Censored on CiF, community standards, Guardian Watch, latest

What “community standards” did this comment breach?#12

This comment was censored by the Guardian. Which of the well-publicised CiF “community standards” did it breach?

snapshot of where it was:

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-19-50-39-moderated-4

The commenter removed the general criticisms of journalists, as he believed that might have been the reason his comment was removed (though we must note the criticism were pithy but general, and did not specify Guardian journalists as a group or as individuals).

ththt

His revised comment was, however removed for a second time. Interestingly he notes there were other comments about the White Helmets and the US Peace Corps left to stand, and he wonders if it might be his observations about the good quality of Syrian health care that proved unwelcome?

Anyhow…

  • Does it “misrepresent the Guardian and its journalists”?
  • Is it “persistent trolling or mindless abuse”?
  • Is it “spam-like”? Or “obviously commercial”?
  • Is it “racism, sexism, homophobia or hate-speech”?
  • Is it “extremely offensive of threatening?”?
  • Is it “flame-wars based on ingrained partisanship or generalisations”?
  • Is it not “relevant”?

If none of the above – why was it taken down?

see our archive of censored comments. And if you see any egregious examples of the Guardian censoring its “free” comment sections – email us at editor@off-guardian.org, and send us screen caps if possible

46 Comments

  1. A.M. Wooster says

    Very glad I saw a mention of this site. It is not all that easy to actually connect to it. It took me several tries before firefox agreed that it existed and allowed me to get into it.
    I see from Al Masdar News that China and Russia have vetoed a motion to impose more sanctions on Syria. (!) I note that the Guardian does not think it worth mentioning that there was such a motion. No great surprise there, I suppose,. It seems to me that perhaps, the Guardian’s obsessive Anti-Trump mode is conflicting with their obsessively pro-Israel mode because Trump is so pro-Israel. There are a lot of articles today on the way various universities in Britain are clamping down on pro-Palestiaian activities after the government’s adoption of Israel’s definition of “Anti-Semitism”.

    Like

  2. I believe from personal experience that The Guardian journalists report comment they don’t like & the monitors duly give out warning to commentators about ‘respect’, when no expletives have been used, only views expressed, but criticism of the journalist may infringe his or her comfort zone- its a policy of, ‘off with his head’. Fascism. I have wondered if these journalists are writing out of conceit to deliberately antagonise readers, from the secure thrones of their position as establishment journalists, from the appalling rot that they print- including from the current editor (if not particularly so ) the editor could be the crux of the current issue of disafection with The Guardian news.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a comment from this article deleted…
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/04/donald-trump-not-paying-taxes-smart-threat-to-democracy-panama-papers

    It made a case that tax avoidance is immoral, therefore Trump is immoral for claiming a large business deduction.

    My comment was along the lines of – you could make a case that it is a moral duty to avoid paying tax because the money is used to fund illegal wars, torture and drone strikes. My comment was moderated/deleted.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Runner77 says

    Update: There’s an editorial on the Grauniad website this morning (Thursday) with the following headline:
    “The Guardian view on the Nobel peace prize: give it to Syria’s White Helmets”.
    To coin a cliche, you really couldn’t make this up. Needless to say, comments are about to be closed after only 55 comments, as even those that haven’t been swiftly censored express disbelief that the Grauniad editorial team could hold these discredited views. Incredible that this was once a paper I respected . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • rootietootie says

      I asked, politely, why the piece by the Israeli Ambassador (Mark Regev on Cable Street) referring to his ‘progressive and egalitarian country’, was not
      allowed comments. It got an up vote, then suddenly vanished entirely.

      Like

  5. chrisb says

    ‘democratically elected leaders’ ? The first election in which non-official candidates were allowed to stand was in 2012. The first Presidential election since the Ba’ath Party took power, in which there was an opponent, took place in 2014. Both occurred after the civil war started in 2011. It is questionable whether these contested elections would have taken place, had there not been a civil war and had Assad not sought to enhance his credentials by appearing to be less of a dictator than he had previously been.

    The results should not be considered as popular approval of Assad. Large parts of the country did not vote. More importantly, a brutal civil war was taking place. At a time of war, people vote for whoever has the guns and the inclination to protect them. True, the vote does indicate that the people in government controlled areas would rather have Assad than IS … but that is not saying much. The true level of support for Assad will only be known if there are elections at times of peace.

