powerful tool for progressive politics, the Democratic Party, and our country.
That’s the positive side of DailyKos. ?The damaging side? ?The commenting interface creates layer after layer of opportunities for users to force out opinions they do not like. ?Over time, if you are consistently deemed to have an opinion that enough users disagree with, you will inevitably be banned. ?That’s good if you want to keep out right wing trolls.
But that dynamic, created by the commenting interface itself, is now ripping DailyKos into pieces, focusing the echo chamber not in support of Barack Obama, but against. ?That was not only inevitable with me, it was inevitable for blackwaterdog, and now inevitable for anyone who strongly supports Barack Obama. ?If a Kos diarist engages in support of Barack just far enough, your clock is ticking at DailyKos. ?That’s just a fact.
That’s also a problem. ?A big problem. ?If the single most powerful online tool for political organizing on the left, DailyKos, cannot tolerate loud, aggressive, and unbreakable support for a Democratic Party president of the United States, DailyKos will become marginalized. ?There have been numerous, widely documented instances of such purges at DailyKos, but not until recently have the purges been targeted at supporters of the president we all just elected.
I don’t know if this can be solved. ?But unless and until it is solved, DailyKos will lose influence, and will never be the force for change it can and should be in support of electing Democrats, its stated goal. ?Leadership from Markos himself would be useful here. ?Otherwise, Markos’ site will not be a site for Democrats. ?It will be a site for people who claim to be Democrats when it suits them.