Some Rules For Comment Moderation 529


This is essentially a free speech forum. I enjoy much of the banter which goes on between commenters, particularly the dedicated band of people who post on a daily basis. There is an important distinction between my writing, and the comments section. The proportion of readers who leave comments is well under 1%. I cannot know what percentage of the readers read comments, but I suspect it is not terribly high.

In social media I find establishment hacks – particularly journalists and Labour Party functionaries – dismiss my thoughts by referring to the comments section. “Craig Murray – have you seen the tinfoil hats comments on his blog!” being a genuine and very typical example. Well, if people wish to damn me by association with the views of other people, that is sadly an example of the low intellectual standards of the British nomenklatura of our time. The only views on here which are mine are those which I write.

I cherish the diversity of the comment threads and am fond of our little community, most of whom I have never met. I do not value people by the standard of how close their views are to my own. I am sometimes saddened by the personal animosities which arise between people.

We state some rules from time to time. This is the current set, which I just made up:

No racism. Any comment which is racist will simple be deleted immediately. The biggest problem we face is anti-Jewish comment, which I will not tolerate. We are not in the business of stigmatising anti-Zionism as anti-Jewish, but there are quite frequently distinctly anti-Jewish comments. I deleted one just an hour ago.

Similarly, no holocaust denial. I do not believe it should be illegal (I am against thought crime) but I do not wish to have it on my blog as those associated with it often have very unpleasant sympathies. That is not to say the subject of the holocaust can never be mentioned – it will never be possible to ascertain the precise number who were killed, and it is important we remember not only the Jews but the Poles, gypsies, gays, freemasons and numerous others who suffered. But the basic facts are not in doubt. It is surprising how often people attempt to insinuate holocaust denial.

Sockpuppetry. It is in practice impossible to outlaw sockpuppetry without a formal registration system, which I do not want. But the adoption of multiple identities within the same thread is not to be allowed, nor the creation of identities of which the purpose is to ridicule, attack or insult another contributor.

Fair Play. Play the ball, not the man. Address arguments, not people. Do not impugn the motives of others, including me. No taunting.

Relevance

Attempts to keep people on topic are hopeless, but do try.

9/11

We don’t discuss 9/11. There are plenty of places on the web where you can do that. It tends to take over threads.

Contribute

Contributions which are primarily just a link to somewhere else will be deleted. You can post links, but give us the benefit of your thoughts upon them.

No explanation.

Enforcing these rules is necessarily arbitrary and needs judgement calls. Moderators are precluded from explaining decisions online. If you want to complain use the contact button.

Moderators

We have, and have had, excellent moderators over many years. But almost all have found it not only time consuming but also surprisingly emotionally draining. If you are interested in volunteering and are willing for me to know both your real and online identity, please get in tough using the contact button.


529 thoughts on “Some Rules For Comment Moderation

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  • Ben

    It’s nice to have some clear guidelines, but I wonder if actual moderation will reflect a hard target or soft. Rule nazis adore the truncheon.

  • Vronsky

    Jeez, Craig – you’ve just forbidden everything that’s fun about the blog.

    You cunt! [Testing, testing…taps microphone]

  • Daniel

    Craig, on the issue of antisemitism/anti-Zionism, I’d be interested what your views are (if you have any) in relation to Gilad Atzmon’s book ‘The Wandering Who’

  • Republicofscotland

    Craig we the bloggers don’t always get it right,and I’m pleased that you’re quite forgiving at times,our frailties shouldn’t be a reflection of your aspirations to do good in the real world.

    But unfortunately some less than understanding bodies in media and further afield,will inevitably use your blog against you,as a whipping stick.

    I, and I’m sure many other posters and comment viewers, of your blog will see you as a good man trying to do the right thing.

    No one said it would be easy.

  • Póló

    Good to see some clear guidelines. Proof will be in the pudding, as I recently saw a “journalist” write.

    I think you mean play the ball and not the man.

  • John Goss

    “Play the man, not the ball.” I think you mean “Play the ball, not the man.”

    Will try, but I have often been the victim myself and only ever play the perpetrators. 🙂

  • John Goss

    Póló ‘s comment of 16 Jun, 2015 – 9:09 pm was not there when I started reading your blog-piece. So apols for duplication.

  • fedup

    I hope anti Muslim rhetoric often spewed by certain of the “contributors” does come under the heading racist and dealt with accordingly.

  • Alan Mackenzie

    “Contributions which are primarily just a link to somewhere else will be deleted. You can post links, but give us the benefit of our thoughts upon them.”

    Shouldn’t this perhaps read “… give us the benefit of YOUR thoughts upon them.”?

  • giyane

    Craig, sometimes you are ahead of our curve and sometimes we are ahead of your curve. If any of your critics are dragging behind not just the curve but the thirst for truth and the love of puncturing lies, take absolutely no notice of them. This forum is amazing, like a sonic boom smashing the glass of those whose glass=houses needed smashing and getting up the noses of those whose glasses are too thick to see anything. Your competitors either deny truthspeaking outright, like the Guardian, or are themselves off far from the logic base of your opinions. No-one would want to sully their own reputations by commenting on the blogs of loonies. The fact that you allow us to push the limit of acceptable thought on your space is generous of you in the extreme.

  • Leonard Young

    Thank goodness. I am one of many who come here to get information I cannot find anywhere else. Some of it might be speculative, untrue, or misguided, but it is a welcome relief from the obsequious rubbish published elsewhere. I rarely post, and Craig you are right that the vast majority don’t, partly because they get turned off by aggressive personal spats between the same old names cropping up here with tedious regularity. They are not useful or illuminating – and ploughing through the personal poison to find the enlightened info gets increasingly difficult.

