The Guardian\’s comments policy

A tad odd we might say.

Sunny writes a piece arguing (oh so wittily!) that Maggie\’s State Funeral should be privatised.

In the comments, this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/discussion/comment-permalink/13856000

\"\"WouldWouldnt22 December 2011 02:33PM

Here are a few extracts from the Guardian\’s \”community standards\” policy

1. We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated. The key to maintaining the Guardian website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

How precisely is a jokey article about a living person\’s impending death consistent with this community standard?

By my count, about half the comments here should be deleted on this ground, alone. But nasty comments about somebody dying – as soon as possible – have been invited by the tone of this piece.

3. We understand that people often feel strongly about issues debated on the site, but we will consider removing any content that others might find extremely offensive or threatening. Please respect other people\’s views and beliefs and consider your impact on others when making your contribution.

Again, it is hard to think of a more offensive thing than glorying in the prospect of somebody\’s death. But that\’s a fair characterisation of about half the comments on this thread.

5. We will not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia or other forms of hate-speech, or contributions that could be interpreted as such. We recognise the difference between criticising a particular government, organisation, community or belief and attacking people on the basis of their race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age.

I would have thought jokes about a very old person being about to die constitutes \”attacking people on the basis of their … age\”

 

In short:

– If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems. 
– Don\’t be unpleasant. Demonstrate and share the intelligence, wisdom and humour we know you possess.
– Take some responsibility for the quality of the conversations in which you\’re participating. Help make this an intelligent place for discussion and it will be.

Joking about a living person\’s death is a wonderful display of intelligence, wisdom and humour, and is in no way unpleasant .

I\’d be interested to see if the Guardian actually applies its own moderation policy.

Yes, in fact, they do apply their moderation policy, the ban the comment!

(N0, not my comment)

29 comments on “The Guardian\’s comments policy

  1. Not just banned the comment, the user profile you linked to now says, “This user profile is not available.” I tried it again but via the comment instead of direct from your link and got the same result.

    It looks as if the user has been banned altogether – he/she must have really annoyed the Guardian. And yet many comments critical of the Guardian are still there; it seems the one that merited the full Orwell treatment was the one that held their behaviour up against their own professed standards.

    I speculate that the commenter WouldWouldnt may be a disgruntled Guardian insider.

  2. No, I’m not.

    But I am pretty nauseated – just astounding to be banned for po

    I’m a Labour Party member, voter, supporter – an opponent of Lady Thatcher’s policies. I just don’t think it is acceptable to make jokes about old people dying.

    Somebody should complain to the Readers Editor about this. I can’t be bothered. The Guardian is increasingly just a cesspool.

  3. Comments are censored – I mean “moderated” – far more often in the Guardian’s comments section than in other newspapers, far as I can see. Instead of the hypocritical title they give to their comments section, “Comment is Free”, why can’t they be more honest and call it “Comment is Censored”?

  4. Which twat? Sunny, WW, some-one else?

    And, frankly, calling out (not blaming) the Guardian for egregious hypocrisy is one of the core pleasures of our miserable little libertarian baby-eating lives.

  5. Well I haven’t read the article or the comments, and I’m sure they were genuinely quite nasty, but on the simple point of suggesting that Mrs Thatcher’s funeral be privatised, I thought, “Touché!”

  6. WW.

    Because it’s all bollocks;

    A jokey article about someones funeral arrangements =/= a personal attack. Nor does it equal glorifying in someones death. You could only come to this conclusion by being a humourless prig.

    The most spectular bit of humourlessness though is the claim that this article is some how ageist. That talking about an old persons death is inherantly ageist. I mean, c’mon, I’m really expected to beileve that?

    Look, I actually have no real problem with Thatcher, and would almost certainly not have joined in the Guardian thred; but calling it hipocracy when the Guardian deletes such a self-satisfied comment that makes no valid points what-so-ever is a fucking stretch.

  7. but calling it hipocracy when the Guardian deletes such a self-satisfied comment that makes no valid points what-so-ever is a fucking stretch.

    And the banning, that’s OK too is it ?

  8. Mat,

    So lets get this straight, all comments on CIF about Thatchers impending death, looking forward to dancing on her grave etc. which are far from an uncommon occurrence are just light hearted humour that we are too uptight to get?

    If this comments had no valid points, why delete it and ban him? I most there all the time without a valid point and never seem to get banned.

  9. There’s an awful lot of commments, and reading them all would probably send me mad, but I really can’t find any comments that breach the community standards as listed. So Ithink you are just pulling up a strawman.

    as to the banning;

    “2. We acknowledge criticism of the articles we publish, but will not allow persistent misrepresentation of the Guardian and our journalists to be published on our website. For the sake of robust debate, we will distinguish between constructive, focused argument and smear tactics.”

    Even assuming tha banning is over this, and not something else (a quick search shows an awful lot of deleted comments from WW; maybe this is because of his ban, maybe he’s just a persistant offender). It still seems pretty clear cut.

  10. “but calling it hipocracy when the Guardian deletes such a self-satisfied comment that makes no valid points what-so-ever is a fucking stretch.”

    Whereas all those comments about dancing on her grave added what to the debate, precisely?

  11. “There is, however, no prejudice so strong as that which arises from a fancied exemption from all prejudice.”

  12. Mat
    Even assuming tha banning is over this, and not something else (a quick search shows an awful lot of deleted comments from WW; maybe this is because of his ban, maybe he’s just a persistant offender). It still seems pretty clear cut.

