Censorship At The Guardian

The estimable Bishop Hill has a thread on censorship at The Guardian blog Comment is Free. (What is it with these ironic titles – Real Climate, Open Mind, Comment is Free?).

The thread is at http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/3/29/graun-still-deleting-comments.html

The Bishop says: “Not a comprehensive survey, but of the first 50 comments on Pachauri’s article in the Guardian, 18 were deleted. Criticism is forbidden.”

In fact, before the thread was closed, 362 posts were posted, of which 46 were deleted. It appears that the moderators initially tried to ‘manage’ the tide of sceptical comments, but later on simply gave up moderating, and closed the thread to further comment instead.

Many who had their comments at the Guardian deleted re-posted their comments at the Bishop’s thread. It is clear that most of the posts rejected could not have been rejected for breaching blog rules re politeness, tone etc.

This incident throws more light on the range of moderation policies adopted at various blogs. At least The Guardian, unlike other sites, makes it clear that it has deleted a post. However, it gives no reason for taking that action.

For details go visit the Bishop’s thread.

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3 Responses to “Censorship At The Guardian”

  1. John East Says:

    You say, “At least The Guardian, unlike other sites, makes it clear that it has deleted a post. However, it gives no reason for taking that action.”

    This is no longer true. Below is my comment to the Bishop Hill post, which incidently was confirmed further down the comments thread as having happened to at least one other person.

    “Their censorship is worse than it appears. Usually when a comment is deleted by the thought police at the Gaurdian the entry complete with commentors name and avatar remains diisplayed with “This comment was deleted… blah, blah, blah” inserted by the censor.

    My comment placed on this Pachauri thread was deleted in its entirity. It’s as if nothing from me had ever been posted.

    What might prove confusing to any casual reader, and confirms the new Gaurdian total deletion policy, is that further down the comments section is a reply to my deleted post which the thought police have forgotten to delete.”

  2. John East Says:

    Perhaps I was barredfor not being able to spell, “Guardian”.

  3. antiphonsgarden Says:

    I have not read this article and might even often not agree with “deleted” comments, but I would fight for the freedom of expression of everybody.

    The censuring practice has increased, limiting the perception of reality to a narrow frame of “what is allowed to think”publicly. Its dangerous anti democratic.It mistrust the ability of humans to handle conflicts too.

    Accounts gets kicked overnight ( one wonders why! inside manipulative lobby nannyism or plotting report point scoring?), posts disappears completely and recommend buttons for a certain comment gets blocked.

    The increasing big brother attitude points towards an inner power insecurity of the media. This “fear of change” is trying to keep the old paradigm up, during many of us are already a part of the change.

    To all, I wish the courage to go on fighting for a visibility of reality, after decades of blurring life with empty noises for the profit of few(even if I doubt that in an interactive situation, some have truly a long therm ” profit” in splendid “happy few/cafe late snobism”social isolation). Best wishes to all, lets speak up!

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