Comments Policy 66


I am in a quandary what to do about comments policy. This blog has become quite a popular internet forum. It has a very liberal attitude to free speech. But yesterday we had a car crash. It started with someone making some highly personal comments about me, to which I replied but which I was content to leave. It then got much worse as somebody started posting foolish threats of violence, allegedly in my support. I know the thtreats were not meant literally, but that was extremely stupid and hardly contributed to debate.. We then had a racist epithet thrown.

I know because I am standing for election there are bound to be efforts to insult me or discredit me through posting or quoting other people’s comments on my blog. But I can live with that.

I closed comments, appealed for calm, and deleted the worst. But then overnight somebody has started to propound complete nonsense about zionist and illuminati plans, drawing on a long tradition of Eastern European hate forgery.

No comments on this blog represent my own views except my original articles and comments over my own name.

But from now on, comments off topic from the original link will be deleted. And off topic includes “ah, but this is all caused by such and such a dark force which is behind every development in the economy/foreign affairs/religion.”


66 thoughts on “Comments Policy

1 2 3
  • Wee Mac

    If we are not allowed to talk about the “dark forces” that are behind everything does this mean we will never be able to discuss His Holiness and Master of All He Surveys, Lord Mandelson?

    I don’t agree with censorship in general, but if we are going to be subject to the views of uncivilised idiots then by all means delete their comments – they can always find a ready made home on the website of The Scotsman.

    In the run up to the election I fear anything untoward on this site will be used against you, although I do worry that being a moderator will ultimately take up more time than its worth.

    All the best,

    Wee Mac

  • tony_opmoc

    I am almost 100% certain it was Ghana.

    His Sister’s Husband used to work for me. He had tremendous social skills and I encouraged him to apply for the job in management – even though it would mean him moving departments – and that he would no longer be working as a part of my team.

    He got the job – and eventually became My Leader

    And I realised I had done a Brilliant Job

    I encouraged him so much that he actually went for it – and got the job – and then became my Leader when I REALLY wanted to Leave

    I knew all the Work we had done would be safe in his hands to continue

    It was tough for him – but we all loved him. It didn’t matter that his skin was a different colour (in fact we didn’t notice that) – because his work and his sheer loveliness to others shone through

    His wife is incredibly beautiful.

    I see that Ghana has a New President – but I do not know if she is the President’s Sister – it could have been an Uncle or something – I think she is too young to be his sister.

    Or her brother could have been the leader of another party. I haven’t seen either of them for 4 years

    Tony

  • Michael

    Thanks for the laugh…. very good…. are you starting a new TV show?

    Craig:

    And if anyone breaks this, I will tip off the Illuminati, and they will come and get you… 🙂

    Eddie:

    …or even the Elders of Zion or Henry Kissinger.

    MJ:

    They are the Illuminati you dipstick 🙂

  • Jaded

    Ok, so what was so wrong with my comment on this ‘Comments’ thread that you deleted it Craig? I do agree with you about deviating threads, but I was just giving a general view about what could be allowed, in theory, without significant deviation from the topic of future threads. No person had to agree with it and you didn’t have to take it on board. It’s your blog and I have taken on board your comments. However, in the context of this particular thread I think you were wrong to delete it. It was just my tuppence worth and if you think I am ‘anti-semitic’ I couldn’t begin to tell you how insulted I am. Maybe you should instigate a policy where people should try and focus on naming names?

  • nextus

    Jaded, no-one is denying that there is such a thing as corruption, or that power is abused by people in organisations for self-interest. That’s what the parliamentary scandal is all about, and discussion on that topic is hardly being curtailed.

    But to invoke “dark forces” is to imply a sinister spiritual undercurrent designed to demonise disagreement, even when used as a metaphor. It’s all about creating divisions and directing hatred against an evil.

