The following is an example of a comment that disappeared right before my eyes. To be more precise there was a comment about anonymous comments and Ms. Huffington's opinion on them. That comment contained the following link to a NY times article on anonymous online comments. I followed the link and read the article and then went back to reply to the comment. As I hit submit I received the message "the comment you are replying to no longer exists". Unfortunately at that point I hadn't yet started to copy and save anything that Huffpo might find threatening so I don't have the original comment.
OK, so its not Winston Smith or Brazil but it was a very weird feeling. There was nothing in that comment that was offensive, personal, or in any way something that people committed to free speech would want to ban. What there was was this link to the NY times article that contained quotes from Ms. Huffington that indicated anonymous posting may eventually be a thing of the past on The Huffington Post. Now its her site, she can do with it as she wishes but its also supposed to be a progressive site. It seems amazing to me first of all that this article has never appeared on Huffpo, and I've checked several times. It seems even more ominous that a perfectly harmless comment could be censored because it might contain information that The Corporation (you know the ones that give us the mandate) doesn't want the users of the site to know or discuss. Quotes like this:
“Anonymity is just the way things are done. It’s an accepted part of the Internet, but there’s no question that people hide behind anonymity to make vile or controversial comments,” said Arianna Huffington, a founder of The Huffington Post. “I feel that this is almost like an education process. As the rules of the road are changing and the Internet is growing up, the trend is away from anonymity.”
“There is a younger generation that doesn’t feel the same need for privacy,” Ms. Huffington said. “Many people, when you give them other choices, they choose not to be anonymous.”