Sunday, February 6, 2011

HuffPost allows banned radical leftist Moderator to return, resume posting threats against Scalia, the Kochs --- and bans users who complain

"We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to abusive or hateful language or comments."
- Arianna Huffington, March 20, 2008

"(W)e do not allow... speech that advocates or supports hatred or unlawful violence (or) threats of violence or threats to anyone or any group's personal safety.
- HuffPost Comment Policy

On December 16, 2010, we published
this detailed expose', which documented the fact that HuffPost had been enabling and protecting a long-term radical leftist Moderator, "FoxInRetreat," to post "comments" containing explicit threats and solicitations of murder against notable conservatives. A sampling of these "comments":
“Time to kill the Kochs and Boehner"

"Time to reveal Karl Rove's home address, and take down the Cheneys. I'm serious, as radical as I sound."

“Time to cut Bohners knees to the bone, destroy him [...] kill the drunk before he destroys us.”
We further documented that at the same time, HuffPost was censoring and banning users who attempted to complain about or mocked "FoxInRetreat," on a minute-to-minute basis. Within 24 hours of the release of our expose', HuffPost banned "FoxInRetreat."

This follow-up expose' documents the following facts:

  • Not a single user comment gets published anywhere on HuffPost until and unless it has been reviewed and approved by one of its moderators.
  • On December 22, five days after banning him, HuffPost allowed "FoxInRetreat" to return, under a slightly-modified screen name.
  • HuffPost resumed enabling him to post "comments" containing threats, urgings and justifications of violence against conservative figures, which continues to this day. These "comments" include:
    "Off Tony [Scalia]... Americans will support it... [...] I want [Scalia] to suffer a fatal something NOW!!" (Another user, in response: "Present... and ready for action... I know exactly what you mean. Enough is enough.")

    "Time to loot the Koch brothers Wichita hq, I will cheer that"

    "Wichita doesn't have enough police to keep us at bay, the Kochs should consider that..."
  • HuffPost resumed banning non-violating users who attempted to complain about or ridicule him for his threats and urgings of violence.
  • Rather than being an exception, HuffPost's actions in regards to "FoxInRetreat" are part of its pattern of behavior since early 2008, to enable, protect and embolden the radical leftists to post threats, solicitations and justifications of violence and murder --- clear violations of the site's policies, and possibly, federal law.
We are deeply concerned that HuffPost's actions are eventually going to lead to someone getting hurt, or killed. If you share our concern, you might consider voicing your thoughts to HuffPost's senior management and investors, and its top advertisers.

HuffPost allowed "FoxinRetreat" to return on December 22, 2010 --- five days after it banned him.

The first thing HuffPost management will likely say to any inquirer on this matter is, "No, we didn't 'allow' this user to return! We didn't know! We have xxx,xxx number of users who post xxx,xxx comments each month... " As in all our other exposes, the facts eviscerate HuffPost's excuses:

There are four technical things that must be understood in order to appreciate the magnitude of HuffPost's betrayal of its supposed
principles and policies, in regards to "FoxInRetreat":
  • HuffPost blocks IPs: HuffPost publicly states that it has the ability to block users by their IP address --- and we know for a fact that it routinely does so. This means that if a user is banned, and attempts to create a new account from the same computer, HP blocks it.
  • HuffPost has other means of blocking users: HuffPost has other technical means of identifying users it has banned, and routinely fast-bans them again --- in some cases, before they even post a single comment.
  • Only approved comments are published. As we document in this special report, since early 2008, HuffPost began pre-moderating all user comments on all threads. This means that not a single user comment appears without it being reviewed and approved by HuffPost.
  • Only approved user avatars appear: HuffPost reviews the picture, or "avatar," that users submit for their accounts when setting them up --- and either approves or rejects them. Usually, this review process takes 24-72 hours. Only approved avatars appear next to user names.
    For example, on Feb. 5, after an operative of ours submitted a picture of Ronald Reagan to be his avatar, the following screen appeared: "This photo is pending moderator approval."

With these technical facts in mind, let's take a look at "FoxInRetreat's" transition to "SOSfox7."

On the left is a zoomed-in view of "FoxinRetreat's" profile from December 5, 2010, while he was issuing his threats --- but before HuffPost banned him; on the right is a zoomed-in view of "SOSfox7's" profile from Jan. 7, 2011.

