I’m leaving this site now because of a recent decision by mods (or one mod?)


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  • #65564 Reply
    N_

    I am now leaving this site

    7.05pm, 20 Jan 2021

    This is just to let people know that I am leaving this site because of today’s decision by moderators (or perhaps by just one moderator, I don’t know) to delete two of my comments in the thread entitled “23 elderly patients in Norway drop dead shortly after getting the Pfizer vaccine”.

    One of the two comments covered the report in the Guardian that thousands of people in Israel have become ill after taking the Pfizer vaccine.

    Readers can form their own opinions about the only “explanation” that the mods have given for their decision (which they did not have the courtesy to email to me). You can in particular decide whether you believe it smacks of immaturity, petty bourgeois arrogance, or blinkeredness. You can read it in full at that link. The mods (or mod) quote from one of the texts that they deleted, and I assume that what they quote is what they objected most strongly to. Unless of course it was something else that they don’t quote. But if that’s the case, they don’t say.

    This is how they respond to what they do quote:

    “These are clear examples of conspiracy theory, false claims and incitement to reject public health advice. Any more propaganda in that vein and you will excluded from the forum permanently.” (Emphasis in the original.)

    – without actually saying WHAT “false claims” they believe (or it appears they believe) that I made. What I said about the deaths in Norway was cited to the Guardian. What I said about thousands falling ill in Israel was cited to an article in the Briti$h Medical Journal. What I wrote about the immune system is easy to verify. So what claim did I make that is “false”? Someone’s typing fingers seem to be running far ahead of their intellect. They need to be advised to be much more careful when they use words such as “examples”, “claims”, “clear”, and “false”.

    As I said in one of the deleted texts, there is massive propaganda across the MSM in Britain right now in favour of the Pfizer vaccine and, more than that, promoting second and even third doses thereof. (Is it a “conspiracy theory” to say so?)

    Yet this mod accuses me of posting “propaganda”!

    I suspect the problem may well not lie with ALL of the moderators but perhaps only with one single person who doesn’t have the maturity to fulfil a moderation role. Do they feel they are sorting this place out, I wonder? Of course there may be another explanation too. Anyone who knows me knows I am not going to stay here after being spoken to like that. Did they know? I have no idea. But if a) the two texts are reinstated in full and b) I receive an apology by email, I may consider returning. For the time being I won’t see anything unless it’s emailed.

    In the meantime, good vibes to Craig (I dearly hope you win your court case) and good vibes to all bona fide commenters here (and indeed to any bona fide moderators too).

    #65565 Reply
    glenn_uk

    You never discussed anything anyway. All you did was lay down spiteful, condescending (and more often than not flat out wrong) posts. We can probably struggle on without them.

    Adios, fake Marxist.

    #65566 Reply
    mods-cm-org

    For your information N_, in recent days the moderators have deleted some rather robust complaints about your monologues, in case they might lower the tone of debate. Although your contributions were proving problematic in several ways and despite the fact you did not answer questions or engage in dialogue, we nevertheless protected your ability to state your case – within limits.

    The moderators are unanimous about the decision to delete those replies for promoting misleading antivaxx propaganda. Notably, no ban or pre-moderation was imposed. However, if you’re unwilling to consent to reasonable moderation, then you’re welcome to find a more receptive (or unmoderated) platform for your views elsewhere.

    #65570 Reply
    glenn_uk

    Having had a quick look at your references, N, I’m jolly glad you are leaving. Your summaries are inaccurate to the point of being outright deceptive.

    No, 22 people did not just drop dead after receiving the vaccine.

    And no, the vaccine did not make thousands of people ill in Israel, you trickster, some of them them simply found themselves still susceptible to the virus after receiving only the first shot.

    Is this why you never discuss your assertions? Because you know full well it’s disingenuous bunk?

    #65613 Reply
    Dave

    I’d rather you’d stay N, as your posts are very informative, with some humour, albeit with some angry put downs, but better than the relentless black is white posts we are subjected too by the feudalists!

    #65614 Reply
    Clark

    “…immaturity, petty bourgeois arrogance, or blinkeredness. […] Anyone who knows me knows I am not going to stay here after being spoken to like that.”

    Seriously?

