Comments are Censored.

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So the story so far…  The Guardian has started pre-moderating my comments after I was flagged as a risk to their ‘comment community’ over two apparently innocuous comments about articles by Laura Bates.  Ever since I’ve submitting a comment a day and these are the ones that have been censored…

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Article: women-are-silenced-online-just-as-in-real-life-it-will-take-more-than-twitter-to-change-that

Dr Martin, are you aware of any research to establish if there is evidence of direct sex discrimination arising from the way moderators currently moderate?

Under the same article I replied to this guy’s Orwellian observation…


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So did this guy but his comment was removed….Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 15.28.39

Mine was initially allowed but then it was flushed down the memory hole completely without so much as a comment removed notice to remember it by. Can you guess what the problem was…?

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Ignorance is Strength

War is Peace

Comment is Free

The previous day the moderators had passed a number of comments I made under an article.  I celebrated with one last comment and landed back to square one…

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WooHoo! EYEis being treated Equal!

EiB: I suspected this one wouldn’t stand a chance but I thought I had a duty to at least try…

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Article: you-can-trace-a-lifetime-of-gender-inequality-through-everyday-sexism

 When I read this article it occurred to me that it might be an interesting experiment to use some of the 100,000 testimonies that got left behind on the cutting room floor to look at the concept of inequality and sexism from the perspective of men.
And so… in the interests of promoting equality and using only submissions to the #everydaysexism hashtag on the day of it’s third birthday, I have very quickly pulled together a quite interesting snap shot of life on the other side of the ‘sexism’ coin… <a href=”http://wp.me/p5wnIA-rF”>http://wp.me/p5wnIA-rF</a&gt;

EiB: Still no word from my appeal… EYE thing they’re just ignoring me.  I’ve been meaning to press on with submitting a complaint but it’s been a busy weekend.

So I had a read through the ‘community standards’ again and I’m pretty sure today’s comment is in full compliance even with the link to ‘on topic’ content. With that thought in mind I thought I might as well take a more flexible approach to my immediate circumstances, resulting in a more equitable outcome…

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Article: you-can-trace-a-lifetime-of-gender-inequality-through-everyday-sexism

Was my previous comment censored cos EyeisBloke?

EIB: Day 13 also happened to be the 3rd birthday of the #everydaysexism project… unlucky for me though it turns out that the Guardian decide that my birthday question somehow breeches their guidelines…

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Article: you-can-trace-a-lifetime-of-gender-inequality-through-everyday-sexism

Happy birthday #EverydaySexism – is it time to come of age and start acknowledging inequalities experienced during the lifetime of men & boys also?

#everydaysexism indeed…

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Article: Which side are you on? Seven areas of protest that need your help (Owen Jones)

Same comment as approved for comments below two other articles the same day…

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Article: sexism in the workplace

So my starter for ten… wow…262 comments allowed in such short space of time, I’m assuming my contribution to free speech falling as it does within the scope of protection provided by the Sex Discrimination Act should be more than welcome…

So the ‘on topic’ discussion is about sexism in the workplace which leads to the question where does Laura stand on this… http://wp.me/p5wnIA-4D

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Article: the-great-unvetted-public-locked-out-as-party-leaders-tour-sanitised-britain

‘The great unvetted public locked out as party leaders tour sanitised Britain Fearful of a Mrs Duffy moment, party leaders are taking every precaution to avoid an unscripted encounter with members of the public’….. I guess it’s no worse than pre-moderating readers comments and screening out opinions you don’t agree with…

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Article: ryan-gosling-directing-lost-river-interview

How come all the right wing radical feminists are all so hot to trot for this guy?

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Article: end-rape-stigma-anonymity-victims (Jessica Valenti)

Did Jessica Valenti really just imply that she’s familiar with the rules of Journalism 101?

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Article: mrs-ms-or-miss-why-do-forms-require-women-reveal-their-marital-status (by Myf Warhorse)

When I first read this headline I thought that ‘Myf’ was being proposed as some sort of protest alternative.

