1 Nov 2011

George Monbiot goes for the City of London in the Guardian

George Monbiot's commentary in today's Guardian takes on the City of London and its ability to work beyond the authority of Parliament. It's another brilliant piece of journalism. He's lucky, because HIS comments get through the moderators at the Guardian.

I tried to comment on the piece, but my comments are still being blocked by the Guardian's moderators, who still haven't let my comment on Larry Elliot's piece yesterday get through.

I did get two replies to my complaints though. The first one, from cif.moderation@guardian.co.uk said
"your comments were not removed because they were offensive but because they were seen as being spam-like.

Here is what our standards say about links to personal sites:

7. We will remove any posts that are obviously commercial or otherwise spam-like.  Our aim is that this site should provide a space for people to interact with our content and each other, and we actively discourage commercial entities passing themselves off as individuals, in order to post advertising material or links. This may also apply to people or organisations who frequently post propaganda or external links without adding substantively to the quality of the discussion on the Guardian website.

The moderator who was working decided that links to your own site were excessive and therefore removed the comments with links and placed your account in pre moderation."

The second one, from Annabel at community.suggestions@guardian.co.uk, said

"Your comments were removed because they contained persistent links to positivemoney.org.uk and http://simonthorpesideas.blogspot.com."

She then quoted the FAQ which says
"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 replied to Annabel by pointing out that (for example) one of my censored comments last week argued that if the 0.1% European FTT was introduced across Europe, but countries only required to pay the EU their share of the 141 billion euro EU budget, the UK would keep up to 98.4% of the revenue. My blog, and specifically the entry that I added on the 28th of october is the ONLY PLACE WHERE THIS CAN BE FOUND.  This is surely exactly what the guidelines on links to your own blog allow.

I offered to stop using a generic link to my blog, but I fail to see why I should not be allowed to link to my entries when they contain the specific information needed to back my points.

I really hope that they will remove me from the premoderation black list real soon now.

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