    With all N_’s hate speech towards almost every conceivable sort of public sector worker, I thought it could be a parody account, but the apparently fatally wounded ego suggests otherwise :/ Could this be what happens if one fails to realise that the Agenda 21 depopulation conspiracy theory is actually fringe right-wing FUD against the UN, and therefore fundamentally unreconcilable with Marxism?

    Dong Work for Yuda – Frank Zappa, YouTube, 5 min 3 sec.

    – This is the story ’bout Bald-Headed John,
    – He talks a lot ‘n’ it’s usually wrong,
    – Sorry John sorry better try it again…

    #65616 Reply
    Clark

    Informative? Feudalists? And isn’t Marxism a form of Dave’s most hated thing, communism? This would all be very confusing if it wasn’t for the recurrent themes that unify these jokers; conspiracy theory and anti-Semitism.

    #65629 Reply
    ET

    One of the two comments covered the report in the Guardian that thousands of people in Israel have become ill after taking the Pfizer vaccine.

    On reading that N_ the take away is that the Pfizer vaccine caused many people to become ill, ie. a reaction to the vaccine. What the Guardian piece actually states is that many people in Israel became infected with Sars-Cov-2 virus despite having had the first dose of vaccine, not that they were ill because of the vaccine. The former is a false representation of the report whilst the latter is a real concern given the UK’s policy change to delay the second dose which falls outside established trial data protocols. Why would you wish to conflate the two?

    What I said about thousands falling ill in Israel was cited to an article in the Briti$h Medical Journal.

    The BMJ article linked makes no mention of Israel, only Norway and the 23 deaths there post vaccine is mentioned.

    #65726 Reply
    glenn_uk

    I see my post was removed. Whaa! Mods! Not fair, not fair! I’m leaving! Craig – help! Oh… sorry, I thought I was a whiny-assed conspiracy theorist there for a moment!

    Seriously, though – I think if Mystic N_eg really cleaned up his ways, started being honest for a change, engaged in some proper discussion of his (ehem) fascinating ideas, he might be allowed back to post here.

    IF he also sends a grovelling apology to all concerned right here in public. Apologising to the Mods, apologising to Craig Murray for abusing the privilege of posting here, and most particularly apologising to the readers for insulting our intelligence with his lies deliberate misleading, half-truths and condescending nonsense. Can’t say fairer than that.

    #65774 Reply
    kashmiri

    Glad that N_ will be booted. This is a rather serious blog which should not serve as a publicity platform for people bent on promoting pseudo-science and jeopardising public health. Sure, the many vices of the pharmaceutical sector need to be stamped out, but these problems rarely have anything to do with the safety and efficacy of actual medications.

    #65801 Reply
    Ingwe

    Actually rather a lot of patronising, sarcastic, rude and authoritarian posts from some of the mods and other posters such as glenn_uk and Kashmiri who don’t condescend to justify their own assertions.

    If the criteria for posting on this forum is to post only matters that follow the shining path of truth as posited by the mooderators and their fans it’s not worth a damn. I certainly didn’t agree with everything _N had to say anymore than I agree with everything anyone posts but the reaction from some of you is akin to Twitter’s policy of censorship. You’ll decide what comments can and can’t be made about the vaccines even where _N has explained his source or basis of belief. Unworthy.

    #65806 Reply
    mods-cm-org

    Maybe there are unstated factors contributing to your sense of irritation, Ingwe.

    Ingwe
    2020/08/04 at 7:03 pm
    [ … ] – do you like sex and travel?


    [ Mod: Do you like posting here? Then kindly abide by the community rules … ]

    I think you’ll agree you provided a fine example of a “rude” comment (albeit delicately expressed). Perhaps resentment at being so moderated may account for the other attributes you project. As for “sarcastic” comments, your use of a phrase like “the shining path of truth as posited by the mooderators” provides another reference point. No matter.

