Mob censorship in action at Kiwiblog?

I posted about some over the top comments and a ban at Kiwiblog on Thursday. There was no General debate at Kiwiblog that day, so I posted a comment and link on it yesterday. There was some reaction to it for a while, but then it disappeared into moderation – not just the comment but the whole thread.

It is still hidden in moderation nearly a day later.

Perhaps David Farrar is otherwise occupied and hasn’t had a chance to check moderation over the last day, or maybe he chose to leave the comment and thread in moderation – that would be his choice.

But of more interest – is this a form of mob censorship?

Some of the reaction was predictable (for Kiwiblog), like ‘igm’:

Do you not think Ardern deserves abuse . . . wake up you tosser!

But ‘redeye’ tried this old trick

That’s pretty disgusting link whoring for mine.

People post comments with links all the time – that’s a fundamental way the Internet works. Bloggers link to source material a lot – it is what many political blogs are based on. It is widely accepted.

DPF himself has Kiwiblog set up to link to posts at other blogs – including Your NZ. There were a lot of clicks through to here on Thursday from an automatic Kiwiblog link. I don’t see that as ‘pretty disgusting link whoring’.

Link whore accusations are just one of many forms of trying to attack and discredit the messenger or source.

This comment came up from starboard (a long time KB commenter):

PG reported for link whoring.

Soon after that the comment disappeared into ‘moderation’. This was probably automatic. From the Kiwiblog comments policy:

If your comment has disappeared, it has probably been reported as being potentially abusive. A moderator will review the comment and decide whether it meets out comments guidelines.

I don’t know why it’s still there after a day but that’s not the issue.

What is of interest though is that a small number of people (depending on how the moderation trigger is set) can effectively censor a comment and thread if they want to. DPF may eventually release reported comments from moderation, but by then the audience has moved on.

This is the first time I have seen it happening at Kiwiblog, I don’t know how common it is, but I wonder if it is used as a deliberate means of suppression of comments and threads, a form of mob censorship.

On a blog that generally leans strongly towards free speech this is a bit of an anomaly.

UPDATE:

Morrisey at Kiwiblog:

Mr George has got it exactly right. DPF keeps away from the fray, generally, which is admirable; however the “Report” function is routinely, cynically abused by a small group of grumblers. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same half dozen haters of free speech pushing that button compulsively.

https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2019/01/general_debate_5_january_2019.html#comment-2396211

Comment from muttonbird:

It is a common practice on that blog. I have had several comments disappear in the same way. From memory just one was restored by the lone moderator.

Pete. It requires just 5 users to hit the report button for the comment and all replies to disappear from general view. And yes, if you have said something which really gets under the snowflakes’ skin they’ll use it regardless of whether it could be called abusive or not.

As is Farrar’s laissez faire, fact-free attitude to blogging he might restore the comment or he might not. Remember Kiwiblog only recently got the sub-comment feature having previously been a linear only comment structure which was a nightmare.

https://yournz.org/2019/01/05/mob-censorship-in-action-at-kiwiblog/#comment-337203

Leave a comment

23 Comments

  1. lurcher1948

     /  January 5, 2019

    I notice today that even the hate filled ranters are being restrained,maybe it’s the fear of being banned which is settling them down

    Reply
  2. Gerrit

     /  January 5, 2019

    One minute, not enough moderation

    https://yournz.org/2018/06/25/moderation-changes-at-kiwiblog/

    nx minit

    Too much.

    “She’s a hard road finding a perfect blog” or drink more Speights and don’t worry to much.

    Reply
  3. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  January 5, 2019

    The current system has been in place for a few months now….( I think a balance of 30 downpoints is needed for something to disappear)
    You need to visit KB more often to see the repetitive (Hugh’s housing comments; Morrissey’s Gropers) or abusive crap that disappears off the screen quite quickly.

    It makes for an easier flow of discussion points.

    Reply
    • Maggy Wassilieff

       /  January 5, 2019

      Oh… Here is an explanation for how Kiwiblog’s Reporting system works….
      bit different from the downticking system.

      https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2016/01/general_debate_22_january_2016.html/comment-page-4#comment-1653837

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  January 5, 2019

        yes. It is mob based censorship by using the ‘report abuse’ button. Which of course relys of a ‘casual moderator’ to check for false positives

        Reply
    • Griff.

