latest, The web they want
Comments 63

Guardian’s “statistics” on “the dark side” are a bleak farce…


The centre piece of the Guardian’s new “the web we want’ section is a piece of alleged statistical research into the “70m comments left on its site since 2006.” Published under the ominous title The Dark Side of Guardian Comments, its most significant conclusions are trumpeted from the articles subhead:

As part of a series on the rising global phenomenon of online harassment, the Guardian commissioned research into the 70m comments left on its site since 2006 and discovered that of the 10 most abused writers eight are women, and the two men are black.

Since this claim fits so very conveniently into the precise narrative being sold by the Guardian and the government right now as a reason to further regulate the internet, we need to look pretty closely at how this research has been conducted, and how its conclusions were drawn. Most importantly of all – how did the authors of this research define the “abuse” they were quantifying?

Well, as it happens, they are good enough to tell us the answer to that. You could overlook it if you were not reading closely, because the construction of the piece is chaotic and tends to meander back and forth between unsupported assertions and random gobbets of “data.” But if you look – there it is; a clear and unambiguous explanation of how this report defines “abuse.”

For the purposes of this research, therefore, we used blocked comments as an indicator of abuse and disruptive behaviour. Even allowing for human error, the large number of comments in this data set gave us confidence in the results.

Let’s take that again…

For the purposes of this research, therefore, we used blocked comments as an indicator of abuse and disruptive behaviour

Surely not. There must be some mistake. Are these people really saying what they seem to be saying?

Yes. They are. These perfectly Orwellian “researchers” have gotten their statistics on abuse by simply assuming every comment ever removed was “abusive or disruptive”. And that’s totally justified, because they have “confidence” they’re right. Oh and because

The Guardian’s moderators don’t block comments simply because they don’t agree with them.

Well, don’t know about you, but I’m convinced.

Let’s be clear. What they are selling to you as statistics about the rate of abuse are actually statistics about the rate of censorship, and nothing else. Jessica Valenti doesn’t get more abuse than other columnists, she has more comments removed – possibly even at her own insistence. The centrepiece of their campaign, the alleged “database” on the abuse of vulnerable minorities is an absolute lie. They are simply hoping you won’t notice the bait and switch.

With this regard, when you read that article just replace each instance of the word “abuse” or “disruption”, with the word “censored” and you’ll get a clearer picture, as here:

We also found that some subjects attracted more abusive or disruptive censored comments than others. World news, Opinion and Environment had more than the average number of abusive or disruptive censored comments…Conversations about crosswords, cricket, horse racing and jazz were respectful uncensored; discussions about the Israel/Palestine conflict were not.

Remove the weasel words and this is what we are being told. Political discussions get censored. Crosswords don’t.

Now let’s go back to that subhead and make it represent their actual data:

As part of a series on the rising global phenomenon of online harassment, the Guardian commissioned research into the 70m comments left on its site since 2006 and discovered that of the 10 most abused writers [whose article have the most comments removed] eight are women, and the two men are black.

You can see why they decided to sex it up, can’t you.


63 Comments

  1. proximity1 says

    “Since I was about to become the first woman to run the Guardian (not, sad to say, a bazillion-dollar internet company), I decided that I had a responsibility to try to do something about it.”
    Guardian editor Katharine Viner

    That’s so nice. While British society continues to be savaged by decades of Tory-inspired rule (whether that is currently done by actual Tories or formerly done by their “New Labour” look-alikes) Ms. Viner’s decision to make “cyber bullying” her signature cause is pathetically emblematic of the moral decline in Left-wing
    poltical consciousness.

     She calls her initiative, "<i>The Web We Want</i>." 
    

    This cause is so remote from the urgent needs of people, such “low-hanging fruit” to pick for an objective. It takes a personal problem–the fact that
    Guardian opinion-writers are so morally and intellectually shallow that they’re confronted everyday by readers’ comments which expose this shallowness and, by doing that, leave the writers’ egos bruised and their tender feelings hurt–and turns it into a shiny social cause.

