Thursday, November 18, 2010

Censorship Still Going On at Huffpo

I haven't posted any examples of Huffpo censorship lately but just want to make clear its still pretty much as bad as ever there. I've really cut down on my commenting as a result of the censorship. What is the point of commenting if there isn't really free discourse?

Azeem Ibrahim had an interesting article about the biggest lies about Islam recently. Here is a comment I left that was never posted.

"I agree with this article but I think you left off the most important lie about Islam:

Lie Four: The main thing that motivates Islamic terrorists is their fanatic faith.

The emphasis on Islam hides the far greater issue of the countless crimes committed against the Islamic world between the end of the second world war and the present. A very short list: overthrowing a democratic, secular government in Iran and imposing a dictator who ruled through torture, shooting down an Iranian civilian aircraft and rather than apologizing giving the captain a medal, supporting Israel by regularly ignoring and vetoing UN resolutions that have backing from virtually the rest of the world, destroying a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan and depriving the region of one of the few needed sources for medicine, supporting tyranical governments that don't have the support of their people in Egypt and Saudi Arabia,...

It is issues such as these that really drive things such as the 9/11 attacks but to acknowledge that would be to acknowledge US crimes which is pretty much forbidden in the US MSM."

As usual I believe this comment was well within the bounds of Huffpo's published guidelines. I think one likely reason it wasn't published was the mild implied criticism of Israel. I've noticed quite often that even the most modest criticism of Israel -- as this was my point about UN resolutions is an incontestable fact -- prohibits comments from being published.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who Moderates the Moderators?

Huffpo has had a community moderation system in place for a while. I think in principle the idea of community moderation has some merit. However, as practiced at Huffpo it seems we may be creating a bunch of Lord of the Flies petty tyrants. The following is just one example. User Artist-53 posted a comment about how Huffpo's advertising had a serious effect on her epilepsy and a "Community Moderator" Hoodoo X replied with a heartless comment that I doubt would have made it past JuLiA for a normal user. Here is a screen shot of the interaction: (click on the image to view it full size)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sie müssen nie von den Nazis sprechen!

This is from Huffpo User JGatsby. BTW, I agree that the Dawkins speech he links to is quite good.

I've noticed that whenever I mention Nazis or Hitler in a comment it very often gets censored, no matter how polite or relevant. I understand the need to stop people from constantly calling politicians (from either side) Nazis or making Hitler comparisons to everyone you don't like but sometimes (as in the example below) it just goes to ridiculous extremes. This comment was censored from an article on religion and morality.

"There is a fantastic article on Its a speech Dawkins gave to a rally protesting the UK government's subsidizing the pope's visit to the UK. One of the things the pope recently mentioned is the old "Hitler was an atheist" claim. Dawkins not only points out the irony of someone who was a member of the Hitler youth making that claim he shows how historically wrong the claim is, a great read:

Ratzinger is an enemy of humanity by Richard Dawkins"

Gun Control Censorship

There is a lot of censorship around gun control topics on Huffpo. Here is one of many examples. Paul Helmke had an article on the importance of considering the victims of gun violence. The following comes from user Dreamweaver2nd:

This is from SewaneeLeftist's "Activities" column. My reply to Sewanee's comment was posted briefly. First my post was deleted, but Sewanee's remained. I checked today and both were gone.

SewaneeLeftist Commented 2 days ago in Politics (October 11, 2010)
“I've been away from HuffPo for a few days, so I'm late to this, but Helmke is right as usual, top to bottom, East to West, and high (concern for gun violence victims and citizen safety from guns) to low (the specious mind-boggling arguments for great...”

Paul Helmke: Make Concerns of Gun Violence Victims a Priority
Elected officials must consider the awesome responsibility of the jobs they've been entrusted to do. Talk to victims, survivors, and law enforcement about the all too pervasive and underreported trage...

DreamWeaver2nd 0 minute ago (7:13 PM)
425 Fans
This comment is pending approval and won't be displayed until it is approved.

It's good to see you, SewaneeLeftist:

I'd like to repeat the last paragraph from your post above -- You accurately describe, once again, the pro-gun team's tactics against other posters on HuffPost and any honest discourse. Ultimately, however, there is a responsibility in allowing intimidation and attacks on a blog.

Two men in Oregon, father and son, planted a bomb in a bank. When police attempted to defuse the bomb, it exploded killing two and critically wounding another. The killers' motivation and rage grew out of the fear-mongering lies and propaganda from NRA extremist groups, such as this one, that "Second Amendment rights will be infringed..." That hysteria, visible in words here, made manifest in violence in the communities of our nation. In allowing unfettered propaganda and attacks against honest opposition in the media and Internet sites, is there a shared responsibility?

I'd mention their deep commitment to silencing any disagreement, but that goes on all day, every day (especially here at HP) so it's nothing new. It's notable only in the continuing proof that in discourse they follow the same tactics that lead them to bring guns into restaurants, political rallies, coffee houses, schools, and banks -- intimidation and the threat of violence are always efficacious in the absence of fact, logic, history, or support for the social contract

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Southern Bubba's Blog

Here is an email from Southern Bubba who also has a new blog:

Banned SouthernBubba here. Just want all of you to know that I am without a doubt the most technologically deficient member of the group. Fair warning, I will probably ask questions and make suggestions that are patently ridiculous from the get-go, so I apologize in advance for any aggravation that I may cause. I am a late comer to the cyber universe and do not have a very steep learning curve and do not know many of the rules of "cyber etiquette", but you will find me a 110%, die hard defender of the 1st Amendment/Constitution and a red hot hater of the hypocrites that are running HP and nearly every other site in the blogosphere.

What we are contending with is "privatized censorship" through the use of a public institution (the internet) and the battle is going to be long and hard and not for the faint hearted. We will all have to learn to bite our tongues from time to time and endure opinions that would make us want to gag or puke or fight, all for the greater good. And make no mistake about it, this is for the greater good of this Nation and the future generations that will never know the great pride that our Founding Fathers took in creating a new nation and the true patriotism that our ancestors experienced by knowing that giving their very lives in the defense of the PRINCIPLES of the Constitution was a price not too great to pay for their future generations. Guess what! We are those future generations! It is time to man/woman up and prove that they did not fight, die, and struggle for words that have been a beacon to the world for over 200 years in vain, because we saw fit to cave in to our own weaknesses for elitism, juvenile thinking, laziness or a thousand other excuses that never crossed their minds.

To contact Southern Bubba email him at:

From the Radical Secularist: HP protests gaining traction

The following idea is from HP User The Martin Gak The Radical Secularist:

So it is apparent that the question of censorship and deletion at the Huffington Post has been gaining some traction. So much so that the site has been forced to address the issue:

The column is somewhat informative though it places the brunt of the responsibility on the Community Moderators and defends the Badge system. Yet, most of the people that have been banned have been the object of actions by the site moderators and not by community moderators, who only have power to delete comments but not to ban

The strange irony is that the people who are addressed by this column cannot respond because they have been banned from the site. Yet, it seems imperative to take the opportunity to respond. So here is the idea: open a new account, copy and paste the following message to the comment window of

and invite anyone who is still in the HP to post to do the same. Most likely it will be deleted so repeated and sustained efforts to post will be necessary. If we succeed, we can 1. get the message across, 2. draw some attention to the policy. Here is the message:

"In order to defend its editorial line, the HuffPo has censored individuals who openly criticize their content, their choice of bloggers, the political positions expressed in the work and the credentials of the writers. Stories on these matters, if anyone would like to know, can be found at

The HP response to repeated criticism has been to delete comments and then to eliminate profiles normally without explanation. The fact is that HP is hardly a space for open deliberation but rather the platform for a section of the Democratic Party. It has a penchant for peddling new age products and has been widely criticized for letting on people that play fast and loose with science, religion, etc.If you dont believe me I dare you to repost this message."

