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Guardian moderates

That's odd - when I look at Comment is Free threads I get a message above the comment box saying that "This comment will be held for moderation". Does everyone get this or am I on some sort of a blacklist? If the latter, I'm rather bemused as I can't think of anything I've said that would upset the Graun. I don't even post there very often.

Perhaps the Domestic Extremism Team have told them that I'm persona non grata?


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Reader Comments (21)

Same here and it never gets published either!

Jan 14, 2010 at 8:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterWitteringsfromWitney

Since I now know my comment will not be moderated here, I will tell you about a wonderful metaphor.

A very expensive, government financed greenhouse has collapsed because of too much snow.

Jan 14, 2010 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

Some of mine get through. Some don't. I can see no reason for the ones that fail.

What I suspect happens is that someone accuses you in the 'report' box of something. I guess that if that happens it is easier for the moderators to just delete the complained-of article, since:

- they are probably junior ill-paid staff with no interest in reading your comment
- there appears to be no comeback if an item is deleted

If someone doesn't like your name or your comments, they can easily look up all your comments and complain about each one. That would make it seem as if the paper had blacklisted you....

Jan 14, 2010 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

I just tried posting something and it's disappeared. Ho hum.

Jan 14, 2010 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBishop Hill

two can play that game. Simply report any and every pro agw comment and see what happens.


Jan 14, 2010 at 9:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael

My fave CiF thread is Monbiot on censorship. Look at the censored posts ;-)

New Scientologist does a good line in deleted comments as well.

Jan 14, 2010 at 9:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Same for me; the blacklist is for people who write factual posts about climate change which disagree with the Guardian's party line.

Jan 14, 2010 at 10:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterapdavidson

All of mine get through. fwiw.

Jan 14, 2010 at 10:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterHotRod


You are on moderation. That means they won't post any message which disagrees with their corporate policy.

I have been banned around 200 times (for being previously banned). Monbiot's little followers report my comments. I am never banned unless I comment on global warming threads. I am not quite paranoid enough to believe they are paid to deliberatly disrupt the debate, but that is indeed what they do.

I was originally banned for linking to a British government website which showed that Dr Gerry McCann who 'lost' his daughter in Portugal was a member of COMARE, the committee which (if I remember correctly) found that there were cancer clusters around British nuclear power stations, but they weren't caused by the stations themselves. Dr and Mrs McCann's former colleague, Professor Elliott of the Western Infirmary in Glasgow was the head of the committe.

Dodging the truth and duping the people- COMARE

Jan 14, 2010 at 11:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterE Smith

Sorry, the answer is to sign out and register under a new name. They are so greedy for money, they don't block anyone.

Jan 15, 2010 at 1:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterE Smith

[i]New Scientologist does a good line in deleted comments as well.[/i]

About midsummer I noticed that new scientist became rabid pro-warming, with horrible non-scientific opinion pieces, often presented as science. I tried commenting and its always bounced, no matter how benign.

Jan 15, 2010 at 2:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterR. Thomas

well i've just signed up and had mine posted (juliehish) but we'll see how long it lasts

Jan 15, 2010 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered Commenterjulie


You comment that your submissions to CIF simply now "disappear" rather than even being held at the moderation stage.

Same has been happening to me for the last month. Originally thought it was just a glitch, but apparently not?

One of my last posts on CIF was to complain that one of the CO2 lobbyist groups (can't remember their name now) which provide the Guardian with copy should now compensate the redundant Redcar workers out of their own funds. This is because the lobby group in question is in receipt of a large DECC grant to lobby industrial unions on the need to reduce CO2. You wrote a piece about this group and their links with the Guardian on this site late last year, which is where I picked up the info about their large DECC lobbying grant.

Could just be a co-incidence of course, always beware conspiracy theories.

Or maybe the Guardian now has a policy to weed out those who directly attack the financial interests of their columnists?

Can't be bothered to re-register.

Jan 15, 2010 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark, Edinburgh

Today the Guardian has a piece about glass frogs and other animals living in Ecuador. According to Suzanne Goldenberg, the 'animals' habitat is being threatened by deforestation and climate change.'.
Doubtless this is true for deforestation but climate change? There will certainly be local climate change if rain forest is removed but is there on record, a local historical temperature increase in that region? Or this is the usual drip-feed technique of adding the phrase 'climate change' to any report4ed change in flora or fauna?

