1 Nov 2011

26 of my posts on the Guardian CIF site have been removed

It's no longer 7. The number of my comments on the Guardian that have been "removed by a moderator" for not respecting community rules has increased to 26. I've had a couple of exchanges with Annabel who works at the Guardian's Comment is Free, and it now transpires that they have taken offense to the fact that I back up my claims by providing a link to information on my blog. This is despite the fact that the website specifically says that this is OK. Quoting from their FAQ:
Q: Can I link to my own blog?
A: We encourage contributors to the Guardian website to include links to content which is revealing, relevant, informative and/or provides more background or context about a particular perspective, situation or topic. That means it's OK to link to specific posts on your own blog when it's appropriate, given the guidelines above.
I maintain that every single one case where I provide a link to an entry on my blog is covered by this rule.  Since they have removed 26 of my comments, I can no longer defend myself because I can no longer access them - a real Catch 22. But as I mentioned in a rather sarcastic mail I just sent them, I note that they didn't do a thorough job. There are plenty of other comments that should be removed according to their  unpublished rule that outlaws people providing factual arguements to back up their comments using entries on their blogs.  For example, this comment which was recommended by 25 people includes a link to supporting data on my blog (tut tut, can't have that).

And so do the following, which have all escaped the eagle eye of their intrepid moderator. There's one on the 12th of October, as well as others on the 2nd of October  (recommended by 35 people), the 17th of August, the 21st of March and well as this one and this one. You better read them quick before they get removed too!

I really think that the Guardian's decision to remove 26 of my comments by retroactively applying a rule that is written nowhere is quite indefensible.

On the contrary, the Guardian should be encouraging people to back up their positions with detailed factual information instead of just spouting personal opinions. I would estimate that around  99% of the comments on CIF are just unjustified opinion that is just fill up the bandwidth with unconstructive name calling. They should be strongly encouraging people like me who back up what they say with facts, rather than punishing them.

Indeed, as I also pointed out, I would happily link to information on alternative external sites if the information was available elsewhere. But currently, it would appear that I am the only person on the planet who can be bothered to add up all the numbers in the BIS data sets to show that visible transactions in the UK are running at around £1000 trillion a year.  While noone else is providing the data, I claim that I have not just the right but the obligation to publicise this vital information.

1 comment:

  1. I have also suffered from the Guardian 'cleansing' of free speech. It is a vile newspaper that denies any comment other than what it wants. Wherever I go my advice to people is to stop buying the Guardian because of the extreme way they handle comment that a 'moderator' does not agree with. If a 'moderator' of a certain persuasion or race it appears that they will delete anything they do not like. The Guardian is a terrible disgrace and my best advice is not to buy it, read it or become involved with it.