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

1 comment:

  1. Iconoclast1-- You and I had several interesting conversations on the first Thursday meet up thingy. I was inspired to continue but the following Thursday meet up seemed too scheduled by the HP social guide. I looked. I jumped ship. The first Thursday meet up was soured by one thing, however, I posted a comment about censorship problems on HuffPost and that I thought the Thursday discussion meet up would be a good place to talk about the problem. Guess what? Right! My comment never posted. Like a good egg, I carried and enjoyed my talks with you. Very much! I hope to you see back on HuffPost; that you will be gone only for a while. Look for me.



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