    The substantial issue is whether there should be limits to free speech on open platforms on the internet. Of course, this question has been a subject of intense debate over the last year or so in response to what has been widely perceived as the unregulated circulation of misinformation aimed at influencing public opinion. The emerging consensus is that some form of remedial action is appropriate: hence the revision of policies by Twitter, Facebook and other social media providers. Every blog with an open comments section faces the same challenge and each is free to respond according to their own ethical position. The good news for libertarian free speech advocates is that this means there is a plurality of responses without uniformity across the board. The bad news is that some people find they can’t write whatever they want on every platform. Indeed, they’re likely to perceive content moderation as an unwarranted restriction, and expressions of annoyance are likely to follow (see above).

    We will have more to say about the ethical framework being applied here in a separate notification.

    Warm regards,
    Mods.

    #65822 Reply
    ET

    N_ has self imposed his absence Ingwe. I didn’t see his two comments that were deleted so can’t comment but I did make a note about the Guardian piece above which N_ refers to. The piece relates to people in Israel becoming infected with Sars-Cov-2 after or despite having had the first dose of vaccination not to them becoming ill because of adverse reactions to the vaccine. Israel being taken as a good example because they have vaccinated the most per capita of any country.

    #65882 Reply
    Ingwe

    I note, by your reproduction of my intemperate message of 4 August 2020, that you presume to discern my possible motivation for my post of last night, as a reaction to your ‘wrist slap’. It was not, and your impugning of my motivation, is an express breach of Mr Murray’s rules:

    “Do not impugn the motives of others, including me.”

    As you don’t provide the context of my August 2020 post, and the site doesn’t permit me to search for my posts in order for me to set out the context, I’ll provide a truncated version from memory. I don’t recall the actual topic concerned but a short comment on the topic had resulted in a series of posts all essentially ad hominem attacks on the poster. The failure of moderators to address this led to my engagement with one of the attackers. I accept that my response was rude and I took no issue with the moderation. Indeed, I am happy to apologise for it.

    My post in reaction to _N’s situation was motivated by the response to several posters whose posts on N_’s comment included the following:

    “You never discussed anything anyway. All you did was lay down spiteful, condescending (and more often than not flat out wrong) posts. We can probably struggle on without them.
    Adios, fake Marxist.”

    “I’m jolly glad you are leaving. Your summaries are inaccurate to the point of being outright deceptive.”

    “you trickster”

    “With all N_’s hate speech”

    “the apparently fatally wounded ego”

    “This would all be very confusing if it wasn’t for the recurrent themes that unify these jokers; conspiracy theory and anti-Semitism.”

    So the responders to N_’s post conclude that N_

    Never discussed anything (manifestly untrue if you trouble to read N_’ posts
    He was spiteful condescending
    He was a “fake Marxist” whatever that is
    That he was deceptive and a trickster
    That his ego had been fatally wounded
    That he engaged in hate speak
    That he espoused conspiracy theories thereby making him a conspiracy theorist
    That the themes that unify some people, clearly including N_, is conspiracy theory and anti-Semitism.

    All these comments without any discussion, evidence or argument, by posters who remain unmoderated. Contrast those posts with that of ET timed at 01:23. He disagrees with N_ but he has the decency to argue his case and not rely on invective.

    Incidentally, my literary allusion to “the shining path of truth” is taken from Jorges Semprun’s ‘What a Beautiful Sunday’ a novel dealing, inter alia, with his expulsion from the Spanish Communist Party for not blindly following Stalin’s policy. He later ended up in Buchenwald. I commend the book to you.

    N_ doesn’t need me or anybody else to defend him; he’s intelligent and articulate enough to speak for himself. What is bemusing however is how the examples given above appear not to have attracted moderation despite the moderator posting:

    “For your information N_, in recent days the moderators have deleted some rather robust complaints about your monologues, in case they might lower the tone of debate.”

    The moderator clearly didn’t find any of the comments, as set out above, to be lowering the tone of the debate or as personal attacks.

    I have no desire to fall out with the moderators, posters or anyone else. Neither do I wish to spend any further of my limited time in arguing the toss. I know how difficult it is to be a forum moderator. I have moderated a forum and know both that this is a voluntary, unpaid, time consuming and emotionally draining exercise. However, like policing, it must be done with consent. For that consent to be forthcoming, the policed and moderated must see, not just read about, policies being fair, equally applied, no guilt by association and nothing that creates the impression of a self-interested clique.

