Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Welcome to Banned From Huffpo

This blog is meant to address censorship on The Huffington Post. I’ve been a Huffpo user since the site launched. Just about the same time I cancelled my cable subscription and stopped buying a daily newspaper because I was so sick of the incessant corporate lies and distortions purveyed through them. Since then Huffpo has been my main site for news.

I had noticed for a long time that comments I made to Huffpo often were never posted. For a long time I didn’t pay much attention and just assumed it was growing pains of the site as they scaled up their technology to support their exponential growth. Then I also began to notice more and more users w0uld c0mment l!ke th1s. Much to my dismay I noticed that when instead of crap I said “cr@p” my comments had a much higher chance to make it through. At this point I should point out that I’m not the type of blogger to use curse words or even words like “crap”. I’m also not the type to engage in personal attacks. I don’t see the point in comments like that. I comment because I like to exchange ideas and I like to argue. However, in my experience nothing makes you look worse in an argument than descending to name calling. I always prefer to debate based on reason and facts and when its clear my counterpart is just name calling I simply stop replying. So if this were about having to type “cr@p” instead of “crap” or refraining from other naughty words I wouldn’t care. However, just when I thought I had the Huffpo censorship system figured out I noticed new kinds of censorship.

The next example was on a column someone wrote about Internet security. I forget the details now but it seemed to me there were several fundamental errors in the article (I’ve worked most of my career in Information Technology). I posted a very polite comment pointing out the errors. I was amazed when it didn’t get posted. I tried several other versions and again none of them were posted. This was the first time I got seriously pissed off. Its one thing to censor comments that have “naughty” words. I think that’s foolish but not that big of a deal. It is quite another to censor comments that show an author to be wrong. Once we start to censor those comments it seems to me we’ve really destroyed a fundamental characteristic of blogs that differentiate them from traditional media. The whole point of comments is that readers can talk back and engage the authors.

From that point I started paying more attention to the censorship. I noticed there were at least four types of censorship:

•Bot censorship. There appears to be an expert system or “bot” that pre-screens posts and either removes or puts in a queues for further scrutiny comments that it deems to be inappropriate. How this bot works I have no idea. All I can say is that it is incredibly arbitrary and in my experience screens out many perfectly reasonable comments.

•Author censorship. Comments that are overly critical of an author, especially comments that point out bias that the author may have are often censored. For example in my experience any comments critical of Depak Chopra are always censored.

•Censorship censorship. Comments that ask questions or critique the censorship policy itself are very frequently censored. I’ve personally left several comments on various articles authored by Ms. Huffington hoping for some type of response and those comments never make it through.

•Huffpo censorship. Comments that have to do with the internal workings or bias of the Huffington Post are almost always censored.

So why does this matter? I’m not opposed at all to some degree of moderation. In fact at times I wish there was more moderation on the site. I often see spam, racist comments, homophobic comments, anti-semitic comments and countless comments that are off topic or simply pointless. I would be happy if more of those comments were moderated out. What makes this something I think worthy of concern is that the censorship has gone from being mildly annoying to a serious suppression of free speech on the site.

For one thing I increasingly find myself wondering how to word things to “sneak past the bot” and using juvenile alternative spellings for various words. This seems moronic. What are we afraid of? The bot isn’t actually screening out truly offensive comments anyway. Its possible to get past them using alternative spelling and yet it often screens out totally reasonable comments. As an example, I had a comment on gun control with the word “shot” in it. I wasn’t threatening to shoot anyone or anything even mildly offensive. I took out that word and the comment got posted. To spend time creating a serious post and then see it vanish and to have to consider what word or phrase the automated system objected to seems to me to be an insult to thoughtful bloggers on the site.

Beyond the bot issues I increasingly find that true discussion and criticism of various authors gets screened out. This is especially true for authors who have article after article that says more or less the same thing and promotes their books or other commercial enterprises.

For me the last straw however was when I tried to raise this issue with the Huffington Post itself. The replies I received said that the site wasn’t interested in what the users thought regarding censorship. “The Mandate is from the Corporation” for moderation and the site will do it without input from the users. So that’s why I created this blog.

What to do Next?

Click here to go to the petition against out of control censorship at the Huffington Post.

Please see the greatest hits page. The blog has been up for a while now and on that page I have links to some of the examples I think are most interesting.