    Like

    • Lerch says

      You must have missed the part about it being a proxy war for Israhell, the criminal state of the U.S. and the lapdogs in Saudia Arabia for the aparthied state of Israhell. Regardless of the method of how a country selects it leaders has little or nothing to do with the crux of the post. It’s called sovereignty. Look up the meaning of the word. This is an illegal war waged by criminally funded animals who have no regard for the sanctity of human life. They are funded by the tri-axis of demonic influence: The empirical U.S., the Saudis, both who are lapdogs for the Khazarian invested apartheid state of Israhell. So please tell us again how Syria’s methods of selecting their country’s leadership have to do with this war. I’m waiting.

      Like

    • The UK has always had an elected government and parliament as it has funded,armed,directed and diplomatically covered genocides across the world in the 20th and 21st century.

      Having a PM does not mean diddly squat.

      Like

    • chris owen says

      Although I support the article, what is said here is true. But really we cannot expect a country that falls on at least four major international fault lines to be a ‘democratic’ country. We have US v russia; Israel v Arab/Persia; Saudi v Iran; Shia v sunni. Any one of these would be sufficient to ensure that Syria would be a hotbed of spies and counter spies, torture and terrorism, but to have all four means that control or organisation could only be maintained through force. Damascus is not Reading!

      Like

    • Your poor understanding of what has happened to Syria is exemplified by your calling it a ‘civil war’. It was not such — it was an external attack masterminded by MI6 among others, from a base in Iskanderun Turkey. This base is still operating, at Brit taxpayers’ expense.
      The changes made to Syria’s constitution were entirely Dr Bashar Assad’s intiative of reform, and the purpose was to de-list the Syrian Ba’ath Party ‘official’ status. From way back, there has never been a blanket ban on independent candidates, excepting the proven subversives of the English tool, the Muslim Brotherhood. Sectarian-based parties and foreign-backed traitor parties are still proscribed, as is entirely proper.
      The further separation of the presidency as elected (‘Washington-style’), not appointed (Australian-English-style) was done in accordance with undertakings given by Syria at Geneva 2. The ‘opposition’ at Geneva 2 walked away from all their undertakings, and decamped to Paris to sit down with ”Friends of Syria” (enemies of Syria, including John Kerry) to plot futher outrages against the Syrian people. President Assad submitted his constitutional changes to the Syrians, who voted for them in a referendum. Subsequenly, he was re-elected directly, with over 80% of the vote.
      Does that clarify things for you?

      Like

  6. flybow says

    they are deleting everything i post about syria. Everything without trace. You are not allowed to inform people about what is really going on. No deviating from their narrative.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. MattThePleb says

    I just got my comment on this story deleted,

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/05/aleppo-death-bashar-al-assad

    my comment was that I’d clicked on the writers name and it appeared to be the only story the writer had ever submitted to the Grauniad, I also said that I’d internet searched with the writers name and had only come up with results for this story on other websites,

    I’m not entirely sure why this was unacceptable and apologise for not taking a screenshot to document my comments deletion,

    I am accustomed to having comments deleted, when my opinion is smothered it gives me a hint as to what really makes them uncomfortable!

    thanks for the site, it helps keep me sane 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  8. If one waves their pom-poms and breathlessly cheers for endless ME war, those comments don’t get censored.

    But try to inject some TRUTH into the conversation and you’ll be jettisoned faster than a Pentagon B-2 smart bomb dropped over Syria.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth and commented:

    I had a pithy comment stripped out in the last couple of days. There was an agony aunt article (in the Guardian?!) about someone’s wife complaining about the fellow’s inability to maintain a perfect stiffy during normal intercourse.
    My comment was to the effect that if the shoe had been on the other foot and the fellow was complaining that everything was heading south on his wife, the Guardianistas would have been calling for his castration. Comment deleted.
    Other comments (as is often the case on the agony aunt page) were far more ribald. One going into lengthy graphic, pornographic even, detail about how the fellow should constantly switch between facial and conventional intercourse. This comment was allowed, despite several comments that it was going a little too far.
    Well done Guardian is FREE. Good to see you’ve got your priorities balanced.
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/03/my-wife-says-i-fail-to-stay-hard-except-during-oral-sex

