The Daily Blog forum flop

The Daily Blog has an impressive list of authors – 44 are listed on their front page. Some are well known political commentators, and there’s blog creator Martyn Bradbury too.

There can be some interesting posts, although the layout can make tracking what’s new a bit difficult at times.

About The Daily Blog

The Daily Blog Unites Top Left-Wing Political Commentators and Progressive Opinion Shapers.

Launched on Friday 1 March, 2013, the ‘TheDailyBlog.co.nz’ unites over 42 of the country’s leading left-wing commentators and progressive opinion shapers to provide the other side of the story on today’s news, media and political agendas.

It’s done fairly well in three months, sneaking in to the top five in the monthly blog rank, although they seem to be taking readership from the biggest left wing blog, The Standard.

With content it seems successful, although I find I have to browse through the volume to find articles of interest.

But as a forum of debate it seems to be lagging. Comments seem to be a secondary consideration. It’s not easy following discussions in various threads, the blog is not well designed for easy comment navigation.

The Daily Blog Editor, Martyn Bradbury says one of the primary objectives of the blog will be to widen political debate in the lead up to the 2014 New Zealand election.

I was able to comment there from the start, although even if you are registered all comments have to go in the moderation queue before being released by blog moderators. This means there’s a lag in comments appearing, which can discourage discussion. That seems to be proving the case at The Daily Blog.

I posted a comment yesterday which was critical but reasonable. After a few minutes it appear to be released and public – it appeared on the Your Comments list of recent posts. But next time I looked it had disappeared. There was no warning or notification.

This is the worst sort of moderation, silent censorship. Not only does the comment author know why their comment has been dumped. Other readers have no idea who is able to comment and who is being blocked or censored.

I wasn’t certain that yesterday’s deletion was a one of glitch or not so I tried a test today. I posted this comment on How & why Dunne resigned is nowhere as important as what he was trying to reveal

Daily Blog Censor

That was a deliberately non-controversial comment for a Green/Mana leaning blog.

The first problem from this was that it went into moderation and nothing happened for one hour fifteen minutes. This sort of very slow response is a killer for active discussion.

Then the comment disappear into the censor’s trash.

So it looks like The Daily Blog is another left wing blog resorting to draconian moderation to control who gets to say what. 

The old story applies – those who run blogs can choose who comments and what comments they will allow to appear.

But a blog being promoted as the best thing on the left this is pathetic.

The comment section of the blog can’t be trusted to be a fair discussion.

So it joins Red Alert (Labour’s failed attempt at online discussion that has been strangled by extreme moderation) and The Standard as forums that can’t be trusted as fair forums.

Note:

  • Red Alert and now seemingly The Daily Blog practice silent censorship. If Bradbury can explain what is happening I will post that here.
  • The Standard practices at times very uneven moderation, especially when it’s Basil Fawlty moderator in chief lprent is involved, but at least the moderators there give clear warnings and explanations of edits and bans, apart from the occasional times that lbasil is especially grumpy.

This is sad. I know that the moderating practices of these blogs frequently discourages participation in political debate. That’s not good for modern democracy.

There is still no prominent left wing blog that provides an open and fair forum. That’s bad.

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