I have spent the last couple of years pretty much lurking on DoA, due to its stifling and incomprehensible rules on what can and can not be posted and the Draconian measures that can be taken against transgressors. However, having the loosely-moderated chat section that was in operation whilst the forum was down for maintenance lured me out again and I started to get more involved in discussions and debates. One of these was on where the line should be drawn on depictions of Nazi-styled characters in doll form. Now, this is an interesting topic as there is clearly a market for fascist-style uniforms. Fantasy Nazi clothing is made by a number of doll companies. However, it is a deeply emotive topic and we had some intelligent contributions on both sides of the divide. Some argued that, because of the horror of the Nazi movement and what it achieved and that it was stil in living memory, any allusions to Nazi party should be avoided. Others argued that it was the individual's choice what they did with their dolls and that all that was needed was a little sensitivity over posting warnings on photos threads. A good debate got going that would, hoepfully, encourage those who were tempted to casual depictions of Nazis to think twice about what they were doing. Useful, thoughtful stuff.
I got up this morning to find that the thread had been locked. The reason was that "discussion of Nazis (costumes, characters, etc) is not allowed on DoA" and directed the reader to the forum rules. The relevant one seems to be prohibition of "Offensive content. This includes profanity, volatile subjects that are handled in an offensive way and glorification of those who have committed atrocities (for example, Nazis, murderers, rapists, etc.)". Glorification of those who have committed atrocities? How could an intelligent, balance discussion of the difficulty of depicting a terrible episode of history possibly be glorification?
So, this is where it stands. DoA continues to censor indiscriminately. Discussion is stifled and, do you know what? I really can't be doing with it any more. I am writing this not because I am peeved, but because I am disappointed. I have spent (wasted?) hours of my life browsing around DoA and joining in happily with discussions. I feel that I can no longer do that. Something has changed and that change has driven away so many of the people I know. If it doesn't look critically at itself and how it operates, DoA will fade and die and that will be the end of what was actually a pretty entertaining era. Shame.