    The posts that were deleted last night (mine included – but it was a refutation!) related to a Grand Illuminati conspiracy theory, citing a busted myth espoused by classic European fascism. I hope you can see the difference. Even the Fortean Times – the cynic’s gazette – distances itself from such malicious paranoia:

    “If there has been a single theme running through this column it is that mega- or meta-conspiracy theories ?” of the “it’s all the fault of the Jews-Masons-aliens-lizards” kind ?” are a distraction from real conspiracies. Sometimes, though, these two fields threaten to overlap ?” for example with bankers. Now, this makes many respectable commentators nervous lest it should be thought they are interested in banking conspiracy theories ?” which sound, of course, rather similar to Jewish Banking Conspiracy theories, that deathless staple of the far Right.”

    http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays/conspiracycorner/1230/us_banking_conspiracies.html

    Now that everybody pointing the finger for the economic meltdown, but you have to be careful not to step over the line. Last night’s rant drove a juggernaught through it, quite unnecessarily.

    If you want to talk about institutional corruption, go right ahead. There are plenty of threads in which that would be perfectly on topic. You can even analyse how people become corrupted and discuss how to uncorrupt them. But talk of “dark forces” is best left to the witch-doctors.

  • CheebaCow

    I recommend you implement a user moderation system much like the techsite slashdot.org uses. Every user has their own login, and when they post comments, other users can mod the comment up or down. Unless a comment has a high enough score it will not be seen (users can alter this threshold for themselves). Also getting high scores for a comment give the poster mod points to use on other peoples comments.

    I really like this system. It saves a lot of manual moderation which is a massive time sink. It leads to crap being unseen while insightful comments are displayed to all. It also promotes more of a community feel and encourages thoughtful posting with the mod points reward system.

    I realise that this would be a massive upgrade to your current site. However in the long run I think it would be worth the investment of time/resources. Your site is an amazing rescource/community and I think with a system like I describe above it would enable this virtual space to continue to grow and become even more valuable across the globe.

  • lwtc247

    CheebaCow “It leads to crap being unseen” – how do you know if you can’t see it?

    There are many negative points about such a system which I havn’t the time to mention right now.

    @ all

    I think Craig you should just continue to do what you have been doing so far, which seems to have been very successful and efficient. Yellow cards are the best system I’ve seen. And if you[Craig] spot a comment you feel needs deleteion on YOUR blog then nobody can really complain. It’s not like you are a malicious censor. However I appeal to you not to censor honest and factual info even if it does purtain to the elite.

    The ‘aaah but that’s cos the elite…’ kind of stuff is pretty rare here and it does carry some context in most cases.

    Lets not gove the pigs who have an very unwelcome influence on our lives a free ride, huh?

    Most of us here are sensible (but do get hot under the collar on occasions) as we respect you, your yellow card system should continue to prove effective. Idiots can be ignored as can liars e.g. those who know what the Guantanamo torture victims histories were, and ‘know’ they are ‘going back’ to terrorism etc.

  • eddie

    “MJ:

    They are the Illuminati you dipstick :)”

    Are they? How would I know when I don’t subscribe to all that stuff? Wikipedia says otherwise, but in line with the new friendly moderating policy I shall ignore the insult. Have a good day.

  • Somebody

    Simple if the reply is distinctly off topic or too long, it should go. Some of the posters on here should start their own bloggs if what they think is so important. Many are filled with their own self importance and nothing else.

    A voting system similar to the Daily Mail could be used if “Wibbler” could do it with this technology.

  • MJ

    For goodness sake eddie it was a joke, pure and simple. The use of a 🙂 was a major clue, not to mention the word choice.

  • Brendan

    The Guardian comments section is pretty good. I think that’s a good model. Outright abuse, racism, homophobia, support for Nu Lab, they are all pretty easy to delete. In general, though, I hope the writer leaves it as much alone as possible. This would be in the spirit of the over-all blog, I think. This means putting up with a bit of idiocy, but that’s the interweb for you. The anti semitism is a bit annoying, too, but I suspect most people just pity those posters, and hit the scroll button asap.

    And it goes without saying: don’t do a Dolly Draper and turn the site into Pravda. It’s beneath you!

