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November 26, 2014, 02:58:32 AM
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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Other Topics  |  Off Topic Discussion  |  Double Secret Censorship « previous next »
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Author Topic: Double Secret Censorship  (Read 744 times)
Inyarear
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Slimo! Slimo! Slimo!


« on: November 25, 2007, 06:38:32 AM »

While I can fully appreciate the desire NOT to be more interconnected with everyone on the web, one does have something of a moral obligation to the one being censored to let him know that he is being censored. Apparently, however, certain despicable organizations disagree.

Quote
The San Francisco Chronicle has recently activated a devious system by which it deceives commenters on its website, SFGate.com. Here's how it works:

If you make a comment on an article posted at SFGate, and if the site moderators then subsequently delete your comment for whatever reason, it will only appear as deleted to the other readers. HOWEVER, your comment will NOT appear to be deleted if viewed from your own computer! The Chronicle's goal is to trick deleted commenters into not knowing their comments were in fact deleted. I'll give evidence below showing how they do this.

Why would SFGate do such a thing? Because ever since public input was first allowed at SFGate, many commenters who had their comments deleted would come back onto the comment thread and point out that they had been silenced for ideological reasons -- i.e. they weren't sufficiently "progressive" -- or because they had pointed out ethical lapses at SFGate and the Chronicle. Or any number of other reasons that the Chronicle did not want known. So, to pacify these problematic commenters, the SFGate moderators came up with a very clever and underhanded coding trick to prevent deleted commenters from ever finding out that they had been silenced.

Now, I'm certain that there are plenty of comments on SFGate that indeed merit deletion, and plenty of commenters who say patently offensive things. No question about that, and no one is questioning the Chronicle's right to delete such comments. But there are many other comments that get removed for no apparent reason, except for their political stance, or because they strike too close to home -- pointing out flaws in the article's reporting or writing itself, or ethical or moral misdeeds on the part of the Chronicle editors or management. Deleting comments such as those would be bad enough, but the Chronicle really crossed the line with their new technique of essentially lying to any commenter who has been deleted by not allowing them to even know they were deleted -- so they don't subsequently complain.


Further updates and links at this blog indicate that the SFC is far from alone in doing this, and that some have even openly bragged about this capability.
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