Please keep count of the amount of times your message was posted and erased and report back here if you are so kind. There is a way in which enslaved or exiled speech can be emancipated and freed.

Martin Gak

Monday, October 4, 2010

More 9/11 Censorship

The following is from an email I received from a Huffpo user who was banned. I don't agree with a lot of what he says such as praising Ahmadinejad or calling people "Zionist Jews" but he has some interesting questions for Huffpo on the hypocrisy of their censorship policy so I thought it would be interesting to post his email:

I have been banned, just recently..Not sure why, tho maybe a post to do with 9-11 did it..But here is my letter to Huff post. I note that Huff Post had itself been banned in China, so they are in no position to ban others and maintain any sort of moral high ground.

Note also that President Ahmadinejad's little truth session at the UN on 9-11, has forced Huff Post to break its own rule about airing Conspiracy theories and esp 9-11 ! LOL

The comments are instructive...,most mock Ahmadinejad. Yet if you go to a site like youtube, a much freer site, and its comments on his speech or interview with Larry King, get a very different set of views..most endorse Ahmadinejad, find him perceptive calm, a rational. Its as if this set of persons had been wiped off the face of Ariannas earth. Youtube comments are unmoderated...aka not censored. So it give us a better index of public opinion than HP. Since most of the permitted comments echo the official HP line.. how is this different to ,say, soviet times Pravda?

Its attitude to 911 truth pretty much exposes Huff Post as anything but an investigative journalism site. Its posting the atrocious and racist bilge of Ben Cohen and Bernard Levy should alert people that HP is not what they think it is.

amazingly a commentator of the above post got this thru: 'In any healthy society, free and open debate should be allowed. That's what our constitution provides. We also have to follow the money, as in Watergate and Iran/Contra'

So if you're reading this Arianna, why is HP behaving as if free and open debate is poison?


Here is Brian's email to Huffpo:

Hello Huff Post,

Recently i went to your site to read an article and maybe post some comments..But when i came to do so, i found this waiting for me:


Post a comment
Sorry, but you have been banned from commenting.


I don't know where that came from, as there was no indication why the ban was instituted. However, I had been or was commenting on a piece by the Ben Cohen which went:

'With tiresome predictability, the Iranian tyrant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is again in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. And again, he is performing to type. Rambling, inchoate speeches about the decline of capitalism, facile equations of the Iran's judicial system with that of the United States, ranting about Israel - of course! - and a televised sit down with Charlie Rose. And Larry King.' Etc

I was astonished by the invective in that rant, and why you had actually published it. So here is what i wrote:

'With tiresome predictability, the Iranian tyrant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is again in New York for the United Nations General Assembly''

and with tiresome predictability the Zionist's slander a democratically elected leader of a independent state...But that's because he is not a sevant of either Washnigton or tel Aviv.

'Rambling, inchoate speeches about the decline of capitalism'

Giving excellent speeches about the corruption of a system that has impoverished even american citziens let alone the third world.

'facile equations of the Iran's judicial system with that of the United States,

the US judicial system which incarcerates on th basis of race and which has imprisoned the Cuban 5 for the past decade on trumoped up charges.

'To protest is to recognize the futility of dialogue with Ahmadinejad, a man who, when it comes to lying, enviably blends classical totalitarianism with postmodern spin'

When it comes to lying, be cant resist trying to outdo Goebbels with the Big Lie...iran is not a totalitarian state...if it was it would have the support of the US which has a history of backing totalitarian states etc.


Now ive been doing some research on Huff Post and ive discovered that Your blog has been engaged in extensive banning and censoring of commentators. Here is a sample:

Each of the persons posting here is disgusted by the very brazen and unethical way they had their commenting privileges banned, or comments censored..with no word as to why. Esp as we see Huffington post allows some truly disgusting persons like Ben Cohen and Bernard Levy (both zionist jews with an agenda), the later of whom is engaged in an ongoing attack against Iran, now using the case of a Iranian woman, Sakineh, accused of murdering her husband, to inflame a mob to back Israels demand the US and its accomplice NATO(aka EU) to attack Iran.Is his what HP wants? More war? Doesn't this violate your policies?

But whats really interesting and ironic , is that Huffington Post itself complained of being banned in China:

'You may have followed the ongoing controversy about the Chinese government blocking foreign journalists' access to certain Internet sites during the Beijing Olympics. Most of the attention has centered on the censoring of the sites of Amnesty International, BBC News and the Falun Gong religious group. Under pressure, the Chinese Communist Party has lifted the bans on Amnesty and BBC News, but one site has continued to be totally blocked:

In Beijing, we can get Drudge; we can get Common Dreams; we can get Raw Story and Truthout. But Huffington Post: censored completely.
Twenty-nine years later, in terms of human rights, I don't think that too much has changed. I still have a great affection for the Chinese people, but even today, one never knows who is listening.

How can Huffington Post rebuke China for banning them, when HP has banned me and so many others for what is clearly political reasons? Read the above grievances...most if not all accuse HP of banning them for their political opinons.
But note that HP is accusing two of the US official enemies of HR violations , censorship and anything else they can come up with. SO is HP acting as an unpaid PR agent of the US government? Perhaps HP hopes no one will make the connection.After all its only the Chinese who institute bans.

Ive also learned HP has censored journalist Max Blumenthal:

the reason?
'Within a few hours, I received an email from a Huffington Post administrator informing me he had scrubbed my video from the site. “I don’t see that it has any real news value,” the administrator told me'

Or was because it expose the racist nature of israel?

Some points on HP policy:
Imaware you have set limits on what can be discussed...just as they do in China.
'We also do not allow the promotion and propagation of conspiracy theories, including those about 9/11. '
Promotion? Not allowing promotion is censorship. By keeping any investigation of 9-11 out of your pages, you ensure the public is left with the official conspiracy theory'

well, youve allowed the discussion of 'conspiracies' before..remember former contributor Jesse Ventura:

It’s worth noting that HuffPost already ran an excerpt from another chapter of American Conspiracies, about the US “war on drugs,” and they had no problem with that subject. But this one is, as we all know, taboo. Clearly, even to question the official story of 9/11 is to engage in “conspiracy theories” (as if the official story is not itself a “conspiracy theory,” and a preposterous one at that).

But significantly, by shutting down debate on 9-11 or any 'conspiracy' you are assuming the official theory is correct, and it should not be debated.You are acting not as a journalist but as an unpaid State Censor....

and: 'As such, we do not allow hate speech, nor do we allow speech that advocates or supports hatred or unlawful violence. We do not allow racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, or other intolerance. Likewise, threats of violence or threats to anyone or any group's personal safety are not acceptable. We also do not allow false claims or misleading implications that any individual or group perpetuates hate or unlawful violence'

and yet as i showed at the beginning, you posted Ben Cohens very libelous rant against president Ahmadinejad of Iran. Which i would read as hate speech.
Would you post it if the person libeled was president Obama?

