Relaymedia

Atheist Richard Dawkins Placed On Twitter BlockBot's List for Ongoing 'Racist' and 'Bigoted' Comments

( [email protected] ) Mar 26, 2015 12:53 PM EDT
Atheist Richard Dawkins has been placed on BlockBot's list due to his ongoing offensive Twitter comments.
Richard Dawkins is the author of ''The Selfish Gene'' and ''The God Delusion.''

Twitter users have placed atheist Richard Dawkins on BlockBot's block list due to his ongoing offensive comments on social media, including one in which he asserted that babies with Down Syndrome should be aborted.

According to a description on BlockBot's website, "The Block Bot is a Twitter gadget that can be used by Twitter users to silently block trolls, abusers, and other unsavoury people."

On Sunday, Dawkins, who has reportedly accused of racism, bigotry, and a variety of other crimes by Twitter users, responded to the move, explaining that he objects to being "libelled."

"I have no objection to being blocked. Please block me if you wish. What I object to is being libelled, and linked with spammers and harassers," Dawkins wrote on Twitter in response.

"People are confusing the act of blocking, with libelling those blocked. Blocking is fine. Block me and I won't miss you. Libelling is not," he added.

According to Breitbart, Dawkins is not the only one blacklisted by BlockBot. In fact, the site has listed thousands of users on Twitter who have been called "trolls, abusers, and bigots" by others. However, it is not the program itself that is making such accusations; rather, it uses information submitted by users who report Tweets said to be offensive or abusive.

Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion," should not be surprised that many Twitter users feel he should be blocked, as he has been publicly criticized in the past for his controversial comments.

Last year, the 74 year old came under fire after making "mild date rape" and "mild pedophilia" comments on his social media page. Although he claimed to be only  illustrating a type of a logical argument in which a comparison does not act as endorsement, Dawkins' words didn't sit so well with users, who called them "insensitive" and "damaging."

Additionally, in August, Dawkins controversially argued that aborting a child with Down syndrome would be the right thing to do, and said it would be "immoral" not to abort such a baby. At the time, his comments provoked anger from multiple pro-life groups and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, whose son, Trig, has Downs Syndrome.

"I'd let you meet my son if you promised to open your mind, your eyes, and your heart to a unique kind of absolute beauty," Palin wrote in response.

Just a short time earlier, Dawkins tweeted that having a faith helped foster terrorism, and suggested those who believe in God enable suicide bombers to murder thousands and make the 'world safe' for extremists. He later apologized for his tweets, but only in the sense that they did not offer his complete thoughts on the matter.

However, in a tweet on Monday, Dawkins explained that he understands blocking is not censorship, as others are "still free to read what you block." However, he emphasized that "publishing lies about those you block is nasty and perhaps libellous."