    Viner reminds me of a posh private prep-school girl who’s trying to come up with a cause to champion. The girls need something that is simple, requires little effort from them, something which won’t in the least disturb the workings of the political power structure and, finally, something which is selfishly gratifying. So, after much considering, the girls decide that henceforth they’ll eat only organically-grown pop-corn. They’ll also encourage all their friends to eat only organically-grown pop-corn–by attempting to shame them.

    At The Guardian, this initiative translates practically into taming unruly reader’s comments by enforcing a code of conduct which makes truth subservient to a sterile, shallow, concept of being polite on-line. This is supposed to be a serious contribution to making the world a better place–for girls at posh private prep-schools and their Mummies and Daddies.

    So, now, when Viner’s writers and editors are in closed-door meetings with the politically powerful, they can hold a trump card in reserve: threatening to unleash her cowed, servile and politely mild-mannered readers’ comments upon the vicious policies planned by the government.

    We . are . saved .!! Hallelujah!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ian says

    Childish I know, but I just posted the following after seeing that if you reference this site you get banned. I took a screen dump as well.

    Off the top of my head,

    From what I know

    Free from bias I should add

    Granted, we should look at it all ways possible

    Until this is sorted who knows what will happen?

    Another thing, who is going to put the cat out?

    Regarding those squatters down the road, anyone know what happened to them.

    Demand and insist on freedom of speech

    In another universe, we are happy

    And so to bed, what more could you want

    Night night

    Like

  3. passerby says

    By the same measure, over at the Daily Mail the most abused writer is white.

    Like

  4. Every big daily is partly (and largely) turd. Corporatocracy absolutely depends upon compliant media in it’s war on the people, part of the terror campaign, a la Condor, against the people, many whom are, unfortunately, zombies.

    Here’s what you (alt media, bloggers pro and amateur and readers with some energy and willingness to blog) do: Do ‘not’ quit trying to post comments but do keep learning by reading around. Keep track of comments you make. It’s easy peasy and all of this gets easier as you repeat. Post a link to the article you commented on. Include an excerpt. Then show your attached response. And add any links, images and info you want. Make a category and label titled ‘Dissapeared’ Apply the tag ‘censored’. I’ve been doing that for years. My blog is: A Yappy Trade Barrier.

    Like

      • I finally was able to read your reply. I recently switched to privacy badger. I had been using ad block plus, but I don’t like their business model. The problem with privacy badger is that it keeps killing stuff I’m not used to having killed. So I don’t realize right away what’s happening. Vaska’s ‘like’ and a notice of your reply, on my blog, never showed. I finally turned off pb on WP and it all popped up. Sheesh!

        Anyway, This is to acknowledge your suggestion. Who knows? Let’s see going forward.

        Like

  5. Willem says

    I never used the online comment section of the Guardian. Never will either. I understand from this article that it is used for the same reason as in the Netherlands (where I am from): as long as the comment is agreeable with the newspaper’s stance, the comment is published. If not, your banned.

    Actually, this is something that you can test (I once did this, perhaps off guardian could test it too). Every week you write one criticical, 150 word maximum, letter to a MSM journal about an article that they published for example in the previous weekend. I did that in 2015 every week, 52 times. All my letters (submitted to the paper edition of the newspaper) were rejected, except for 1 letter in which I agreed with the editors. That one was published immediately. From this, an outsider could conclude that I am in perfect agreement with that newspaper all the time. But that certainly would be a biased conclusion!

    Actually such a “study” does not have to take 52 weeks. You could also ask 52 readers from this blog to send a letter to the guardian, for example related to the latest column of Nick Cohen, in which one reader “praises” the column and all others add criticical (but decent) notes (Max 150 words) to the column of Mr Cohen. Could be a lot of fun to publish both the published and unpublished letters on this website and quantify the bias that is inherent with editors of the Guardian, of which they are, it appears from your article, not even aware of.

