Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Is Ariana really a Feminist?

Here is an email I received from a newly banned Huffpo user named RushZappaFan the other day that pretty much speaks for itself: 

I am so f'ing stunned by being banned by HuffPo that I have to vent. I am the CEO of a public health agency in canada and a men's health advocate (its Movember). I responded to an article about discrimination of women by mentioning how patriarchy is killing poor un-educated males in staggering numbers and now I am banned. I believe in the truth - rationalism. I now see HuffPo as another corporation who stifles constructive dialogue if it might cause their target demographic to start looking elsewhere for answers. keep up the good work. Any one on the side of truth is good, and visa versa.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Huffpo/AOL Escalating to Physical Threats

Artist-53 recently sent me an email about an exchange she had with a Huffpo User called The Green Hornet:

I thought I would share the ultimate HP/AOL reality/insult with you. I was physically threatened on HP on Sept.21pm. I immediately reported it to HP's legal dept. as soon as I saw the comment on the eve of 9/21/11, as I was watching the Troy Davis story unfold online. No reply from HP. I figured they were all busy doing the same thing, re: Troy Davis.

The next morning 9/22/11, I reported it to HP via the Contact Us link. No reply. I reported it again, and received a form letter stating that I should not use threatening words etc., because HP guidelines do not permit it. I emailed them back, stating I was the one that was threatened. Still no reply. Mean while I flagged it for abuse, but the threatening comment remained up and I posted a comment to someone that stated they also clicked the Flag as Abuse link, but HP would not post my response.

Yesterday Thurs Sept 22, I called AOL Corporate, finally as a last resort. The conversation went like this: I clearly stated the issue, read the offensive comments, she agreed it was offensive and transferred my call. After being placed on hold a few minutes, I went through the entire story again:

"Do you have an account?"
"No, though I have an AOL email account."
"Well Mam there isn't anything I can do."
"Seriously? Because this is in complete opposition to HP posting policy. Can you transfer me to someone so I can make a formal complaint?"
"I can't do that Mam, we don't have a complaint dept."
"Well can you transfer me to HR, Human Resources?"
"I can't do that Mam"
"Are you aware that there are federal laws in place that take threats over the internet very seriously?And I certainly take threats as being very serious as well."
"There's nothing I can do."
"Then that means that AOL and HP are complacent regarding threats and do not follow their own guidelines. And the threat is still up on the thread."

Click..... she hung up me.

I then called the cyber unit at Fl.'s States Attorneys Office and explained the situation. The individual thought it sounded creepy, and gave me a number to Fl. Law and Enforcement, Cyber Unit. The individual felt it was also a very strange odd comment on HP, as well as the fact I had no response from HP and that AOL hung up me. She said that if I wanted to proceed with a civil suit I could, I stated no She took down all information,so that it would be documented in case I received any more threats. At least it would be documented. But unless it grew to more than this one time, they didn't have any recourse at the moment, but as long as this one was documented.

Below are the posts, and I do have copies of all HP form letters. The article was Bank of America Violated Whistleblower Provisions   I  commented on 9/15/2011 and my comment was benign,  a word play on his name.

In response to his off the wall comment concerning BoA. GreenHornet also changed his avatar by the next day. From a fake black male (I enlarged using Photoshop) to I have no clue what it is. It took him a week to respond to my peyote comment. That's when I was threatened.

From RedDogBear: Here is a screen snapshot of the exchange as of today 10/1/11 it is still up.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Censored Comment on Feminism

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

If you have an example of censorship on The Huffington Post you would like to share please send me an email at:

To sign the petition against censorship at the Huffington Post please click here.

Haven't posted any deleted comments in a while. I have mostly given up thinking anything is going to change at Huffpo and also just haven't been posting much or when I do post its shorter comments that don't get censored. I've mostly given up trying to have any serious discussions on Huffpo. Its just too frustrating when comments get censored for no reason just as you are having a good interaction with someone.

But I felt that I had to post the following example On a recent article about the new Remake of the Peckinpah movie Straw Dogs user weebils posted the following comment:

I see zero reasons for remaking this movie. It is a classic that was transformi­ng at the time and it was hard to watch. I see some people on here posting about the female lead and how the movie was demeaning to women. I remember the times and this movie was actually a reflection of many issues that needed to be aired. It is easy to just blame men. But the fact is many women of the time did behave in childlike ways because that was expected. It is hard for many people to understand that at one time women were treated like children. Even in the sixties and seventies in the United States a husband was required to be present when a woman wanted to conduct business. A husband could do many things without the consent of his wife but it was not a two way street. Many women did use sexual or childish ways to get what they wanted  Look at the antics Lucille Ball went through just to get a few extra bucks from Ricky. Look at the way he spoke to and treated her. That was on national TV and considered totally acceptable­. Someone asked me once why Jackie O spoke in such a childlike voice. Again, that was considered appropriate for women. The movement was not just about liberating how men thought. It was also about liberating how women though about themselves and behaved. As I tried to reply to it the comment was deleted.

