The Standard threat, again

When ‘Eddie’ started the ‘Cunliffe coup’ discussions in social media in November  some other unusual things were noticeable at The Standard. There was a substantial increase in comments, many being far more candid and revealing than usual. It made the blog much more interesting to follow.

There was also a noticeable increase in bans, and it was obvious that showing sympathy for David Shearer carried greater risks.

And Standard moderator IrishBill, who doesn’t show himself very often, got more involved than usual.

The same pattern may be emerging with Eddie’s latest launch. Earlier yesterday ‘Zetetic’ posted a not dig at John Key’s trip to Antarctica.

Being there

Written By: – Date published: 9:47 am, January 19th, 2013

Johnny’s million dollar treat for his wife at your expense has turned into a bit of a farce. The delayed flight, the weird fainting (not jet lag, not overwork), and now they won’t get to the pole because of snow. The justification for the Keys’ South Pole trip was to learn about its science projects

Implied criticisms with no supporting facts were commented on, which started a chain of bans:

19 January 2013 at 1:28 pm
After that bitchy tone and fact free hate fest (sorry, it was more FailOil that what I would expect to see in The Standard) – I couldn’t even bring myself to click on the link. If Key had turned out to have had a brain tumour would you have displayed as much glee? Playing the man and not the game is a Rightie tactic and it saddens me to see it happen here without at least some content to back it up.

19 January 2013 at 1:54 pm
I think the tone is forgivable given the trip was arranged because Bronagh Key wanted to go to Antarctica. I imagine that will come out via OIA in time.

19 January 2013 at 2:08 pm
Care to actually cite a source for that?

19 January 2013 at 2:31 pm
Do you have difficulty with reading? I said “I imagine that will come out via OIA in time.”

19 January 2013 at 3:10 pm
So just making shit up again?

IrishBill: Take a week off

19 January 2013 at 3:26 pm
Pretty much. Because PMs always reveal that sort of nonsense in political meetings. Irish might as well have said the Illuminati told him to do it.

IrishBill: Take a week off


19 January 2013 at 5:36 pm
Someone calls you out making shit up and the response is “banned”.Stay classy.

IrishBill: Take a week off.

And Chris73 commented again this morning (he may not have noticed his ban,).

20 January 2013 at 9:55 am

[IrishBill: you were banned for a week for calling an author a liar. See you next Saturday]

Zetetic made unsubstantiated slurs about John Key, so did IrishBill, and he banned anyone questioning him for that. No one called him a liar – but his overreaction suggests he may have felt some guilt and wouldn’t back down. Or simply wants dissent out of the way over the next week. (Or of course he could just be cranky, coincidentally).

Rules for commenters, especially unwelcome ones, are different than for site authors and moderators.

I’ve seen this before, it happened last year when I challenged a post by Eddie that had obviously inaccurate accusations. He threatened a ban if I didn’t prove he had lied, and then banned me when I didn’t do so quickly enough. I later proved him wrong and under pressure from others for unusually draconian moderation (even by Standard standards) the ban was reversed.

The moral of this is if you want to comment at The Standard while Eddie’s campaign unfolds then beware, especially if you show any support for Shearer or threaten the narrative that The Standard wishes to display to the media.

And that was probably IrishBill’s intent – warning off anyone that may threaten their game playing over the next week. Labour activist democracy in action.

But once again The Standard could be a fascinating blog to observe this week. It’s not just what’s said but who gets involved – and who gets attacked or shut out – that makes things interesting.

Leave a comment


  1. lovinthatchangefeeling

     /  21st January 2013

    IrishBill: See You Next Tuesday 🙂

  2. I’m always amazed at how you always go for the vast conspiracy theory rather than the simplistic explanations.

    Different moderators have different banning behaviours – we don’t exert much effort to make them consistent. The usual reason for changes in banning behaviour depend on who has time to look at the comments. The most variable time is during weekends when we’re all off work and running all over the place with shopping, DIY, family, friends, and everything else.

    This weekend for instance, I was on a laptop dealing with nasty bugs in a set of upgrade routines for work most of the weekend and running around with Lyn shopping the rest of the time. Which is why you see bugger all comments or moderating from me. RedLogix looks like he was mostly offline and probably tramping somewhere. r0b looks like he was offline. Bill was stepping up for a bit of moderation. And it looks to me like Irish was stuck at home…

    Umm. The defining characteristic of Irish’s moderation is that he really doesn’t think that warnings have much effect.

    QED: all of a sudden there are more bans than usual, and Pete George starts frothing at the mouth with his latest conspiracy theory… Quite simple really.

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