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What "community standards" did this comment breach? #14

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

Snapshot of where it was:

hillarycommentremoved1

It should be noted that every single one of the claims made is objectively and provably true.

It’s also interesting to note the title of this article was actually edited after publication – the original title can was “Why Hillary Clinton is so unlikeable”, as can be seen here in this tweet from Deborah Orr:

UPDATE: Deborah’s tweet has been edited after we published this. It now has the same headline as the amended article. We are wondering how this was done?
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 [email protected], and send us screen caps if possible

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Judge Jeffreys
Reader
Judge Jeffreys

There goes another Guardian account. I got banned again for “wrong think” after posting about 15 comments. That’s actually a personal best for me. Usually their censorship team ban me after about 3 comments.
I don’t think I’ll bother again. Even my staunch leftist friends don’t take the Guardian seriously anymore.

John Watwood
Reader
John Watwood

I am laughing at your term “wrong-think”. I am being censored heavily by Disqus. I have two comments/replies that are being ‘monitored’ as I write. I believe it is pathetic by the kakistocracy, but totally not surprised by psychopaths wanting control, even to the extent of comments.

Aaron Lowe
Reader

For want of a better place to post this, this thread is to for posting evidence of Off Graun censorship and bullyboy tactics to shut down free speech.
This thread is not intended to be a discussion space, simply a place to post evidence. If you want to discuss Off Graun censorship please create a separate thread so that this one doesn’t get sabotaged.
NOTE BY ADMIN FWIW none of Aaron’s comments have been censored, because we don’t censor comments. Aaron’s motives for starting this strange discussion we won’t speculate upon. However, unless he starts being abusive, threatening or spammy he is free to post his claims here.

mSparks
Reader
mSparks

this place is a place to challenge the BETHbots and CHARLIEbots. challenging the PUTINbots here is generally frowned upon. Know your bias and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Aaron Lowe
Reader

I posted this whole new thread of evidence yesterday, and it stayed for about an hour before it all got deleted. So, here’s attempt 2 at posting it again.
Not only can Admin edit the contents of posts evidenced here:comment image
Compare this post at the time of posting:comment image
With this edited one:comment image
Note: I do not have the access capable of editing posts after they are posted.

Admin
Reader

The comment you are claiming to have been deleted was posted on April 19, not “yesterday”, and is still there.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

I created another thread, not the one on April 19. Would show you if it still existed. As you can see (if you actually read the comment you replied to) the last post that got deleted is not shown anywhere else.
Stop obfuscating.

Admin
Reader

Do NOT post on this non-topic again.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

Where? Not showing on my browser.

Admin
Reader

It’s at the top of the thread Alan, where it’s been since April 19. This discussion is now closed. Don’t post until you have something to say that isn’t complaining about non-existent persecution.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

And my name isn’t Alan. At least get that bit right.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

For those doubting that I was placed under pre-moderation, here’s the screengrab of the final post in the thread before the whole thread got deleted:comment image
Hopefully today’s posts won’t get deleted before I’m placed on pre-moderation again, or it’ll be another 24 hours before I can attempt another update with evidence.

Admin
Reader

For the VERY last time let me explain.
1) We have NOT put you under pre-mod, because we NEVER put anyone under pre-mod
2) Sometimes individual comments get held back for pre-mod by our software. Sometimes this is because the comment contains more than three hyperlinks. Sometimes it is for unknown reasons. When this happens the comment is invariably approved as soon as anyone sees it. Occasionally, if it’s spam or contains content-free abuse or incitements to violence, it will not be approved.
3) Sometimes, again for unknown reasons, comments will vanish, either in pre-mod or simply after posting. We don’t know why and can do nothing about tis until we move to our own build, which we hope to do some time this year.
When you clog threads with content-free whining and baseless claims of persecution you are ruining this resource for others here who have useful things to contribute. Most sites would already have put you on pre-mod or banned you outright, because your ratio of constructive to unconstructive comment is something like 1/9. We maintain a very open comment system here. Don’t abuse it.