If you would like to join the informal group trying to address the censorship issues at Huffpo please email me at: reddog071@gmail.com

66 comments:

  1. Hi, this is SewaneeLeftist, posting an interchange that conceivably might be banned. A gun nut named Dimensio follows me around on Huff Po pasting in the same comment every time I post: "You have previously acknowledged a willful refusal to engage in reasoned discussion. Consequently, you are not a credible source of information. You have declared yourself to be infallible; as such, you are demonstrably delusional."

    I don't try to censor people, so although I'm fairly sure that gun addicts would consider being called delusional an ad hominem attack, I consider he's got his right to his opinion. However, since this happens EVERY time I post about gun violence, I posted this in the thread Dennis Henigan wrote about the great justice Paul Stevens, who I frequently quote. Let's see if my comment gets through.

    I'll answer this once.

    Reasoned discussion is only possible with reasonable people or people susceptible to reason.

    Reasoned discussion is not stalking someone on HP, resorting to Lenin's "oft-repeated lie becomes truth" strategy, and pasting in the same empty generalizations and false accusations every time the stalked person posts a comment.

    Finally, reasoned discussion is not possible with people who lie about previous posts, especially this idea that I have ever declared myself to be infallible. Laughable.

    To be charitable, perhaps someone misunderstood my statement that my opinion is not subject to the manipulated statistics, bizarre interpretations of American history and constitutional law, or the elaborate sophistry of gun fetishists, especially the claim to present logic or understand fallacies. Evidently the distinction between infallibility and opinion is a tough one.

    Stalking someone to post the same tired lies. Typical gun, uh, enthusiast tactics.

    Proves again no point exists in interacting with unethical, unreasonable arguments or the people who present them.

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  2. Great comment SewaneeLeftist. Dimensio is a stalker. Their stalking is intended to make the intelligent poster look questionnable if enough of their team rant and rave in opposition on the site -- And HuffPost usually allows them free reign. I think we are more secure when we post on the articles written by any of the campaigns against gun violence. It is there that I don't get censored or blocked by Rob S., senior moderator administrator in charge, or so it seems.

    The NRA and OdinsEye have been very confident in their ability to get someone banned. Such as "deadelus" and "DreamerWeaver" to the point of bragging before and after the fact of several banned posters.

    I'll check to see if your comment is posted. I hope you keep posting it in reply to the "dimensio."

    DreamWeaver2nd

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  3. This is Maezeppa - too lazy to log in.

    Just try mentioning Michael Huffington as I did, when enumerating a list of past Republicans who tried to buy a California political seat. I never tried it, but I bet just typing his name and nothing else would result in a deletion.

    In any case, I don't think Huffpo is intentionally supporting gun lovers. My suspicion is that their moderators find moderating rather tedious and often just delete anything flagged as abusive.

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  4. i have had quite a few fairly innocuous comments censored, always it seems when I question, even very mildly, why someone has been chosen to post at HuffPo or questioning the basics of the article. meanwhile i have seen some very very hateful comments, overtly racist & anti-Semitic ones that led several other commenters to object.
    But I think you just cannot dare to criticize HuffPo at all.
    I happen to think it is a lousy, sensationalistic site with celebrity garbage and silly takes on things and the very occasional good column (like Johann Hari's on the British election the other day).
    Queen Arianna.

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  5. I used to read and post often at HP when the site was first created. I too began to notice that a number of my posts were censored. since I don't use offensive or racist language I never understood why. E-mails to HP received no response.

    I don't watch TV so my information sources are satellite radio and internet access to Maddow and Olbermann, to foreign news sources, progressive sites and a few on-lines newspapers. I sometimes watch links to some tv sites from HP or other blog sites, except Fox, so I have a pretty good ideal of what is going on. I also read a LOT of books and consider myself well informed.

    When I commented on something posted on HP that was clearly wrong, offering researched facts and links, these posting were almost always blocked. Anything criticizing so-called journalist who allow comments like "we never had a terrorist attack in th country during the Bush administration" or the mess made of Meet the Press and The week are, of course, banned.

    Now I spend no more that fifteen minutes at HP and rarely post anything. It is so sad that a site that began so well has turned into .... well, I don't know what to call it.

    There are so many other good sites with good information available that it is not necessary to even visit HP. Just popping in onece a week is enough to satisfy any remaining curorisity I have about HP.

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  6. I have had a half dozen or so posts that haven't cleared the censors. All of them dealt with the hypocrisy of Huffpo doing exactly as Fox does...just from the left instead of the right.

