A Plea For Common Decency….
Our friend Captain Ned just posted a comment on the book blogs that will inevitably be deleted. At the risk of appearing immodest, I publish it here because it perfectly articulates what has gone wrong with Comment is Free (ho-ho):
28 Jan 09, 9:38pm
One of the Books Blog’s most consistently entertaining and intelligent posters, artpepper (aka misharialadwani), has become so hacked off with the trigger-happy behaviour of the GU’s moderators that he has gone off to start his own blog; another excellent former poster, worderd7, did the same thing a while ago. Sarah Crown and colleagues: do you have any idea of how much your behaviour is infuriating people – I mean the people who are the most regular posters here, and whose opinions you ought to value? When in doubt, censor: that seems to be your motto, to the very great detriment of a once first-rate website (in addition to all the other deteriorations that have set in). If you have any regard for these people – your readers, for Christ’s sake – then please respond to this post.
I have a question. I posed this question in my first post on mishari’s new site, but I want now to pose it to you, Sarah Crown. How often has a deleted post been reinstalled? Maybe it’s a routine occurrence, but I can’t think of any examples. Has it ever been done? Or are protests simply ignored? Now, I’m a technological ignoramus, so I don’t know, maybe it’s just not possible to have deleted posts reappear. But if it is, I’d like to know what your policy is regarding objections to the moderator’s baleful handiwork. Do you pretend to a degree of authoritarian infallibility? Is the referee’s decision final? I know that sometimes, as here, you do deign to offer something by way of explanation of your actions, but these seldom amount to more than vague, half-hearted references to the Talk Policy. When posters are dissatisfied and ask for more, they are met with silence, and when they have the audacity to express their continued dissatisfaction, their posts are censored. It’s incredible. Measured, even-tempered posts, which ask in entirely reasonable terms for nothing more than your engagement, are disappeared for no greater crime than daring to express a few doubts about the unimpeachable perfection of the blessed moderators and their majestically mysterious ways. This simply won’t do.
Now, I have not used any swear-words. I have not been abusive. There is no reason on Earth why this post should be censored. But it is an indication of the frequent, arbitrary unfairness of your working methods that I should, not without cause, fear that deletion is precisely the fate that awaits these words. You just don’t seem to able to tolerate dissent, which in a paper that is supposed to uphold the liberal ideals it so loudly proclaims, is disgraceful. If you do decide to plump for deletion yet again, I can only hope that before you manage to get round to it, enough readers will have seen it for its point to have been made. I know that I am not alone in my frustration.
Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells
This post from @Hegelian, which preceded Cap’n Ned’s, is also highly amusing and destined for the chop if past form is anything to go by…
@Hegelian, 28 Jan 09, 6:04pm
A draft for an acceptable comment:
“I think this was a particularly nice piece. It was written very nicely. Though in some respects I dissent from the opinion on Mr McCrum I think that he is probably right in his general claims. The other comments were very nice. I would also add that cloudy skies are my favourite – but only when there isn’t too much variation in their shades of grey”.
…although @Hegelian was being sardonic, I suspect that this really is the acceptable template for all future comments.
As predicted, Cap’n Ned’s post has been deleted. There’s no reasoning with the regime of dim wankers who run the Grauniad. These cretins are unteachable. They’re small in every respect excepting dull-witted and entirely baseless self-esteem…