Comments on the Huffington Post (HP) that are perfectly in compliance with the site’s published policies are regularly censored. Over the last four months we have documented examples of this out of control censorship on the blog:
The many examples documented on this blog are just the tip of the iceberg. For each example there are thousands more. These examples reveal a pattern of arbitrary censorship extending far beyond HP's published moderation policies. Specific patterns of censorship include:
* Censorship by Artificial Intelligence program. Although HP has never discussed it openly, moderators have told us via email that the site uses an AI system to pre-screen comments. This AI system regularly censors comments that in no way violate the site’s published standards.
* Censorship to stifle criticism. Some HP authors practice routine censorship of comments that point out errors in their reasoning or offer alternative points of view. Specific authors who do this on a regular basis include Depak Chopra, Amy Suskind, and Robert Lanza.
Censorship of comments about the Huffington Post. Any comment that discusses the censorship policy of the site or other issues about how the site is run are almost certain to be censored.
The Huffington Post
We, the users and contributors to the Huffington Post, are fed up with the out of control censorship of comments on the site as documented on the blog:
http://bannedfromhuffpo.blogspot.com/ We request the following from the Huffington Post:
1) An open discussion of the censorship issue. Post a series of articles on this topic written by the site's Senior Moderator. Give users a chance to openly discuss their experiences with moderation.
2) End the use of the Artificial Intelligence moderation system. This system does not work and routinely screens out comments for no valid reason.
3) The Huffington Post should follow its own policies for moderation. The whole point of new media is that unlike traditional media it can be interactive. This interactivity becomes just a gimmick if serious comments that dispute an author's expertise are censored.
The Huffington Post has risen in a short time to be a powerful force in the new media. It has done this due to the support of people who are fed up with the corporate dominated Main Stream Media. Unfortunately, with its current moderation policy it is on the road to becoming just another corporate dominated media source, more concerned with profit than with the free exchange of ideas. We hope its not too late to reverse this.
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