    I imagine that, with Mr Murray’s trial commencing this coming week, he’s not and rightly so the least bit interested in these blog issues. I will remain a subscriber to the blog, I will continue to donate to any further appeal for funds and, it goes without saying, that I wish Mr Murray good luck.

    In the meantime, I shall continue to read his posts, but not trouble to comment and look forward, with interest, to reading about the ethical framework to be applied on this site. A welcome development.

    Warm regards

    Ingwe.

    #65909 Reply
    Clark

    Ingwe – “If the criteria for posting on this forum is to post only matters that follow the shining path of truth as posited by the mooderators and their fans it’s not worth a damn”

    I know, let’s have forums where it’s acceptable to convince children to drink poison.

    We’re well rid of N_’s deception, and you’re defending a hateful liar.

    #65919 Reply
    Ingwe

    Clark, I understand that you used to be a moderator.
    Your post makes my point and explains why you’re no longer s moderator.

    #65967 Reply
    Clark

    Ingwe, these are the discussion forums, not the “personal propaganda” forums. People are entitled to their opinions, but they should respect facts; avoiding or misrepresenting facts is dishonest. Let me remind you; it’s:

    Truth, Justice, Peace.

    That’s a dependency chain; peace is impossible without justice, and justice is impossible without truth.

    N_ consistently misrepresented facts, spreading false claims to the public that will increase suffering and death. N_ also consistently evaded accountability by refusing to discuss those false claims.

    The right of self expression is important, but even more so are the rights to health and life.

    Moderators have a duty to the public that is more important than their responsibility to individual commenters. Relativism may be very fashionable these days, and it has a superficial appeal, but it is wrong; there are such things as facts, honesty, fallacy, good and bad.

    N_ left of N_’s own accord. If you also disrespect truth, and therefore also justice and peace, I’d be glad to see you clear off too. But that’s just my opinion, OK?

    #65968 Reply
    Clark

    Oh sorry, I forgot:

    “Warm regards”.

    #65969 Reply
    mods-cm-org

    @ Ingwe – January 24, 2021 at 21:47

    Clark, I understand that you used to be a moderator.

    Correct. Clark used to be moderator, but he resigned over four years ago.

    Your post makes my point and explains why you’re no longer s moderator.

    The comment does support the issue you raised to some extent, but you’re wrong to infer that it explains why Clark is no longer a moderator. It was his choice to resign, just as it was N_’s choice to leave.

    Ingwe, you evidently appreciate some of the key dilemmas of moderating a discussion forum, and I hope we can continue this conversation in due course. In the meantime, Clark’s reply @11:03 accurately represents the position of the moderation team.

    #65994 Reply
    Ingwe

    Clark – you sound more like ‘The Guardian’ with every post. Who’s truth am I disrespecting? Your ‘truth’ Your ‘sacred facts’? The Guardian states “Comment is free, but facts are sacred”. So your statement

    “People are entitled to their opinions, but they should respect facts; avoiding or misrepresenting facts is dishonest.”

    suggests that there are facts which must always be respected and if a different interpretation of those facts is posited that amounts to dishonesty.So if N_ (or anyone else) represents facts in a manner to which you don’t concur, or puts forward alternative facts, that isn’t their opinion or commentary it is a violation of some sacred fact. As historian Howard Zinn put it in the Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and Democracy, Seven Stories Press, 1997:

    “Behind any presented fact…..is a judgement-the judgement that this fact is important to put forward (and, by implication, other facts may be ignored). And any such judgement reflects the belief, the values of the historian [or journalist], however he or she pretends to ‘objectivity’.

    As the commentary to this passage in Propaganda Blitz-How the Corporate Media Distort Reality reads:

    “In other words, facts are not more ‘sacred’ than comment, because facts are a form of comment. The historian or journalist selects and highlights this fact rather than that fact.

    The suggestion that media employees (journalists) are ‘neutral’ suppliers of ‘sacred’ facts, allows media corporations owned and sponsored by billionaires to claim that they are merely highlighting the objectively most important facts.

    Clark’s dismissal of this argument as being merely a fashionable relativism, attractive but superficial, is trite in the extreme. Of course there are fallacies both good and bad, honesty. Facts are verifiable and in the context of the pandemic, there are various ‘facts’ set out by scientists of different disciplines reaching different conclusions. These findings are not absolute but may vary over time and what is presented as a fact may be changed over time.