So why is HP behaving in a manner that loses it good will with that segment of the public who should be its backbone? Do you really think you can disguise your actions with a few chosen policy statements?

its not as if Huff Post is not aware that banning is bad

here a ban is lifted because Facebook censors;

SO why does Huff Post BAN?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Huffpo Censors Thailand Via Amsterdam

I received an interesting email from yet another Huffpo user named Scuter who was banned recently. Like a lot of us Scuter was until recently a loyal Huffpo user who liked the site quite a bit. He posted several comments on the article by Robert Amsterdam titled Thailand Sets a Poor Example to Burma.

The situation in Thailand is complex and even though I've spent a few hours trying to understand it I feel as if I've just scratched the surface. However, what is clear to me is that Scuter's comments were perfectly appropriate. He pointed out a clear bias that Mr. Amsterdam has which was not brought out in the article. He also pointed out errors and bias in Mr. Amsterdam's article and as he makes clear below did so in a way that was clearly in compliance with Huffpo's comment guidelines.

Here is a screen snapshot of one of his comments:

Scuter had 5 comments in a row deleted. Not one of them contained a single untrue word. Some of them contained only links to external news articles that provided a needed contrary perspective to Mr. Amsterdam's article. For example, an Amnesty International report on Thaksin's extra-judicial killings or a link to a NY Times article quoting Human Rights Watch Asia Director saying the 3000 extra-judicial killings under Thaksin were "appalling".

Here are some other links that Scuter tried to include in his comments but were censored. The descriptions for the links come from Scuter: article (05/05/10) which paints a far more accurate picture of the extended crisis, as it unfolded. The protesters were remarkably convincing as hijackers holding Bangkok CBD hostage to their ever-increasingly irrational ransom demands. Over a very long period of time. article (05/14/10) documenting the 'peaceful' protesters (armed with Molotov cocktails, smoke bombs and rifles) as they provoked and then attacked the soldiers who were tasked with returning the CBD to Bangkok's 20 million residents, who had long since tired of watching the government agree to the protesters demands, only for the protesters to reject the generous concessions.

Youtube footage of Red Shirt core leaders (the group that Mr. Amsterdam portrayed as peaceful victims of government repression) ordering their followers to resort to violence and terror in chilling speeches filmed months before the 'peaceful' protesters set fire to Bangkok:

(0:48 sec) Red Shirt core leader Arisaman screaming for the tens of thousands of Red Shirts to bring petrol to Bangkok to burn the city down.

(0:31 sec) Red Shirt core leader Nattawut telling the massive crowd to "burn the country down" and he would take full responsibility.

(1:20 min) Arisaman outlining detailed instructions to the Red Shirts heading to Bangkok to each bring 1 litre of gas to "bargain" with, and if the government doesn't listen, to use the petrol to make them "disappear from this world".

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reply to Comment from Walkfly

Walkfly left a comment on the Introduction page. Its an argument I frequently hear so I thought it would be worthwhile to post the comment in its entirety and my response. The original comment is in normal font prefaced by WF: and my reply is in italics prefaced by RDB:.

WF: I just want you all to know... you don't have guaranteed freedom of speech on any website. If you look in the Constitution, it clearly states that CONGRESS shall pass no law barring the freedom of speech.

RDB: I don't think I've every stated that Huffpo is violating my first amendment rights. Of course they have a right to moderate. I've never denied that. On the contrary if you look at various posts such as the discussion on Crooks and Liars you will see that I absolutely acknowledge and support their right to moderate. I don't want to see spam or personal attacks or comments that are totally irrelevant. My criticism is not THAT they censor. Its THE WAY they censor. That they censor comments that show errors by their bloggers. Or that take political views too outside the main stream. Or that are arbitrarily censored because their AI moderation system erroneously censors them even though they are perfectly in line with the moderation policies.

WF: That doesn't mean a communication firm/website won't. Huffington Post has every right to censor their own boards if they want to create a clean and respectable environment for their posts. I suggest your read their Terms of Services Agreement before complaining.

RDB: I have read their Services Agreement and that is why I have this blog. They routinely censor posts that are clearly acceptable by their published standards.

WF: Besides... are expletives really necessary for discussion and comment?

RDB: I completely agree. I almost never use expletives and if the only posts that were censored were ones with expletives I would have no problem.

WF: I'm not saying it's a good thing, but it's pointless to be upset about it -- they're a media outlet and they have their own agenda. If you want to speak out, speak out (on your own site), which is clearly what this whole thing's about.

RDB: I am speaking out on my own site. The reason this is important to me is that I've been a Huffpo user since the beginning and it bothers me that what was once a great site is being corrupted by the corporate mind set.

WF: This is why the net neutrality debate is so scary: If we allow an oligarchy of corporations to control the wireless web (which is the total future of the web), then we will essentially be allowing them not only ban certain content, but paint the picture of truth as the mobile majority sees it. This is Orwellian. Outrageous.

RDB: I agree losing Net Neutrality is scary. I think what is happening on Huffpo is an example of what will happen on the entire Internet times 1000 without Net Neutrality. So we are making an attempt to fight it now, to fight the corporatization of the Internet, while we still have a chance. You seem to agree with that sentiment so why don't you join us?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Radical Secularist

Here is an excellent blog entry from The Radical Secularist. As you can see he has also run into some of the most outrageous censors on Huffpo: Chopra and Lanza.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Avada Kedavra -- Huffpo Kills a Harmless Comment

The following is from Huffpo User Hermione Granger:

Here is an amazing example. There is an article on Huffpo about how Senate Candidate Christine O'Donnell admitted on Bill Mahr's old Politically Incorrect program that she dabbled with witchcraft. I thought the following comment might be kind of amusing given my Huffpo user ID (well at least amusing to my fellow Harry Potter fanatics). I never imagined this could be censored. I typed it in twice just to make sure and both times it never appeared:

I knew she looked familiar. I saw her on a date with Malfoy, or come to think of it perhaps it was Luna Lovegood, which would raise possibilities that would freak her supporters out even more than witchcraft.

Lest you think its just the suggestion that she might be a Lesbian, there were many comments that came right out and said she was. I honestly can't imagine why this comment was never published. The only thing I can think of is it may be another example of JuLiA detecting sarcasm, which apparently is no longer allowed at the site.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Links to Huffpo Censorship on the Web

The following is a list of some of the many articles, blogs, etc. that discuss censorship on the Huffington Post. Thanks to an anonymous commenter and James Ballard for leaving many of these links in comments on this blog. If you know of more please add them as a comment or send me an email at: Also, please remember to spread the word. Discuss Huffpo censorship and leave links to this blog and the petition at your favorite sites.

* An Alternative Petition against Huffpo Censorship by James Ballard on the Thom Harman blog.

* Discussion of Huffington Post Censorship on

* A very interesting Blog story about the Huffington Post censoring school librarians

* Discussion on about censorship on the Huffington Post

* An article on about how Censorship is Alive and Well on the Huffington Post

* Comment on Crooks and Liars Open Thread about this blog and the petition

* One of my posts on The Daily Kos about Huffpo Censorship

Thanks to another anonymous for more links in the comment below. I made them links up here so you can just click rather than have to copy and paste the URL.

* MuzzledAtTheHuffingtonPost blog Warning: this one is kind of R Rated. Don't link to if you have kids looking over your shoulder or you are easily offended.

* Too Hot to Handle? Censorship at the Huffington Post! Blog entry at about Huffington Post Censorship.