Joginder Singh Foley (@JSinghF)
Reader

Pre-moderation thats an Al-Guardian term I am all to familiar with being as when I logged on to al-guardian’s komment macht frei with my Twiiter account I am on premoderation But my komment macht frei account is perma banned and I could never get any response from al-guardian’s censor bots as to what I had dont wrong, But yours truely had the last laugh on al-guardian as up ontill the time I was pre-moded/banned i was still buying the wretched rag the following day I no longer bought al-guardian.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

“Most sites would already have put you on pre-mod or banned you outright”
So now you defend the Guardian. I think you work for the Guardian.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

What about the evidence? Nothing to say about that?
The only person abusing is you. Claiming that I am abusing by reporting your abuse is ridiculous.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

But the good thing about getting your posts continuously deleted is 1) It forces you to be on the ball, all the time, and 2) You always make a better attempt the 2nd time round. It forces you to improve and focus on your target.
The final example from yesterday:comment image
Edited to this one:comment image

reinertorheit
Reader
reinertorheit

Give it a rest FFS, you pathetic troll.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

So, Admin can also edit the names of the posters!
Why would Admin bother doing this? Probably just to goof around but it’s still worthy to add to the gathering evidence of Admin’s behaviour.
Here’s another post where the name gets edited:comment image
To this one:comment image
Note: After this whole thread of posts (about 5 posts) got deleted yesterday I was immediately placed on pre-moderation preventing me from making any further posts that day. So, sometimes I have to wait 24 hours before being able to repost what gets deleted.
Moreover, every post I make has to be saved separately and a screengrab taken, and every post I reply to has to be saved separately and screengrab taken.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

The next article that raised concern was the one titled, “Is Putin Incorruptible?”
https://off-guardian.org/2017/04/15/is-putin-incorruptible/
The title seemed to me so completely ridiculous that to accept it would be a crime of intellect and common sense. I decided to challenge the logic without making it specific to Putin, as I knew that even mentioning Putin would open up a whole political can of worms.
I was hoping for some enlightened conversation. What I got instead was more ad hominem attacks. Even Admit joined in the foray guilty of the same behaviour it criticises.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

I interpreted Admin’s continuous threatening and aggressive behaviour towards me (without any thread of evidence provided by Admin) as a threat to prevent me from commenting. What happened next proved my interpretation to be accurate.
Screengrab:
http://i68.tinypic.com/23rjxb7.png
Notice that Admin has deleted the ability for me to reply. That IS direct censorship.
Then I posted on another article and got this:
http://i64.tinypic.com/34ottdt.png
Notice how I was then immediately placed under pre-moderation. This is a common tactic used by The Guardian to censor unwanted comments so I was very surprised to see Off Graun using the same tactic.
The comment did not appear for about 24 hours by which time most people had moved on to the next article. Censorship by delaying expression is still censorship. See how insidious it is? Now Admin can claim that the comment was never deleted, but who would know otherwise?

Admin
Reader

You aren’t under “pre-moderation” Aaron, as you can see since you are commenting freely. We don’t put people under pre-moderation, but some comments are auto-selected for pre-mod by our spam software.
We also didn’t remove your right to reply. Your comment was simply the last in the stack. Our software can only handle comment-replies that go ten-deep.
Why not stop all this silliness about the non-existent censorship you’re suffering and start contributing to the discussion in a less strange and troll-like manner. 😕

Manda
Reader
Manda

I am afraid to say Aaron is increasingly in danger of having none of his comments read by anyone except admin. I commend your patience admin.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

Sometimes Admin decides to muscle in and apply some bullyboy tactics of its own. This can quickly escalate in something every similar to CiF. It seems that some moderators just can’t accept when someone has a different view to their own.
Screengrab:
http://i67.tinypic.com/6jijyo.png
The first an simplest way to deny something is to claim the opposite, which is what Admin does. They then attempt to distract the situation by claiming that comments posted is evidence of non-censorship. Censorship doesn’t have to be obvious, it can be in insidious. For example, the obstacles to black people voting even though the law seems to allow it.
Then Admin claims that they’ve received complaints, without providing any evidence. A complain in and of itself can be used as a form of censorship and is a good example of a bullyboy tactic. I checked the icons around others comments to see if there was any way to report abusive content. There isn’t. So, either these people wrote privately to Admin (doubtable) or Admin simply made it up knowing they could fake it later if challenged (possible). I don’t know which but it is the type of ad hominem attack Admin specialises in. Rather that point out what is in my comment that they find offensive, they are attacking me directly as a person. This is clear evidence of the abuse of Admin’s responsibility to protect and enable free speech.
Admin asks me to be less repetitive (without providing any evidence), less combative (I was expressing my views without attacking anyone, whereas most other people including Admin were attacking me without expressing any views), and inaccurate. I expressed my view that no human is incorruptible. All that would be needed to show my view was inaccurate would be to give one example (just one) proving someone who is incorruptible. Neither Admin nor any other user attempted to do this, thereby nullifying their claim that I was being “inaccurate”.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