  • Anonymous

    lwtc247: “how do you know if you can’t see it?”

    You can see it, if you set your threshold low, or follow high moded comments back. Personally I like the system, it retains all the information posted but allows users more freedom to decide how many troll posts they want to see.

  • Jon

    @Brendan; no, no, no… the comments policy at “Comment is Free” is atrocious. There is so much censorship of alternative perspectives it is not worthy of its own name. Witness the removal of much of the criticism of Polly Toynbee when Craig blogged about her article on Ghana. Criticism of the Guardian performance in the vein of Media Lens tends to get deleted also.

  • Craig

    eddie

    MJ’s comment was a joke. Quite a good one too, I thought.

    Jaded

    Can’t recall deleting anything from you.

  • Jaded

    Well, rightly or wrongly, I think folk that do have views on banking and power should be allowed to air those views without being branded as racist. It’s pathetic. If I have a problem with Swiss yodellers does that make me an anti-Swissite? Or if I have a problem with French mushroom farmers then i’m a anti-Frenchite am I? Or if I have a problem with Scottish whiskey makers that makes me anti-Scottite? Does anyone here feel that British paedophiles represent them? If the answer to these questions is no, which I think (hope) you all would agree, then why the hell does anyone who has a problem with Jewish bankers get called an anti-Semite? I honestly don’t get it. Now, one can civilly debate that particular point about banking, but why does race come into it? It just makes me more suspicious that there is some conspiracy, ***not a racist one***, and that the race card is used as a shield to prevent discussion of it. There are good and bad guys in every race and i’m sure many Jews would feel completely insulted to discover that members of their race couldn’t be scrutinised without the scrutinisers being called anti-semitic! I’m an anti-badite. Root out the baddies whoever and wherever they are. I don’t give a toss if it’s my cousin down the road. Am I thick or something?

    Rant over.

  • MJ

    “…the race card is used as a shield to prevent discussion of it”

    Before you get deleted again I’d just like to say that I agree with you.

  • eddie

    The difference dear Jaded is that the Swiss and the Scots are nationalities, who include Black, Asian and Jewish people. Similarly, every bank will employ a mix of races and nationalities. To talk about Scottish bankers is therefore very different from talking about Jewish bankers. Simple enough for you? Moreover the phrase “Jewish bankers” clearly has overtones that the phrase Scottish bankers does not have.

  • Jaded

    ‘Moreover the phrase “Jewish bankers” clearly has overtones that the phrase Scottish bankers does not have.’

    Arggghhhhhh!

  • eddie

    What part of that don’t you understand? Do you think it would be acceptable to talk about Black bankers or Muslim bankers or Gay bankers? If not, why is it acceptable to talk about Jewish bankers? The phrase clearly relates to an agenda that is quite clearly anti-semitic.

  • MJ

    I think you’ll find eddie that those who are interested in the global banking system just refer to ‘bankers’.

    It is only the ADL and others keen to stifle discussion of the system who try to suggest that there are anti-Jewish sentiments implicit in even referring to ‘bankers’, or scrutinising their activities.

  • Jaded

    Yes, exactly. When I said ‘why the hell does anyone who has a problem with Jewish bankers get called an anti-Semite?’ I probably didn’t make my point very well. I should have said bankers who ‘happen to be’, and are certainly not exclusively, Jewish.

  • eddie

    No you didn’t make your point well. In fact the point was made badly, perhaps deliberately so. The race, religion or ethnicity of any banker is irrelevant and I think you will find that legislation exists to keep it that way, as for any profession. What next -Fred Goodwin and Adam Applegarth are Jewish?

  • Jaded

    ‘In fact the point was made badly’

    No, it wasn’t made ‘badly’. You are just a plonker.

    ‘perhaps deliberately so’

    You are sick in the head.

    ‘The race, religion or ethnicity of any banker is irrelevant.’