The fact is that on December 22, 2010 ---
five days after it banned him (we have reason to believe it's a "him") --- HuffPost looked at the name and image at right, and decided to approve the new account.

Below is a screencap of
"SOSfox7's" profile from February 4, 2011, with the settings adjusted to display the first of the 1,629 comments it's permitted him to post --- which shows this occurred on December 22, 2010:

(Do you think the CEO of Chase is aware that it appears as if his firm is supporting these threats --- including even against its CEO, Jamie Dimon? You might contact him and ask.)

As if his avatar wasn't enough of a giveaway, as shown below, by January 5,
HuffPost was allowing "SOSfox7" to openly brag that he'd been allowed return --- and that he "isn't going anywhere!"

The bottom line: This evidence shows that HuffPost knew exactly what it was doing, and what it had unleashed, for the second time. And as documented below, the results were entirely predictable: a torrent of threats and solicitations of murder.

HuffPost knowingly allowed "Fox" to resume posting his threats and solicitations of murder --- against Justice Scalia, the Kochs and others

A few examples - starting with "Fox's" comments on a thread dedicated to Justice Antonin Scalia (top row), then more general insanity, and threats and solicitations of violence and murder (lower left - and see how another user clearly understands what's being proposed, and offers to help):
"Off Tony... Americans will support it..."

"I want [Scalia] to suffer a fatal something NOW!!"

"Time to take these mofos down, I'm pissed!!"

Note that monicaangela, another long-term (46,000 comments) HuffPost leftist, responds: "Present... and ready for action... I know exactly what you mean. Enough is enough."

HuffPost enabled "Fox" to post comments and veiled threats against the Kochs on threads having nothing to do with them --- yet it blocked a veteran user from doing so

Of added interest is the fact that HuffPost's Comment Policy claims that the site prohibits, and will not publish comments containing "off-topic" material. Note that as shown on all of the following screencaps, HuffPost enabled "SOSfox7" to cater to his obsession with the Kochs, and post his threats against them, on pages dedicated to the Egypt riots:
"Koch brothers, pay attention to this as you and your fellow neocon terrorists gather this weekend... Wichita doesn't have enough police to stop a movement..."

Wichita doesn't have enough police to keep us at bay, the Kochs should consider that..."

"The financial terrorists that gathered in Palm Springs this weekend should be very nervous... I'm referring to the brothers from Kansas..."

Yet as shown below, a veteran* user,
"AbbyRose86" (*who has posted 50,000 comments) complained that HuffPost was blocking her from posting comments concerning the Kochs on the Egypt thread:

So why would HuffPost want to again enable and protect "SOSfox7" to post threats against the Kochs... on a page concerning unrest in Egypt? Perhaps one day, someone in a position of influence will ask HuffPost to explain itself. Perhaps HuffPost's advertisers would be a good place to start.

knowingly allowed "FoxinRetreat" to continue this behavior on a thread dedicated to the Koch's event in California

On January 31, HuffPost dedicated a
thread to discussing the Kochs' event in California, which was described by their spokeswoman as an opportunity "to discuss solutions to our most pressing issues and strategies to promote policies that will help grow our economy, foster free enterprise and create American jobs."

Unfortunately, rather than simply playing the story straight, HuffPost opted to play up only the fact that 25 people were arrested at the event. This only helped to further incite its resident Koch-threatener:
"Time to loot the Koch brothers Wichita hq, I will cheer that"

"Wichita doesn't have enough police to keep us at bay, the Kochs should consider that..."

"The time has come, make these boys nervous and fear us"

HuffPost resumed banning non-violating users who dared to complain about or ridicule "SOSfox7" for his threats and urgings of violence

As we documented in
our original expose', HuffPost censored and banned users who complained about, mocked or stood up to "FoxInRetreat," on a minute-to-minute basis. HuffPost has continued this same practice, as he continues his threats and urgings of violence, under the screen name "SOSfox7."

Unfortunately, these have been a few extremely busy weeks for us, so for the most part, we were only able to pop in from time to time and note the names of the users who were opposing
"SOSfox7," so we could check back later and see if they survived.

In one instance, we grabbed a screencap of a user, "FrankinJax," who challenged
"SOSfox7's" implied threats, on the Egypt thread, against the Kochs and U.S. bankers:
"What do the Kochs have to do with what's going on in Egypt?"