People were getting aggravated with my non partisan approach because it denied them the opportunity to post even more political rhetoric which would have sabotaged the thread, so in typical Off Graun ad hominem style they decided to attack the messenger rather than the message.
Screengrab:
http://i64.tinypic.com/oanevs.png
Here, you can see the user calling themselves “Jen” is trying to bring my identity into disrepute by implying that I am somehow 2 people. There is a flood of support for Jen but when I point out a perfectly reasonable cause I am downvoted. Simply for pointing out that it depends how I log on.
Actually, I wasn’t even aware that my comments were posting under two different IDs until Jen pointed it out. But since one is aaronmicalowe (based on Off Graun login) and the other is Aaron Lowe (based on Facebook login) it’s quite easy to see I am in fact the same person.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

Typical of Off Graun (and The Guardian), one way people try to sabotage a thread is to make repeated accusations. Here’s an example from above.
Jen: “flood this comments forums with repetitive remarks”
Me: I have pointed out off graun censorship twice. Hardly repetitive.
I may have posted more about censorship since these comments so it might seem I’ve miscounted. We have to be aware of the date and exact time comments are made as conversations evolve.
It also didn’t help that I had posted a reply to a person that was meant to be a new thread. Because I wasn’t able to edit or delete the misplaced comment I had to post it again as a new comment (not a reply).
Despite me pointing out to Jen that his/her accusation was unfounded, Jen never acknowledged his/her error or apologised for it. Instead Jen will continue firing off accusations in the knowledge that it take more effort to respond than to make the accusation. This is a bullyboy tactic intended to wear down an opponent. Since I don’t see Jen as an opponent this aggressive behaviour flows one way.

Judge Jeffreys
Reader
Judge Jeffreys

aaronmicalowe, how’s the coffee in the Guardian offices?

Admin
Reader

What are you on about Aaron? You’ve got about a hundred posts on here from today alone complaining about being censored.
Is you irony meter playing up?

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

I have posted 9 comments today in this thread (not including this one) and one other comment in another thread (nothing to do with censorship).
This thread is just for posting evidence, not for discussion. If you want a discussion about Off Graun censorship then please create a separate thread so this one doesn’t get sabotaged.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

Here is another screengrab of bullyboy tactics, which can be very subtle and insidious.
http://i65.tinypic.com/2l92yhy.png
Here, you can see the user calling themselves Paolo is trying to rewrite what I meant, as if to pretend that it was a typo.
When I simply confirm that I had meant what I originally posted that gets voted down. A comment should never be voted down for merely acknowledging the existence of another comment. Admin seems to have no problem with this type of manipulation and even does it itself from time to time.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

My concerns were first raised from the title of the article, “Only fools and liars will blame Assad”
https://off-guardian.org/2017/04/09/only-fools-and-liars-will-blame-assad/
The problem with this title it is:
1) Assumes that it cannot possibly be wrong, and
2) Therefore everyone who says otherwise must be “fools and liars”.
This does not encourage free speech, it shuts it down. Who would want to offer alternative evidence to challenge the rhetoric in the article if that automatically labelled them “fools and liars”.
It sets up a dictatorial tone that punishes anyone who just want to discuss what is being said. Not surprisingly this article received less comments than average because the only people happy to post are those that already agree with what is being said. Basically, preaching to the converted.

aaronmicalowe
Reader
aaronmicalowe

An example of bullyboy tactics is found on this article.
Here’s a screengrab incase the original gets moderated:
http://i64.tinypic.com/mrzb6u.png
I had typed this comment on my mobile which, as we all know, can cause autospell errors. It’s doesn’t help that I am also dyslexic. Off Graun don’t support editing or deleting of old comments so the only way to show that a typo wasn’t intentional is to post another comment saying so. I didn’t want people to think there was any sinister meaning to me calling Off Graun, Off Grain, so I posted an extra comment to clear it up.
But, as is typical with Off Guardian there are those with aggressive and extremist stances. They voted down my acknowledgement of my own typo. This is good an example of ad hominem (or logical fallacy) which is a tactic many posters use, including Admit (evidence will follow).

Boris Malden
Reader
Boris Malden

I’ve always made sure that my comments on CiF never breach the community guidelines. I know that I have a very different political perspective to The Guardian, but I think that’s why I comment beneath the line, to provide some balance (in a polite, respectful way). I have never directed a personal comment at another user, or made a personal comment about a journalist or political figure without providing a justification (e.g. “Barack Obama was a bad president, he was at war every day of his 8-year term”).
However, when my comments started to get lots of recs, they put my account on permanent pre-moderation. Now they block pretty much everything I try to post, even though it never violates the community standards. I find it utterly bizarre that some moderator, presumably someone who calls themselves a left-wing liberal, happily carries out what they must know is just plain censorship. I know I should just make another account or stop using CiF, but I want that person to come face to face with his/her hypocrisy every time they choose not to allow my comment to be published on the website just because they disagree with it ideologically.