       /  January 5, 2019

      Rofl
      It makes for an easier flow of discussion points.

      No it hides contra viewpionts.
      [Deleted. This is off topic and totally inappropriate, and it is repeat behaviour. I’m aware you have history – leave it out of here, completely. Address topics being discussed only. If you re-litigate past issues directed against anyone, or attack or provoke anyone personally, the whole comment will be binned, and I will then put your comments straight into the moderation queue pending my approval. That’s what happens if I can’t trust people to comply with basic behaviour rules here. PG]

      Reply
  4. kluelis

     /  January 5, 2019

    . Supply and demand means there are either left or right wing blogs. Why is there so little demand for centrist blogs?

    Reply
  5. duperez

     /  January 5, 2019

    The perpetually nasty posters on that site would claim that anyone posting in the same tone, with the same bitterness and with the same regularity as them, but from the other side of the fence, has mental health issues.

    I’d just hope they haven’t bred or aren’t bringing up children to send out into the world with similar destructive attitudes to people with different views.

    Reply
  6. Geez – that headline for this post is straight out of tabloid newspaper business.. really? really Pete?
    Kiwiblog GD has ALWAYS been a jungle… ALWAYS, whats the big deal?

    Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  January 5, 2019

      As long as they can abuse the PMs baby they are happy but it’s a strange jungle the right inhabit

      Reply
      • Trevors_elbow

         /  January 5, 2019

        Sorry. Not seen them do that. Links please Lurch….otherwise you are just smearing….

        Reply
  7. nasska

     /  January 5, 2019

    The “report abuse” feature was initially utilised to get rid of “William of Ockham’s” endless climate change spamming but now seems to include “Morrissey” though I note that “stephieboy”, amongst others, trolls on untouched.

    PG might be rightfully annoyed at what he sees as mob censorship but it’s not common practise on DPF’s blog.

    Reply
    • No Nassaka the report abuse is not used to stop Morrisey – he is just downticked in to being hidden

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 5, 2019

        I’ve seen comment systems where you can individually just select particular commenters not to be shown.

        I would have liked that for Robert and also for Blazer originally before he improved quite a bit. They both were destructive of intelligent discussion threads.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  January 5, 2019

          Corky is, too, because he is so thin or thick skinned that he has to insult and put down those who are more intelligent and knowlegable than he is. His abuse is very tiresome, and so are the lies that he tells. I also find him quite pervy and creepy, I must say.

          Reply
        • Blazer

           /  January 6, 2019

          what a cheek from a poster who’s default setting is…’loony left’…one liner.

          Reply
    • Thanks nasska, I don’t follow things closely there any more. I’m just too busy doing other things.

      Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  January 6, 2019

        “I’m just too busy doing other things”

        Which if you pause and think about it this might be farrrars response to all this hoopla. Multiply the volume of comments on this blog by a factor of several times and the poor fellow might be forgiven for a little laissez faire.

        For a blog without dedicated staff perhaps the best approach is a holiday for commenters who cant follow the rules. If it were me i’d set the bar fairly high. Only the gratuitous abusers would get the chop. This would take out two here. For the rest, the easily offended just need to get over themselves

        Reply
    • Nasska. It is a common practice on that blog. I have had several comments disappear in the same way. From memory just one was restored by the lone moderator.

      Pete. It requires just 5 users to hit the report button for the comment and all replies to disappear from general view. And yes, if you have said something which really gets under the snowflakes’ skin they’ll use it regardless of whether it could be called abusive or not.

      As is Farrar’s laissez faire, fact-free attitude to blogging he might restore the comment or he might not. Remember Kiwiblog only recently got the sub-comment feature having previously been a linear only comment structure which was a nightmare.

      Reply
  8. alloytoo

     /  January 5, 2019

    Comments going into moderation appears to be triggered by certain key words, it’s happened to me before and my comments were subsequently released. I suspect the delay was due to the holidays.

    Reply
  9. Morrisey at Kiwiblog:

    Mr George has got it exactly right. DPF keeps away from the fray, generally, which is admirable; however the “Report” function is routinely, cynically abused by a small group of grumblers. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same half dozen haters of free speech pushing that button compulsively.

    https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2019/01/general_debate_5_january_2019.html#comment-2396211

    Reply
  1. More ‘moderation’ at Kiwiblog | Your NZ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s