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Comment is free but facts are sacred – CP Scott, former editor of the Guardian

We provide a home for the comment – & the facts – you no longer find in the MSM.

OffGuardian is the creation of people from different parts of the world committed to the original vision which drew us together on The Guardian‘s CiF pages. We followed with dismay and disappointment the increasingly distorted and tendentious news reporting on Libya, the proxy-war in Syria, and the Ukraine Crisis.  Tired of being censored by our beloved, once-upon-a-time left-of-centre newspaper, in February 2015 we decided to create our own platform for airing our unacceptable opinions.

Our small group is dispersed globally, with representatives from North America, Britain, and Southern and Eastern Europe. The site is our own work, and is not supported by any governments, institutions or pressure groups.

We believe in the concept of truth itself — not merely in that of competing narratives — and  in the sanctity of facts themselves.   For that reason, we shall try to track them down, present them to the public, and preserve them as best we can.  We believe in a true free press that (consistently) speaks truth to power.   And we’ll be doing our little best to remind our mainstream media, including The Guardian itself, that this is supposed to be their duty. They probably won’t listen, but we’ll keep saying it anyway.

If you’re also sick of being stifled, moderated, abused or slandered as Putinbots or worse, and censored to oblivion on any of the Readers’ Comments sections of our mainstream press, come and tell us about it. We operate a completely open comment policy, and all shades of opinion are welcome.

Update April 2015. Off-Guardian.org is the successor citizen-media organization created by the three founding members of the original OffGuardian site. As you may know, our original site suffered an act of internal sabotage on April 13-14, 2015, when it was summarily closed down on us.  Fortunately, we had a back-up copy of the whole site made only a couple of days before this took place and have been able to reconstitute Off-Guardian immediately.  While we might never be able to determine with any finality whether this was an act of a mentally unstable person or of someone with an undisclosed agenda, the attempt to silence us failed.  On here, neither the powers that be nor saboteurs can take us down, slander, or shut us up.

Systematic, Catte, Vaska

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Mark Burrows
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Mark Burrows

Hi, I have no Rights to a Family under the Conservatives or Labour, this is soon to be the Fifth Christmas I have been separated from my Wife and Son, ignored by the Conservative Prime Minister, the Immigration Minister, the Home Office, the House of Commons, the House of Lords, Social Services and my own Labour MP. I want people to know they have no Right to a Family under the British Government. Thank you, Mark.

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CommentNotFree (@CommentNotFree)
Reader

The Guardian mods need to be called out for their censorship, and it needs to be done repeatedly. I have set up an account dedicated to doing this at https://twitter.com/CommentNotFree, but it’s not enough on its own. Each tweet is lucky if it gets over 100 impressions. What everyone needs to do is screencap censored posts and then tweet the screencaps with well chosen #’s and @’s, and then people need to retweet and so on. You can’t stop the censorship but you can show it up for what it is.

A Benge
Reader
A Benge

I gave a link to Chris Friel’s forensic research into the
timelines and individuals involved in the anti-semitism
witch hunt. (Gave no details, just said it was interesting.)
It vanished without a trace immediately.
Tried again in a slightly different way, it vanished again.
My previous comment complaining that Corbyn articles by
the prosecution never allow comments from the defence had
also been moderated.It’s getting really sinister.

Richard.
Reader
Richard.

Yup, all my comments about the rather “one-sided” nature of the comments and particularly my attempts to argue that criticism of Israel’s behaviour should not be considered anti-semitic have been promptly deleted. However, it is interesting that they have been prepared to publish letters roundly condemning Rabbi Sach’s rant in the Spectator. I suspect they are terrified of being criticised as “anti-semitic” by the policy that anything critical of Israel’s foreign policy particularly towards Palestine is to be labelled anti-semitic as a shut-down of debate.

Sandy Robertson
Reader

I would advise asking for an explanation. I always do if a comment has been deleted with no obvious reason – especially if it vanishes without one of those “community standards” notices. They usually give some bullshit reason, but I have had comments reinstated on a couple of occasions. Sadly, I’ve noticed an increasing tendency for other bitl commenters to say stuff like why do you come here year after year if you don’t like the Guardian content? Free speech seems lost on their cheerleaders, but it’s good to see some of the more absurd articles dissed by a majority.… Read more »

A Benge
Reader
A Benge

The aim of propaganda being self censorship is beautifully illustrated. To get a comment
past the firewall you need to speak in code, and avoid every trigger word.
But what is really sinister is, seeing a lie in an article, having evidence that it’s a lie,
but not beng allowed to make it public.

