Having now given my version of my apparent banning from The Dim-Post in Rhinocrates and Dim-Post set straight I want to express my disappointment, reluctantly, at Dim-Post as a whole. It’s a popular blog and has had a history of some worthwhile satirical, humouous and serious posts. Dim-Post seems to be widely respected but I can’t share that respect.
This has come up again because it was brought to my attention that there was a discussion about me there on Thursday in, ironically, Talkback bait. This included:
Pete George owns 25% of a thread narrative without even being here.
Yes, I find that amazing too.
I haven’t posted at Dim-Post since February when my comments started to “disappear” on a thread attacking me. I was the target of of an admitted campaign to “hound me off”, and that hounding appears to have been eventually supported by me being blocked from commenting.
I admit at times I push the boundaries on blogs (as well as sometimes posting too much). I’ve had temporary bans at The Standard and Red Alert – but at both It was made clear why I was banned and for how long. I have also been warned clearly at both, and have been warned at Trade Me forums (politically motivated complaints).
Occassionally previously on Dim-Post my comments had silently disappeared. I thought that was a bit concerning but said nothing about it. After being apparently banned after being the target of a deliberate attempt to “hound me” off Dim-Post I was bemused – and concerned. I’ve mentioned it in passing several times but I thought that was fading.
But the subject has been raised again by others, on the Dim-Post on Thursday, and at The Standard a couple of times including here. As already mentioned, I give my side of this story in Rhinocrates and Dim-Post set straight. That can, with some justification, could be labelled as crying over old milk.
But there’s a bigger issue.
Can Dim-Post be trusted?
In a way I think it’s sad to bring this up but I think it’s important.
Others may think it’s no big deal for me to have been blocked a bit at Dim-Post, especially if they don’t like my style. But if some of my posts have disappeared – in one instance to support another side of a an argument, one that was deliberately attacking me – who else gets blocked, and how many other comments disappear?
There’s no way of knowing if I’m then only who’s been censored at Dim-Post.
Anyone who runs a blog can run it however they like, it’s their’s to do as they wish with. But the other big New Zealand blogs, like Whaleoil, Kiwiblog and The Standard have statements about conditions and rules.
- Whaleoil | About
- Kiwiblog | Posting Policy | Demerits
- The Standard | Policy | Rules | Banning | Moderation
Dim-Post has nothing. No About, no policy or rules are apparent at all. And I’ve never seen any comment or explanation about editing or blocking comments, or of banning. There is no way to tell if I’ve been then only recipeint of silent censorship or not.
Why is this a problem?
There is no way of knowing if the comments are a fair presdentation of views expressed. In my case commenters were arguing against me and criticisng me when I had no chance of responding.
It’s impossible to know if debates are fair and free, or hobbled.
I think that raises serious doubts about the trustworthiness of what can be read in the comments. The integrity of the comments have to be questioned. I think for a major blog this is unsatisfactory.
I expect to be attacked and criticised in some forums for raising this, but I hope that those that can see the wider picture will also understand these concerns.
The comments section of Dim-Post has lost my trust.
Note: I am in no way questioning the integrity of posts on Dim-Post, they are clearly authored by danylmc, widely known to be Danyl Mclauchlan, who for his posts seems to be widely respected. But while site moderation is presumably Danyl’s responsibility there is nothing I’ve seen that confirms this.