* Huffington Post Sucks... and Digg Doesn't Know it

* Huffington Post Censorship Nazis from the web site America Doomed

* Huffington Post Censorship: Ariana Can't have it Both Ways article on Enviroweb

* Huffington Post Censors Jesse Ventura

* Huffington Post is Afraid of Its Own Readers from ScienceBlog

* Huffington Post Should be Called Censorship Central

* Huffington Post Censors are Big Fat Idiots

* Censorship and The Huffington Post

* I Resigned from the Huffington Post This is an especially interesting one if it is what it seems to be. Its a post from Sander Hicks who is one very cool guy IMO. Publisher, muckraker and punk rocker. He starred in Horns and Halos, a great documentary about James Hatfield the guy who tried to publish a biography on George W. Bush and ended up committing suicide. It is one of my all time cult favorites.

* Blog entry on on Huffington Post Censorship

* Badgefree forum Censorship on The Huffington Post

* Arianna is a Big Dumb Banana Wonderful Blog entry from "a mean old lady with a trashmouth and an attitude"

* The Radical Secularist has several interesting examples and comments on Huffpo Censorship.

* Southern Bubba's Blog

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Perfect Republican

A Huffpo contributor named Jim Garrison caught my eye tonight with an article titled Clinton the "Perfect Republican" With Obama Soon to follow? I must admit because he has the same name as the New Orleans D.A. who tried to investigate the JFK assassination. However, its not the same guy. Not by a long shot. This Jim Garrison had a column asserting that progressives were now regretting that they didn't nominate Hillary Clinton because she would have been such a wonderful progressive president. Yes, he really said that. My reply below was never posted. I suspect it was screened out by the JuLiA software as too emotional or sarcastic:

"Not nominating Hillary was decision we may come to regret for what we believed so passionately about Obama has not come to pass. "

Please give me a break. Are you seriously claiming that Ms. Clinton would have been some glorious progressive? How soon we forget:

As for "what we believed so passionately about Obama" it doesn't matter how passionately you believe something that doesn't make it true. Obama never campaigned as a progressive. He was always honest about being a middle of the road democrat. He has been amazingly consistent for a modern US president in doing what he said he would do. Its not his fault if some progressives had fantasies about what they dreamed he would do.

I wish we could have elected Dennis Kucinich or some other real progressive but I live in the real world. Obama was the best we could hope for and given that he inherited a country broken by 8 years of the most corrupt and incompetent president in history I think he has done an amazing job so far.

But by all means liberals keep on whining and you will get a congress controlled by people who want to force women to have their r@pist's babies and eliminate social security.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

JuLiA -- The Out of Control Bot has a Name

For a long time we've known that The Huffington Post uses an AI system to filter their comments. As far as I can tell, this system screens comments and if a comment doesn't make it past the system it is deleted. We have a few examples of this arbitrary censorship, for example the Out of Control Bot Example. Now thanks to a new member of the group named Kevin I have some information on the technology that Huffpo uses. It is called JuLiA and is a product of a company called Adaptive Semantics.

Here is the really interesting thing. Adaptive Semantics is now owned by a big corporation. The thing that makes mandates. Guess who? Yup, The Huffington Post has purchased Adaptive Semantics.

Now isn't it interesting that nowhere on Huffpo have we ever seen a word about Adaptive Semantics or JuLiA? I just did some searches to make sure and nothing. Allow me to put my tin foil hat for a minute. Doesn't it seem a little ominous that The Huffington Post is utilizing its users as guinea pigs for a new technology that they own and plan to sell to others for controlling dissent on the web? Its funny to read some of the articles on this. People are giddy over the fact that machines can auotomate censorhip. One article on put it this way: "Today's blogger will eventually become tomorrow's dinosaur where content will not only be curated by machines but composed and developed by them. While it may sound like a bleak future, I'm sure there will be more elevated pursuits man will have in managing this 'assembly-line' automated landscape."

Some Thoughts on Censorship from A Huffpo User

Some interesting thoughts on Censorship conveyed via Email by a Huffpo User with some knowledge of the internals at Huffpo:

"Here's the thing, badges are allocated on the basis of merit, merit is judged by numbers. Random or false deletion based on ideology that varies from mod to mod skews these numbers and reduce the integrity of the system in a way that is amplified beyond each single post removed. For example: pundit badges are allocated on the basis of replies, deleting a post can affect this not only for the poster but for other posters who converse in the thread leading to a sort of silent censorship."

Silent or Badge censorship is the fifth kind of censorship. Those conforming to whatever strangely mutated guidelines result from a combination of miscreant bots, moderation problems and flags gone wild due to the number of alts/socks are given a higher degree of input and interactivity than others.

The pundit badge is particularly bad in this regard. Based on the number of replies to posts it allows the user to rack up incredible amounts of replies that are not deleted ensuring a sort of incumbent advantage over other speakers. It also rewards trollery as folks tend to respond to blatant falsities with corrections more often than to factual posts with affirmations.

The bots are a nuisance I think this is due more to the management style of Arianna than anything else I have been around her online ventures for years and don't believe she's evil. I think she is very well intentioned but sort of ditzy and more a starter than a finisher. Her choice of staff at times is spot on, at other times lacking and I think the IT guys have sold her a bill of goods.

I'm wondering if the moderation problems (HP mods not community mods) stems from lack of oversight and maybe some sort of quota system, perhaps unofficial where mods are expected to show some work for their time. There may be a hint to this sort of policy in the badge FAQ where they urge users to "step up their flagging game" to earn a higher level badge. The lack of oversight may result in deletions for ideological reasons by true believers, the randomness may be several mods with differing ideologies and no firm guidelines working simultaneously.

Add the well known problems caused by socks/alts everywhere on the web and you have HP, a really good thing compromised by lack of focus.

I have been around Arianna's online presence throughout all their incarnations and may have an idea or two about how to effect policy change there in a positive manner. I would really like to see the trend of sound bite trollery and rebuttal caused by seemingly random deletions of long well thought out posts reversed an HP live up to it's potential.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tips for Preserving Your Anonymity

I often have discussions with people about how much The Huffington Post does or doesn't know about user identities. One issue that comes up a lot is does the Huffington Post ban you based on your IP address or some other way than your User ID? I came across a very useful little tool regarding IP addresses thanks to Nancy's input and wanted to post it here.

For starters is a very useful site for seeing what your IP address is.

There is also a nice section of the whatismyip site that has advice for how to get a different IP address. Essentially booting your computer and router should do it but you can find more extensive tips here.

Another way Huffpo and other sites can track you is by leaving cookies. Cookies are the way sites store information about you so you don't have to re-enter it every time. If using Firefox you can delete Cookies by going to Firefox>Preferences>Privacy then click on "remove individual cookies". Then type in "" and remove all the cookies from the Huffington Post. You can find and remove them using similar options in other browsers.

1)I don't recommend removing cookies except as a last resort if you want to do everything possible to make sure the Huffington Post can't identify you. If you remove cookies you may have to re-enter things such as connections between your Huffpo and Facebook accounts.

2) In the past I was skeptical that Huffpo would actually ban people based on their IP address but I've come to realize i was wrong. They even say as much in their FAQ section and reports from various users confirm that this is the case. Sorry for doubting you.