I thought this was a very thoughtful comment. I can see how some feminists might disagree but certainly that's the kind of issues that should be discussed, but no the comment was deleted. You may notice that my image has changed. It reflects that I'm spending more time blogging at where I am Red Dog

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Banned for a Trig Truther Comment

Here is a new example of censorship from Huffpo user nalinpalinnow:

Hi, here is my summation of my banning experience at HuffPo which I posted in comments at the Business Insider article on Palin's story about Trig's birth. Once again, no profanity, bombast, ad hominem, etc. Just a comment that rubbed someone the wrong way. My entire commenting history of 2 years deleted without recourse. I wrote politely twice asking to see the comment which they banned me for no response.


I would like to share this weird experience here. I am not a particularly passionate commenter on HuffPo and more often than not I make a light joke on a puff piece. Nor do I comment every day but maybe 3 or 4 times a week. Like many here, yes I am fed up with their hypocrisy and sad excuse for a liberal newspaper, but I don't particularly boycott sources of information. For example I am quite proud of nominating C4crap for worst blog of all time which they well deserved, but it doesn't mean I won't go there and look at it.

Imagine my surprise when this comment which I attempted to post only twice last night (count 'em, once, twice, that is it) resulted in this email today:

"Your account has been suspended for possible violations of Huffington Posts Term of Use until it is possible for a senior moderator to review. A senior moderator will review your account in the next two business days and will reinstate it if possible.
If you wish to contact us about this situation, you may write to:

Thank You,


Here is the comment which got me banned:

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, the far right conservative who now controls Huffington Post, also happens to be a major financial supporter to SarahPAC. Is this why “Trig Birther” threads are now disallowed on Huffington Post?

Here was the piece that was passed on by Huff Po, "Sarah Palin's Version Of Trig's Birth May Be More Troubling Than The Hoax

Read more: Business Insider Article on how Huffpo's new AOL Overlords are Conservative Republicans

I have never been banned from any site on the entire world wide web, including even C4P. I've never even gotten a warning from any site ever. I used to double, triple and quadruple post links to my old blog or to palingates on HuffPo back in 2009, and never heard a thing from them about that. But an attempt to post this comment twice last night results in this. Wowser.

I really wanted to share this here so that others would know the level of censorship on this issue. Actually it is quite mind blowing to me. I don't care, because frankly I'm always a little uncomfortable that my snark and some personal opinions of mine will live on in the annals of HuffPo for all eternity, so they may be doing me a big favor if they decide to continue this ban. Whatever. I will not be writing to them about this because I just don't care to engage their silliness.

Back in Feb. Business Insider didn't seem to think that the new CEO TA would make a difference in the "progressive" slant of the rag. I beg to differ.

"Armstrong had AOL buy Huffington Post because, unlike AOL blogs, it has been able to attract a dedicated and loyal audience. If the Huffington Post does that by appealing to progressives, Armstrong is not likely to fix what is not broken. He's a capitalist with too much money on the line to do anything like that." This article goes on to talk about some of the political donations "libertarian" TA and his wife have made.

To read more: Business Insider Article on how Huffpo's new AOL Overlords are Conservative Republicans

Click here for NalinPalin's blog.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Some Articles on the AOL Purchase of Huffpo

Here are a couple of interesting articles on the AOL purchase of Huffpo. Feel free to comment with your opinions or links to other articles.

The Controversial Huffington Post-AOL Merger: 7 Questions That Matter from AlterNet

AOL Buying the Huffington Post for $315 Million from TPMLivewire

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Censor One for the Gipper

I was having an interesting discussion about the legacy of Reagan and the Berlin wall. It started with a post I wrote where I briefly described some interactions I've had with various friends from Germany, Poland, and Russia about the fall of the Berlin wall and communism in general. I've known four people, one German, two Russians, and one Polish immigrant. The Polish guy was my boss for a while and was a mostly far right wing believer who was actually contemptuous of Lek Walenska and the Solidarity movement and the others were girl friends of one kind or another. One was fairly left wing like me and the other two were moderate to conservative. The amazing thing was all these people had one thing in common, they literally LOL'd at the idea that Ronald Reagan was responsible for the fall of communism. They had been there and they knew it was due to the people of the region not some American actor who took credit for it. Here is the thread that got published with the comment from LateBloomer2 that I responded to. (Note: click "Expand Full Thread" to see the whole thread)

Here is my reply which Huffpo deemed inappropriate to post:

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" had NO effect?"

It probably provoked a few laughs. The idea that Ronald Reagan had any moral authority to preach to the USSR about human rights is I'm sorry but just laughable.

Yes, the thugs in Eastern Europe who beat up trade unionists and other people of conscience were evil. But compared to the torture centers and death squads in Central and South America and other parts of the world that were created by US puppets the Eastern Europeans were amateurs. Where the East German or Polish secret police would beat you up the Chileans, Guetamalan­s, and the Central American "Freedom Fighters" would torture you to death and then kill you and anyone whose name you screamed as you were being tortured.

