Nov 272010
 
Censorship
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Well, here I am again posting about being censored at Huffington Post. To say that I’m frustrated would be a serious understatement. As always, when my posts are blocked, I review the text of my comment in search of anything objectionable, make edits and repost. But this occurrence is a bit different.

First, it’s different because this particular story seems to be getting much more stringent review by the censors. When I posted, there were over a hundred comments awaiting approval. Even as I write the post, two days after the story was first published on HuffPost, there are 34 comments in the queue.

The other distinction regarding my presently censored comment is that I’m unable to even guess at what the censor’s objection may be. I would attempt to edit my post, as I’ve done many times in the past, but in this case I cannot for the life of me determine where to start.

The topic of the article is a Rush Limbaugh broadcast where he ridiculed President Obama for his Thanksgiving Day proclamation. This was a popular topic with over 3,300 comments at present. The Limbaugh story covers the conservative talk-radio host’s slamming of the President for, amongst other things, presenting American Indians in a favorable light. In the style of ridiculous hyperbole typical of Limbaugh, he characterizes the true story of Thanksgiving as one of “socialism failed.” He goes on to assert that “Only when we turned capitalists did we have plenty.” Completely devoid of ethics, Limbaugh even uses the occasion to blame Native Americans for the millions who have dies from ling cancer, because it was all “thanks to the Indian-invented custom of smoking tobacco.”

I attempted to post a comment that would bring Limbaugh’s attempt at poisoning the national conversation into the light of a larger context. Personally, I find Limbaugh to be the most objectionable of the fright-wing hate-mongers, and I feel that people need to become aware of the dynamics at play. The following is the full text of the post in which I attempted to bring this into focus:

Rush Limbaugh is symptomatic of a social disease that’s crippling our nation. People are hurting and want people to blame. Unfortunately, that condition provides fertile ground for the unscrupulous.

“They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesman for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.”

Sound like anyone you know?

The quote is actually from FDR’s Vice President, Henry Wallace — in 1944. He was talking about the rising tide of fascism in the America.

Fascism was defined in the 1983 American Heritage Dictionary as: “a system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.”

Sound anything like today’s post Citizens United right-wing?

Wallace also had this to say about Limbaugh: “With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money and more power . . .”

Limbaugh, Beck and the gang at Fox, McConnell, Boehner, Bachmann, Palin — they’re all poisoners of public information who are eating our nation away like a cancer.

Again, I ask for your critique and honest feedback. Is this comment disrespectful? Is it inappropriate? Does it warrant being censored?

And on the general issue of censorship at Huffington Post: is it appropriate for Huffington to censor without feedback as to cause, to leave people to just wonder why they been blocked? Is there some way to get Huffington to listen to their audience and develop objective rules that are consistently applied?

And of course, if you have any thoughts on the substance of the debate . . .

Thanks


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  2 Responses to “Censored at Huffington Post — AGAIN!”

  1. The censorship on HP has become groundless and down right abusive to a readership that, by the very nature of the web site, has strong political and ideological opinions. There are certain subjects that are taboo to criticize, anything to do with Israel is definitely one of them. Other than the obvious hot topics the censorship is completely erratic, illogical and often without any regard for fair comment. This should be a place for informed and resolute comments NOT WATERED DOWN PAP. More of a town hall meeting rather than a Sunday afternoon church social.

    • Allen, again we’re in complete agreement. If you have any ideas regarding how we might get somebody at HP to listen, I’m ready, willing and able to join the effort. I believe that their present haphazard approach to censorship does more harm than good. What’s needed are a solid set of objective rules for content that are published to all participants. By making that single change, they would improve the efficacy of their present system of review many times over. Add to that a system for feedback to posters that would identify the specific issues with their comments, and you’ve created a vibrant community where everyone understands the rules.

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