Monday, 17 April 2017

Rather curious behavour from a self-appointed beacon of free speech. Make up your own minds

This might be of interest to some of you. I think it speaks for itself. You do sometimes wonder what is going on at the Guardian.

After I had posted a comment on the Guardian website apropos a piece by Hadley Freeman in which I suggested it wasn't her best and that it smacked as though she had forgotten a deadline and cobbled something together at the last minute (and queried what was she actually trying to say), I was astonished when not ten minutes later it had been deleted by the papers moderators as ‘not conforming with its community standards’.

Leaving aside the rather Orwellian catch-all nature of that explanation (and if you ask which standard you had not conformed to, you are merely sent a link to a long, long list of ‘community standards’ with the implicit invitation to go through the lot and find our for yourself), I was baffled as to what had been so offensive in what I had said. So I posted a second comment, this time about the deletion of my previous post, but that, too, disappeared into Guardian never-neverland.

This is not the first time this had happened, so before posting the comment, I took a screenshot of it and you can read what I wrote below. Anyone care to tell me what is so offensive about it?

Sadly, this is not the first time this has happened, and I can assure you on those other occasions I was not in the least bit offensive, either, but I was critical of the Guardian. I stick by what I say in the comment below, that the Guardian very often stands head and shoulders above the other matters in its serious journalism (although it, too, can be ridiculous when it comes to fashion, ‘lifestyle’, travel and food – it is often a self-parody).

I don’t for a second suggest or believe that Britain is in danger of becoming a totalitarian state with the Guardian as a gauleiter. But I do suggest it takes a hard look at some of its beliefs and behaviour, and tries to ensure they are not quite at odds this each other as this latest incidents would suggest.

The above was then also removed, so I left this comment, linking Guardian readers to this blog entry. It, too, was removed.

So I left my final comment, this one. It has since disappeared.

How is that for free speech. And can anyone tell me where the offence might lie?

PS Now you see it . . .

. . . and now you don’t. Isn’t free speech marvellous!


  1. Cant believe you've only just found out what the Guardian is like ? They are the most divisive paper going . They will never publish anything that does not suit their growing small minded readership

  2. No, it's not that I've just found out or that comments I've left have been censored. But it is such a blatant contradiction of its public stance. And it irritates me each time, especially when my comments are so bloody innocuous.

  3. Some years ago, a 13-year-old physics student got the Guardian very excited because he’d demonstrated cold fusion. I passed a comment about his inability to use his monitoring equipment correctly. It was taken down.

    Another article that the Guardian published concerned the excessive energy consumption of sewage treatment plants. All grist to the readership mill. Many, many agreeing comments and not a single antagonistic opinion. I checked the sums and it became obvious that the author had accidentally misread the energy consumption data by a factor of 100,000 and not one of the Guardian's growing small-minded readership had noticed. I didn’t bother to comment as it would have been ignored by all those preachy people who don’t know the difference in power between 1 megawatt (as found on a wind turbine) and a 10 watt smartphone charger. But heck, I’m only a retired engineer.