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 8: Feb. 3, 2010: HuffPost permits top thread re U.S. soldiers and Pakistani children murdered by bombing to be hijacked by long-term radical leftists for... music night, food fights
News outlets tonight were focused on the tragic murder of three U.S. soldiers and three Pakistani schoolgirls, and the wounding of two additional U.S. soldiers and an estimated hundred Pakistani civilians, via a roadside bombing. From approximately 6-11pm, this was the splash headline at HuffPost, as well. The story thread is here:
Pakistan Blast Kills U.S. Troops, Children, Say Local Officials
Now imagine that you decided to go to HuffPost and read this article, then scroll down to see what comments it reviewed, approved and decided to publish. Here are some examples of what you would have seen:
(1) This 21-page excerpt, in which 95% of the comments have nothing whatsoever to do with this tragedy, U.S. foreign or military policy, etc. Instead, they focus on a user's poem (pages 1-2), various user fights, music, flirting, etc.:
(2) This 20-page excerpt, which consists of comments dealing with anything but the topic --- including user threats to have others banned, user fights, etc.
(3) This 6-page excerpt, consisting entirely of comments regarding running a laptop computer off of a generator.
(4) This 21-page excerpt, consisting of comments on Newfoundlands (dogs), pot smoking, music, user fights, etc.
As you review the above PDFs, note that the comments that consume these pages are generally not by "trolls" (new, hit-and-run users whom Ms. Huffington likes to blame - 1, 2). Instead, they're posted by users with 100-1,500 "fans," meaning they have been HuffPost users for a very long time.
This is also indicative of HuffPost's continuous enabling and protecting the most egregious violators of its comment policy, while ejecting non-violating users and those who stand up to them, after as few as six comments.