3) There was a longer section originally here about using a tool called Tor which I copied from a comment left on this blog. It has been removed at the request of the author.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Iconoclast1's "Scandalous" Comment

Tonight seems to be a busy night for the censors. Here is a comment from Iconoclast1:

I have been banned from commenting on the Huffington Post because of the following scandalous, obscenity-laced (not really, just being sarcastic) post:

"For a little perspective on which political party is better for the stock market and the economy, here are the latest results for returns on the S&P 500 index (and its predecessor, the S&P 90 index) from March 4, 1929 to present:

40 years of Republican administrations - $10,000 grew to $10,506 (a cumulative index gain of 5.1%)
41.5 years of Democratic administrations - $10,000 grew to $412,430 (a cumulative index gain of 4,024.3%)

These figures do not include transaction costs, taxes, or dividends.
Gains under Democrats have been 789 times the index gains under Republicans.

Since Obama became president, the increase in the S&P 500 index to present is 37.2%, which is more than 7 times the increase in the index over the last 40 years of Republican administrations.^GSPC&a=0&b=3&c=1950&d=8&e=5&f=2010&g=d&z=66&y=396

At first, I posted a very similar comment without the links. When that was inexplicably deleted, I posted the version above. That was deleted also. I did this several times on the same thread, posting comments with slightly different wording. Each time it was deleted. I'm not one to back down when I'm right, so I posted similar comments to other relevant threads. By now I was adding warnings to others about the fact that my comment was being repeatedly deleted for reasons unknown.

Of course, I don't know what was going on behind the scenes. I doubt that the first deletion or two was automatic or had anything to do with key words. I suspect that my initial comments were deleted by a community moderator who found the facts in my post too disturbing. Eventually, the initial post was reinstated, but the other versions were not. I suspect that some prima donna on duty as moderator didn't like the sound of my warnings to others. I didn't use the word censorship or any inappropriate language, but I don't think they liked the fact that I kept posting similar comments (none were identical)and warning others about the deletions of unknown origin. I sent an e-mail to complain, but that was 10 or so days ago and I have received no response.

I liked HP because I thought they had a more intelligent group of commenters than, for example, but I never liked the idea of community moderators or, as others have mentioned here, all of the alternate characters people had to use to have their comments post when they wanted to use certain sensitive key words.

I think the lesson is that the moderators don't like anything that smacks of criticism of HP. If they want to effectively put duct tape on your mouth for no reason, then you just have to take it. Or else. When you think about it, that is one of the worst forms of censorship, the silencing of dissent.


Note to Iconoclast1: For some reason the Blogger system thought your comment was Spam. Not sure why. I think its an error in their software. I didn't even turn on Spam detection. But that is why your comment didn't show up for a while. Sorry for the problem... Red Dog

Additional follow up note: I contacted Google and their support guy was a total dick. I told him I wanted to turn the spam filter off and that it wasn't working and... well the details aren't worth going into, I'll just leave it at the Google support guy was a total dick... Red Dog

Up against the Wall

Here is an email from Huffpo user "2706 N8thst". I think he expresses the frustration a lot of us feel. For the record I also love the Jefferson Airplane song and the whole album its from: Volunteers.

Today must have been "ban-everything day" at Hufpo. It started this morning when a troll was commenting on politics, as usual, and I responded saying that I thought this person really wanted to join progressives but was too afraid to let go of their right-wing ties to come over to all the "cool" people at Hufpo, otherwise, why would they bother to comment if they didn't want to be there? There was nothing evil, profane, snarky about it; it was an actual "plea" to jump ship and join the progressive side...but the moderator thought differently.

It was deleted immediately and all other attempts to post, regardless of content never appeared.

I got frustrated and finally wrote something I that I knew would goat the moderator...I said,

"Whomever is moderating, you are not doing your job correctly as you are censoring! We know who you are...and we are who we are, and we are very proud of ourselves...UP AGAINST THE WALL!"

The last line is from a well known Grace Slick protest song called "We should be together" where right before the chorus, she slows down and sings..."everything you say we are, we are, and we are very proud of ourselves" until she screams..."up against the wall, up against the wall mother fu*kers...tear down the wall..." ect.

It probably meant nothing to the moderator (it made me feel good to write it), but whomever was, censorship reigned allowing all kinds of obnoxious comments from the hard right, things like "suck on it dems" ect., vile commentary with no responses allowed. I posted the petition address later in the day as often as possible.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Those Wonderful Huffpo Headlines

Besides censoring user comments another Huffington Post practice is to use outrageously misleading headlines to lure people to read their articles. There was a particularly egregious example this morning in the technology section. An article with the headline Russia Uses Microsoft To Suppress Dissent. To me that headline implies Russia is either using some feature of Microsoft technology or is in some way working with Microsoft the company to suppress dissent. It turns out according to the article that:

one of the authorities' newest tactics for quelling dissent: confiscating computers under the pretext of searching for pirated Microsoft software.

I posted the following comment which never appeared:

Huffpo have you no shame? Come on this headline was outrageous even for you. It implied that Russia was somehow exploiting Microsoft software or teaming with the company to suppress dissent. Would it kill you to have added "as a pretext" or some other clarifying words to the headline?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Tool for Recording Censored Comments

Several people have emailed me in the past about how to record your comments on the Huffington Post so that you don't loose them if they are censored. I've created a new blog: Huffington Post Free Speech that does this. This blog isn't meant so much to be read. Its more of an archive. Every time I comment on Huffpo I click a box below the comment that says Post to Blogger. When I do that the comment is automatically added to the Free Speech Blog. The good news is that each comment is added to the blog and stays there in full even if it never gets posted on Huffpo or if it is posted and then censored later. I've had examples of each and verified that it works. I've also figured out how to link any other Huffpo user to the Free Speech blog. It is much more convenient then remembering to save your comments to a text file or other source. Just click the box and you have a guaranteed copy of the comment. So far I've done this with one other user but I'm happy to set it up for anyone else. It takes just a few minutes. Please email me at if you are interested.

9/11 -- Huffpo Censors Both Sides of the Debate

Several users in the past have given examples of comments supporting the 9/11 Truth Movement being censored. Here is an opposite example. I replied to the following comment on the article 9/11: 'Flashlight Worthy' Recommends 9 Unforgettable Books About September 11 I was replying to a comment suggesting a book by David Ray Griffith. The following comment was screened out and never appeared:

I read it. I was ready to be convinced. I believe in conspiracies: JFK, MLK, Operation Gladio, Northwoods, I'm a big conspiracy guy. But I also believe in reason and the scientific method. Griffith's book was full of shoddy reasoning. Again and again he points out some fact where the government screwed up and says "this proves that it must have been a conspiracy" He ignores other equally likely theories such as incompetence. He assumes that every time the Government lies it means there is a conspiracy, ignoring that the Bush administration lied just out of habit not to mention to cover their @ss.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Don't Dump on the Stars -- Even if they like to get dumped on

There was a very positive review of the new Joaquin Phoenix film I'm Still Here by Hellin Kay on Huffpo today. I have to admit that I haven't seen the movie and never will but I like to read reviews, especially reviews that rip bad films. I posted the following comment:

You have got to be kidding me. A movie that consists of a self involved jerk being rude to people, doing drugs, and generally making an @ss of himself? No thanks.

If you read some of the more critical reviews I was being polite compared to the stuff they wrote. I mean I didn't even mention the scene of the guy crapping on Mr. Phoenix's face. Yet this comment was deemed too offensive for The Huffington Post and was deleted.