    Let me illustrate this further with an apposite example. In Mr Murray’s case, starting on Wednesday. The prosecution will, somewhere in the pleadings, have to sign a statement or statements that in their belief, the facts stated in the Crown’s case are true. In English law, both statements of case and witness statements, have to contain statements of truth. The precise statement currently in use in England for verifying witness statements (I accept the Scots Law statement may be different) is as follows:

    “I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true. I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.”

    Mr Murray should, by Clark’s argument, just accept that these are ‘the facts’ and therefore true. Why? because the statement maker asserts his belief that they’re true. But Mr Murray has his facts that he also believes are true. The judge will be in Clark’s position; the sole arbiter of what ‘facts’ are true. Let’s hope Mr Murray’s team can cast sufficient doubts on the prosecution’s ‘sacred’ facts and put forward their truths.

    I really couldn’t give a toss about whether Clark (or indeed the moderating team) will be glad if I push off. Neither do I care whether N- pushes off or not. What I will always resist are virtue signallers, happy only if their opinions and assertion of their facts are allowed to justify censorship on the specious basis that they hold the monopoly of what’s good for society as a whole.

    All the best for Wednesday Mr Murray. In these dark times, even small triumphs over the powers in charge, give a glimmer of hope to the rest of us.

    #65996 Reply
    SA

    Ingwe

    What you seem to imply is that there are ‘facts’ and there are ‘alternative facts’, an expression that has been used by Trump or one of his team before. Of course in this current debate it has become fashionable for those who know nothing about science, to have an opinion and then to present it as ‘fact’ when it is nothing of the sort. To just give an example, some posters claim that the PCR test for SARS cov2 is worthless because of a high false positive rate. Neither of these assertions are ‘facts’ in fact they are completely wrong, The PCR combines a high sensitivity and specificity. So to give equal credence to someone that somebody without any knowledge making a statement is a debatable fact is a fallacy. Other examples abound in this controversy.

    N_ did try to misinterpret and misrepresent some reports in the Guardian as has been pointed out before, so it was not even that he was presenting ‘alternative facts’ but was (deliberately) misinterpreting the report he spoke of. N- has been predicting famine and food shortages since the middle of last year consistently, and none has happened.

    I do understand your misgivings about deplatforming, something that has now effectively been used to silence any criticism of a certain ME country, but I think limiting the spread of misinformation is different.

    #66014 Reply
    mods-cm-org

    A comment from someone using the pseudonym ‘Giles’, posting via an anonymous VPN, was just deleted.

    It was a typical tease about the status of Covid ‘facts’, with reference to Dr Malcolm Kendrick’s critique of PCR tests.

    Dr Malcolm Kendrick has already been cited as an authority many times on this site, in support of suspect propaganda. Authority arguments require the author to be representative of the expert consensus in the particular field of research; but that is clearly not the case with Dr Malcolm Kendrick, who is an extremely controversial figure regarded by the majority of experts as an outright crank: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Malcolm_Kendrick

    It’s time to call time on these time-wasting distractions.

    #66042 Reply
    mods-cm-org

    Well, this is just getting silly. ‘Giles’ just tried to post a follow-up comment, threatening to take this blog to court for defaming Dr Kendrick. He included an email that he apparently sent to Dr Kendrick. An excerpt:

    If Craig is sued for defamation after he is jailed this week then I hope you are all very proud of yourselves

    Dear Malcolm

    Thought you might like to know, you are being maligned on the Craig Murray blog site – Discussions Section –

    [ link to comment above ]

    A commenter (SA) said that another commenter was wrong on opinion re accuracy of the Covid PCR test

    A further commenter (Giles) challenged SA and asked who was right SA or Dr M K quoting

    https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2020/09/28/false-positive-tests/</p&gt;

    The Mods deleted Giles’ post and left a very uncomplimentary, some might say Libellous, reply.

    The Mod’s comment … [ see above ]

    Right, stop that! It’s getting too silly!!

    If the comments were published in full, I’m sure avid readers would rumble who ‘Giles’ is. Needless to say, his ban is now permanent.