Matt
Reader
Matt

this piece about George Clooney planning a film about the White Helmets got pretty heavily censored BTL
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/dec/20/george-clooney-white-helmets-syria-civil-defence
my quick count up makes it look like about 10% moderated,
isn’t that what Romans referred to as ‘decimation’?
I replied to an adamant White Helmet supporter who was demanding concrete evidence that his saintly hero’s were stooges and I politely posted youtube links to interviews with Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley,
suffice to say my comment was ‘moderated’ overnight,

deschutesmaple
Reader

“Guardian Watch. Brought exclusively to you by Off-Guardian–reading the Guardian so you don’t have to!”
Has a nice ring to it 🙂

Kaiama
Reader
Kaiama

Having seen a censored Syria related comment on the Graun tonight from you know who, I eagerly await the #15 episode in this series!

qryber
Reader
qryber

well, in Serbian media, which is 90% owned or under control of foreigners (Western foreigners!), similar comments do not get published at all…so, from our perspective this is great, since comment was published for a period of time…you can guess, we had Soros sponsored “coloured revolution” in 2000., and neoliberal pro-eu fanatics in power, who go to Embassies of USA, UK, France, Germany on daily basis, for their opinion…

jasonwurtz
Reader
jasonwurtz

Now expose the government targeting innocent citizens with military weapons to isolate them, ruin their lives and then try to have them act out criminally. They are using mind control and directed energy weapons (V2K, remote neural monitoring, microwaving, scalar, sound) and gang stalking on innocent citizens. These technologies can’t be seen or traced and the victims are left with little recourse since the attacks can’t be proven. The victims may appear to have mental issues, however it is the technology that is violating their minds and bodies causing voices, hallucinations, time lapses, and multiple other violations. Psychiatry is a hoax, these technologies cause many mental issues. Freedomfchs.net, ICAACT.org, Jesse Ventura’s Brain Invaders youtube, intellihub.com, John Hall’s book Guinea Pigs, Renee Pittman’s (Anne Frank of our times) books and countless victims are trying to expose the truth. The media, politicians, and psychiatry all cover for this and are complicit for this torture taking place for decades remotely in every city. These psychopaths in government need to be exposed and the true terrorists are in government agencies remotely targeting individuals with military technology.
These technologies violate the minds and bodies of the afflicted persons and are the most egregious violation of human rights perpetrated by the government with your tax dollars. Taxpayers should be demanding their government quit paying for these crimes against humanity on law abiding citizens. No wonder we are broke. Why pay perps sitting at computers screwing with people in their beds and living rooms, these treasonous criminals and agencies need to be exposed and jailed. EXPOSE AND END THE TORTURE AND HOLOCAUST NOW.

Geraint Owen
Reader
Geraint Owen

You’re scientologist maybe?

manfromatlan
Reader

Though I DID link to a few “Off Guardian” pieces back then. Oh well, they can beg someone else for money to keep their “prize winning journalism” then.

manfromatlan
Reader

I’m on permanent pre-moderated status now. The Guardian doesn’t seem to like my default sarcastic quip setting 🙂

MrBrexit
Reader
MrBrexit

Another blatant example of censorship.
The Guardian published a story about “Nasty Britain” that was so ridiculous I decided to make the point by posting my own ridiculous reply.
https://postimg.org/image/604ilg51f/
Which got immediately deleted without a placeholder even though there was no time for any replies.
https://postimg.org/image/kupnrwr39/

TomL
Reader
TomL

Personally I think the reason it was deleted is that it seems irrelevant. Maybe in your head it made sense, but in the eyes of the moderator it seemed meandering and pointless. They might’ve given it the benefit of the doubt if there was a clear message, but as it seemed to be self indulgent sarcasm – and because it referenced Hitler, they thought they’d err on the side of caution.

MrBrexit
Reader
MrBrexit

Last year my account got banned because I complained that an article about violence against women was sexist. Today another article appeared so I complained about it being sexist again. Immediately banned.
If I get a chance to support regulation against this newspaper I’m going to do it first chance I get.
Comment isn’t free on the Guardian. Censorship is Frantic!