Please - can anyone offer a link to a database so this can be checked.

Jan 15, 2010 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlleagra

The message you get means that you are in 'pre-moderation', so that all your comments are read before being posted. In theory, this should only weed out those that break 'community rules'; however, in practice the moderation seems to depend on the opinions of the particular moderator reading the comments at the time you post them.

Pre-moderation is different from the other moderation procedures. Comments that are complained about should be read, assessed, and then deleted or left unchanged, although in general anything reported for abuse is automatically deleted to leave a 'deleted by moderator' message. This can mess up message threads substantially, as comments referering to those deleted may or may not also be removed. Of course, comments do not have to be reported for the moderators to decide on their removal.

On top of that, there';s invisible moderation, where comments are deleted without leaving any trace at all. You actually have to be online reading at the time to see this happen.

I know all this from experience, as I or people I know have fallen foul of some or all of these policies in the past.

In your particular case, I suspect you're in pre-mod because they think you might post something libellous about the notoriously sensitive Rajendra Pachauri (I recall briefly seeling something of yours with a link to EU Referendum). The next stage after this, if they decide on it, is to kill your ID and remove the history of all your previous comments from the site. You can register again under a different ID, but if you're spotted after your first deletion you'll automatically be deleted again no matter how well-behaved you are.

Jan 15, 2010 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Jackson

I've looked back at my comments history and it seems that two references to the CRU emails were enough to have me banned - the say they're moderated, but it doesn't matter what I say any longer, the comments are never accepted.

Jan 15, 2010 at 12:38 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

If you complain to
you’ll normally get a polite and sensible reply as to why you’ve been put on premoderation.
One of the things the Guardian objects to is trolling, which they define as getting up the noses of other bloggers by replying politely and incisively to their rantings. Another thing they don’t like is making fun of their star guests. I was last put on premoderation when they published a joint editorial by the Lancet and the British Medical Journal and I commented “the doctors have taken over the asylum”. The likes of the BMJ and government ministers, who are frequent posters at Guardian Environment, expect a tame and respectful hearing for their witterings, and are no doubt shocked to learn that the majority of Guardian readers are sceptics.
I’m afraid Dodgy Geezer is probably right, that its the number of times the “report abuse” button is pressed which determines who gets censored. There’s a blogger called MilesSmiles who makes regular death threats of the type “it’s time we asserted our right to legitimate defence against deniers”. Another called gpwayne - an intelligent and cultivated person - whose suggestion that I should be sodomised is still on-line.
There was a period of heavy censorship just before Copenhagen, and all the regulars on both sides disappeared, which left the ground clear for the newboys, who piled in with their bright thoughts as if ten years of debate had never happened. CommentisFree is often compared to a pub argument, but its more like trying to conduct a seminar in an airport lounge. Fun though.

Jan 15, 2010 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Ah, yes, the CRU email thing could be another factor. The Guardian got nervous for a while about publishing extracts from them or links to them, for some reason to do with them possibly being stolen or hacked. The rest might be inertia.

It's significant that no comments at all seem to be getting through pre-mod, though; another user who's currently in pre-mod for a form of hate speech gets comments through consistently. I guess there can be a problem with individual moderators' prejudices.

Jan 15, 2010 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Jackson

It would be interesting if you and maybe Wattsupwiththat? posted when the next CiF AGW articles go up and ask your readership to cross post any comments that they try to submit to CiF to your post. I think it would be an interesting experiment to see what gets through and what doesn't. I should imagine James Delingpole might be interested in the results of such an experiment.

Jan 15, 2010 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDan

CIF now stands for;


For a little test I set up two accounts, one pro-AGW, one anti-AGW.

Within two days I could no longer post on my anti-AGW account.

I never had a problem with my pro-AGW account no matter how ludicrous my comments were.

Jan 17, 2010 at 7:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterCoulditBeMe

I got banned too! It would appear that you can't stand against Ken Livingstone and survive on CiF, either.

It's an enlightening way to hold a debate: ban anyone you disagree with. It's almost like they're starting a religion, and excommunicating anyone that objects...

Feb 18, 2010 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterWayland

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