    #66062 Reply
    Duck

    Just spotted this discussion. Here’s my experience for what it’s worth.

    I was sent to Craig Murray’s blog by a friend who said it had a good discussion forum about covid-19. She later confirmed she was having a joke at my expense. She laughed out loud when I told her what I’d experienced. Then she apologized.

    I’ve never seen such a level of abuse on a moderated forum. Entire comments with no point other than to heap sarcastic vitriol on any who dare to even mildly challenge the mainstream Covid-19 narrative. And the most alarming feature is the seeming inability of the main protagonists (like others, I do not include ET) to believe that honest disagreement is possible. They claim everybody who espouses a contrary view is deliberately lying to hide their true agenda which is to kill people!!!! (Can they really be so blinkered as to believe that, or is it a tactic to demonize their opponents?)

    Ignoring the abuse is not an option. Meaningful discussion is impossible when your every comment triggers half a dozen abusive ones misrepresenting your position, which if not corrected are then repeated as though they were your position.

    The abuse is very one-sided, there is little retaliation from the narrative-skeptics. Yet in my short experience, I’ve seen 2 skeptics (3 including myself) driven from the thread and another driven off the entire blog.

    From what I’ve seen of the rest of the site, it is well moderated and smooth running, no doubt at the expense of many hours of unsung unpaid work. The covid-19 threads are the exception. It must be very challenging to moderate these contentious threads, but allowing mob rule isn’t the answer.

    #66067 Reply
    Clark

    Ingwe, that’s a huge amount of waffle by you at 14:33; the situation has already been summarised very succinctly by ET on January 24 at 00:39 –

    “The piece relates to people in Israel becoming infected with Sars-Cov-2 after or despite having had the first dose of vaccination not to them becoming ill because of adverse reactions to the vaccine.”

    N_ misrepresented his source, thus producing an anti-vaccine argument that is groundless, ie. N_ acted dishonestly.

    N_ had been on and on for weeks claiming that covid-19 vaccines are actually a covert tool for culling the population. This is very obviously conspiracy theory – not an allegation of conspiracy between a finite number of people with evidence to support it, such as Craig has done several times. Rather, groundless FUD that entire swathes of society the world over are actively engaged in trying to kill off the unwary reader. N_ then took to deliberately misrepresenting sources to fake evidence for this FUD.

    Ingwe, f you have any concern for Craig, you should be happy to see such behaviour curtailed, for it dilutes Craig’s work and contaminates it, laying him open to false accusations of “running a conspiracy theory website”, when in fact he exposes actual conspiracies.

    #66068 Reply
    Clark

    mods-cm-org, 20:38 – a case of “the doctor will sue you now”!

    https://badscience.net/files/The-Doctor-Will-Sue-You-Now.pdf

    #66069 Reply
    Clark

    Duck, have you posted at this site under the username “Node”?

    Yes, I know the rationalists who accept evidence get a bit intemperate sometimes, but it is exasperating to continually have to deal with dishonesty, evasion, neglecting to answer, cherry-picking, quote mining and hours-long YouTubing, and I can understand why the mods sometimes give them some leeway. Can’t you? Or do you think that 2 + 2 = 5 has to be treated as a fact just because it’s someone’s opinion?

    #66070 Reply
    Clark

    Oh and Duck, I think you too are a dishonest commenter. Here’s the evidence; your own words:

    “I’ve seen 2 skeptics (3 including myself) driven from the thread and another driven off the entire blog.”

    The “another driven off the entire blog” is clearly a reference to N_, so you are misrepresenting dishonesty as scepticism.

    #66075 Reply
    Duck

    “Duck, have you posted at this site under the username “Node”?”

    No. I had never heard of him/her until you began repeatedly inferring some connection. I presume your intention is to undermine me with the moderation team. These sort of irrelevant smears are typical of the bullying behaviour I described above. I’ve replied on this occasion to make clear that there is no hidden agenda behind my previous comment which is an honest description of the situation as I experienced it. I won’t respond to any more of your taunting.

    #66087 Reply
    Clark

    Ingwe, you should also remember this:

    January 24, 15:13 – “All these comments without any discussion, evidence or argument, by posters who remain unmoderated.”