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I used to get banned especially when the IDF was leveling Gaza and destroying everything and anything during their war crime in 2014. Also when the fascist post coup d’état in Ukraine they would ban most of my comments . Nufin new the Guard has always been a propaganda piece for the establishment it never was for the common man. IE.The Lousitania incidence. MH17 2003 WMD they were for every western colonial war never against it. They were for the Balfour accord Sykes -Picot always for the establishment and now that they have direct ties to the NYT and the Jerusalem Post it has become pure toilet paper. For the Takfiris against the Syrian people for Qadaffi’s demise. so nufin new.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Michael Scott says

    When words lose their meaning and, or, do an about turn on their etymological roots, there is indeed a problem requiring thought, rational thought if possible. Two examples :

    “anti-semiticism” which is used to mean “anti-jewish”. Quite different meanings really as most “anti-semItes” today are in fact semetic arabs. Please use “anti-jewish”. where appropriate. Thank you.
    “paedophile”, with or without the pretentious spelling, is used to mean “child rapist” or one heading in that direction. Etymologically of course it specifically means one with a non-sexual interest in children. The word would be “paderast” itself largely deformed.

    Should I state my convction t(hat Murdoch has a lot to do with this mess ?

    Please do not delete above before thinking.

    Like

  12. tangibletruth says

    Hi I wrote the comment featured in this piece and I just wanted to point out that similar impassioned criticism of journalism in general, of the Guardian specifically and also the White Helmets were left to stand. The huge majority of comments – in fact I would even say close to ALL – disagreed with the article and made points similar to mine. Other commenters linked to the same US Peace Committee video I did. This leads me to believe that it might have been my mention of free Syrian Healthcare and Education (in fact it’s written into their constitution, which is not something you EVER hear on the news and can easily be used, not unjustifiably, to paint a radically different portrait of the country that is currently being dismantled) or, as Runner 77 suggested, it was my mention of Israel. True, I have never mentioned Israel before on CiF.

    In either case this might serve some use to anyone trying to weigh in on CiF in future. I think it’s mostly a waste of time but increasingly I find it interesting to get a good overview of what the general consensus is out there. Perhaps THAT’s why CiF is allowed to stay, it probably provides pretty useful information to someone.

    Kathleen mentioned here that she thinks there may be an ‘internal struggle’ going on at the Graun. They are obviously a muzzled, corrupt organisation – probably filled with the sorts of unimaginative people who would never rock the boat, but if there is vague internal conflict among Guardian employees perhaps this shows itself by how harshly CiF is moderated? Lately they have stopped allowing comment on nearly ALL the Middle East articles, however occasionally one sneaks through. And sometimes these aren’t moderated as much as they have been in the past.

    Maybe that’s the ‘new guy’ screwing up and not disabling comment before uploading. But, as I said, MOST if not almost ALL the comments in the article above virulently disagreed with the article and were allowed to remain. Which is heartening!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Kaiama says

      Posts containing certain “words” almost always get it in the neck. I posted several times on the Samir Puri KCL war studies lecturer article and the first, addressing the author directly, was removed. A second, almost identical post, without the author’s name in it was allowed to stand. A white Helmets comment in a Syria article was moderated, but the same posts in a Nobel Prize article were allowed to stand. It is all keywords based, and based on the original post, rather than replies AFAIK.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I should think that insinuating that Bashar al Assad might have actually turned Syria into the most democratic country in the Middle East as a result of political reforms his government enacted in 2012 (and which were approved by the Syrian public via referendum) put your first comment into the direct target sights of The Guardian’s neoliberal moderator overlords.

      Mentioning that democratic opposition to Assad exists in Syria, and moreover saying that it is united with Assad against the jihadists, is absolutely verboten. Anything that strays from the Western MSM narrative that paints Bashar al Assad as a dictator and autocrat gets it in the neck.

      Possibly also mentioning that Syria has free healthcare and education is a no-no because then the country starts to resemble Scandinavia with sand instead of snow.

      In short, anything that not only makes Syria look good but Israel look bad in comparison and threatens its existence in the Middle East – because if people realise that Israel is no longer democratic but itself is succumbing to neoliberal politics and economics and looking more and more like a theocracy every day – will have the effect of gradually undermining Western public support for Israel’s existence.