    Just a thought…

    Like

  6. proximity1 says

    “For the purposes of this research, therefore,
    we used blocked comments as an indicator
    of abuse and disruptive behaviour…”

    That they could actually fail to see the circularity here is the part that most amazes me. These are supposed to be very intelligent people. They are making really very good incomes in their work–and yet, there logical reasoning skills are a disgrace. How is this even possible? How have they been able to avoid scrapping this entire farce in the wake of others’ comments pointing up clearly that their reasoning is entirely invalid?

    This “Emporer” is walking around stark naked and we’re laughing and pointing–but the royalty’s loyalists remain transfixed and applauding. We must do a better job of promoting Robert Trivers’ book: The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The last comment that I made to the Guardian was two years ago. It was deleted and I was informed that henceforth I would be “pre-moderated”.

    In the month following that notification I made a small number of attempts to comment, only to receive each time a pre-moderation notice.

    None of those subsequent comments were published. I no longer read the Guardian.

    The comment that I made and which was deleted and which led to my pre-moderation notification asked why my next last comment had been removed. I included in that last deleted comment the full saved text of my previously deleted one.

    My next last deleted comment concerned a speech made by a Kiev supreme rada deputy in which he described all Russians as “subhumans”. I provided a link to a report on that rada deputy’s comment. The link was to a Russian newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda, and I included a translation into English of the racist comment that the rada deputy had made.

    The day’s events when this racist comment was made against all Russians by that rada deputy had been widely reported in a Guardian article. That is why I asked why no mention had been made in that article of the racist comment that the deputy had made against all Russians.

    I presume that any comment suggesting that there are Nazis both in the rada and amongst those that participated in the “Revolution for Dignity” would be considered by Guardian moderators to have been made by a Kremlin propagandist.

    In fact, many months previous to my banishment, Harding had commented in a thread in which I was participating in order to state that I (using another name in the so-called “Comment is Free” feature) was very likely receiving payment off the FSB.

    Liked by 3 people

    • My comments were reference Poroshenko’s address about what he would do the citizens of the Donbass and another was a quote from Ukrainian General reference there were no Russian Soldiers in Ukraine. Other times it has been in response to other people spouting what the Guardian was saying about Assad and I put a link in to the UN findings on the Goutha sarin gas attack and another to a SANA report and Syrian Perspective. The Guardian really doesn’t like people posting evidence to the contrary of their propaganda tripe. No point in posting anything anymore, so only use their share buttons to post correct info. Must miff them a lot.

      Like

  8. proximity1 says

    I saved ( of course) what I suppose is my last posted comment at The Graun. It’s a facetious reply toa post by a reader whose pen-name us DirkBently, in which he proposes ad a solution to online bullying that everyone who participates should be required to hold a government-issued licence to comment in a public internet forum. Yes, you read that correctly. The government would license commenter s I the way that it requires drivers to have a permit ti operate a motor vehicle.

    Here’s my comment in reply:

    “That’s just not good enough. Lots of people have dangerously nonconformist thoughts but never post these in a public chat forum. If we’re going to find and control those people, we need microchip implants which scan, record and transmit brain-patterns associated with these uncommunicated thoughts. The chips can also use GPS technology to relay the person’s location so that he can be brought under the proper control and supervision.

    Stopping abuse online just leaves these offenders free to abuse offline. This programme is start but it’s far too weak. By linking up CCTV with brain-chips, we can spot dangerous nonconformist thought on real-time and show where the perpetrators are by use of nearby cameras.