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  7. Keep up the good work

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  8. SouthernBubba here. The most ardent hater of censorship at HP or anywhere else you will ever find. Hope that you will spend time on this site and encourage others to do so. If you post regularly on HP and get censored for ridiculous reasons (and those are the only reasons for censorship), then start using using the term censormod2nit(s) every chance you get. Quite a bit of the time that term will make it through, I think because it shames some of them. Also, as often as possible, mention that posters hate HP for giving ANY poster the right to influence (don't use censor-deletion will surely follow) ANY other poster for ANY reason. Throw in the phrase Constitution/Free Speech Hater(s) in a quick post right after a pending and sometimes that will shame them into letting the original post go through. Another little trick: fan the posters that you do not like with the highest # of fans and that way when get you 'em with a zinger, there is a greater chance that more will see it.
    This problem of censorship is a common crime against the Founding Fathers and does not have anything at all to do with which side of the aisle you are on. Let's hear some good ideas on how we can get this corrected on HP and make it truly as great as it was intended to be.

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  9. 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?

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  10. I have a suggestion: Let's gather evidence of HuffPo's censorship and post it online. Red Dog Bear, could we work something out?

    Here's my technique for gathering the evidence. I use the Firefox (and perhaps other browsers, but I'm not sure) add-on ScrapBook Plus (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/8186/) as follows: I submit my post on HuffPo and then use ScrapBook Plus to record that page with the "pending" comment. I then wait the appropriate amount of time to see if it is published, and if it is not, I record the page again for proof that it was censored. The benefit of this approach is that it documents precisely what was submitted as objective evidence that can't be dismissed or rejected by those who might claim you actually posted spam or something highly offensive.

    Then you can cut&paste just your censored comment from the recorded Scrapbook page for posting.

    Just a thought...

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  11. Oh, goody, somebody is doing something. If Ms. Huffington doesn't care what her readership thinks of her heavy-handed censorship policies, then she can do without my readership...simple as that.

    Oops, no, I'm addicted and enough of my comments get through I;'m not THAT pissed off.

    But I'd love to get even one of my "doodle-wanking" comments about Chopra through!

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  12. Chopra is a hackneyed internet guru. What he posts is stupid.

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  13. 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. What a trip.
    I am going to cook lunch. Be back to talk about what I tested for and what happened.

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  14. Back. Part of my Test:
    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."

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  15. (I forgot my sign in...it's me, Terry)

    Pssst...hey kid! Wanna a few words that will get you past the censors over on Huff-Po? Pay attention; you gotta use the weasel words and technique that make you appear normal; you know, conversational stuff or you get banned by JuLiA, HP's newest software. It's an moderation system that's supposed to take out phrases, like "Republicans or Democrats are Nazis"--Arianna says the system removes that stuff but I still see it going on.

    Just try to make a cogent, coherent statement of disagreement with an author, someone like Amy Suskind (rabid Sara Palin supporter) and watch your comments disappear into thin air...you'll find yourself banned, "zipped" like Dr. Evil's son, Scott.

    So, see, ya' gotta sneak around at HP if you want your freedom of speech...or it will disappear.
    Terry

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  16. Izzyidol, that is a fantastic example, I'm going to put your comment up as a new post. thanks! RedDog

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  17. Many of us have been banned from Huffington Post and our profiles arbitrarily deleted without reason.

    TAKE ACTION TO FIGHT CENSORSHIP:

    1. A group has drafted a petition protesting the Huffington Post ‘s censorship, including “ongoing abuses of both HP policy and the principles of open democratic civil discourse.” The group plans to publish “incidents of arbitrary and ongoing censorship at the Huffington Post.”
    For more information see: http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/james-ballard/blog/2010/08/petition You can also email: oldworldgallery@hotmail.com

    2. Have you been banned from commenting and/or had your profile deleted by the Huffington Post? Please send your examples to: RedDog071@gmail.com for the blog, “Banned From Huffpo”: http://bannedfromhuffpo.blogspot.com/

    3. In addition to the above, can someone who has a related website/blog create a table or list where people could list:

    • their screen name
    • title of the article involved
    • date they were banned/profile deleted from Huffington Post

    Posting such a list would let the facts speak for themselves!

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  18. We applaud your mission and your website!

    Here are some resources for more Huff Po censorship stories.