    The moderators read far more of the comments across far more of the site than a typical reader, so they tend to become familiar with the various ongoing arguments, and the types of argument (or lack of it) deployed by specific commenters. The evidence may well exist; it’s merely that you personally have not seen it.

    My experience is that conspiracy theorists are often also anti-Semitic. My opinion is that some additional conspiracy theorists are also anti-Semitic but just more careful about how they word their comments, ie. the ubiquitous but never defined “them” of the supposed conspiracy, as in “what they aren’t telling you” or “what they are really up to”, actually refers to Jews.

    I think this is a widespread but barely recognised problem, and that it contributed to the success of the smearing of Jeremy Corbyn. It was never true that there was much anti-Semitism among Corbyn’s supporters, but there were far more who accepted examples of conspiracy theory. But from a Jewish viewpoint, this must have been terrifying, because the undefined “them”, the supposed conspiracy, can at any moment be replaced by “Jews”, just as in Nazi Germany. The conspiracy theorists’ constant accusations of “you just believe whatever is said by the MSM” also contributes to this by being indistinguishable from the anti-Semitic “Jews control the media” meme. Likewise “it’s all a plot by the bankers” morphs very easily into “Jewish bankers”, another age-old anti-Semitic meme.

    So to effectively support the Palestinian cause, it is vitally important to learn to recognise conspiracy theory and reject it, because association with it makes your arguments vulnerable to being discredited. Like I said earlier;

    Truth, Justice, Peace.

    #66089 Reply
    Clark

    Chill out Duck. You just remind me a lot of Node, probably just because conspiracy theorists have a very limited number of sound-bites. There’s no need to feel taunted.

    #66090 Reply
    Clark

    Duck, I should probably also explain that Node used various sock-puppets ie. alternate usernames.

    Why do you defend N_’s misrepresentation of source material as scepticism?

    #66119 Reply
    mods-cm-org

    Duck,

    You say this site was recommended by a friend who was playing a trick on you. That’s of no consequence for the moderation policy here. If she led you to believe that this forum is a hub for Covid-19 conspiracy theories, then she misinformed you – deliberately, it appears. At least she got a hearty laugh out of it (though it sounds like she was sneering at your gullibility as much as at this site). If you feel aggrieved, maybe you should seek reparations from your ‘friend’, not from us.

    You’re quite wrong to assume that the people you identify as “protagonists” never get moderated. They certainly do, and the number of their deletions is roughly equal to those from the people you regard as consonant voices. We also ask them privately to tone down the rhetoric from time to time; it’s an ongoing project.

    As regards the “abuse” you perceive here: if you would like moderators to quash the more acerbic criticisms, we would only do so on condition that people stop posting skewed conspiracy narratives and pseudoscience. If someone posits a sophisticated cabal comprising vast networks of disparate professionals co-ordinating a grand deceit within opposing political systems around the globe, then that view is quite correctly open to ridicule. Mockery emphasises the point that such fantastical conspiracy narratives are inherently ridiculous. So it has a valid role. Conversely, if you try to subject scientific evidence to ridicule, you’ll need to meet a very high standard of refutation. Unfortunately, references to maverick websites or unofficial videos on YouTube don’t meet that standard.

    The notion that there should be some kind of parity between evidence-based reasoning and conspiracy theorising is utterly wrong-headed. Relativising the notion of “fact” to just “a form of comment” digs away at your own epistemic foundations. For the purposes of rational debate, a “fact” is a true proposition; if the objective truth conditions are met, it’s a fact. That’s what distinguishes it from other forms of comment. If you don’t subscribe to that basic standard, then kindly go tell your stories elsewhere. On the other hand, if you’re ambitious enough to aim at undermining an entire research paradigm, you’re welcome to visit a forum for philosophy of science. This isn’t the place to advance idiosyncratic theories of epistemological relativism. Assertions that rely on deconstructing the concept of facts aren’t valid in argument here, whatever their other virtues.

    #66143 Reply
    Duck

    @ the moderator who replied to my previous comment.

    “…it sounds like she was sneering at your gullibility…”

    My comment is an honest description of my experience on this site. It is a fact that in 30 years of visiting moderated discussion forums and BTL commenting, I have never encountered such unregulated aggression. Thank you for your explanation. I now clearly understand how this situation has arisen.