    As long as people are allowed to think dangerously, none of us is safe–online or offline . By the way: we can never count on a Corbyn-led government to take the needed steps. Only Osborne has both the sense and the nerve to see it through.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • labrebisgalloise says

      I had a good chuckle at this, thanks. The problem is, once the laughter has subsided, that this is the way things are heading. At the moment perhaps it’s restricted to Hammond and Ash Carter approving weekly lists of targets for their android soldiers to eliminate in a relatively ham-fisted way but I’m sure that’s only the beginning of a truly remarkable horror story. Someone prove me wrong, please!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. proximity1 says

    I guess I’m also now banned at The Guardian of smug self-delusions and opportunist bigotry. Oh well. I going to watch that band if idiots continue to drive off the last of their readers who still possess some independence of thought, some intellectual self-respect and open-minded curiosity.

    I think that their shrinking bottom-line figure has scared the hell out if them and, in their special brand of stupid reasoning, they’ve concluded that the problem must be due to hosting readers’ comments which they despise as inimical to the their cherished house-prejudices.

    So The Guardian

    Liked by 1 person

    • proximity1 says

      (continued)

      So The Guardian‘s idiocy needs a bit more time to completely do itself in. Here’s to their stubborness being crowned with the success it deserves: the collapse if that vile piece of shit which is a standing affront to genuine principles of journalism.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eric_B says

        The brutal commercial reality is that the Guardian has expensive London offices and a staff of thousands devoted to churning out one of the least valuable commodities in the 21st century, English text on the internet.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Seamus Padraig says

          That describes pretty much all news media in the 21st century. It’s almost NEVER profitable, which is why they’re always so eager to cut costs and reduce overseas coverage; to replace expensive investigative journalism with inexpensive commentary and ‘analysis’; to get rid of in-house national and international reporting with one-size-fits-all press ‘syndicates’, and so on and so forth. For most media companies these days, news is just seen as a classic economic ‘loss leader’. And since hardly any newspapers or magazines–let alone radio or TV stations–are really independently owned and operated anymore, I strongly suspect that they are mostly just outlets for propaganda which are subsidized by their respective parent companies, with the intention of using them to promote the interests of the neo-liberal cabal that now runs the West (NATO, EU, the Fed, etc.).

          Liked by 2 people

          • If news papers make a loss then their benefit is to be PR machines – if they are not serving the political beliefs of their controllers then they will cease to exist. I have a feeling the guardian has been bailed out by the state.

            Liked by 1 person

        • The brutal reality is that the guardian hired a neoliberal who in his first years sold its owned outright 4 story building in faringdon who push there profits up enough to meet his bonus requirements and then two years later he did the same with Autotrader again collecting a huge bonus – this time around he then left leaving the guardian with a leased property and no assets.

          That is how neoliberalism captured the political process.

          Like

    • proximity1 says

      Here’s an update:

      My impression was misfake–I took a “pregnancy test” and the results came back “negative” (seriously, now, nokidding) for being banned. Whew! “What a relief!” I’m not banned—

      Hey!— wait a minute!! What’s wrong with me!? Why am I not banned!?!

      ;^ )

      Like

  10. Seamus Padraig says

    ‘Every comment censored by The Guardian is abusive, because The Guardian only censors abusive comments.’

    Gotta love the circular reasoning there!

    Well, in a world gone mad, at least we still have The Off-Guardian.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Deschutes says

    I never bothered to register to make comments on the Guardian, never seemed worth it. Nobody’s mind is ever changed in such debate threads. Only people with very strong opinions go out of their way to make comments under articles and, they are not there to exchange ideas and learn from others; rather they are there to ram their opinions down the opposing side’s throats. It’s just a big waste of time. Guardian comments are hardly any better than the cesspool of YouTube comments under videos. Stopped reading the Guardian 8 months ago and I feel GREAT 🙂

    Like

    • If it wasn’t for btl on the guardian I wouldn’t have known about many protests I wouldn’t have found counterpunch magazine and many others, I’ve had great debates with world class economists and great journalists – it’s been a fine old time and I guess that’s why I can’t kick the habit – it’s like a terrible relationship I can’t leave although there is nothing there for me anymore

      Like

      • Johnny Hacket says

        I also likened my reading of the guardian with an abusive relationship in a recent post .The moderators who ever they are removed my post from their line on The Web we want where we were asked to tell the Graun what we think .I told them what I thought without being abusive and they removed the post …..hilarious

        Like

  12. Eric_B says

    Found out why the comments section is taking ages to load. It’s because they have added browser based spyware to the comments section from a company called imrworldwide.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Eric_B says

        http://www.cexx.org/sheriff.htmYou feel good after rehab.