    That’s not very logical, the deletion of comments may equally be an indication of the Guardian’s dislike of dissenting opinion. To use it as evidence that the deletion and banning is justified is a circular argument, since the only arbiter in this is the Guardian itself. It doesn’t seem at all clear cut.

  13. Thornavis.

    “EVEN ASSUMING tha banning is over this, and not something else (a quick search shows an awful lot of deleted comments from WW; maybe this is because of his ban, maybe he’s just a persistant offender). IT STILL seems pretty clear cut.”

    What I was saying was, granting your argument, theres still a perfectly consistant reason for banning, given by the “not misrepresenting op” clause I posted.

    The misrepresentiaon is that the article is about glee in Thatchers death; it’s about her funeral arrangements (a conversation not started by Sunny). And also in the “half the comments bit”; which really isn’t the case. If you think the guardian is hypocritical, then this may well be further proof of that. But for someone with no real views on the Guardian, I’m just stracthing my head as to why you’re trying to manufacture something here.

    To be clear, I’m not a raving anti-thatcherite. And I don’t look forward to her death. But then neither does the OP.

  14. I’ve heard it said that David Cameron is Maggie Thatcher with a cock, but I think that’s a terrible way to refer to Nick Clegg.

  15. Mat, I’m not trying to manufacture anything I was criticising your logic in one comment and asking a question in another. Actually I do think the Guardian is being hypocritical here as they are quick enough to register outrage at any perceived cruelty directed at their favored interest groups, look at Laurie Penny’s latest outbreak of emotional incontinence. On the state funeral for Maggie issue this is just another piece of leftist hysteria, the Guardian and its readers will be very disappointed if she doesn’t get one as it will deny them another opportunity for outrage by numbers.

  16. I’ve had lots of comments deleted from CiF and have no idea how they contravene the ‘community standards’.

    Sometimes I’ve had comments removed completely without the little message saying it against their standards remaining as a memorial to it.

    This is usually reserved for my comments which give links to articles elsewhere which I get the feeling the Guardian would prefer its readers didn’t see.

    I’ve seen my polite and pertinent comments deleted while others, comparing people to Nazis or making very other distasteful remarks about people who don’t toe the Guardian line go undeleted.

  17. Sorry Thornavis; “look at Laurie Penny’s latest outbreak of emotional incontinence”; to avoid any crossed wires; are we talking about the “exploding breasts” article?

  18. We are Mat, she seems to have adopted a kind of pre-emptive anger in the face of a non existent mirth at the fate of women with faulty implants. It’s fairly typical of the Guardian approach which is generally one of defensive hostility to the world. they can be ultra sensitive about any degree of levity towards women, racial and religious minorities, the poor, disabled etc. but old ladies who happened at one time to be PM and followed policies they didn’t like are fair game, I wouldn’t mind if they weren’t constantly assuming the moral high ground on every bloody issue under the sun, it’s like a Calvinist prayer group with the occasional piss poor stand up routine.

  19. As others have said it’s the sickening hypocrisy from the left which galls.

    They love to take offense at every possible chance, usually as a tool to shutting down debate.

    But have no problem themselves dishing it out, then it’s just “light humour” and “can’t you take a joke?”

    I couldn’t care less what they actually say, it’s the double-standards that piss me, and I suspect many others, off.

  20. Well, yes. I still feel that WW is being a humourless prig, distorting Sunnys (and commentators) opinions to shut off a perfectly valid conversation.

    But then, I can’t with a straight face argue that Laurie isn’t doing the same. So I guess I’ll climb down off my high horse.

  21. Mat, 7.13 pm:

    “There’s an awful lot of commments, and reading them all would probably send me mad, but I really can’t find any comments that breach the community standards as listed. ”

    So I put on my thigh-length waders and ventured into the stream of comments:

    “Cut the head off, fill it with salt, and bury it in unconsecrated ground just to be safe.”
    “I personally would pay for a chance to dance on her grave”
    ” lets just throw the body in the Thames ”
    “I’m more afraid of the seven demons that will be released from her body upon her dying breath”
    “Anyone for arranging a party in Trafalgar square to celebrate when she does croak it finally?!?”

    That’s just the first few pages, I couldn’t go through all 17 of them.

    Mat: you were saying about standards?

  22. You should never read newspaper comment threads (in fact any comment threads except on a few of the better class blogs) other than for purposes of anthrological research.

    Btw no one, either here or at the Guardian seems to have considered the likelihood that if a public subscription really were set up to cover the costs of her funeral it would be filled several times over in a matter of hours. Let the people speak, I say.

  23. Given Tony Blair’s and Gordon Brown’s commitment to equality, surely they should not receive a state funeral.

  24. For myself, I would happily contribute a thousand quid to the fund for a state funeral for Margaret Thatcher.

    Looking at it from the perspective of Ayn Rand, I am exchanging value-for-value.

    She battled the forces of socialism to prevent (or at least defer) England becoming a new France. We might be still on the slippery road today that she forced the detour on years ago, but in the meantime a lot of Thatchers Children have grown up, owned houses, had children and had careers that wouldn’t have been possible under either ‘Sunny’ Jim Callaghan and successors (Foot, Kinnock, John Smith, et al) or equally the alternates of the wets within the Tory Party (Heath, Whitelaw, Heseltine, etc.)

    Personally, I believe that even if only a few of the people like me who recognize the impact that Mrs. Thatcher had on our lives, then her state funeral would be paid for many times over.

    I give thanks for what she did and pray for someone with the same spirit to arise again.

    Arthur and the Knights of Camelot have slept long enough…

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