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.
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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.