Sunday, December 30, 2007

DumpBachmann Hypocrites are Selectively Censoring Comments

Once again, the hypocrites at the DumpBachmann blog are playing fast and loose with the First Amendment. For several months now, Eva Young has activated moderation to supposedly "prevent vandalism by a certain persistant Troll." Well long after the troll is gone, moderation is still in effect at this blog, and they are now selectively censoring comments from people who disagree with them!

Last night, I posted a civil comment to the comments section of this vacuous DumpBachmann post by Ken Avidor, the anti-PRT propagandist. My comment was a direct response to this attack from DumpBachmann contributor "Karl":

If you don't like the way comments are handled here, why don't you pathetic fucking trolls just go away then?

The text of my response was:

So, Eva, does Karl's "pathetic fucking trolls" warrant a warning like the one you gave me earlier? That's a personal attack if I've ever seen one...

As I said, I seem to have struck a nerve here. My original comment has spurred three strong responses from DB contribitors:

1. An attack post from Avidor ("tin foil hat stuff")
2. A warning from Eva accusing me of "obsessions" and "personal attacks" (earlier comment)
3. A vile personal attack from Karl ("pathetic fucking trolls" - above comment)

Yet, in all of these responses, I've still not seen a denial of any of my claims. The closest to a denial was Eva's claim that LRN is not an astroturfing site - a curious statement given that LRN itself admits that it is underwritten by light rail corporate interests.

The fact is: Ken Avidor has a long history of digging into his opponents' associations for the purpose of questioning their motives. For example, he once accused an executive at a PRT company of "encouraging sprawl" because he ran a school bus company! (see http://weinerwatch.blogspot.com/2006/09/tortured-logic.html). I can cite many other examples if you like.

So if Ken's constant digging into PRT proponents' associations is fair game, then why is it considered an "attack" or "pathetic fucking trolling" to question Ken's associations? Whether he likes it or not, his long history of anti-PRT activities opens him up to the same sort of scrutiny.

To put it another way: don't dish it out if you can't take it.

Now, my comment may be unpleasant for Eva and her gang to read, but it's certainly not abusive or "trollish". In fact, Karl's comment is far worse than anything I've ever posted at DB.

Anyway, I checked this morning, and my comment had not yet appeared. I resubmitted it, just in case it got lost in transit. By midafternoon, still nothing, even as comments from others were posted. I gave it one last chance a few hours ago - still nothing.

Even before this specific case, I've noticed a trend recently at DB: when you submit a critical comment, they don't post it until they can respond to it, so that there is never an unanswered critical comment. There have been times where I've waited 6 hours or more for them to post one of my comments - with their response posted at the same time.

But this time, my response didn't appear at all.

It's clear what's going on here. I've struck a nerve with my comments, DumpBachmann has no answer, so they are quietly censoring my comments. I wonder how many other reasonable criticisms have been deleted by Eva's content police?

So remember: next time you read any of Eva's blogs, chances are you are only seeing half the debate.

This would generally not be such a big deal - blog owners can do whatever they want with their comments. But Eva has repeatedly bragged about her openness to debate on her blogs, and she has criticised others for censorship. Just one more example of the hypocricy of Eva Young and Ken Avidor.

Update: To be fair, when Eva returned (nearly two days later), she did post all my comments. So apparently it is her moderators (Ken and Karl, maybe others?) that are censoring my posts, against her wishes. She should institute a policy that all non-abusive comments are to be accepted without delay - no exceptions - and then perhaps these conflicts can be avoided in the future.

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