Sandy Robertson
Reader

Indeed. If you say they printed a lie they’ll say you have “smeared” the writer. They are similar to Facebook in that the moderators have the Guardian mindset so inevitably even if some of them try to be fair their bias leaks out. Readers who are clearly of the same mindset get allowed to say abusive stuff that others won’t get away with. When I queried this I was told they don’t have the time to police all threads so it’s up to me to report stuff. As someone who is pro free speech I hate being nudged to being… Read more »

A Benge
Reader
A Benge

They censor you, then they censor the fact that they’ve censored you.

Sandy Robertson
Reader

Have you seen the latest sneaky trick? Right at the bottom of an article it says they want you to know that if you use links in it they are getting revenue from them. I messaged reader’s editor asking how can we make informed decisions about it if we don’t see the note until after we read the piece and possibly used said links. The reply was nothing to do with us but we’ll pass it on. Clickbait rules.

sabelmouse
Reader
sabelmouse

just posted this , deleted within seconds. This could have been a meaningful article about airtime being given to conspiracy theorists with sometimes dangerous consequences. Wakefield and the anti-vaccination brigade have done immense harm to children across the world. what are conspiracy theorist? google the actual history of that term. why would a bowl specialist doing a CASE study noting measles virus in their bowels, and speaking out against a already banned elsewhere triple vaccine, and recommending single vaccines instead be a conspiracy theorist? meanwhile, he, his later exonerated boss, and co workers were specialists on bowel issues. what harm… Read more »

sabelmouse
Reader
sabelmouse

i’d put this on my tumblr, with embeds, and different fonds. and here forgot to draw lines. the top is what i replied to. then my reply + comments from elsewhere, disqus. then another reply to another comment. hopefully not deleted yet. though i will get screaming about not ”believing” in climate change , when that’s not what i am talking about.

sabelmouse
Reader
sabelmouse

the last one has been deleted as well + me telling the person i replied to first that it wasn’t nasty.

comment if free, that is it gives them clicks/advertising revenue. and they do their best to further corporate interests, and fascism.

along with all the incitement to war.

still pretending to be ‘’journalism’’ give ‘’ balanced’’ views, and asking for money.

what a truly nefarious site.

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[…] This article was originally published by offGuardian. […]

Martin Usher
Reader
Martin Usher

I find that censorship in the Guardian is a bit more subtle than just moderating comments. They seem to run a sort of “Golden Shield” type setup where the topics available for comment and whether the comments are closed or not varies depending on who the system thinks you are. I noticed this because I can access the Guardian through several different systems. I used to like contributing to CiF but I don’t bother that much now because comments are not so much moderated as guided — there’s a world view that they have to agree with or they don’t… Read more »

Edward Kasner
Reader
Edward Kasner

I have just had an experience that has finished me with the Guardian forever. I posted this:

“Today the Mail On Sunday claims that a Labour MP is saying that his party is ‘a sewer’ of anti-Semitism. I would like to ask people reading this post : have they ever heard or read a Labour MP or activist actually say anything that was anti-Semitic? I certainly haven’t, but then I don’t get around much.”

It was removed in 2 minutes.

Martin Usher
Reader
Martin Usher

The problem is merely that the definition of ‘anti-Semitic’ has been widened by some Jewish organizations to include any criticism of the State of Israel and especially its policies with regard to Palestinians. A big no-no, for example, is to refer to the Gaza area as a ‘ghetto’. Since the whole “embattled outpost of democracy n a hostile environment” thing has worn a bit thin over the years as people realize just how asymmetrical the power — political, military and financial — is in that region its not surprising that the level of criticism has grown to the point where… Read more »

Sandy Robertson
Reader

I’d suggest you email them and demand to know what community standard you broke, as I always do. I know they will fob you off 99% of the time but they need to know people won’t meekly accept this. I wonder what they think when they increasingly see comments that show readers think their articles are drivel (don’t actually say that or they’ll say we accept criticism not smears). I have had posts reinstated with an apology a couple of times.

