One of CiF Watch’s signature posts is “Why was this deleted” and, alternately, “Why wasn’t this deleted”?
We spend quite a bit of time monitoring comments beneath the line at ‘Comment is Free’ observing what precisely runs afoul of their “community standards”, and have documented scores of examples of pro-Israel comments being deleted, while some of the most hateful anti-Zionist vitriol remains.
Beyond the narrow issue of deleted comments, however, there are some commenters whose apostasy has rendered them in a state of pre-moderation – where CiF Moderators review, and then release, on a case by case basis, only those comments deemed acceptable.
The last strike for unruly CiF commenters is to have their user privileges permanently suspended due to an especially egregious violation, or pattern of violations, of their norms.
We recently documented two cases in which such a ban was employed – one commenter for merely questioning whether an essay by Sunny Hundal was consistent with Guardian editorial guidelines, and another for simply asking CiF Moderators why his/her comments, noting the Islamist (pro-Muslim Brotherhood) sympathies of CiF contributor, Wajahat Ali, were being deleted.
While the latter example seemingly demonstrates that the Guardian is not about to have their consistent licensing of pro-Islamist voices – who espouse views they evidently deem consistent with “liberal” thought – questioned, the former suggests an institution which is, at the very least, remarkably thin-skinned.
In light of this propensity by CiF Moderators to ban users for content they deem offensive, the following comment, beneath the line of Ranj Alaaldin‘s CiF essay on Dec. 22, “Iraq must divide to survive“, which has not been deleted, nor resulted in the commenter being banned, is especially curious.
Is there any question this commenter is referring to Tony Blair? And, further, is there any doubt that the commenter using the moniker “ChanceyGardener” is suggesting that Blair be killed?
Here are a few CiF standards, from their ‘Community standards and guidelines‘ page, which would seem relevant when assessing comments calling for murder:
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.
We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated.
…we do ask users to find ways of sharing their views that do not feel divisive, threatening or toxic to others.
So, the suggestion that a former British Prime Minister should be executed: “divisive”, “threatening”, or “toxic”?
- CiF comment, justifying antisemitism as normal reaction to Zionism: 74 “recommends” & not deleted (cifwatch.com)
- CiF commenter banned for noting that Sunny Hundal essay is inconsistent with CiF “standards” (cifwatch.com)
- Unintentionally comical CiF reader comment of the day: CiF moderators are biased IN FAVOR of CiF Watch (cifwatch.com)
- Why weren’t these deleted? CiF essay about Rosh Hashana elicits antisemitic comments (cifwatch.com)
- CiF reader comment of the day: Bashing bankers, bashing Jews (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian readers claim leading Zionists during WWII rooted for Hitler. Comments not deleted by CiF Moderators (cifwatch.com)
- Comment is Free moderators delete my comment pointing out the moral hypocrisy of Medhi Hasan (cifwatch.com)
- Anti-Zionist CiF commenter accuses CiF Watch of the insidious tactic of trying to “sway” opinion (cifwatch.com)