    The rules are reasonable and civilised. Thank you.

  • Monteverdi

    http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/pressroom/2008/pages/address_fm_livni_ujc_ga_19-nov-2008.aspx

    ” The biggest problem we face is anti-Jewish comment ” .

    But that Craig is a problem compounded by Israel itself in conflating itself the product of colonial Zionism as the ‘ Jewish State ‘. Further compounded by many in Israel to call all Jews a part of the ‘ tribe ‘ and described as such in the Israeli Press .
    Overwhelmingly most of the Jewish newspapers in other countries are fiercely loyal to Israel .
    As such you’re setting yourself up as a Gatekeeper attempting to moderate an minefield . I link to a Tzipi Livni speech on an Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to illustrate the problem .

  • craig Post author

    Monteverdi

    It is not easy. But many decent Jewish people reject those Israeli claims. There are also still a declining number of Jewish people who do support the state of Israel but are nevertheless decent and well-meaning people. If you argue there is no real distinction between anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish, you are in agreement with Tony Blair.

  • Monteverdi

    http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/131485/pre-election-jc-poll-reveals-huge-support-netanyahu-among-uk-jews

    ” It’s not easy but many decent Jewish people reject those Israeli claims ”
    [ Craig ]

    I think you’re in a state of denial Craig . Ant-Zionist Jews are few . I know , I have worked with those few organisations who are .
    The above link is an unavoidable truth which is why I make the assertion that moderation on that topic will always remain a minefield on your blog .

  • Ashraf

    Holocaust – yes a lot of people died. But so have many millions more since then. It seems no lessons were learnt from the holocaust in the so called civilised 21st century. What is the point of having memorials if we don’t do anything to stop the many more holocausts that are going on now…we need to remember all those who dies since then as well

  • craig Post author

    Monteverdi

    You appear to be saying that being anti-Jewish is OK because Jewish people generally support Israel. If that is not what you are saying, you are being extremely unclear.

    Ashraf

    There is no rule at all preventing you from posting about other genocides and massacres as well.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    “The proportion of readers who leave comments is well under 1%.”

    That’s a pretty sobering thought. I bet a complete list of the regular readership would have plenty of interesting names on it.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • giyane

    “Craig Murray – have you seen the tinfoil hats comments on his blog!”

    BBC World Service broadcast in the wee small hours of the night an interview with an Afghani man about the Taliban. He was asked if they have any kind of music. ‘yes’ he cheerily replied, ‘the music of the weapons’.

    That was a tin hat comment if ever there was one. Don’t let’s be under the illusion that tinhatism is confined to CM.org.uk alone.

  • Monteverdi

    Craig , a well known rhetorical response but I sense you are fully aware of the clarity of my position and your reply a diversion .
    As to your response to Ashraf you do not make clear whether others may question the narrative or deny any of the genocides he may wish to post about . If revision or denial is acceptable on others, but not on one , you are arguing for the acceptance of one genocides primacy over all others .

  • Daniel

    Monteverdi,

    I tend to agree with you.

    91 per cent of Israeli Jews supported Israel’s campaign against the people of Gaza. 77 percent of Israeli Jews polled “very strong support” for last years Operation Protective Edge’s airstrikes on Gaza. Just 1.5% of respondents opposed the airstrikes.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183441#.VYCqA_lVikp

    A poll published in April in the Jewish Chronicle revealed that an overwhelming majority of Jews prefer the Conservatives over Labour. 69 percent of Jews questioned said they were going to vote for David Cameron’s Tories. Only 22 percent sided with Labour and Ed Miliband.

    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.651210

    Haaretz’ writer Anshel Pfeffer suggested that while Cameron is widely regarded as “the most pro-Israel prime minister in British history,” (Conservative MPs who are Friends of Israel stands at 80 per cent) Miliband is considered indifferent at best and by many as downright hostile to the Jewish state.”

    According to Gilad Atzmon, the Book Of Esther teaches Jews how to manipulate, mobilize and interfere with their rulers rather than becoming the rulers themselves. “British Jews”, he says, “need a leader who easily succumb to their lobby pressure. They suspect that Ed may be more resistant than any other candidate and truth must be told, they may as well be correct.”

    http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2015/4/15/ed-miliband-and-the-jews

  • John Goss

    “The proportion of readers who leave comments is well under 1%.”

    This is a bit disconcerting being part of the 1%. Might have to stop commenting. 🙂

    We are many, they are few.

  • Macky

    Fedup; “I hope anti Muslim rhetoric often spewed by certain of the “contributors” does come under the heading racist and dealt with accordingly.”

    Fat chance I fear, instead it will be more of the same bias, where ugly Islamophobic comments are tolerated, but the mere allegation of a comment being anti-Semitic, (by the usual anti-Semitic smearing Witch-Finder Generals), may result in whole threads being deleted, as has happened before.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    John Goss
    17/06/2015 12:26am

    The last people who called themselves the one-percenters were the Hell’s Angels.

    Fancy yourself in a spiked helmet, huge beard and tiny shades, John?

    Kind regards,

    John

  • craig Post author

    Monteverdi

    You are quite wrong. I genuinely cannot comprehend your position, and insofar as I do understand it, it appears to me to tend towards saying it is OK to generally be anti-Jewish.

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