    1. Amazon.com blogs:
    http://www.amazon.com/Huffington-Post-banning-of-comments/forum/Fx30XZL73QI65HU/TxGK9J22LLTL2V/1/ref=cm_cd_tp_ft_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&asin=0307269663

    2. Huffington Post Censors Comments by School Librarians?
    http://archipelagoblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/huffington-post-censors-comments-by.html

    3. Huffington Post Censorship Goes Beyond Quality Control
    http://digg.com/political_opinion/Huffington_Post_Censorship_Goes_Beyond_Quality_Control

    4. Censorship is Alive and Well at The Huffington Post
    http://dougyr2000.newsvine.com/_news/2010/08/14/4891041-censorship-is-alive-and-well-at-the-huffington-post

    Keep up the good work!

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  19. Huffington Post has a children type of reward for telling badge system, meaning either a post can be flagged to a higher badge censor or a censor can delete one or many posts for no apparent reason simply because it does not jive with his or her way of thinking.

    I still have my account but no longer post, as this Gestapo like system is against all rules of free speech and journalism .

    I post on many other sites such as Yahoo, FrumForum, CNBC, CNN, and many others.

    I no longer see the older posters who either stopped posting because of disgust or were banned if they insisted on posting what they believe is their right to do.

    And God forbid someone try to post something critical of Queen Ariana, his posts will vanish for a whole week if not month.

    One day I had over 3000 posts in my total, the next day over 500 of them vanished possibly some new posters in a need for a green badge, went through thousands of posts and flagged hundreds of them that got them deleted.

    It's not only childish behavior , it's pathetic journalism.

    Lately for the last 8 month or so, they have many articles critical of Obama and they make it clear it's his fault the economy is not fixed in an attempt to bring in baggers and righties and funny enough they are succeeding .

    A lot of new posters from the right post very critical posts of the Obama administration remain are unchallenged even though they are vulgar and racists and mostly packs of lies..

    I love Yahoo as for the last 10 years, I have never had any of my posts removed or altered, let it be on the finance boards or any political boards and that's the way it should be.

    Eventually the huffing ton post will weaken financially like two years ago when they faced a shutdown until a new investor came in and pumped few millions.

    Queen Ariana Stassinopoulos would not have a successful website if she did not use her ex-husband's name Huffington.

    I can see it" the Stassinopoulos post" what a laugh.

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  20. 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.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=^GSPC&a=0&b=3&c=1950&d=8&e=5&f=2010&g=d&z=66&y=396

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/10/14/opinion/20081014_OPCHART.html"


    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 CNN.com, 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.

    Iconoclast1

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  21. Iconoclast1: For some reason the blogger system marked your comment as Spam. Not sure why, think its a bug, anyway that was the reason for the delay in posting. I put your comment up as a Post on its own. Just click on the header to go to the first page of the blog.

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  22. 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. 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. Besides... are expletives really necessary for discussion and comment?

    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.

    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.

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  23. Walkfly, I posted a reply on the latest blog article: http://bannedfromhuffpo.blogspot.com/2010/09/reply-to-comment-from-walkfly.html

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  24. It happens on all websites, say something the moderator doesn't like and it's deleted. What's galling is that sites like Huffpo and Crooks and Liars want you to think they are telling the truth not just a version of it but they delete any opinions that don't reflect the BS line they are pushing.

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  25. I think people may be mistaken as to what the HuffPo is really all about. In Dec 2008 the HuffPo got a $25mil investment from Oak Investment Partners. (http://www.softbank.com/pages/HP_Oak%20_120108.pdf)

    A reasonable person can assume that a VC firm didn't invest that much cash in an enterprise (run by a former Republican by the way) out of civic duty. From that it's not much of a stretch to conclude the HuffPo is first and foremost about making money these days, just like many of the corporate interests they criticize. They just happen to have a business formula that plays childish desire of a lot of progressives, like so many of those on the right they criticize, to be an echo chamber. Nothing wrong with that, they just aren't particularly forthright about making that clear to those who they want to come to the site so they can make money.

    A lot of folks on the progressive side also have a selfish sense of entitlement that no one has the right to criticize them, and/or all critics must play on their terms rather than genuine political debate where no one gets to dictate terms (see SewaneeLeftist's comments for a fine example of this.) The HuffPo has to tune the echo chamber appropriately not to offend that selfish sense of entitlement. Hence the nature of what they allow into the comments, both through direct editing or tuning of their bot that filters comments. What a surprise, the HuffPo is hypocritical, welcome to American politics.