        Unlike most conventional spyware, imrworldwide.com’s Red Sheriff is loaded as a Java applet embedded in a Web page you visit. Once loaded, it sends information about your Internet usage (how long the page took to load, how long you stayed, etc.) to the parent company, supposedly bypassing firewalls, cookie blockers and the like. A number of Internet Service Providers have begun including Red Sheriff on their start pages, which are programmed to load every time the user logs on to the Internet.

        Currently, the Red Sheriff program is billed as a reporting tool to measure how visitors use a Web site, kind of like an access_log reader with some extra frills.

        Previously, the Red Sheriff product page (cached) was more obscure about what kind of information was collected, suggesting access to surfing habits beyond the original Web site containing the Red Sheriff applet, and bragging of its ability to get past personal firewalls and cookie crunchers.

        This applet, included with some ISP packages, causes severe slowdowns on some systems as reported in Gibson Research’s grc.spyware newsgroup.

        Solutions:
        The most obvious (if not user-friendly) solution is to disable Java in your web browser.
        Proxomitron users can use this filter to eliminate the Red Sheriff from their surfing. (Updated 11/17/02 to detect the latest version of Sheriff.)

        Known (former/current) users of Sheriff:
        http://www.ninemsn.com.au
        Bigpond/Telstra Internet Services
        Peakhour (http://www.peakhour.com.au/, http://www.peakhour.net.au/ http://www.peakhour.com/)
        BBC.co.uk

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Jen says

    Well I am not surprised that the most abused writers at The Guardian happen to be eight women and two black men because it seems that all The Guardian wants out of its female writers is pieces framed by a faux feminist outlook and all it wants out of its non-white writers is pieces filtered through a mesh that seeks out anything that can be twisted to suggest racist discrimination even where it doesn’t exist.

    This is how The Guardian deliberately sets up those eight women, two men and others like them, lets them hang to take commenter “abuse” and then claims that commenters can’t be trusted to behave themselves properly.

    So the thinking then goes, let’s shut down the Komment macht Frei forums and turn The Guardian into a pale imitation of Marie Claire magazine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That Jessica Valenti – ought to be down as Public enemy troll Number 1- she says such deliberately offensive things. She tars all men with the same brush and she demands special treatment like a spoiled child.

      She’s a troll and I think the guardian should fire her.

      Liked by 1 person

      • John Hunter says

        The Guardian is one massive trolling site that churns out click-bait headlines that deliberately provoke.

        This they probably believe is boosting their “street cred” proving that they are not mainstream remaining cutting edge, controversial yet once you read what they wrote you notice them trying to conform opinion according to their own stereotypical views that they themselves weave.

        Like

  14. Eric_B says

    Comments are now broken all over the guardian site, have been for about an hour. Makes you realise how deathly dull it is without the comments section.

    Liked by 3 people

    • sabelmouse says

      i almost wish they’d stop. then there would be no reason to go as the ”newspaper” part isn’t worth it anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

    • sabelmouse says

      i actually agree with the assessment. there’s many an article i don’t read comments/comment on because of the sexism/racism. those are not the comments that get removed.

      Like

      • The insults from kippers and Conservative HQ are very rarely deleted. Many of them are still sitting there now months after the comments were closed. Go and look on any article regarding abortions or Muslims – the utter foul racism that’s dealt out to Muslims disgusts me and it’s never removed. The worst one is the “who said Muslims are a race???” As if to say it’s not a race so it’s ok to insult them. I believe Jews were treated in the same manner through the 20th century.

        It’s disgraceful really.

