Indeed, I would say disruptive trolling is essentially anti-freedom of speech, in that the troll wants to shut down certain conversations that he thinks shouldn’t exist here or anywhere. He’s denying the right of us to run a blog that communicates what we want to communicate. We have a right here to conduct conversations on our grounds, not just hand it over to some guy who has managed to hone his skills at shouting others down and making intelligent discussion impossible.
I simply cannot agree with this more and I think it captures the dynamic seen in Fat Acceptance spaces extremely well. FA spaces should not be afraid to conduct our discussions on our standards, not the standards of anyone who waltzes in and starts throwing a tantrum at us. Concern trolling about "censorship" when its their behavior that is target the expression of people they don't agree with. They are trying to appropriate the platform and audiences others have built and use it to to attack the principles advocated by those communities.
This is what FA has seen time and time again with weight loss supporters and their abuse of fat acceptance communities and its something we should forcfully resist. No one has to agree with any of what we have to say, but that doesn't give them the right to redefine our beliefs to their liking. It doesn't give them the right to drown out our expression. Those kinds of things are forms of intimidation and they are not unique to Fat Acceptance. They are practically cliche. I can't tell you how many times I've seen someone abusively disrespect a progressive community all the while patting themselves on the back for their "bravery". There is nothing brave about disruptive trolling, nor is there anything cowardly by showing no toleration for that nonsense.
In the last 14 years I have seen so many fat acceptance communities destroyed by relentless disruptive trolling. Some have come from hardcore trolls who simply hate fat people. Others from concern trolling from dieters who cannot deal with the fact that not everyone supports weight loss dieting. Others still from foolish self-promoters who pick fights to "raise their profile". What they all share is a sense of entitlement and privilege to disrupt us and silence us all why insisting THEY are the victims. We cannot tolerate this. We need to move past it. Fat Acceptance has been unusually vulnerable to concern trolling, but we need to push back.
So, consider this my call to my community to not put up with people who want to shout us down. When they shout, shut them down. If you it is your space, just don't allow it. We could drown in this kind of petty snipping and lame feud baiting and we need to move past their efforts to define us and dictate the rules of debate to us. We don't allow such indulgences. We can't get lost sniping back, but if we cannot remove them we should still stand clear in our refusal to condone the disrespect and disruption. This really is about free speech, but not in the way they'd like us think.