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  26. Uh, duh? Huffington Post = Arianna Huffington's propaganda outlet.

    Wake up, you simpletons.

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  27. Would someone please post a list of alternative sites to Huffington Post? The only one I know is rawstory.com, but their comment system is not as so well developed. Even though HuffPost has been a tool of "corporate" interests since the beginning, there used to be an occasional informative comment either from an eye-witness, or citing first hand sources and links. This is long gone now, and I wonder if there are new sites popping up that present actual news, and have not yet been suppressed.

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  28. "ckerst said... It happens on all websites, say something the moderator doesn't like and it's deleted. What's galling is that sites like Huffpo and Crooks and Liars want you to think they are telling the truth not just a version of it but they delete any opinions that don't reflect the BS line they are pushing."

    I don't agree that it happens on all sites. Of course moderation happens on all sites. As I've said several times ( e.g. http://bannedfromhuffpo.blogspot.com/2010/09/reply-to-comment-from-walkfly.html ) I and most people who comment here recognize you need some kind of moderation. What I object to is out of control moderation that violates their own publshed standards either because they use some AI tool that doesn't work (JuLiA) or because they are just censoring criticism of Ms. Huffington, Chopra, or other bloggers at the site.

    Crooks and Liars is a good example. Their moderation adheres to their published policies. I may not always agree with those policies completely but I accept that they have the right to establish and enforce them. Here is an article where I discussed C&L vs. Huffpo in more detail:

    http://bannedfromhuffpo.blogspot.com/2010/09/911-censorship-discussion-on-c.html

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  29. Yeah... I've been censored many times on HP. The little work-around tricks do work, but as 'Red Dog Bear' points out, what's the point of writing well if you're forced to ty.pe word.$ as if yr txtng? Makes for a less intelligent comments section -- usually hard to do.

    Also agree with a lot of the other comments here that HP has gotten worse as time has passed. Fact is RawStory.com and ThinkProgress.org cover all the real news. Not sure why I bother with HP anymore.

    As for being censored on HP comments... I might not like HP that much, but I can't get that mad. Most of the time I post and my comment is on the first page for like 5 minutes. Sometimes someone argues with me a little. More than once I've managed to get short thoughts through the 'Bot, like "Fuck you asswipe," or similar sentiments to deserving souls.

    Short of that... basically when I post, I know I'm wasting time as surely as if I was flushing time down the toilet. Like I am now. I don't take my comments seriously, or my participation in the world of e-socializing, or anyone else's e-thoughts either. It's all litter at the bottom of the page, with the rare rare rare exception.

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  30. Real news about the wars and occupation:

    http://antiwar.com

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  31. I stopped paying attention to Huffpo months ago based on two things:

    1) They engage in waaaaay too much entertainment fluff. I don't care about Spears or Lohan. I care about the REAL world.

    2) They CENSORED Jesse Ventura over 9/11 Truth. Censorship is ugly, unAmerican, and unprogressive.

    Huffpo doesn't deserve my attention and so they don't have it.

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  32. Anonymous said...

    "Would someone please post a list of alternative sites to Huffington Post? The only one I know is rawstory.com, but their comment system is not as so well developed..."

    I wish I did. I agree that Huffpo hss a sophisticated comment system and I haven't seen one that is better -- at least not for the scale that Huffpo has.

    The comment system at Crooks and Liars is also pretty good although they don't have the full range of news nor anywhere near the traffic Huffpo does.

    Also, for basic news that is not filtered with right wing corporate spin I think democracynow.org is great but there are no comments there.

    For science news and commentary I like http://richarddawkins.net/

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  33. Arbitrary and capricious censorship is the rule at HuffPo, but the abuse of the "Flag as Abusive" function needs mention. Often this is done by the people Huff designates as "pundits". In order to defend their comments, no matter how inane, hackneyed, plagiarized, or just to maintain the 'last word', some so-called pundits will flag.

    As an example, one such genius observed that "all those who voted for Obama are either Obamabots or experiencing buyers remorse..." Many, myself included, asked this pundit if he actually believed that there was a single Obama voter out there kicking himself and muttering "Oh, what a mistake, me and the rest of the country would be oh so better off if McCain and Palin were in the Whitehouse" All such posts were flagged, all such posts were 'disappeared'

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  34. I tried five times to question Arianna on why she was not supporting Kucinich from the get-go, after she said something like he was unelectable (I was calling this a self-fulfilling prophecy, as it was so early in the primaries). She never responded, let alone with an intelligible answer, and thus lost me long ago.