      I am guessing that this is what really worries the likes of Jonathan Freedland over at The Guardian. I am sure he wanted the position Katherine Viner now occupies.

      Liked by 2 people

      • rootietootie says

        I wish they would be allowed to re-broadcast the great series on Syrian Schools that BBC4 broadcast before it all went haywire.
        A picture of a very mixed society co-existing very easily
        despite all the differing attitudes to religion amongst the pupils and the staff.
        I dread to think what’s happened to the children from the
        Palestinian area that suffered so much.

        Like

        • John says

          I believe Yarmouk – a suburb of Damascus – has been all but completely destroyed.
          Most of the Palestinians formerly living there have been forced – yet again – to flee their homes.
          The actions of the US, Sauds and Israelis is fanning the flames of religious extremism and hatred.
          It is not an unexpected outcome on their parts. It is deliberate policy.

          Like

          • istvan solihull says

            recreating and sustaining the collective memories of german fascism
            during the early-to-mid 20th century is ,apparently , essential for keeping
            hebrew- speaking ultra nationalists seem morally viable . They NEED to feed the paranoia . Getting harder ,since so many dissidents often have to be described as ‘self-hating’ . e.g. Gilad Atzmon : ‘self – Hating’ ? I don’t think so !

            Like

      • Orthus says

        I think Freedland occupies that position in all but name. Probably prefers it that way – keeps the heat off.

        And I don’t think free healthcare or education was the problem.

        Like

    • Gatekeepers (http://bit.ly/1AyUpV0) are everywhere and they can be anyone. There are appointed and self-appointed gatekeepers. A homeless person can be a gatekeeper. And so can a president of a country, since gatekeeping isn’t a physical thing, with actual gates, and the powerful who are protected by others will also protect themselves and their class. Self-appointed gatekeepers aren’t always even conscious of their role as gatekeepers. At it’s core, Gatekeeping means hindering, in small or serious ways, those who you have decided possess the ‘wrong’ political beliefs, which are beliefs that the powerful oppose, usually because they involve promoting equality and fairness, a situation that forestalls ‘winning’ in the godless game of ‘riches for the strongest’. In other words, That paradigm, that the lawless and vicious prefer, is to be safeguarded at all costs, while any hint of (conscious or instinctive) opposition to that paradigm is to be snuffed out. Gatekeepers’ role is to help suppress a counter paradigm, such as that which Jesus Christ elucidated when he talked about (the golden rule of) ‘loving your neighbor as you would have your neighbor love you’.

      Any org can be ‘infected’ by gatekeepers. Or one gatekeeper. Management might not know about it. A gatekeeper, who is not automatically (or even, like the wider society, likely to be) honest, can be invisible – if no one is actively trying to detect their presence.

      Like

      • istvan solihull says

        a Good way of putting it. Censorship by omission . A basic question about any fight is:
        “who started it ?” . It is possible to tell,truthfully, what happens . without asking that question. The consequent report is an unimpeachable truth : lying without having to tell an actual lie. Sophisticated stuff , camouflaged propaganda. Old ‘cowboy’ films set the model :
        Peaceful european settlers beseiged by predatory savages :
        Turning history upside down.

        Like

  13. michaelk says

    The trick is to not say anything at all that can be perceived or construed as criticising the professionalism or impartiality, or misrepresents what the Guardian stands for, or might be seen at attacking a journalist personally. I know this is difficult, but one has to try, not to get drawn into anything that smacks of an emotional response.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They really have us going in circles, Don’t they? You’re right. We must tread more carefully. And it’s great that there has been a more effective response in the form of a website like Off Guardian, which I only found recently. I was quite surprised, and gratified, to find others doing what I have been doing in my own small way. My experience with being disappeared by the establishment’s gatekeepers was mainly with the Toronto Star here in Canada. I felt so frustrated and helpless. So, because I was already blogging, I created a category called ‘disappeared’, using the tag ‘censored’, and started to more closely track comments I left on the Star’s, now defunct, website (partly because I pushed them into killing commenting, as far as I can tell) as well as any others. It’s a bit labor intensive and I obviously don’t get everything, either because of a technical glitch or because I just don’t feel motivated enough to highlight the transgression. But overall, My Disappeared category approach has gone ‘well’.