        Like

  15. Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth and commented:

    All my comments are now held pending moderation.
    Any comments which dispute climate change or the official line on Israel are deleted by the moderators. Abuse doesn’t come into it, it’s just any opinion that differs from Guardian-speak is sent to the memory hole. I really don’t know why I still bother reading the rag. Habit, for one (I’ve been a reader for over 40 years) and to check that the other readers are getting just as pissed off. All my contemporaries have given up on the Guardian. I’ve also noticed that nowadays, the Guardian is increasingly a magazine, which is to say, it doesn’t major on hard news or investigative reporting, they are a sideline to soft articles usually on the subject of transexuality.

    Liked by 2 people

    • tony lynch says

      I thought there was nothing of any value in the Guardian anymore, but no. Thank Christ they save us from climate denial drivel.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think you’ll find that nobody denies either climate or its natural variation and cycles. The dispute is the extent of anthropological influence and in particular the absolute fraud of CO2 and carbon taxes. If you still haven’t woken up to that, either keep sleeping or start thinking for yourself.

        Like

  16. Seemorerocks says

    I’ve noticec there are more and more articles or which there are no comments sections, probably in cases where they know the bulk of folks will disagree

    Liked by 3 people

    • ian guthrie says

      The Graun’s problem is that it still has an leftist readership to some extent and they do not appear to be going into the sunset quietly,

      Liked by 2 people

  17. ian guthrie says

    Speaking as someone who has been pre moderated twice and banned outright once I think this latest series by the Guardian is breathtakingly hypocritical
    I pointed this out on their site this am , the many times I have been censored on topics such as the Ukraine, Syria , Emma Brockes , David Bowie , Jimmy Page , etc etc .The post was removed within minutes.
    Abuse stays up forever but dissent is removed often and increasingly so

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have been banned 7 times. Only one of those was for losing my call and called a kipper an idiot – sorry it happens. Four for posting links that bucked the narrative and two I was randomly banded the night before they ran a Corbyn hatchet job.

      In back now in disguise and will continue to disrupt their narrative as long as I can.

      Liked by 2 people

      • ian guthrie says

        it can be a thankless task combating the narrative, but they will do away with us in the end and we will have to move on to find pastures new , long term it pays to speak German or french they have better news outlets than in the UK

        Liked by 2 people

        • DomesticExtremist says

          I am glad you mentioned that – I was beginning to think I’d overlooked a vein of dissidence in the UK that seems very much alive and well in France.
          There are a few Scottish sites offering some alternative views, albeit in a Nationalist context*, but other than Off-Graun, Media Lens and a motley collection of blogs, little England is poorly served, which is why many still find themselves BTL at the Graun.

          Perhaps the editors at Off-Guardian might wish to start a collection of English dissident sites, pre-vetted by readers, natch.

          *Wings Over Scotland’s blogroll is a good starting point.

          Liked by 2 people

          • proximity1 says

            The New York Review of Books (twice monthly* except January, July, August & September) is journalism worth reading. Look uo nybooks (dot) com.

            If you read French, I recommend Le Monde Diplomatique . (LMD) [They are edited and managed separately from the French national daily.] (Monthly). They publish a selection of their (next most recent) original French articles in a number of translations–English included.

            Both of these have online editions.

            Like

        • Seamus Padraig says

          Ian, I hate to disappoint you, but I’ve lived in Germany for nine years now, and their news outlets are now, if anything, even worse than the English language ones. This is happening all over the West–meaning NATO and the Five Eyes. All we have left now is alt-media (such as this excellent website) and Sputnik.

          Like

  18. labrebisgalloise says

    I would not consider any of the many comments I have left on the Guardian abusive but I have had numerous comments removed for “not abiding by our community standards.” These standards number 10 and include “relevance.” Perhaps this is why my comments have been removed but regardless, my deleted comments cannot be included in a statistical survey of abuse. I remember learning at school that “there are lies, damned lies – and statistics.” It was even a chapter heading in my mathematics text-book. Anyone who has read Catch 22 will remember Yossarian, in hospital and asked to censor airmen’s letters home, relieving his boredom by arbitrarily obliterating words according to his own set of rules. It’s clear that the Orwellian moderators at Graun have a similar series of secret rules that are triggered by words such as “Assange,” “Pilger,” and so on.