It was clear that The Huffington Post deleted my comment and not the author of the article because I also found her blog and posted a comment which she allowed to be published.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Petition to The Economist

The following is a Twitter petition for a very worthy cause, similar to the Huffington Post Censorship issue. Please click here to view and sign.

Banned From Huffpo's Greatest Hits

This blog has been up for several months now and we've collected a lot of examples of Huffpo Censorship. Very many for a new reader to slog through them all so I thought I would put some links here to some of the examples that I think are the most interesting. Here they are in chronological order starting from the oldest:

* Introduction. Most have read this already but if not please check it out. I describe the reasons I think this is important and the types of censorship I've seen on the Huffington Post.

* The Mandate is From the Corporation. An interesting email dialogue I had with Huffpo's Senior Moderator.

* The Out of Control Bot Example. One of my favorites. An example showing the ridiculous arbitrary nature of Huffpo's filtering software.

* Ariana's Mandatory cult Meetings. Some very compelling deleted comments by user ScienceFTW regarding Ms. Huffington's interest in new age cults and her pressure on the Huffington Post staff to share that interest. Contains some interesting links to external articles on Huffpo and Ms. Huffington.

* Dr. Lanza Reinvents B.F. Skinner. Robert Lanza is one of the worst when it comes to deleting comments that are polite, on topic but just show him out to be wrong. This one is really blatant. He completely mis-represents the work of B.F. Skinner and deleted a comment that pointed this out.

* 9/11 Censorship. An article about a Jesse Ventura article on 9/11 that was censored from Huffpo.

* Blatant Political Censorship on Wycliff Jean. This example illustrates how The Huffington Post is moving away from the progressive community. A comment that discussed an issue that has been mostly censored in the MSM -- the US sponsored coup that removed Aristide from Haiti -- was censored from an article on Wycliff Jean after being up for over a day.

* Don't Diss the Corporations. Another blatant political example from user WMholt.

* Remembering Hume Sceptic and Carl IV. Huffpo had a nice article remembering two users who passed on. However, in the article they essentially stated that apx. 20% of the comments of one of these users -- who even they complimented as a model polite user -- were censored.

* Censoring sarcasm makes Rob S. Happy! One of the most bizarre examples. The senior moderator at Huffpo: Rob S., describes in an email to a user how happy he is that the Huffpo AI system can detect and delete sarcasm.

* Interesting Input from a Huffpo Blogger. An interesting comment left by an anonymous blogger at Huffpo about their editorial process.

* A6 Intruder. An example of a perfectly reasonable comment from the right that I tried to reply to but that was deleted as I typed.

* James Baldwin can't get passed Huffpo Censorship. A wonderful experiment by IzzyIdol where she simply typed in text from a classic book and Huffpo censored it. Please make sure to read the comments on this article, she provides even more examples.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tales from the Net

Tales from the Net is a blog describing various experiences in social networking. The authors are going to collect these stories into a book. They've expressed some interest in our work here and have a new article describing our blog and petition.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

9/11 Censorship Discussion on C&L

I left a comment on the Crooks and Liars Open Thread last night regarding the Huffington Post petition (I'm MikeD on Crooks and Liars). It started a whole discussion about 9/11 censorship which ironically ended up having the moderator censor many comments. You can see the thread and the spots where comments were deleted by the link above or just click here.

I wanted to also share here my final comment from that thread because I think it gets to an important issue. I'm not at all opposed to some form of moderation at the Huffington Post but rather to the extreme, arbitrary, unexplained censorship currently practiced. Here is that comment:

So I thought it was kind of Ironic that my initial comment about censorship at the Huffington Post resulted in a bunch of comments that got deleted here. But I want to make a point about how that censorship is qualitatively different than what I'm complaining about at Huffpo. The censorship here was based on a clear, public, well defined policy. They don't want to go down the 9/11 Truth Movement rabbit hole at C&L. Now personally, I don't agree with that policy. I think its better to let people talk and air the issues even if it results in huge threads.

But, and here is the big but, I completely respect the right of C&L to make and enforce that decision. What is going on at the Huffington Post is nothing like that. When comments get censored they won't tell you why. The censorship is completely arbitrary. By changing a word here or there that in no way alters the meaning of the comment it can change whether it gets moderated or not. Comments that are perfectly polite and on topic are censored because they point out fundamental errors in the author's article. For example Depak Chopra's understanding of physics or Robert Lanza's representation of his research in psychology. That is the kind of arbitrary pointless censorship we are complaining about.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Petition to the Huffington Post

I've created a petition to send to the Huffington Post on the censorship issue. To see and sign the petition click here.

To sign it fill out the fields on the right side of the page under the yellow banner "Sign the Petition"

If you don't want your contact info shown at the bottom of the petition uncheck (its checked by default) the box that says "Allow my signature to be seen publicly"

The petition is in two parts. A description of the problem at the top and then the Petition Text below. The petition text is a letter that gets sent automatically to the Huffington Post ( every time someone signs. Note: you can edit or completely change the letter that gets sent when you sign so you can make it about any specific free speech issues (gun control, science section, etc.) that you like. Note: if you sign you will receive an automated email reply from the Huffington Post. Its just a form letter that is automatically sent out every time someone sends an email to that mail box.

I encourage people to share that link as much as possible to anyone that might be interested. I can also edit the petition so if you have feedback please email me at:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Don't talk about Huffpo

A comment from a user that violated one of the unwritten Huffpo guidelines, don't ever mention Huffpo itself or its policies around publication, editing, etc. 

I was recently censored for the following comment on an artcle on Emmefinacy in Gay Men
“When did HuffPo turn into Fox News? This article is ridiculous.”
Then, once I saw it was deleted, I went back and wrote another comment:
“HuffPo removed my previous comment because I compared it to something from Fox News. Ouch. So let me re-state, this article is still misogynist.”
I'm really surprised that HuffPo considers comments like these as grounds for removal.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

James Baldwin can't get past Huffpo Censorhip

Here is a comment from Izzyidol that I thought was especially interesting so I'm making it a new post:

Once I realized (and later confirmed with a moderator) they use a robot sorter and editor, decided to test the Bot. I already knew the community moderation system was a ToadyTotalitarian mess because it is that way at dKos and I recognized the symptoms.
I got mad at this stupid woman pretending to be a progressive liberal who created her own little fascist empire. I calmed down. Then I complained to a moderator. Useless. So then I decided to create a test. I call it the Huffpo Consumer Censorship/Community Moderation Test. The results were fascinating.

I posted a quotation from James Baldwin on a thread about race and language. I did not know about the Bot, but I suspected it was there. The quote comes from the introduction to the Fire Next Time, a seminal book about race relations in America. There is no better indictment of using the N word than this sentence. But James Baldwin does not make it through the censor. The problem? In the quote James Baldwin uses a word the Bot does not like at all. How can you have a reasonable discussion when things you post that are relevant and poignant are censored. Here is the quote:

"You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a 'nigger.' I tell you this because I love you, and please don't you ever forget it."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Censoring Sarcasm makes Rob S. Happy!