      But things are only getting worse in Nazi Earth. Chomsky warned years ago that elites would target the internet area of free speech and his prediction has proven to be good. The latest incursion would be, I think, Google Jigsaw (http://bit.ly/2dds54P). A more direct, brutal tactic could be seen in the relatively recent cooperation between Facebook and Nazi Israel (http://bit.ly/2dOZSPe). While Facebook has apologized for shutting down some Palestinian sites, Look where things are going. As far as I know, the Facebook censorship ‘approach’ has not be re-thought. And we’ve seen censorship online in many different ways over the years.

      In the end, It comes down to our beliefs and values. I don’t believe, and haven’t believed for a long time, that we the people have the power to push back and ‘dispel’ this spreading, deepening darkness. I believe in a God who isn’t humankind. And I look for him to accomplish what he has promised to accomplish, namely the dispelling of that darkness (which is what the name ‘Gog’ probably means), for he has promised to bring to ruin those ruining the earth (Revelation chapter 11). The alternative would be for me to have only imperfect fellow humans to look to for salvation. I’d be forced, like luminaries like Noam Chomsky, to do lesser evilism and to construct elaborate justifications for it. If one truly disbelieves, Okay.

      As they say, We will see.

      Like

  14. Kaiama says

    Anything remotely critical of the white helmets is being religiously removed from Syrian Articles.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Actually there are so few contentious articles where comments are allowed now the Guardian has become a vacuous place to write.

    I understand why people still feel it a duty to do so but in reality the comments are so controlled and the purpose contrived when they are allowed there is no possibility of a proper debate.

    In fact I rarely read them these days preferring instead to make submission here or comment on other sites.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Kathleen Lowrey says

    To be fair to the Guardian, I sometimes wonder if there is a bit of an internal struggle still happening there. At this point about half the articles I read over there I read for the comments, which include a lot of critical feedback (not all of it banned, at all). and it is not infrequent for commenters to say the most worthwhile discussion at the Guardian now is in the comments. It’s a puzzling dynamic: if it were just a propaganda operation, they’d suppress comments more thoroughly. I read off-guardian but I still support the Guardian — some of the reportage, on arts and culture and the like, is still quite good; and I enjoy the comments sections a lot. Are they allowing them to exist because they keep readers like me happy enough to stay, while hoping I’ll eventually be persuaded by a steady barrage of articles about perfidious Russia? Judging by the comments sections, that does not seem to be working at all. So I wonder if there isn’t still a bit of a left flank inside the Guardian trying to keep something interesting going.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kaiama says

      I think you are right about that. Some articles are ruthlessly policed. Other’s are not.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Runner77 says

    In my experience, any unfavourable mention of Israel results in the comment being censored . . . because that’s (equally generally) interpreted as “antisemitism”! Even when a comment expresses well focused criticism of Israeli government policy, with no hint of any anti-Jewish flavour, they still censor it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think Nick Cohen moderates his own column, it’s so ridiculously censored,
      despite the fact that he ignores ALL the rules by which we’re moderated.
      Last Sunday’s one was so appalling, they chickened out of opening the comments,
      They might have had to censor them all.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Marie says

      Yes, my comment got removed when I mentioned the PNAC that wanted to create a Pax Americana by overthrowing any secular or successful government that might be a threat to Israel, thus, Syria, Libya, and Iraq were invaded and destroyed. The Guardian did not like that and now I am being monitored.

      Like

  18. Ffidel Bennett says

    You must not in any way suggest that the western media is the slightest bit biased as it upsets the delicate mental balance of those paying and being paid large sums to maintain the myth of impartiality. The easiest way to be censored is to suggest that the public are being brainwashed.- If that catches on no-one will buy their rags. This won’t effect the owners much as they’re loaded but their vassals doing the censoring will get sacked.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. rtj1211 says

    IT was taken down because the Guardian is no longer Manchester-founded newspaper, it is now a neoliberal propaganda tabloid.

    The same happens if you challenge global warming.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. John says

    Why was it taken down?
    Because it is The Guardian.
    Says it all, really!

    Like

  21. Amer Hudson says

    I’m surprised they even left, ‘This comment was removed…’

    Often you’re simply disappeared, airbrushed out of the picture. This is the ‘Guardian’.

    Liked by 2 people

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