    Exactly. Let’s stick to naming names whatever race they may be. Can’t go far wrong then…

    I know you are Jessy, others do too i’m sure, and I know you have an ‘agenda’. You are feeble and have been exposed. They honestly couldn’t find someone with more than 3 brain cells to send forth? It’s like an episode of ‘When Amoebas Attack’ with you on here. Now bog off and stop bothering me.

  • eddie

    Your ad hominem abuse is water off a duck’s back I’m afraid. So if I talk about “bankers who happen to be black”, or “bankers who happen to be Gay”, what point am I making exactly? Why the fuck do you think it is acceptable to talk about Jewish bankers? What points are you trying to be make other than ones that are both anti-semitic and of the fruitcake “dark forces” variety that Craig is so keen to expunge from this site?

    “Am I thick or something?”

    Answer. Yes.

    And a racist too, unless you can prove otherwise.

  • Jaded

    ‘”Am I thick or something?”

    Answer. Yes.

    And a racist too, unless you can prove otherwise.’

    LOL. You said it my old mucker Jessy… I couldn’t have summed it up any better myself. Now run off back to ‘Spook School’ and get some more qualifications. Tell them Jaded said to send us someone with more clout we can have fun with. You are way too fragile and ‘thick’. Teehee! :-0

  • nextus

    Easy on, Jaded! You’re actually making Eddie seem like a voice of rationality! Don’t stoop.

    FWIW, I accept you’re not a racist in the general sense because you’re not attributing negative characteristics to an entire race. But your views on the banking problem are implicitly racist. Why are you singling out Jewish bankers in particular? You haven’t explained. Are you suggesting bankers are only corrupt if they’re Jewish? Or that the Jewish bankers are somehow more likely to be corrupt than the others? Or that they’re generally even more corrupt than the norm? Or that they are somehow inspiring the whole culture of selfish profiteering? Which is it, Jaded??

    Maybe you’d prefer to shirk the racism allegation by targeting Zionism instead. Are you then implying that a global banking cartel is steering the world economy to serve a Zionist agenda?? In that case, you could be reading from Ahmadinejad’s catechism. It’s a grand conspiracy theory, with huge logical gaps filled in by mistrust and suspicion.

    Maybe your instincts are telling you the Jewish bankers must somehow be to blame, and the only thing you need is supporting facts? If you accept that kind of instinct without self-criticism, you are mirroring the thought processes of the BNP.

    I’ll maybe cite you in my talk to a ‘United Against Fascism’ group this evening. I’ll be warning left-wingers to be mindful of conspiracy theorists who are inadvertently greasing the path from anticapitalism to “national socialism” via antisemitism. (The message which sparked this moderation controversy was designed to do exactly that, adducing forged evidence as ‘confirmation’.)

    If you have incontrovertible evidence to justify blaming Jewish bankers in particular, people need to know. But if (as I suspect) your language just embodies your own implicit hostility, you can expect to be robustly challenged (or deleted, for reasons of time and relevance). Best wishes.

  • Jaded

    ‘Easy on, Jaded! You’re actually making Eddie seem like a voice of rationality! Don’t stoop.’

    I couldn’t resist and, yes, it was stooping. I honestly think he is here with an agenda though. I am going to give as honest a response that I can to the rest of your post and speak my mind.

    ‘FWIW, I accept you’re not a racist in the general sense because you’re not attributing negative characteristics to an entire race. But your views on the banking problem are implicitly racist. ‘Why are you singling out Jewish bankers in particular? You haven’t explained. Are you suggesting bankers are only corrupt if they’re Jewish? Or that the Jewish bankers are somehow more likely to be corrupt than the others? Or that they’re generally even more corrupt than the norm? Or that they are somehow inspiring the whole culture of selfish profiteering? Which is it, Jaded??’

