I've been really ranty, lately, and for good reason. Anti-vaxxer trolls who have no qualms about exposing their children to potentially deadly diseases. Psychic-lovers who try to project their unchanging, claustrophobic worldview onto skeptics. And the last straw here: Homeopaths who try to perform the internet equivalent of book burning. Orac and others chose a very appropriate phrase to describe the nature of those homeopaths, and I think it applies quite well to the actions of countless other woos: Thuggery.
I've seen it lots of times. The first I was aware of was Uri Geller, who tries swinging his legalistic weight around wherever he could. And he still is, by making false copyright claims against any YouTube video he's in. Or at least against the ones that dare to criticize him.
9/11 Twoofers censor everyone who doesn't agree with them, even other Twoofers, often including a vacuous threat about how they'll eventually punish everyone who spoke out against their idiocy as traitors to the state or whatever, even though they're exercising one of the rights the US was founded for: Freedom of speech. Of course, I've never heard of a Twoofer place that doesn't censor skeptics.
A large number of the ID crowd engage in it, too: They'll carefully filter comments to keep any dissent out of their blog, and when they're caught embarrassing themselves with a particularly stupid post, they'll often just delete it.
The repeated efforts of these thugs against freedom of speech and for selectively erasing information has just really gotten to me, lately. The actions of woos I meet on the internet, and those vacuous legal threats is just so wearing, it often leaves me wondering if they're all out there to set up an information control state where criticism is forbidden by the Thought Police. I seriously wonder if woos are actively trying to make the world a worse place for their personal benefit.
When skeptics criticize, they don't destroy information. They add information. They point out things the woo leaders hope will go unnoticed. They shine light a light while the woos seek to plunge us back into the demon-haunted world.
I'm severely tempted to just come out and start substituting "thug" where I would normally use "woo." Because that's what they typically are, in my experience. They're all cowardly bullies who will stoop to any low to win, whether winning means turning a larger profit or stroking their oversized, fragile egos. That includes bringing a flamethrower to the library, apparently. The difference is that on the internet, they can just be prepared to throw money at the problem and hope that someone involved isn't willing to stand against the intimidation. They aren't interested in debate. They're interested in using their wealth and corporate power to intimidate their critics, so that they can continue making a buck at the expense of children and desperate people. They are truly despicable monsters.