The website of a well-known conservative blogger from the Bloomington-Normal area has been suspended.
Ellsworth area resident Diane Benjamin posted her BlnNews site using the WordPress platform. It often contained content critical of central Illinois elected officials and education, municipal, and state government agencies. On Friday night, readers who attempted to access Benjamin’s blog were instead referred to a suspension notice.
“blnnewsdotcom.wordpress.com is no longer available. This blog has been archived or suspended in accordance with our terms of service,” the post said.
Benjamin told WGLT that he was not told what the triggering event for the suspension or check-in was, or if this was a template for posts. A message released Friday before the site’s deletion recorded criticism of schools in District 87, in line with a nationwide conservative campaign against what Tories perceive to be a progressive slant of the curriculum. The post was about an altercation between parents at a school in Bloomington.
Benjamin said WordPress did not respond to his request for information about the suspension.
“Wordpress claims to be a free speech site, it is not. I am moving the site to another service, it will come back soon, ”Benjamin told WGLT. “I have a guy who takes care of the migration for me. It just takes time.
She said all previous content will be restored to the new site. Benjamin noted that she had received comments from “the far left” celebrating the development.
“I expected this. Conservatives are no longer allowed to speak in most places, ”said Benjamin.
This censorship allegation has been a common refrain from some on the right – including President Trump, who has gone so far as to sue Google’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for their account suspensions.
This is a highly questionable claim. On Facebook, for example, conservative news consistently ranks among some of the popular content on the site. Many of the most popular subscription radio hosts in the United States are conservative pundits. The conservative Fox News Channel continues to on average more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined.
She said the development will not change her approach to publishing or the issues she tackles.
“No, moving to a place that won’t take it off,” Benjamin said.
Benjamin sometimes ran into public officials. In one case, she slammed a family member of Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner, whose overwhelming response drew widespread criticism in the community and a reprimand from City Council.