    I enjoy arguing, testing my opinions against others, but I don’t enjoy fighting. If someone can’t make their point without hostility, I don’t want to talk to them, so I’ll stop.

    #66145 Reply
    Clark

    Duck, huh. So how come you had no criticism of Steph, nor indeed anyone pretending that there’s no pandemic or that it’s trivial? Steph repeatedly accused me of rudeness, condescension, utter disregard for human rights etc., while praising to high heaven anyone with a scientific background who provided any morsel to support that position. Is your key phrase here “unregulated aggression”, in that the behaviours of those who regulate and disguise their aggression politely (and (coincidentally?) provide support for the conspiracy theory) are acceptable in your book?

    #66146 Reply
    mods-cm-org

    My comment is an honest description of my experience on this site. It is a fact that in 30 years of visiting moderated discussion forums and BTL commenting, I have never encountered such unregulated aggression.

    Well thank you for your testimony, Duck. It sounds like a ‘fact’ that could easily be contested, but as the truth conditions are subjective to you there’s no way of anyone successfully refuting the claim. However, if you had visited the BTL section of this blog in the early part of the last decade, you would have found the verbal joshing much more boisterous and antagonistic. The tone improved significantly once the worst offenders were excluded.

    For what it’s worth, the mod comment about your gullibility being a central element of the joke being played on you was also an honest evaluation. Honesty should be cherished, though the truth can have a sting.

    Your point about hostile argumentation is acknowledged, and hopefully the participants concerned will take note. It doesn’t help the tone of debate to attack straw man caricatures, of which several have been deleted over the last few days. Nevertheless, it’s also advisable for anyone who makes farfetched, contentious or misleading claims to come prepared for sharp criticism and satirical banter. The moderators are under no obligation to insulate people against the mirth or outrage provoked by comments that are construed as fanciful or misguided.

    #66156 Reply
    glenn_uk

    FWIW, Duck, I have had plenty of comments deleted from here.

    You might not have noticed, the main reason being because I don’t whine about it all the time – unlike some people I could mention!

    • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by degmod.
    #66163 Reply
    SA

    Duck seems to have first started commenting in the now closed forum of SARS cov2 and Covid-19 on 9th of December 2020. He/She says that they were referred by a female friend, presumably Steph, who was commenting at that time. Duck then last posted in that forum on 18/12/2020. Interestingly after his disappearance, Dave started to post regularly and continues on this forum, so did Node ending with his link to the crass 2+2=5 video. Node has now disappeared, I am not sure if he has been banned again. Then on January 25th Duck comments again: “Just spotted this discussion. Here’s my experience for what it’s worth.” But Duck you have already commented on the other forum what exactly did you mean by this statement. BTW, Duck previously declared that he is dictating the agenda and will not answer questions unless he sees fit. So let us see.

    #66168 Reply
    Duck

    SA “He/She says that they were referred by a female friend, presumably Steph…”

    Once again I am forced to reply to protect the innocent. No, you presume wrongly, I do not know Steph. Nor am I Dave or Node as you imply. May I remind you that that wild conspiracy theories are not tolerated and “anyone who makes farfetched, contentious or misleading claims [should] come prepared for sharp criticism and satirical banter.”

    #66176 Reply
    glenn_uk

    Duck: May I remind you that that wild conspiracy theories are not tolerated and “anyone who makes farfetched, contentious or misleading claims [should] come prepared for sharp criticism and satirical banter.”

    Hardly far-fetched, Duck! A couple of denialists here (notably the rather less than honest “Node”) have appeared as sock-puppets, which is itself an infringement of the rules.

    Perhaps you were suspected of being one of the earlier denialists because you all sound so alike. Same weak arguments, same inability to discuss anything to any depth, and whining and bleating about how it’s all soooooo unfair.

    Look at Dave the Denier – he pushes point after point, which get solidly refuted. Does he discuss the point? Of course not, he moves right along to the next. After a while, he’ll start pushing the first point again.

    Does that strike you as honest, good-faith discussion? Or is it an attempt to wear down those countering this nonsense, so that his wild theory-free conspiracy theories eventually go unchallenged to fool newcomers?

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