Friday, 27 April 2007
The Sun - a pillar of our fine democracy
I was mincing around on the Internet this afternoon and ended up on the Sun's discussion boards; Kelvin Mckenzie had written an incredibly ill informed piece yesterday:
"'I am sick and tired of listening to junior doctors complaining about their job prospects. It's a tough and competitive world out there and the public might be a little more supportive to these gods in white coats if there were fewer cases like those of Gertrude Danforth.'
He then described the sad case of an 85 year old woman who died after a low blood sodium level was missed. The coroner returned a verdict of natural causes contributed to by neglect.
He then linked this to the current campaign, implying doctors have made mistakes because they are taking time off.
"'Perhaps if they (i.e. junior doctors) spent less time in television studios explaining how they might have to work abroad (we all do these days) and more time worrying about their patients, then we would all be better off and we might, just might, be more sympathetic.'"
Complaints about Mckenzie's bile can be made here.
I then posted a piece on their news board complementing Kelvin Mckenzie on his excellent objective coverage of the Hillsborough disaster and the Falklands war, I also have to admit making mention of Rupert Murdoch being a mother Theresa of the modern world and that the 'sun was my bible'. There may have been a shade of sarcasm involved, however there was certainly nothing overtly offensive within; maybe it was my religious extremism that put them off?
I then posted again asking a simple question to the moderators asking for an explanation 'am I not allowed to mention the Sun's coverage of the Hillsborough disaster by Kelvin Mckenzie?'. I was promptly banned from the fora with no explanation. Before being banned I have saved this little nugget that explains the Sun's brilliant logic:
" "Why was my post removed?
There have been a few complaints about posts that our moderators removed (e.g. 'you are breaching my freedom of speech', 'there's no reason for you to remove these', etc.)
There have also been some complaints about posts that our moderators aren't removing ('you are allowing racist abuse', 'You're not doing enough about bullying on your boards' etc.).
Overall, it seems that we are striking a good balance between allowing people to express themselves, and curbing what is in breach of our Terms and the law. Sometimes the aggrieved individuals play victim to gain sympathy. Sometimes they genuinely don't realise that their post was removed because it was part of a bigger thread in breach of our Terms, or because they innocently put themselves at legal risk.
I'm sorry if you feel offended when your posts are removed. I invite you to read our terms, and information about how we moderate these boards - it is available at the bottom of this page where it says "Standard Terms and Conditions".
If someone came to your house and broke your house rules, you'd have every right to enforce them, or even kick the person out. Same here. We monitor all removals handled by our moderators, and the quality of their work is exceptional.
When signing up to MY Sun, our users agree to our Terms. They are not unreasonable. In fact, compared to a competing publication's site - we'd almost count as unmoderated (they moderate so much, hardly anything is left). Our ethos is all about allowing users to express themselves, and we are proud of the freedom we allow. That doesn't mean we'll let a small minority of obstructers to take advantage. Instead we invite you to enjoy the debate, and to take part in our growing community. We know we do!
PS. and yes, if someone came to your house and constantly complained about your house rules and how you enforce them, you'd be right to ask them to shut up or leave. End of." "
I love their logic. I love how they claim that they are 'almost unmoderated', well they probably are compared to Cuba's media. Their philosophy is 'shut up or leave. end of', brilliant.
I refuse to get angry and sink to their deplorable depths. I am therefore going to start a one man campaign of exposing the Sun for what they really are, please free to join my campaign if you wish.
This campaign shall involve regular forays onto their discussion boards to demonstrate precisely what the Sun means by 'unmoderated'. If you wish to join in then feel free to email me anything that you have censored on the Sun discussion boards and I will put it up here, within reason of course; the milder the posts that you have removed the better. Watch this space.