This article is cross-posted at:
Comparing HuffPost comment threads to those on other major political blogsites
Keep in mind that every comment that appears on this thread is there because HuffPost reviewed, approved and made the decision to publish it. And as it says at the top of each HuffPost comment thread, only those comments that it approves will appear:
As you review the comments, keep these questions in the back of your mind:
- Do they comply with HuffPost's (supposed) Comment Policies and Terms of Service ("CP-TOS") --- or are they egregious violations of them?
- Do these threads indicate that what Ms. Huffington has repeatedly said about HuffPost is true? That it has "zero tolerance" for comments that violate its CP-TOS, and that it vigilantly monitors its news threads 24-7 to prevent such comments from appearing? But despite these efforts, "a handful of" violating comments may "occasionally slip through"? (see Section 3 here, and all, here)
EXAMPLE 7: Dec. 7, 2009: HuffPost permits top thread re healthcare reform to be hijacked by anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists
Imagine you woke up this day, heard about how President Obama had visited the U.S. Senate yesterday to help advance the Democrats' healthcare reform proposal. Imagine further that you'd heard about HuffPost and decided to visit the site and see their take on this issue. The first thing you would have seen is this splash headline:
Obama Doesn't Mention Public Option In Health Care Speech To Senators... Lieberman Elated
Now, imagine you clicked on that headline, read the story, then scrolled down to the comments section. Here's what you would have seen right on page 1, all of which HuffPost reviewed, approved and decided to publish (newest posts are closest to the top):
Pages 9, 11: "Testing - AIPAC," by nolabels
Page 8: "How can we talk about Lieberman or any of our "representatives" and not talk about who pays their bills? Thanks H P," by nolabels.
Page 5: "I once sat in a $1,000 seat at an AI[PAC]...... dinner. It was the creepiest, most war loving, xenophobia loving/denying night of my life. A staunch Isra[EL]... supporter and senior lawyer in my department left because it was too much for HIM... [...] I ended up leaving early and finishing off the night with a handle of Jack just so that I could wake up feeling sane," by nolabels.
Page 6: "There's a GREAT new organization that is slowly undermining A. I. P. A. C.s influence.. comprised of young progressives that are b.e.a.t.i.n.g them at their own game..." by DocStrangelove (aka BlueStateMan)
Reply: "Excellent, how much of a chance do you think they have? A I P A C is really entrenched," by monicaangel
Page 7: "Most of my jewi sh friends would rather pick up their yoga mats than the to ra," by nolabels.
About now, you might be asking yourself, "What does any of that have to do with healthcare reform?" Nothing, of course.
But this isn't the first time that HuffPost has singled out Sen. Lieberman for "special treatment" --- or allowed the associated comment threads to be inundated with this kind of anti-Semitism (here, here, here).
Now, pay attention to the fact that another user, "9Iron On The Green," was objecting to this anti-Semitism, and challenging its purveyors: "nolabels" and "DocStrangelove."
Also keep in mind that "Doc Strangelove" has a long, disturbing history at HuffPost, of openly threatening other users, and acting like a psychopathic maniac; see:
So, which user do you think HuffPost chose to ban?
Well, first you should check out this open threat that DocStrangelove issued against HuffPost itself, regarding his obsessive fixation with 9Iron On The Green:
Almost immediately thereafter, HuffPost banned "9Iron On The Green":
Yet HuffPost left the other two users free to continue with their anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. In fact, as of March 2010, "nolabels" and "DocStrangelove" were both going strong, with 6,000 and 16,000 HuffPost-approved and -published comments, respectively:
This is merely a continuation of HuffPost's ongoing practice of protecting the worst-of-the-worst violators of its CP-TOS, while ejecting non-violating users who challenge or mock them.