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  35. Does anyone remember when a poster, not a commenter, was censored?

    Jesse Ventura is who I am in reference to.

    I have had one or two comments rejected for reasons unclear to me. Once I reposted about 20 mins later and the same words went through the 2nd time.

    I figure it was a shift change time for the moderator. The next one evidently had a different point of view.

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  36. http://enviroweb.blogspot.com/2006/10/huffington-post-censorship-arianna.html You people are 4 years too late. Here's the original story about their censorship tactics that told it all.

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  37. It is more than just those things you named. Certain political issues will not be covered. I will comment more later. I was actually considering taking them to court. Will you join me?

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  38. Jesse Ventura raised this issue long ago about HF censoring and said he would never write for them again, so this should come as no surprise to anyone.

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  39. I just deleted my account there recently.
    Worthless Huffpost!

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  40. blueskybigstar said... "It is more than just those things you named. Certain political issues will not be covered."

    I agree. There are some examples here of political issues that were censored, here are two of them:

    http://bannedfromhuffpo.blogspot.com/2010/08/blatant-political-censorship-on-wycliff.html

    http://bannedfromhuffpo.blogspot.com/2010/07/arbitrary-censorship-on-afghanistan.html

    "I was actually considering taking them to court. Will you join me?"

    I can't really understand what grounds you could have to take them to court. But I'm no lawyer perhaps I'm missing something. I would be interested in hearing more. Email me if you care to discuss more: RedDog071@gmail.com

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  41. Dredd said... "Does anyone remember when a poster, not a commenter, was censored? Jesse Ventura is who I am in reference to."

    Yes, we had an article about it: http://bannedfromhuffpo.blogspot.com/2010/05/911-censorship.html

    Although, I also had some opinions about the Ventura article and the 9/11 sites mentioned by the Truth Movement contributor that you may not agree with:
    http://bannedfromhuffpo.blogspot.com/2010/05/comments-on-last-post.html

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  42. Here is my experience with HuffPo censorship http://www.huffingtontoast.com

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  43. If you get banned I believe they 'record' your IP address and your MAC address and block you from creating a new account.

    So I just downloaded a version of UBUNTU that leaves your windows intact (you will have a dual boot situation where you can boot into UBUNTU or WINDOWS).

    In UNBUNTU you will probably get a new IP address but will keep the same MAC address. This lets you create a new account in HUFF POST but you get banned again fairly quickly. However, UBUNTU lets you change your MAC address (called spoofing) and once you do that you get a NEW IP and New MAC ADDRESS and you can register a new account.

    It's important that 'we the (sane) peopole' not back down and post sensible, and provable facts on that rag (that conform to their idiotic censorship rules) to show that we will no longer tolerate the propaganda spewed by that site 24/7.

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  44. Thanks for providing this Banned From Huffpo blog.

    The Huffington religion section is unfortunately managed by zealots. The chief purifier, the founder of the HP religion section, is a reverend, an ordained American Baptist minister.

    This principal expurgator is overseeing public morals, and controlling aspects of free speech, taming, emasculating and undermining the HP exchange according to his own “ethos”, the fundamental and distinctive character of his Baptist organization and based on his own attitudes, habits, and beliefs.

    In the following video, (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/24/live-stream-krista-tippet_n_738396.html) the religion editor of the Huffington Post is talking with Krista Tippett about how he contacted Ariana Huffington and how he suggested to her starting a “religion section” at HP.

    He also describes his “censorship” philosophy: (you can jump to their following exchange around 20:35 on the video)


    LIVE Stream: Krista Tippett Talks 'Being' With HuffPost Religion Editor Paul Raushenbush (VIDEO)

    “It’s something we’re really working at with huff post religion…our users have not learned that lesson about the ethos. And it’s something that is a real trick and it’s something we’re trying to embody with the kind of contributors that we’re convening and putting together and the quality of our contributors and pieces.

