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Monday, March 31, 2008

The Comment Moderation Scam

Most mainstream news sources have a website now. They even offer the ability for people to leave comments, just like most blogs and Internet discussion forums.

However, almost ALL of them have fine print "All comments are reviewed by a moderator." This means that spam isn't posted. This also means that comments that don't meet their censorship standards are not posted.

This allows them to provide the illusion that they're an open forum, while still maintaining control and a closed forum! In my experience, writing comments/letters to a mainstream news source is a waste of time. If a mainstream news source were seriously interested in publishing the truth, they would have done so by now.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I agree with you it is with reservations. If you ever have the unfortunate experience of visiting a unmoderated/uncensored message board, it quickly gets into 'swearing' and trading 'insults' not discussion...this is why some moderation is necessary, however this can turn into censorship as you rightly point out.

gilliganscorner said...

I used to leave comments on the globeandmail.com, a Canadian newspaper, before abandoning it to the same trolls or fools that showed up time after time.

Mainstream media's function is to:
1) Be a propaganda agent for the state by manufacturing common public opinion.
2) Bring the audience to the advertiser.

I wrote a more detailed post about it here

Comments are a mechanism keep readers on the website longer, in hopes that they will absorb or click on the advertisements presented in the page. I am not sure how successful this is...I have trained myself literally not to see the ads.

Page metrics are gathered in the hopes of impressing future advertisers: "We have an average of N readers on our site, staying on average for X minutes! That is why we are effective in ensuring your message gets out!"

A long while ago, before I started blogging, a story was published about bank profits. I wrote several comments, detailing how banks are legally counterfeiting money. I explained how fractional reserve banking works and what the long range impacts were.

At first, I had the usual knee-jerk kickbacks from the trolls or fools. But then something happened I did not expect. A conversation started with myself and about 5 other people. The trolls tried to inflame the discussion, but we ignored them. They left!

Other people who were lurking on the conversation started commending me on my civility and stated that they "had learned something".

I wanted to save the conversation later, but the news agency purged the comment section for that story. I never saw that happen with other stories comment section. I was censored.

gilliganscorner said...

Oops! I published when I meant to preview. Hope the comment came out OK..

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