Huffington Post and its tilted censorship policies – they apparently censor content critical of their advertisers

// October 31st, 2012 // Entertainment News


Huffington Post logoTechDirt just posted something a little disconcerting.  It appears as if Huffington Post moderates their user comments to suit their advertisers, a bit shocking and not something you’d expect from a liberal publication like Huffington Post.  Arianna Huffington herself stated that Huffington Post’s goal was to “go beyond the traditional liberal/left and conservative/right divide in American politics and news media” but this sounds like HP falls right in line with the other commercial media outlets by catering to their advertisers at the expense of their readers.  Here’s the quote from an interview of Huffington’s director of community that brought about the accusation:

“I’m a big fan of having machines help us with the lower level tasks, freeing up time, resources and brain power for more interesting and complex tasks. Julia [the artificial intelligence system that Huffington Post uses to assist with comment moderation] takes that a few steps further and helps us with a lot of other aspects of Huffington Post in addition to helping weed out abusive members, including identifying intelligent conversations for promotion, and content that is a mismatch for our advertisers. She has allowed us to do a lot more with a lot less.”

This accusations seems to have some weight behind it too and in fact, there’s even a website dedicated to fighting Huffington Post censorship. The author explains how he began to notice something was up when his own posts began disappearing:

“I had noticed for a long time that comments I made to Huffpo often were never posted. For a long time I didn’t pay much attention and just assumed it was growing pains of the site as they scaled up their technology to support their exponential growth.”

He began documenting his findings.

“The next example was on a column someone wrote about Internet security….  It seemed to me there were several fundamental errors in the article (I’ve worked most of my career in Information Technology). I posted a very polite comment pointing out the errors. I was amazed when it didn’t get posted. I tried several other versions and again none of them were posted. This was the first time I got seriously pissed off. Its one thing to censor comments that have “naughty” words. I think that’s foolish but not that big of a deal. It is quite another to censor comments that show an author to be wrong. Once we start to censor those comments it seems to me we’ve really destroyed a fundamental characteristic of blogs that differentiate them from traditional media. The whole point of comments is that readers can talk back and engage the authors.”

He then began soliciting examples from readers who’ve had their comments censored. For example, note the comment below that apparently was put up and then taken back down.  It was critical of corporations and supportive of Michael Moore.  Note that the comment was even “favorited’ by six people before it was taken down.

I don’t like what Gibbs said, but in reality, the whole left vs right thing is just a distraction to keep us from rising up against the corporations and their never-ending practice of class warfare. I watched, “Capitalism, A Love Story” last night. The corporatist politicians and the corporations are the ones taking America down. Michael Moore does a brilliant job of illustrating that fact.

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Sources: TechDirt, Banned from HuffPo, Huffington Post
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