Jan Brooker
Reader
Jan Brooker

I used to post regularly as captainbeefheart AND pay a £5p.m. supporter’s sub. Been a Guardian reader for 40+ years, but got fed up of paying for the privilege of being ‘modded off’. Never use foul language or conspiracy theories, but there are comments that are not allowed to be made [so much for Comment is Free] especially regarding Jeremy Corbyn, Zionist Israel or Palestine. Anyway, the ‘i’ is only 0.60p.d. [0.80p Saturdays]. Cheaper, more concise and without a succession of neo-liberal commentators. With 600,000 Labour Party members and a Guardian circulation of c.150,000, the G seems to have a… Read more »

Sandy Robertson
Reader

I agree with your view that the Guardian is ever declining. I’m possibly misunderstanding, but you seem to be saying that if one accesses them through certain methods then you can comment on articles that are not open to comment ? Baffled.

Martin Usher
Reader
Martin Usher

but you seem to be saying that if one accesses them through certain methods then you can comment on articles that are not open to comment No, websites uses a combination of mechanisms to know who you are. The basic mechanism of website cookies has long since been supplanted by other, indirect, mechanisms while web browsers come back with things like ‘stealth modes’. (Its a sort of logical arms race where one side does something, the other counters it and so on.) One way that all this can be defeated is that it relies on you using the same computer… Read more »

Sandy Robertson
Reader

So, basically you are saying if I looked at some Guardian articles on a different device I might just find there was a comment thread open when none was listed as open on the daily Guardian email I read on my phone? Again sorry if I’m obtuse.

arcanecorvid
Reader

Some folk in the scientific community will expound ad nauseam quoting facts concerning black holes in space… however a black hole is an artifice used to explain a deficit of mass in a century old theory that has zilch predictive qualities.

Facts are chimeric, they are not sacred.

‘Should’ is a word that implies moral overreach.

I humbly suggest you change your tag/sub heading from the dorky/frumpy ‘cos facts are sacred’ to something a bit more in keeping with the progressive shit you guys are doing!!

many blessings

Jim

bevin
Reader
bevin

It is getting a bit ancient now but this piece by Jill Abramson https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/27/trump-fbi-us-constitution is amazing. She claims for example that because “Strzok had led the FBI’s Hillary Clinton email investigation so the notion of him being a pro-Democratic mole is, simply, ludicrous.” Whether she misses the point that Strozk, an obvious Clinton fan, used his position to exculpate Hillary and tone down censure of her action, is unlikely. She concludes that “The Republicans want to destroy the public’s faith in the impartiality of the FBI, in order to undermine Mueller. ” That’s right “destroy the public’s faith in the… Read more »

bevin
Reader
bevin

What would the legal implications of helping the good old grauniad out by opening comments on current articles be?
Take this for example:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/23/rex-tillerson-russia-bears-responsibility-for-syria-chemical-attacks

It is the kind of issue-information warmongering- that ought to be commented on by potential victims of war. But the Guardian hasn’t opened it to comment. And, if it ever does, it will kill off any decent ones.

Admin
Reader

Ok. We’ll do it as an experiment and see how it catches on. But good luck getting a link to us pass the mods on there for more than five minutes

Sandy Robertson
Reader

Indeed. Also the fact is the Community Standards are so long and verbose that if they want to bin you they will find a way. Awhile back someone here helpfully advised that I should omit even mild insults so as not to give mods an excuse to censor me – yet I quite often see things like advocating assassination of the POTUS allowed to slide. There’s no consistency but object and they say they don’t have enough time so WE must report things to them. Odd how they ALWAYS appear to have time to censor someone like me who they… Read more »

sabelmouse
Reader
sabelmouse

in a nutshell; don’t upset corporate sponsors, also don’t make us look bad [ as if ] by fighting. we’ll delete everything and pretend rainbows and kittens.

sabelmouse
Reader
sabelmouse

suspended again , this time for mentioning the connection between ed and veganism. no warning either. seriously!
just proves to me that veganism is corporate sponsored, like the guardian.