    Are you trying to limit my choice in explanation here? Some of those options you posit are completely and utterly daft. I’m probably the least racist person you will ever meet. I’m the same as the other 6 billion that walk the earth. We are a global community of human beings. I don’t view a Jew, Nigerian, Malaysian or Brazilian as any different to my father, mother or sister. I simply think that the way the world has randomly evolved we have ended up in a situation where Jewish bankers (few hundred people) have, not all, but a lot of financial power. This is especially the case in the U.S.. I do also believe that power corrupts. But it’s not ‘because’ they are Jews. It’s random. It could have been Germans, French, Chinese whatever. Also, this financial power could have emerged out of a religious group or a cultural group. I reiterate, we are talking about a small group of people. You neglected to refer to the fact that earlier in this thread I suggested we all just stick to naming names I see.

    ‘Maybe you’d prefer to shirk the racism allegation by targeting Zionism instead. Are you then implying that a global banking cartel is steering the world economy to serve a Zionist agenda?? In that case, you could be reading from Ahmadinejad’s catechism. It’s a grand conspiracy theory, with huge logical gaps filled in by mistrust and suspicion.’

    I reiterate, I am talking about a small group of people. You again seem to set the parameters of my thoughts. I do indeed think there are moves towards a global bank, global currency and global government by some of these people. I wouldn’t call it a ‘grand conspiracy’, but I would use the word conspiratorial. I actually think we all make it up as we go along. I also think that the vast majority of Jews will be vicitims like the rest of us if this scenario comes to pass. I think it will all be very undemocratic.

    ‘Maybe your instincts are telling you the Jewish bankers must somehow be to blame, and the only thing you need is supporting facts? If you accept that kind of instinct without self-criticism, you are mirroring the thought processes of the BNP.’

    Blame for what exactly? I don’t know what you are talking about. Lumping me in with the BNP? Wow.

    ‘I’ll maybe cite you in my talk to a ‘United Against Fascism’ group this evening. I’ll be warning left-wingers to be mindful of conspiracy theorists who are inadvertently greasing the path from anticapitalism to “national socialism” via antisemitism. (The message which sparked this moderation controversy was designed to do exactly that, adducing forged evidence as ‘confirmation’.)’

    I think you are mentally trapped within all these artificial concepts. That sounds like a right load of nonsense. I’m an individual that sees things individually. From what I know of ‘fascism’ it doesn’t sound good. If you want to quote me, then quote me. Go ahead. However, please don’t misquote me and let folk make their own minds up.

    ‘If you have incontrovertible evidence to justify blaming Jewish bankers in particular, people need to know. But if (as I suspect) your language just embodies your own implicit hostility, you can expect to be robustly challenged (or deleted, for reasons of time and relevance). Best wishes.’

    Again, blaming them for what? My own implicit hostility against what? I’ve got nothing against sensible debate. I think you think in black and white too much on ‘some things’. You sound a little hostile to me to be honest. I don’t think you understand me and try to make out i’m an idiot. I am just trying to see the world as it is ‘now’. I am trying to deconstruct power and figure out where it lies. The only thing I want is peace in the world. Don’t persecute the openminded. 🙁 Best wishes to you too, and everyone on the planet, and I genuinely mean that!

  • eddie

    You still don’t seem to understand the difference between a nation and a race. So, in your words, “Jewish bankers have a lot of power” – then “it could have been Germans, French…whatever”. The confusion is self-evident.

    What is your point exactly? Why does the word Jewish have to be attached to the word Banker? If bankers have a lot of power and some of them happen to be Jewish what are you trying to say? Any objective person reading your words would implicitly see them as anti-semitic.

    Yes I do have an agenda and it is to challenge fritcakes like you. In a week when a guard at the Holocaust museum has been killed by a white superemacist I think this is needed, particularly as the far left and the far right seem intent on linking up in their use of anti-semitism, racism and Holocaust denial via Hizbollah and Ahmadinejad.

  • Jaded

    Look, i’m sorry to say this. I know you have an agenda, but maybe you are incredibly stupid to boot. Not that I thought you were the brightest chip of the block. It pains me to know that I am the same as you. Now just bugger off and stop bothering me.

  • MJ

    You eddie are confusing the notions of race and religion. Judaism is a religion not a race. There are Jews of all races. Most are of European origin.

1 2 3

Comments are closed.