    Liked by 3 people

    • sabelmouse says

      i have had several removed just now.they were relevant, they were informative, they were polite, they just don’t agree with the article.

      Like

  19. JJA says

    By the sound of it, the Guardian must have commissioned Bellingcat for this report.

    BTW I have had comments removed by the Graun purely because they didnt take toe the msm line on Putin, Russia and Palestine.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. CoolKiwi says

    Great article. Before reading this I had already made similar observations in another thread here at OffGuardian re. the article “the dark side of Guardian comments.”

    I noticed exactly the same thing re. the Guardian’s “analysis.”, (I.E. their stats really indicate how many comments have been censored by their moderators rather than how many comments were actually abusive!) The two are certainly not equivalent as many people (myself included) have had their non-abusive, lawful comments moderated away over at the Graun simply because the moderators do not agree with the view expressed in the comment. The Guardian says in the article that does not happen. When I read that I laughed out loud.

    As I said on my previous post, when someone says something NEVER happens you only need ONE example of that thing ever happening to disprove the truth of the assertion. I and many others have had more than one comment moderated by the Guardian simply because the moderator disagreed with the view being expressed. Therefore for those of us on the receiving end of such censorship we know without a shadow of a doubt that the claim that comments are never deleted simply because the moderator disagrees with the view expressed is completely and utterly false.

    For those who have not personally experienced this unwarranted censorship at the Graun and still prefer to believe the Guardian’s assertion that moderators never moderate away comments “just because they disagree with them”, consider this. Does anyone reading this really believe that this comment itself would NOT be deleted by the moderators were I to post the same comment at the Guardian? (Let’s assume for the sake of argument that this comment would be ‘on topic’ by assuming that the article in question was itself open for comment, although ironically it is not.)

    Even the staunchest Guardian supporter would have to admit that of course this comment would be moderated away were it to be posted at The Guardian, and in double quick time to boot. Yet this comment is not abusive, does not breach any particular stated “community standards”, does not attack any individual human being, does not use profanities or attack minorities and does not raise any legal issues which would result in its legitimate deletion. Still, the fact is we all know it wouldn’t last 5 minutes over at the Graun. How do we know this? Simply because this comment challenges the validity of the so-called ‘facts, the Guardian is publishing. For goodness sake, even containing a link to this blog is enough for a comment to be automatically deleted at the Guardian!

    Perhaps the Guardian sees this kind of comment (or indeed the entire OffGuardian site) as disrespectful to them because it challenges their position. Only a tyrant would think this way.

    The fact remains that this comment would not be considered abusive by any reasonable, objective person but it would most certainly be deleted over at the Guardian simply because it challenges their own editorial line and their orthodoxy. In other words it would be deleted by the moderators precisely “just because they disagree with it.” Check mate!

    The article “the dark side of Guardian comments” was by turns unintentionally hilarious, disturbing and bizarre. By turns I laughed out loud, despaired and shook my head. But it’s not really any laughing matter.

    Liked by 4 people

    • That whole piece reads like a government document – like the letters you get from the dvla or hrmc, in fact the photos of the commentators look like a government pamphlet – maybe the G has been brought into public ownership?!

      Liked by 2 people

  21. Wow! Just wow. So evident the guardian have been playing the long game here. I had wondered what the hell all that outrageous third wave feminist click baiting was really about. Now I see, it was to compile dishonest but accurate statistics on moderated comments. Clever bastards…except for all those who have been banned or moderated and know what the truth is. Of corse we do not, as of yet have a mainstream platform to amass a critical force against this tyrant the guardian.

    Like

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