Sandy Robertson
Reader

They are unbelievable in their alleged commitment to free speech at the same time as they stifle it. Under a piece that mentioned Trump’s Muslim ban, I said that most terrorists in USA jails are not Americans so the ban made sense as they don’t want to be like Sweden. When I enquired why my post was immediately censored I was told it broke standards by being off topic as the article did not mention Sweden! So now alluding for comparison to something is off topic? By that rule, the comments that compare Trump to Hitler would get modded if… Read more »

sabelmouse
Reader
sabelmouse

now they’ve gone so far downhill i can’t even be bothered.

Sandy Robertson
Reader

I notice that more and more articles get widespread ridicule in the comments, which are often quickly closed sometimes with a note they were ‘opened in error’! The plummeting finances and the begging for donations…none of this appears to give them pause for self analysis.

Sandy Robertson
Reader

True. I definitely notice an increase in misleading clickbait headers.

sabelmouse
Reader
sabelmouse

as long as they get clicks/advertising revenue they probs don’t care.

Admin
Reader
Admin

Don’t suppose you kept a copy of your comment? (we always ask, but people rarely remember)

sabelmouse
Reader
sabelmouse

nope.

Frank Poster
Reader
Frank Poster

After more than 7 years on the Guardian / CiF I finally deleted my account. I’d made some objective comments the other day about the review of Luke (MI6)) Harding’s book. It was the most subjective PoS I’d read in a long time, but I kept calm and wrote a good argument which got many upvotes and equally good comments in return. It survived for half a day at least, so there was no offence taken by the mod. My guess is that Harding himself took a look and had it removed. I feel bad for not continuing, but after… Read more »

The Cad
Reader
The Cad

I make the odd sarcastic visit to the Heil and get a better deal from the censors than i ever did from the Graun. I re-registered a few times by pressing the little button inside a wi-fi receiver but they found a way round that.

bevin
Reader
bevin

#MeToo-Part of the lynch mob ?

HotScot
Reader

Thanks for this site guys.

I stopped commenting on climate change articles on the Graun when my posts were persistently deleted, particularly those following pronouncements of global disaster from Rocky Rex.

I don’t care if I’m right or wrong on the subject, I do care that my sceptical comments reside aside those of an alarmist.

BTW, I won’t contribute to your site, nor will I contribute to any other. You rise, or fall on your own success.

Don’t beg, just get better.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

So how do you think a site existis and can succeed? Via a magic money tree? Good journalism needs to be financially rewarded by those that read it and apprecite it, how else can those journalists pay their bills, site hosting, etc? If they don’t charge site access then they need to appeal for donations – I’m referring to this site not the Grauniad. Do you think doing such work should be a mere hobby? Do you think the BBC, Sky, Times, Guardian, Daily Heil etc work for free? For you and others to simply stand back, with the comment… Read more »

Martin Usher
Reader
Martin Usher

I actively subscribe to news sources because Comment might be Free but Journalism certainly isn’t.

The big question that should be on everyone’s minds is “How much is this worth to me?”. How much should be all chip in a month and where should it go to?

Anna Zimmerman
Reader
Anna Zimmerman

“Enjoyment is always bound up with gratitude; if this gratitude is deeply felt it includes the wish to return goodness received and is thus the basis of generosity. There is always a close connection between being able to accept and to give, and both are part of the relation to the good object and therefore counteract loneliness. Furthermore, the feeling of generosity underlies creativeness….”

― Melanie Klein, Envy And Gratitude And Other Works 1946-1963

sabelmouse
Reader
sabelmouse

banned by the guardian again, probably for mentioning the dangers of gardasil. and linking this film .

at least they’re not beholden to corporate sponsores/big pharma.

