Internet providers take spam seriously. If enough people report a website as spam, there is a good possibility that you can shut them down -- robbing them of their freedom of speech.
Writers generally support free and open communication of all kinds. They are possessed with a native curiosity, an open-mindedness and interest in what others are about. Pundits are something different. They are the "marketing reps" of media.
Yesterday, we published a piece in defense of Germaine Greer being permitted her opinion on a controversial subject. A young New York Times affiliated pundit reported it as "spammy content". Whatever that means.
We make no assumptions about why he did what he did, but offer his Wikipedia page for inspection:
Joshua A. "Josh" Barro is an American opinion journalist currently contributing to The New York Times ' "The Upshot" venture, which focuses on politics and public policy. He identifies as neoliberal and Republican.
Barro previously worked as a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, as a real estate banker for Wells Fargo, as the lead writer for the Ticker, an economics and politics blog hosted by Bloomberg L.P., and as the politics editor at Business Insider.
He appears regularly on Bloomberg Television and appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO and on All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC. In early 2013, he was a prominent supporter of a potential trillion dollar coin, but by late 2013, he had changed his mind. Time named Barro's Twitter feed one of "The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2013," one of ten in the Politics category. In 2012, Forbes selected him as one of the "30 Under 30" media "brightest stars under the age of 30," and David Brooks listed him as part of the "vibrant and increasingly influential center-right conversation." A former aide of Barack Obama included Barro on a short list of President Obama's favorite columnists. He is currently the host and moderator of KCRW's Left, Right & Center.
Barro describes himself as Republican but opposes many policies of the current Republican Party. He supports elitism, tweeting, "Elites are usually elite for good reason, and tend to have better judgment than the average person. #confessyourunpopularopinion".
Barro lives in Queens, New York, is gay, and supports same-sex marriage. Barro is also an atheist.
Opinions make people uncomfortable. The defense of the right to voice an opinion -- and the right of all of us to hear it -- makes some people angry.
The enemies of freedom are many.