As just one example look up Jennifer Harbury, a US woman who married a Guatemalan national who was tortured to death. We know his story only because he married a well educated US woman but there are thousands of other victims of US disdain for human rights.

Just to be clear I'm not saying the Berlin Wall or anything done by the USSR was justified because of what the US did. I'm just saying that the idea that the US had any moral authority to critique the USSR is not supported by facts and that certainly Gorbachev (as well as the majority of educated people outside the US) knew that.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yet Another Fed Up Huffpo User

Here is an email from Huffpo user Ely who was fed up with Huffpo's censorship:

I deleted my long-time HuffPo account yesterday, after being completely fed up with what appears to me to be an increasingly censorship-prone "screening policy." I've noticed this before with the occasional screened comment, but lately I feel that it's getting out of control. Many "hot" news stories routinely have hundreds, if not thousands, of comments "pending." It's absolutely ridiculous.

Here's the straw that broke the camel's back for me.

Yesterday, Arianna posted an opinion article on Davos. The gist of at least a portion of the article is that the "economic forum" held in Davos this week is likely to have a "somber" mood, with a major focus on the growing economic disparity between the super rich and the rest of us.

My comment was this (it's from memory, but the "inflammatory" portions are definitely preserved):

"It seems ironic that you speak of Davos as a means towards solving the growing economic disparity, when Davos itself is a perfect example of that disparity. It's an ultra-exclusive, invite only, super expensive (many participants spend hundreds of thousands of dollars just to be there) party for the super-elite. The NYT recently described it as "successful people wanting to be seen with other successful people.

Do you really believe participants will be feeling "somber" about the crumbling middle class as they celebrate their record corporate profits (despite laying off half their workers)? If they actually cared, they'd invest the millions of dollars spent on the event on the people they claim to want to help, rather than on themselves."

Obviously the comment is pissed-off, but it's an honest comment that I believe should be seen as criticism - not anything worthy of censorship. There is no profanity, no incitement to violence, copyright infringement - in short, nothing that violates HP's "guiding principles" for screening comments.

I believe this comment was censored because it disagreed with Ms. Huffington's perspective on the matter. I find it ironic that she's of the progressive liberal ilk, but runs her newspaper like a dictatorship, complete with active censorship of any opinion that undermines her own.

Once I realized I had been censored, I posted another comment talking about how HP censors comments, unless they kiss the butt of the author's viewpoint or the HP's viewpoint. Obviously that comment never saw the light of day either.

That's my story. Thanks for giving those of us that are fed up with this whole thing a forum in which to vent! My guess is that you're likely to get more of these kinds of emails, because, as I said above, it appears that the censorship is getting worse, not better.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Censorship Always Derails the most Interesting Discussions

I couldn't resist commenting on an article about Egypt. It didn't take long for censorship to kick in. In this case it wasn't my comment that got censored but the comment of someone I was debating with. Why his/her comment was censored I have no idea. Here is the initial thread: from a Huffpo article about the protests in Egypt

ResearchtheFacts responded to my last comment about Female Genital Mutilation with the following:

Some of the crap we have going on over here under the cloak of darkness.  You have sex slavery going on utilizing children.  How civilized is that?  Where is your protest for the little girls being pimped out every night?

I wrote a reply to that but as I posted it I got the "You are replying to a comment that has been deleted" message. Here is the comment I tried to post:

Why do you assume that I don't condemn the US for "the crap we have going on over here"? I absolutely do. I don't claim the US is the pinnacle of civilization. In fact if you look at all my comments just on this article I believe the US has a great deal of responsibility for the tyrany in Egypt and elsewhere in the middle east. I just think its ludicrous to think that oppression is OK in any form, that just because the US has behaved abysmally that the world should look the other way when people who resist the US also act abysmally.

This is a good example of how foolish the censorship at Huffpo is. This happens to me just about every time I try to have an interesting discussion with someone. Just as we are getting to some intersting point of discussion we end up being blocked by the censorship system.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Defusing Propaganda

Haven't posted anything recently but its not because HP has stopped censoring. I and others who make substantial comments on political issues have for the most part stopped commenting there. I couldn't resist commenting on an article that was trying to whip up fear of the smoking gun in form of a mushroom cloud. Although this time it wasn't Iraq it was Venezuela. Here is my comment that never made it past censorship:

Except there is no actual evidence, zero, that Venezuela has any interest in nuclear weapons. The propoganda capability of places like the Cato institute is truly amazing. Venezuala hasn't attacked anyone, they have a minimal military budget, and they comply with UN processes and treaties.

The US on the other hand has never signed the nuclear non-prolif­eration treaty, has supported other non-signat­ory countries such as Israel in developing nuclear weapons and supported a military overthrow of their democratic­ally elected government of Venezuela several years ago. Yet somehow we are supposed to believe that Venezuela is the threat to world peace because they want to have peaceful nuclear power and most people in the US take that as a serious issue worth discussing rather then the obvious nonsense it is.

As Chomsky says Goebells would have envied such an amazing feat of propaganda­.