    But a lot of times people come to fight. And it’s really hard to get out of that mindset especially in a site that was founded in a political angry time which we are still in. And so what I think is so important about what you are trying to do and what also happens on your website because people are going there specifically for that kind of conversation…
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/24/live-stream-krista-tippet_n_738396.html


    Rev. Paul Raushenbush is the Religion Editor for the Huffington Post. He is the Associate Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel at Princeton University. An ordained American Baptist minister, Rev. Raushenbush speaks and preaches at colleges, churches and institutes around the country including the College of Preachers at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-raushenbush

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  45. I can't even stand to watch Ms. H. on political shows anymore. It seems the republican machine's methods weren't entirely lost on her, from her actions I wonder if she's even a liberal now or if this whole switheroo is just her jumping the shark. My posts no longer show up so I did a retrieve password on my s/n & sure enough, 'that email has been permanently deleted'. It's fine and it's her website, but let's not call it 'news'...maybe 'news-y', at best. It's just a way for her to make even more money & pay even less. There's really no difference between a rich republican and a rich democrat, imho. And THAT is what got me banned...they don't like being in the same boat. But they are in the same boat; like it or not, same schools, same friends, same people who live a lifetime on our dime...

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  46. The moderator censorship problem is escalating. Not only do rogue moderators delete what they do not like or agree with, but also they get so far behind that it can take up to a couple of hours for comments to post. This was especially true this weekend as we were trying to share thoughts on the Tucson massacre. Many many protests about the moderators. The only reason I have not left is because many bright and talented writers post on the threads; I enjoy and learn from them. But Ariana--not so much.

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  47. I just deleted my account with HP and I feel liberated! Don't know why I wasted my time there. (I agree - the Tucson Eric Fuller story has been terribly and illogically censored)

    I hated the site anyway. Only visited it once a while to get the lib point of view, and to make cogent arguments (half of which never made it past the censor. Waste of time.)

    Thanks for allowing us to vent here!

    (btw, The Blaze is much more open for comments, though it has its shortcomings too)

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  48. Love this place. Thanks for posting today Red!
    aview

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  49. It's official insane.

    I tell myself to write my comments in Word then copy and paste them into HuffPo ... but I rarely listen to myself, so I don't know how many comments of mine were disallowed in less than an hour.

    I'm beginning to feel really, really stupid for wasting my time ... and that's when it hit me, maybe it's a ruse to sink the hooks of addiction deeper - when 90% of your comments are disallowed, the other 10% feel like victory. Diabolical geniuses over there, I tell ya.

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  50. To anonymous, I have a way to automatically save my comments to a blog. I use it mostly for myself but a couple of others have also used it. Here is the blog: http://huffpofreespeech.blogspot.com/

    It takes a little work to set up but not that much really and after its set up its just a few mouse clicks to make sure your comments are saved even if they are deleted by the comment police. If you want to start using that just email me: reddog071@gmail.com

    I agree about wasting time. I don't comment nearly as much as I used to and there are times when I just think its totally pointless to comment at all given that so many comments get arbitrarily deleted or get posted after such a long time that its impossible to have a real dialog.

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  51. I also was banned from commenting on Huff Post. I really liked their articles and still do, but I do not use vulgar words or attack anyone and try to post intelligent comments along with some down on the farm common sense.

    I do not know why I was banned and asked them why. No answer.

    I emailed them to show me any comment which was not appropriate and still no answer.

    rpswartz

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  52. So why does this matter? I’m not opposed at all to some degree of moderation. In fact at times I wish there was more moderation on the site. I often see spam, racist comments, homophobic comments, anti-semitic comments and countless comments that are off topic or simply pointless. I would be happy if more of those comments were moderated out. What makes this something I think worthy of concern is that the censorship has gone from being mildly annoying to a serious suppression of free speech on the site.

    The problem is, you cant have it both ways. either those types of people are allowed to comment, or they are not. Either way, you;re bound to offend someone especially when the site is moderated. Which means they are free to delete whatever they want, even if it pisses you off.

    "too many rules, and the people become unruly"

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  53. @holyheretic That part of HuffPo gets me into the most trouble. I feel that religion is very relevent. Jim Wallis is another big contender, and I remember him saying he wrote a book to get ex christians back into the fold. I feel like im tiptoeing around glass in that section.

    Anyways, the question we should be asking here, and its a reasonable one, if HuffPo was really liberal, why the censorship and moderators? Also, why is it run by a corporation? That is what people should be asking themselves.

    I have been banned more than once from HuffPo, but the more I read this blog, I say good riddance to bad rubbish, I hope more people complain, and Arianna and her other CEOs get more lawsuits.