Sandy Robertson
Reader

I still battle on The Guardian comment threads, probably because I intuit that they’d prefer me to go away. My most recent spat was on a thread about drug abuse. I stated that my GP was offered a license to prescribe heroin. Some guy replied sarcastically, asking if heroin was “legalised” you’d think the press would report it. I replied saying something like “of course heroin hasn’t been legalised,you fool! What did I say that could give that impression…” My post was immediately censored. When I queried it I was informed calling another poster a “fool” broke guidelines! When I… Read more »

LogicalArgumentsOnly
Reader
LogicalArgumentsOnly

Here’s a tip, take it for what it’s worth. Win more arguments by avoiding ‘Ad Hominem’ – IE – attacking the person. Even if they attack you personally, don’t match it, better it. Focus totally on presenting your logical argument and be happy when your opponent messes up by attacking the person. If I was debating with you and you called me a fool, I would gain confidence that I am closer to winning because you probably don’t know the rules of debate, because the odds would suggest that you don’t recognise the logical fallacies. Study them, practice them and… Read more »

The usual suspects
Reader
The usual suspects

As I agree with you i still have a hard time holding my toung while all around me are idiots. Some thing about calling a spade a spade. him going to work on my delivery though as this is great advice .

sabelmouse
Reader
sabelmouse

i do all that anyways. it’s disagreeing with the article, or endangering their corporate sponsorship/propaganda that gets things deleted/you banned.

LogicalArgumentsOnly
Reader
LogicalArgumentsOnly

Fair enough, but for clarity my comment was in reply to Sandy Robertson who said that they had said – ‘of course heroin hasn’t been legalised,you fool!’ If Sandy does this, Sandy is handing them the excuse ‘it was flagged for being offensive’. If Sandy steers clear of insults completely, not only is the argument stronger but they simply cannot use that excuse for deleting it anymore. If there is an agenda, force it out into the open, don’t give them a convenient ‘get out’.

sabelmouse
Reader
sabelmouse

i agree but they’ll still get you however polite if you endanger their bottom line.
but even then it’s somewhat arbitrary.

sabelmouse
Reader
sabelmouse

they leave all sorts of language all the time.
i think it’s a mix of saying something that threatens their capitalist overlords, and individual moderator’s issues.

Sandy Robertson
Reader

They claim (ahem) the discrepancy arises because they don’t have time to monitor threads and it’s up to us to flag offensive posts. But I would be really surprised if that guy reported me just for using the word “fool”…and if he did, more fool them for finding it offensive. The community standards are so Byzantine they can be interpreted any way they choose. Criticise one of their writers and that’s a “smear. They actually told me that while it’s ok to abuse Nigel Farage, if he ever wrote an article in the Guardian then it wouldn’t be ok to… Read more »

sabelmouse
Reader
sabelmouse

oops! didn’t know the video actually come up. cool.

A Nice business to DO people with
Reader

Good to find you.
Its good to have another bow in the quiver that will deliver something other than the right wing claptrap we are used to being fed
Will follow with interest

HotScot
Reader

How in Gods name can you associate this with right or left wing?

My daughter contracted Narcolepsy, commonly associated with the Avian flue vaccination. Except that she didn’t have the vaccination. So do I condemn the left wing deviants for her condition because she didn’t have the vaccination, so I can’t blame the deviant right wing?

You are insane.

bevin
Reader
bevin

Did you notice that the comment to which you replied was made on August 7th?

HotScot
Reader

Is there a statute of limitations on comments now?

bevin
Reader
bevin

No. I was suggesting that you were ‘replying’ to a comment which was totally unconnected with the issue which is, understandably, of particular interest to you.
Unless I am mistaken the August post was one by someone who had just come across OffGuardian and was expressing approval of the idea behind it.

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[…] ett av mange tegn på den djupe krisa main stream media befinner seg i. The Guardian, som sjøl har en del å svare for, […]

Delaware Conservative
Reader

What a great mission. Thank you for your dedication to facts and the truth!

Glynn Wilson (@GlynnWilson1)
Reader

Sounds like we have a similar mission. Get in touch: http://www.newamericanjournal.net

phil bayliss
Reader
phil bayliss

Reading the comments appears to offer evidence that ‘truth’ has become a Deleuzean rhizome. Any kind of discourse appears ‘true’, as it links to other nodes in the media nexus. Everything is true and everything is false. Philosophy used to be clean, but now traduced, so that any kind of personal experience (as a personal truth) is now part of the ‘commentariat’. I would like to believe Vanessa Beelly/Eva Bartlett, as opposed to Boris Johnson (I am at a loss to quote any kind of American ‘source’). Until we can return to a face to face communication moment (which given… Read more »

Kim
Reader
Kim

Tossers