Rob S. is a Senior Moderator who often responds to complaints about censorship. He is the person who gave us the tag line "The Mandate is from the Corporation" when I asked him why a progressive blog needed to have such aggressive censorship. Here is another gem from Rob in response to Artist-53's complaint that one of her comments was censored. Apparently Rob S. is happy that their automated censorship program (the infamous bot) can now detect and pre-emptively censor sarcasm. Yes, that's right, sarcasm apparently is not appropriate for Huffington Post comments anymore and they are proud that their automatic system can detect and delete comments that may include it:

> To:
> From:
> Subject: Mising Comments
> Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 12:19:10 -0400
> Hello:
> First, please understand that 6 out of 7 comments submitted to Huffington Post are moderated by automated systems--we simply cannot afford to have people read every comment, but management thinks it's important we do our best to keep the conversation respectful. This is an imperfect solution. Automated systems catch some "bad" comments, and don't catch others--though ours are more sophisticated than most. In the case of your first comment, the system caught it and removed it, your dcomment went away because it was in reply to the first, and your third comment went away because the system recognized it as sarcastic--which actually makes me pretty happy.
> With all that being said, please avoid ad hominem attacks (attacks on a person rather than on their argument) and avoid emulating the people who sneak stuff through--they will eventually end up banned.
> Rob S.
> Senior Moderator
> Huffington Post

Don't diss the Corporations

Here is a very interesting example. A comment by user wmholt that surely meets all the criteria that the Huffington Post publishes but yet says some negative things about the corporate world. This comment was up and then deleted from an article about the White House press secretary. Its these kind of examples that so clearly illustrate that the Huffington Post is turning into just another corporation. Not new media but main stream media. Note before it was deleted six people marked it as a favorite.

I don't like what Gibbs said, but in reality, the whole left vs right thing is just a distraction to keep us from rising up against the corporations and their never-ending practice of class warfare.

I watched, "Capitalism, A Love Story" last night. The corporatist politicians and the corporations are the ones taking America down. Michael Moore does a brilliant job of illustrating that fact.
Marked as Favorite (6) Flag as Abusive (0)

Permalink  | Share it

Post a comment

Sorry, you're replying to already deleted comment. Please reload the page.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Censored comment on state budget cuts

Here is a comment from artist-53 that was censore from an article on state budget cuts.

artist-53   0 minute ago (7:32 AM)
136 Fans
This comment is pending approval and won't be displayed until it is approved.

The poor, young, elderly are the hardest hit. I didn't noticed how many high ranking officials, city managers etc were stepping forward and taking a reduction in pay and benefits.

Gathering from the lists, we'll have a Country of unemployed, uneducated, toothless, poor vision, hungry, homeless, ill, individuals trying to survive in areas where services such as public transportation, school transportation,will no longer exist. ..and for those that are forced to walk long distances to school, on empty stomachs, carrying no books or supplies, because it's not in the budget, nor can the increasing number of unemployed parents pay for supplies, etc, ...

States are going out of their way to keep the upper crust from being effected, while the have nots, will not even be offered cake.

The largest segments of society has been reduced to nothing more than a population of insignificant beings. USA is a third world Country. . There is something extremely disturbing about how low we have become.

Uneducated, sick, hungry and unemployed. We're not a super power, We're not # 1, We're incapable of being human, it could have been so great. So all you pol. I blame you for this horrendous nightmare,you keep referring to as balancing the budget, as the rest simply don't matter .
USA is #1 in creating hardship and poverty.

We are one big gov. made ghetto. But the Banks and the fat cats get bailed out. We the peons, get punished . We do not matter.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Blatant Political censorship on Wycliff Jean

Wycliff Jean is a rap star running for president of Haiti. He has an open letter on the Huffington Post describing why he chose to run. Although many of the comments are critical, none mention what is to me the most important question. Namely, where was Mr. Jean during the illegal ouster of President Aristide? For those who don't remember or who never heard (it was barely covered in the US media) a coup in Haiti backed by the Bush administration forced Aristide - a legitimately elected president - out of office by the threat of violence. All true progressives were outraged at this blatantly illegal act. I posted the following comment (I'm doing this from memory, I didn't bother to record this one, didn't think it could get removed)

The real question I would like to have answered is Where was Wycliff Jean during the illegal removal of president Aristide by right wing forces backed by the Bush administration?

This comment was up for well over a day and had at least two replies. I just checked this AM to find that it and all the replies were gone.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A6 Intruder

Here is the kind of example that I really like.   I doubt that A6Intruder and I would agree on much but I would bet one thing we do agree on (besides that the A6 is a very cool plane) is that censorship is anti-American. Here is a comment from A6Intruder that I tried replying to only to get the ominous "that comment no longer exists" message. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Interesting Input from a Huffpo Blogger

Here is an interesting comment from a post below by a Huffpo blogger on some of the inner workings at the site.  I thought it was worth elevating to a separate post:
I submitted a post a few months ago which was critical of anti-vaccine activists. It took eight days for HuffPo editors to approve it. Meanwhile, anti-vax posts are fast-tracked.

As an HP blogger, I am able to delete comments if they are in queue awaiting approval. I can also approve a post. But once they are approved by the HuffPo editors, I am unable to delete. I've only deleted two comments, but only because they were abusive and/or demonstrably untrue. So it is easy for an HP blogger to delete comments if he/she catches them in time.

HuffPo editors are very sensitive to criticism. I've been told to "play nice" if I expect to continue to blog there. It was clear from the context that "playing nice" means not talking about HP's appalling double standard that makes it easier to post anti-science tirades than it is to post evidence-based material. I actually had a post disallowed because I was "giving medical advice without benefit of a medical license." My crime was telling readers that vaccines prevent disease. Meanwhile anti-vax loons regular exhort readers to treat children like lab rats in a foolhardy and dangerous attempt to cure autism.

Thanks for this website. Keep up the good work.

Lanza is the King of Censorship

Here is another example from yet another Huffpo Blogger Landon Ross regarding Dr. Lanza's censorship on the article Where Did the Universe Come From? New Explanation of our Origin.

 My comment was censored by Lanza, because it was approved by the moderators, and remained up for considerable time. Unfortunately for Lanza, I take screenshots when dealing with the woo/anti-vax group (I have found them consistently, statistically, censorious)... I have posted the copies here... 
I posted a dissenting comment under Medical Doctor Robert Lanza's recent article on Huffpost. It was approved by the moderators, praised by a few other commenters, and was thereafter deleted.


Friday, July 30, 2010

A Great Comment

Here is a comment from Spection that I thought was worth elevating to a post of its own.

I have found the censorship of criticism at HuffPo to be appallingly egregious! I've had many scores of comment posts removed completely, most of which were non-personal, non-offensive scientific criticisms of the woo-ers' grotesque scientific misinformation. Let's face it: When it comes to science at least, Arianna Huffington is one of the most anti-scientific and gullible human beings alive, and she despotically censors any honest criticism of her belief system as well as any attempt to point that fact out.

But we are faced with blind dismissals from those wishing to deny the extreme censorship of comments and instead focus on merely trying to launch a science section at HuffPo, such as Landgon Ross and J. Vernon. Here is a direct quote from an email from Langdon Ross:

"While I am not going to discuss the housekeeping behind the scenes of Huffpost, I will say this... their practices seem to be entirely fair, and I have never had comments censored on any of my posts that I know of (or even so much as referenced or insinuated by my most avid critics)." [Quoted verbatim. Ellipsis in original - nothing omitted.]

What good would a science section be from such people who refuse to see how common and adamantly despicable the censorship is at HuffPo? The censorship is a far more severe situation than the lack of a science section, a section that most at HuffPo would ignore anyway.

I think we need to acquire more powerful allies -- such as the MSNBC hosts and the major liberal bloggers -- then apply strong public pressure on Arianna to stop the grossly excessive censorship on her site. We should shame her for her extreme contempt of the single most fundamental of the ideals of the Enlightenment and the ideals of the liberal worldview: Free Speech!