Within minutes, HuffPost
banned "FrankinJax." And as the GoogleCache capture shows, this occurred after the user had only posted 16 comments.

Here are some of the other users we observed complaining about, and standing up to "SOSfox7" --- and what happened to them. The first link shows the GoogleCache of the user's profile, and last comments; the second link shows the fact that HuffPost banned them:
  • RyanFan: HuffPost banned the user on January 26, after 49 comments.
  • Activis: HuffPost banned the user on January 28, after 53 comments.
  • David Penner: What's interesting here is that this was a conservative from Canada who had been routinely assaulted by HuffPost's radical leftists on the most vulgar terms imaginable. He took it in stride, and generally gave back about 5% of the venom to which he was subjected. But he made the mistake of complaining about "SOSfox7's" threats and urgings of violence against the Kochs, etc. HuffPost banned him on January 29 after 16,554 comments.
(Hint to HuffPost: Don't bother removing the Google Cache pages; they've also been captured to PDFs.)

Rather than being an exception, HuffPost's actions in regards to "FoxInRetreat" are part of its pattern of behavior since early 2008, to enable, protect and embolden the radical leftists to post threats, solicitations and justifications of violence and murder.

If questioned about this, HuffPost will, in all likelihood, try to explain it all away as an anomaly, an "accident," etc. But the fact is, as we document in
this special report, this is representative of HuffPost's larger pattern of enabling, protecting and emboldening the worst-of-the-worst radical leftist violators of its Comment Policy. Examples include:
"kevenseven" HuffPost allowed this user to repeatedly brag that he was interviewed in his home by the Secret Service for his repeated threats against its protectees, on HuffPost. Yet instead of permanently banning him, after innumerable complaint emails and flags, it only temporarily banned him at least ten times --- then reinstated him, under his original screen name each time, within hours or days. And at the same time it was repeatedly banning other users who dared voice opposition to his stalking, threats against their children, obscenity, etc., HuffPost enabled and protected "kevenseven" to post at least 20,000 more "comments" over eighteen months. See a summary here, and a detailed report here.

"postman606" HuffPost allowed this user to claim that President Bush "should be put up against a wall and shot" (right), and make innumerable other threats and racist comments. Although it eventually banned him, within hours it allowed him to return as "postman66," and in less than a year, it had allowed him to post another 35,000 comments --- while it banned users who dared speak out against him. HuffPost then made him a Moderator. See detailed report here.

"OnTopicOffTopic" (aka "rampage") For at least the past three years, HuffPost has been allowing this user to (a) openly threaten other users, (b) post graphic homophobic insults and descriptions of sexual acts, (c) essentially "live" on the site for 10-16 hours a day, every day, and (d) obsess over other users. On numerous occasions --- including on the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion --- it also allowed him to "hijack" "news" threads, in order to challenge other users to fist-fights, and to claim that he was going to put the other user in the hospital. In several instances, this included identifying the specific place and time to meet. HuffPost's reaction to innumerable complaints and flags? In April 2010, it made him a Moderator. See a detailed report here.

Action Items

Do you find the contents of this article to be as shocking and concerning as we do? You should. Because with the proliferation of left-wing violence in America, we're convinced that it is only a matter of time before one of HuffPost's radical leftists will see that one, last prompt or justification of violence that will push him/her from rage into action.

If you'd like to make your voice known, please consider writing to:
  • HuffPost's top advertisers. This goes double for James Dimon, Chairman & CEO of Chase, whose ad appears to be supporting HuffPost's enabling of "SOSfox7" --- and his earlier threat against Dimon himself (right).
    Call 212-270-6000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 212-270-6000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or write Ann Marie Hauser, Corporate Social Responsibility,
  • Journalists and news bureaus that you think would be interested in what HuffPost is knowingly allowing to occur on its comment threads.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I still don't understand why HP banned DavidPenner. They have been banning lots of people for no real reason. As your blog post shows, they allow the most repulsive members to continue positing.

  3. I don't know why they banned Penner either. But your characterization of Penner as a conservative is completely wrong. I had many spirited debates with him where he regularly referred to himself as ultra-liberal. But that wouldn't serve your narrative.

    I actually agree with a lot you are saying but using such tactics takes away from your credibility.