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Feb 10, 2010
Bishop Hill in Climate: CRU

Fred Pearce has another article up about the Hockey Stick, part of the Guardian's review of Climategate. We are invited to leave our comments and annotations.

Unfortunately that's less of an option for me, since the Guardian has put me on moderation. This means that my comments take 24 hours or so to get posted. It's not really possible to have meaningful input in these circumstances - rather like trying to take part in a public meeting by post - so I'll put some comments up here when I get the time.

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I would tell the story of how I ended up being put in the moderation queue and this seems like a reasonable opportunity to do so. When I noticed the red warning on the CiF comment screen I dropped a line to the moderators to find out how I had transgressed. I don't write rude comments, I don't troll and I don't do O/T. But I must have done something bad, right?

The message that came back from the moderators was very charming but rather bizarre.  When Climategate had first broken, I had posted two references to the emails about five minutes apart.  I had then apparently been put on moderation - no warning or anything. Straight in the sinbin. This was apparently because the legal status of the emails was unclear.


Anyhow, the mods suggested that I would have been taken off moderation but for another transgression of common decency.  This related to the famous Monbiot piece, in which he called for Phil Jones' resignation but also took himself to task for his failings as a journalist, namely blind acceptance of the word of the climatologists. My sin was allegedly to suggest that in view of his failings, Monbiot should probably resign too. This was deemed "abusive".

This seemed a little odd, so I queried this with the mods, suggesting that if it was abusive to call for George to go, wasn't it abusive of him to call for Jones to go. Their reply was that the policy was for the protection of author and commenter alike (or words to that effect). To which I responded "Huh?" (or words to that effect). Unfortunately, the mods weren't going to play ball any longer, telling me that they weren't going to endlessly explain the rules to me.

Does anyone get the impression they'd just rather their readers didn't hear from the likes of me?


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