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Article: The fastest way to spread extremism is with the censor’s boot (Naomi Wolf)

I really hate censorship, especially when the gatekeepers change the rules to suit themselves…

Good to see Ch4 news shining some sunlight on Theresa May’s reluctance to include Kincora in this long overdue child abuse enquiry.

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Article: The fastest way to spread extremism is with the censor’s boot (Naomi Wolf)

My last comment never made it past the pre-moderation screening dog house I’ve been in since I criticised Laura Bates… What a time to be alive!

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Article: The fastest way to spread extremism is with the censor’s boot (Naomi Wolf)

Was my previous comment censored because I mentioned kincora?

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Article: The fastest way to spread extremism is with the censor’s boot (Naomi Wolf)

I wonder if it would be considered on topic to say that while comment is free, some comment is freer than others. I wrote about my recent experinces of censorship in my blog [link] and agree that the fastest way to spread an idea is to censor it.

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Article: The fastest way to spread extremism is with the censor’s boot (Naomi Wolf)

I really really dislike censorship.

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Article: Why women need a stronger voice in politics (Yvonne Roberts)

Speaking as a Bloke, I certainly agree that it would be good to see more women engaged and involved in politics but even if they did I seriously doubt it would result in the sort of seismic shift towards the sort of feminist utopia that some Guardian columnist undoubtedly dream about. After all how many of ‘Blair’s Babes voted against bombing foreign children in illegal wars, or even hung around after the good times stopped rolling?

I certainly think some of Yvonne’s points are swayed by the usual propaganda. National minimum wage, carers’ rights and flexible working etc had more to do with EU Directives than Harriet Harman and the simplistic analysis that ‘the sharply serrated edge of the cuts has hit [women], harder than men’ – is further proof of the Guardian’s myopic feminist view.

Another regular columnist recently called for a UK feminist party (http://tinyurl.com/pdgppoq). I think this is probably a bad idea for a number of reasons http://wp.me/p5wnIA-ov, the main one being that disaffection with politics isn’t just a problem for women, it’s a problem for everyone.

A recent Yougov poll suggests that 60% of first time voters can’t be bothered voting. Then again maybe that’s not a bad thing. To paraphrase Russell Brand’s famous exchange with Paxman, perhaps increasing numbers of us are (not) voting out of absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery and deceit of the political class that has been going on for generations.

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Article: Why do fewer women tweet political party hashtags? (Laura Bates)

In fairness, I am beginning to wonder if people like Laura Bates don’t sometimes over egg the online abuse narrative a bit. I’m not trying to detract from genuine and serious examples (quite the opposite in fact) but I do think that anyone who rushes to take offence when it suits them do.

By way on an example, let’s consider the ‘Guardian Community’ as a microcosm of modern Britain (albeit one with a serious over-representation of latté drinkers). This ‘community’ will comprise of an extremely diverse mix of people who all equally ‘believe’ they have a right to their opinion, along with a right not to be unreasonably offended.

Now most people are able to behave like proper adults but there’s always that 1% who threaten to ruin this utopia of free speech for the rest of us. This is why everyone is expected to abide by the ’10 Community Commandments’ and have faith in the invisible Guardians to enforce them. Sadly in ‘isolated situations’, someone is ‘identified as ‘a risk’, based on ‘a pattern of behaviour’ and must be placed in a ‘moderation cell’ until such time as they can either be rehabilitated or ejected into the wasteland (or as I call it, the Huffington Post).

My point is that this is that this is the position I find myself in after (at most) two seemingly innocuous on topic comments underneath a Laura Bates article. The concern that follows is that either someone out there is dangerously disengaged from the concept of reasonable offence or else the Guardians in our community really have become the foot soldiers for people who are prepared to use offence as a weapon to silence opinions that they don’t like. I find that thought extremely offensive indeed. EiB

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