Several recent posts generated comment trails that were ruthlessly pruned by Miss Snark. In the course of that pruning, the statement "this blog is not a public forum" was thrown down. Several people rose to challenge that idea.
There's nothing Miss Snark enjoys more than a good wrangle over what words mean. She arms herself with an OED , a red ink quill pen, and asbestos underpants.
"Public accommodation" laws address whether or how an owner or manager of a facility can bar entrance to people he doesn't want to have on the premises. Generally as a public accommodation you cannot bar people without cause--they have to violate a code of rules or a uniformly applied standard. So, a motel can't refuse to rent to you because you are a writer but they can if you don't have a credit card, as long as they require credit cards from every person registering not just writers. The MTA can't bar homeless people from being in the subway system...but they can throw someone out for sleeping on the benches. The public library can't ban a homeless person from occupying a seat all day, but they can require him/her to behave according to a posted list of rules that include "not being an olfactory disturbance to other patrons".
My use of "public forum" was based on that sense of public. Your comments can be deleted at will, and arbitrarily. I can delete things that make perfect sense, and are totally accurate and illuminating to the discussion at hand. I can leave up comments that cast aspersions on the character of defenseless poodles. And I can change the rules capriciously. That's because this is not a "public blog". It's mine. Yes, it's used and seen by a truly terrifying number of people, and barriers to reading and commenting are pretty much non existent. BUT, if you don't like what I do, you don't have recourse, other than to stop reading. You don't have a right to be heard here, or a right to post. Even if I call you a nitwit. Even if you ARE a nitwit. Even if you are right, and even if Miss Snark is wrong (don't hold your breath for that one of course).
On the other hand, blogspot itself can't randomly take down blogs for no reason or for reasons that violate anti discrimination public policies and laws. They can't just take down blogs from citizens of Rabbitania at will, but they can take down blogs that are obscene or libelous. They have to post and adhere to a "terms of service" agreement with users. Even though we don't pay for the service, even though we don't have "a right" to have a blog on blogspot. Interesting, huh!
The difference of course is access to posting on THIS blog specifically and access to blogging in general.
Feel free to comment as I oil up the deletious button.