CiF commenter banned for noting that Sunny Hundal essay is inconsistent with CiF “standards”

A CiF commenter wrote the following beneath the line of Sunny Hundal’s essay (“Privatising Margaret Thatcher’s funeral would be a fitting tribute to her legacy“) which argued that the future funeral for the still living former British PM should be privatized.

Here are a few extracts from the Guardian’s “community standards” policy

1. We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated. The key to maintaining the Guardian website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

How precisely is a jokey article about a living person’s impending death consistent with this community standard?

By my count, about half the comments here should be deleted on this ground, alone. But nasty comments about somebody dying – as soon as possible – have been invited by the tone of this piece.

3. We understand that people often feel strongly about issues debated on the site, but we will consider removing any content that others might find extremely offensive or threatening. Please respect other people’s views and beliefs and consider your impact on others when making your contribution.

Again, it is hard to think of a more offensive thing than glorying in the prospect of somebody’s death. But that’s a fair characterisation of about half the comments on this thread.

5. We will not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia or other forms of hate-speech, or contributions that could be interpreted as such. We recognise the difference between criticising a particular government, organisation, community or belief and attacking people on the basis of their race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age.

I would have thought jokes about a very old person being about to die constitutes “attacking people on the basis of their … age”

In short:

– If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems. 
– Don’t be unpleasant. Demonstrate and share the intelligence, wisdom and humour we know you possess.
– Take some responsibility for the quality of the conversations in which you’re participating. Help make this an intelligent place for discussion and it will be.

Joking about a living person’s death is a wonderful display of intelligence, wisdom and humour, and is in no way unpleasant .

I’d be interested to see if the Guardian actually applies its own moderation policy.


Then, if you look for the user’s profile, you get this.

That’s right. A user was completely banned for questioning whether ‘Comment is Free’ was abiding to their own “community standards”.

Perhaps the paper is a little on edge in light of recent highly embarrassing revelations that the biggest “scoop” of their obsessive phone hacking coverage – which claimed, in a sensationalized cover story, that a News of the World reporter deleted messages left on the voicemail of Milly Dowler’s mobile phone – was patently untrue!

Indeed, two days ago, the Guardian published a correction, noting that no less than 37 Guardian stories had been revised due to the above false report.

And, they’re worried about a single commenter under a CiF thread, questioning whether the institution is abiding by its own stated guidelines?

Thin-skinned and hypocritical are two terms, among many, which certainly seem apt in characterizing the ethically challenged “liberal” broadsheet. 

13 replies »

  1. Very interesting Adam, I’m sure, and I would agree that this sort of article is distasteful, but discussion about Maggie’s funeral is widespread at the moment, so the Guardian is hardly the only one doing this.

    In addition, I am not sure why you have seen fit to post this on this site, as it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with “monitoring and combating antisemitism and the assault on Isreal’s legitimacy”.

    Just saying.

  2. Just got premoderated for my last post on the Guardian CIF thread below!
    Must have really rankled the editors that some good news comes out of Israel !

    Thomas Cook could shed more than 1,000 jobs
    millfield’s comment 14 December 2011 3:34PM

    It’s ironic that beautiful and historically interesting countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Tunisia, Lybia, Israel, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, et al could make billions from tourism.
    Thomas Cook was a pioneer in organising trips to the Middle East.
    But tourists will now not go to countries where they don’t feel safe.”

    Why include Israel in your list? – Israel’s tourist industry is doing very well thank you

    316,000 tourists arrived in Israel in November 2011, 2% up from the corresponding month of 2010, and the highest ever number of tourists for any November, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported.

    And that little news is going to really upset so many Guardian posters and readers on the I/P threads !

  3. Adam you are right by banning the contributor to CiF the stench of hypocrisy from The Guardian is nauseating, but that is nothing new for them.

    I disagreed strongly with a number of the policies of Lady Thatcher when she was in Government but admired her skill as a politician and I find the tone of some of the remarks about her eventual death wrong and in very bad taste.
    I note from his piece that Mr. Hundal wishes that Tony Blair is dealt with in the same way as Lady Thatcher, no doubt this will get him ‘brownie points’ from The Guardian faithful and editorial team. They deserve each other!

  4. @Millfield

    Being pre-moderated for that post is quite extraordinary. It reveals how the Guardian is systematically censoring any positive news about Israel.

    Having conducted a long campaign to denigrate Israel, the Guardian is now terrified of the truth.

  5. CiF has standards??????……… News to me.

    With that Bella Mackie the daughter of the Rustbucket (the one with the silly hairdo)in charge,you expect standards???????

  6. “Thin-skinned and hypocritical”

    HYPOCRITICAL Definitely,thin=-skinned no…..The Guardian has a thick skin that would make a Rhino envious……

  7. Not just pee-moderating it is wholesale banning……They will end up with nasty loony racist which they already are infested with.

    Berchmans and Bella Mackie the Rustbuckets daughter.they can post to each other.

    • Anyone else wonder whether Berchmans is Rustbucket’s love-child? (Well that’d explain his apparently charmed life at the other place)

  8. I don’t think they’re thin-skinned, Adam, rather they are bending themselves out of shape to please their pro-Islamic paymasters.

    The more such lunacy becomes evident, the more I can believe that the Groan is being kept afloat by only iffy “zakat” from Islamist supporting loony lefties.

  9. Actually, they aren’t bending themselves out of shape. That implies that they had moral compass once. They are morally deformed already