Supreme Allied Condista
Reader
Supreme Allied Condista

Oh and a special mention for the Guardian, the British newspaper who did its utmost to make the Republican Party Trump’s by banning me from commenting on their stories from my pro-Condoleezza Rice perspective.
Yes the “Guardian” that parades itself as a guardian of liberal values helped stick the US with a Trump led Republican Party by crushing any defence of a kinder, gentler US Republican Party under Condi’s leadership.
So simply don’t believe for one second the sincerity of the Guardian “Tut, tuting” about Trump.
The Guardian, and the liberal US press, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal etc. helped hand the Republican Party to Trump by crushing my pro-Condoleezza Rice, pro-liberal Republican commentary in their comment pages, at the alter of defending their “line” against scrutiny of open discussion.
Trump’s victory is partly as a consequence of the hypocrisy of so-called “liberal” newspapers who are no such thing but entirely fascist when it comes to crushing free commentary in their own newspaper website comment sections.

Supreme Allied Condista
Reader
Supreme Allied Condista

Yet the election was between the candidates that the Democratic National Committee hoped for and worked for
DNC support for Hillary Clinton versus Bernie Sanders
DNC dirty tricks character assassination of Condoleezza Rice instead of encouraging her to run for president
I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that many of those now regretting Trump’s election victory world-wide had previously joined in with the character assassination of Condi.
Neither democrats, nor liberals nor feminists, nor socialists, nor disability-rights campaigners, nor LBGT, nor greens, nor compassionate conservatives worked for Condi to lead the Republican Party.
Be careful what you wish for.
Supreme Allied Condista
ESTABLISHED in 2004
Rice for President Yahoo Group
“Condoleezza Rice for President. Join this group of supporters from everywhere on the world wide web.”
groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/rice-for-president/info
Rice for President Video Playlist
youtu.be/laB7vKvOSv4?list=PLC88B108ED71F35D4

Robert Elliot (@xxzardozxx)
Reader

I love these censored comments. I would much rather read censored comment from the MSM than anything actually in the MSM.

Kaiama
Reader
Kaiama

The G currently has 3 anti-Trump articles on the go and the last Clinton article got to ROUND (117) and got closed. My comment about the lack of open Clinton articles got censored (no surprise there).

Monkeybiz
Reader
Monkeybiz

One reason might be the UK’s libel laws. I suspect fear of litigation is behind a lot of decisions to remove comments that make claims about individuals that, even if true and therefore not libelous, might see the Groan dragged through the courts by some vindictive Sue, Grabbitt and Runne (Chambers). Best not leave them up, eh? girls?

dana
Reader

any comment that contains the proper noun, “Israel” are usually removed

J Samuel
Reader
J Samuel

I myself posted a similar comment which was also removed. The Guardian emailed me this: http://i.imgur.com/Kqmosij.png

adambaumsocal
Reader

The sorry we are on her side policy

Kaiama
Reader
Kaiama

With reference to the deleted comment, the OP inferred that he didn’t like HRC because she was a woman, albeit this was very far down the list. This breached the sexism clause of the CiF Community Standards. Not everyone would take the comment that way, but with the weasely legally minded mods, that opening was all they needed.

pretzelattack
Reader
pretzelattack

the op didn’t do that. the op provided a list of reasons people dislike clinton, with no implication that the poster disliked clinton for that reason.

Kaiama
Reader
Kaiama

The point is that there is NOTHING in the post to indicate that what was written was NOT Kit’s personal opinion. I don’t disagree with your interpretation, but you must undrstand that the comment can be interpreted in way which breaches the CiF standards.

pretzelattack
Reader
pretzelattack

the reference to the article itself, which kit disagreed with. the point of the article is that the opposition to clinton is fueled by misogyny. kit’s point is that it isn’t. somehow misinterpreting the comment to indicate not only agreement with the article’s theme but personal endorsement of it has no basis in any kind of rational interpretation.

Kaiama
Reader
Kaiama

How can I say this?
The reason I am here is that I don’t particularly like the Grauniad or believe what it spouts. However, in order to reach your conclusion, you have interpreted Kit’s comment in a particular way. So has the Grauniad interpreted the comment in a contrary way.
To make it simple
The article asks why people hate HRC?
Kit provides a nice list (of totally valid reasons) which the G will have assumed are Kit’s reasons. Then Kit says “Her being a woman is very far down the list”. It’s not too much a stretch to assume that the G interpreted that sentence to mean that Kit hates HRC because she is a woman. We all know that Kit meant this rhetorically, but the G interprets things to it’s advantage (as we all know). So in their eyes, it was correct to censor the comment! I am just providing ONE hypothesis as to why the comment was deleted – I’m not agreeing that the deletion was justified.
Best chill out.