My post yesterday received a few comments on my expressed disappointment at being removed from a number of other bloggers blog lists. Here is one such example;

“… “Saying that, it has been somewhat disappointing to see the number of blog lists that I have been culled from in the last few days. Freedom of expression must include the right to offend.”

It does include the right to offend. However, if you exercise the right to offend, don’t be surprised or disappointed when people are offended, that’s really fairly insane you know.”

A number of commenters assumed that my motivation at disappointment was on a personal level, ie; “they don’t like me anymore thus I am sad.” Nothing could be further from the truth, (the number of misconceptions in the comments was ironic indeed when one considers that the topic of the post was to try and think outside your own personal box of experiences).

Let us take a moment and consider what is the purpose of a blog list. On the most basic level it can be construed on the part of the blogger as, “who I like and who I don’t like.” I am sure that many bloggers base their list on just this criteria alone, (with the ones on the list being the ones liked or in favor), but it is an extremely facile and juvenile one. It is akin to being in a popular group and not much else. The next level would be something like bloggers who give the same information, for example my list of fellow rogue bloggers. But what I consider to be of extreme importance is the final level, and that is people who write things worth reading, even if they hold dissenting views to ones own. These are still bloggers that I feel are worth a look, even though I may not necesarily agree with them.

I have faith in my readers for them to make up their own minds on a topic. This is the reason why I include blogs on my blog list of bloggers who have different views than my own, and even some who don’t like me much at all. It is my responsibility to pass these links on to my readership so that they have the freedom to decide things for themselves. When I wrote yesterday that freedom of speech means the right to offend I did not mean that being offended thus automatically means a culling of contact, as this brings the exchange of differing ideas to an end. This is the reason for my disappointment at being removed from blog lists.

I want to take a quick note to point out however, that Larisa from The Pink Pigtail Inn personally contacted me to inform me of her decision to remove me from her own blog list, (the only one to do so). We had a very pleasant exchange of emails, and while I do not agree with her decision, I certainly respect it and above all respect the way in which it was done. I also wish to draw attention to Klepsacovic at Troll Racials are Overpowered. Even though he does not agree with me on many things, (and in fact wrote several posts over the last week about how much he does in fact diasagree with me), I remain on his list, something which gives me a great deal of respect for him.

We as bloggers have a responsibility to treat our readers as free thinking intelligent people. Giving them the tools to decide for themselves is a major part of this.