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  54. In response to Bria: You seem to say that once I agree that a site has the right to moderate comments then I must give up any right to criticize the WAY they moderate comments. I don't see the logic in that. What I'm objecting to is that Huffpo regularly censors comments that any rational person could see clearly fall within the limits of their published standards. And its not something that happens once in a while but on a regular basis.

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  55. mutmutt said: "if HuffPo was really liberal, why the censorship and moderators? Also, why is it run by a corporation?"

    I don't really agree with that. I agree corporations are often evil but to just say liberals have to be completely against them doesn't make sense to me. I've made a lot of money working for various big corporations as a consultant. Liberals can be capitalists too, in fact socialists (if I had to categorize what I am) can also be capitalists.

    But while I don't see anything evil in Huffpo being a corporation per se, I do think that their recent behavior shows they are more interested in making money and dominating their market rather than anything else. I don't consider them a liberal site the way I think of Crooks And Liars or Daily KOS for example.

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  56. Is there any way to defeat tha ban, like through a proxy?

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  57. To Anonymous, the short answer is yes, probably. I can't say definitively because Huffpo keeps changing their technology. Look at this post for tips on how to view and change your IP address: http://bannedfromhuffpo.blogspot.com/2010/09/tips-for-preserving-your-anonymity.html

    Also, here is a system that lots of people use called Tor that "anonymizes" your IP address:
    http://www.torproject.org/

    Good luck!

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  58. They are sneaky about how they censor me. Everything goes in for review and by and by the time it is approved it is too far down the lists to be seen.

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  59. I am looking for a new place to post. That place is very manipulated.

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  60. I'm *delighted* and take it as a badge of honor that I've been banned from commenting on HuffPo. I wish I knew which comment it was that triggered the prize!

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  61. I have just noticed that I am banned from Huffington Post. I found that the type of censorship is complex and goes beyond a partisan slant and towards social engineering. I think it is interesting that although I consider myself a social democrat, my ban was probably after I commented supporting Sarah Palin's right to voice her opinions.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous, yes that is something I noticed as well. People tend to think that the censorship is specific to their point of view. Right wingers think their comments are censored because they are right wing, left wingers the opposite. But its far more arbitrary and illogical than that. I think a lot of it is their overly aggressive automatic system called JuLia, which is described elsewhere in this blog.

      Delete
  62. I have been banned twice from the Barfington Post. The first time it was absolutely my fault. I was using the military call signs of the alphabet, posting some pretty raunchy stuff. I am surprised it lasted so long.
    I then got back on using a different...(no need to explain)
    I believe the second time I offended one of their "moderators" and he/she/it followed me around and flagged every comment I posted as offensive and this too got me banned.
    The Barfington Post is so left sided it's absolutely pathetic. I have seen persons whom are Left Field In The Tall Grass Card Carrying Communist post hate and discontent to any and all on the right with the B.P. allowing the comments to stand, and at the same time any and all comments no matter how small toward them and their left wing agenda either not get posted or "Comment removed due to our guidelines" B.S. at the B.P.
    I could very easily get another screen name at The Barfington Post, but why? I have no interest anymore in that left wing rag that allows the very thing they stand against to be allowed provided it is done by those who agree with them.

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  63. Yeah, been banned from HuffPo! I just click on the share portion of a REALLY stupid comment, to a BORING anti-consrevative story, than post BOTH to my Facebook page!

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  64. I am EELO6.I started out as titaniumman,then ZackBranaga, then EELO 1-6
    Huffpo will not allow you to post a conservative site link in your answer to another blogger to help prove your point but you can put any liberal link with no problem.
    Once time i read a post by a liberal that was very offensive.i duplicated the post but used a conservative slant by changing the names of the people involved and was banned.
    I continue to go back on the site because i love to upset the liberal wagon.

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  65. I was banned from commenting on HuffPo two days ago. I was very confused, as I never call names or use bad language. I did try to post some of the same info in answer to multiple user questions, and those were not published. One post made it through the sensors with multiple F&F's but they deleted it for reasons unknown except that contained 6 examples to disprove the article. Today, the post is back up, but I am still banned from commenting. I can still log in and see my history, so I don't know if this is temporary or what? All I got was a form e-mail that said I "crossed a line". I sent a request through their "contact us" to ask what was happening. So far no response.

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