What say you?

Anti-Abortion Rally at MLK's Grave

Here is a comment from Artist-53 that was arbitrarily deleted from an article on an Anti-Abortion Rally at Martin Luther King's Grave

What an insult to all people.
Freedom Riders?
If they believed in that statement, then by definition, there should not have been a rally at all. Unless of course they're only promoting freedom for some.Exclu
ding fertile females that aren't allowed into their freedom club.

To equate abortion to pornography? And these people are the largest offenders because they slap pictures all over their bus,signs ,pamphlets and t-shirts. So they're being pompous pornographic piglets.

According to them, it's not only pornographic but a womb they claim is Dangerous as well? Well, don't blame me, it was your god that created all those uterus's , so go talk to him or her.

So a womb is a very dangerous place? Hell wait til they get a taste of the wombles world. It will really shock them.

Then to sing We Shall Over Come? Excuse me, but I think when a bus rolls into town carrying predominate number of males, school age children that were made to carry signs bearing what they've already claimed to be pornographic and older women wearing tee shirts all bearing slogans that are just that crazy, then I have to ask myself, Don't these people have anything better to do w/ their lives?

Such as stopping world hunger, or starting world peace. Those are 2 very worth while endeavors. But to do what they do from a gas guzzling bus, certainly misguided malcontents that have no business stating what any women does or doesn't do.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Arbitrary Censorship on Afghanistan Comment

If you are new to this blog please see the Introduction.

If you want to join the group protesting censorship on The Huffington Post please send me an email at this address:

Here is another example of just ridiculous arbitrary censorship. There is an article on a Time Magazine Cover on the Tragedy of Afghan Women. I tried to reply to the following comment but saw it had been deleted. For what reason?

Click on image to see larger view

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More Examples of Lanza Censorship

Here are some screen snapshots that Linda (Happy Realist) recorded of censored comments on the same Lanza article where Lanza compares himself favorably to Einstein. Linda's description of the screen shots:
Spacetime bending: The odd thing is that I posted essentially what you see  days ago.  Then, mysteriously the spacetime wiki link vanished.  I re-posted it.  I screen captured the "pending" and posted versions.
New Unposted Comment: you can clearly see it is in no way a violation of policy.  But, as per "unposted comment not posted", they didn't post it. Why?
Just a clear indication of the idiocy documented here.

Click on image to see larger more readable version
Click on image to see larger more readable version
Click on image to see larger more readable version

Click on image to see larger more readable version

Monday, July 26, 2010

An Outrageous Lanza Article

If you are new to this blog please see the Introduction.

If you want to join the group protesting censorship on The Huffington Post please send me an email at this address:

Here is a great example of more Lanza censorship on an article where Lanza compares himself to Einstein and essentially claims that Biocentrism has solved the grand unified field problem and unified relativity and quantum theory. The following was provided by a new contributor to this blog, describing an experience he had and some thoughts on how Huffpo's actions correspond to their published policies.
My Dear Fellow First-Amendment/Free-Speech Fans,

I, too, have had politely relevant but critical comments deleted from Robert Lanza's

insipid and ironically self-referential "false art" and "vain wisdom" anti-Einstein flame,
("Did Einstein Set Science Back 100 Years? We're Not As Insignificant As He Thought,"  posted in The Huffington Post's "Living" section on July 23, 2010 at 07:00 AM.)
 I had just noted a comment (which I paraphrase as "Why bothering to imagine into existence all those readers if you delete 95% of their comments?") which had been "posted 1 hour ago" and had just hit "REPLY"
when I received the message "You are attempting to reply to a comment that has been deleted."

My understanding of policy is that expressed on their FAQ page as:

(I) The Huffington Post welcomes all users to join our community and to comment
    and treats all members of the community equally.

We do not discriminate based on the person who is posting, and we never censor comments for political or ideological reasons.
We never delete an appropriate comment because we disagree with its viewpoint or ideology...

(II) We want the Huffington Post to be home to open, transparent conversations in which people connect, discuss, share ideas, and debate the issues.

(III) We are also committed to maintaining a non-toxic atmosphere.

(IV) In order to preserve a functional and civil conversation,
     we do not allow trolls, trollish behavior, or stalking.

Beyond the "pending" period, as I understand it, a comment would only be deleted if
"2. Your comment violated the policy above.
We pride ourselves in providing a medium for engaging and thought-provoking stories and encourage
our users to speak their minds freely, provided comments fall within our commenting policy.
We must respect our writers and protect them from vicious and inflammatory comments.
They too are entitled to free speech- the right to share their opinions
 without being subject to scathing and mean-spirited remarks."

Below is my comment that was deleted yesterday, July 23, after being up for an hour or so.
Please read and judge for yourself:

Far from "setting us back 100 years," with admirable childlike sense of wonder and true humility
Einstein said "The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible."
"Comprehensible" meant mathematical, repeatable and predictable --if only in a statistical sense.

I'm sure Lanza's characterizations of Einstein's contributions as "false art" and "vain wisdom"
are well-meant, inaccurate only in deriving from visible misunderstanding of quantum mechanics
and an excess of the fuzzy-based-on-wishful thinking I tried to discourage in my med students.

Richard Feynman's Nobel-winning Quantum Electrodynamics makes predictions as accurate
as a hairsbreadth in the width of America, yet never invokes an "observer" -- except to "select"
(retrospectively) which of all possible paths a quantum has taken in a specific observer's "reality."

Biocentricism (like Geocentricism or SpeciesCentricism/Creationism) reverses our "significance":
the Universe shaped Us, not vice versa.  True, our minds DO affect our bodies far more than
we yet understand, but without lapsing into nihilistic *cynicism* (which has no place in science
nor the heart of a healer) we must still retain our healthy scientific *skepticism* as we are advised
by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins:
"Airplanes built according to scientific principles WORK, stay aloft, get you to your destination.
Airplanes built to tribal or mythological specifications, such as the dummy planes
 of the cargo cults in jungle clearings or the beeswaxed wings of Icarus, DON'T.
Show me a cultural relativist at thirty thousand feet and I’ll show you a hypocrite."

When the comment was removed without explanation after a few hours (during which time another reader had become a "fan" and "replied,") I added the following comment -- which lasted only and hour of posting:
Curiouser and curiouser... Who is empowered to dismiss & delete dissent or disapproval?

About 16:30PDT today (Friday, 23 July, 2010,) I posted a comment to this article beginning with
a quote from Einstein and ending with a quote from evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

This comment was removed without explanation after a few hours (during which time another reader had become a "fan" and "replied.")  If anyone know what happened, please reply to this comment.

Of course, like Krautman's comment on Lanza's apparent comment deletions, it, too, was deleted.

SOooo, just now (13:49PDT on Saturday, 24 July, 2010,) I re-posted the original dissent above. 

before I did so the article listed "96 Comments - 1 Pending" and after "96 Comments - 2 Pending",
but now, a few minutes later at 14:04PDT on Saturday, 24 July, 2010, we see "96 Comments - 0 Pending".
As a good scientist (health physicist then instrument designer then physician[radiologist] now H.S. science teacher)
I always document my work, so a screen snapshot of my 13:49 posting is attached.

What should we do about this arrogant suppression of polite informative dissent by the man humbly self-described on his various websites as "one of the leading scientists in the world"?