I’ll warn you now that some may consider this a rant, but it’s something I feel strongly about and something I believe needs to reach as many people as possible.
Okay, those of you who know me or have read my blog long enough know I’m not a fan of Autism Speaks. In fact, I find much of their propaganda insulting and hurtful to me as an autistic. After the “I am Autism” PSA fiasco, it seemed like they finally wised up and were changing their anti-autistic ways. Today I learned about an incident that shows they’re still the same old Autism Speaks.
It’s no secret that Autism Speaks has silenced people on the autism spectrum before for speaking out against the organization. It’s also fairly common knowledge that Wrong Planet is a forum that’s supposed to be safe for people on the spectrum to talk to others, share their opinions, etc. I learned a while back that the owner/creator of Wrong Planet accepted funding from Autism Speaks for an online television show called Autism Talk TV, which made me a little nervous since it seemed to me like consorting with the enemy, so to speak. Nothing bad came of it, however, so I began to think that maybe Autism Speaks was finally doing something useful for autistics by helping with this project.
Today I learned that Autism Speaks can censor the content on Wrong Planet if they don’t like what it says, apparently because of that funding. Here’s the gist of the issue, quoted from the Autistics Speak blog:
Just this week, one of the many highly paid executives at Autism Speaks saw a thread he didn’t like. The opening post contained a quoted parody article which joked with the idea that Autism Speaks had spent millions of dollars on a new logo resembling that of the Nazis.
Below this article was a notice, in bold letters, stating clearly that it was entirely fictitious and intended only to be humorous. … So, what happened? Did this Autism Speaks executive just leave it? Of course not. Did he send a note to the thread’s author expressing his dislike for the post? Nope. Did he message the management of Wrong Planet and get them to take the whole thread down? Yes.
You can read the whole post detailing the incident here. Needless to say, the autistic rights community is outraged. As I mentioned above, this isn’t the first time Autism Speaks has stopped an autistic from stating an opinion about the organization, and I’m afraid it won’t be the last.