Friday, January 15, 2010

Anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hatred on the Huffington Post

It is always an interesting exercise these days to note which sites moderate comments and what it takes to get you banned.

I'm more inclined to allow an unrestricted free-for-all. I don't think you can automatically assume a congruence between the opinions of a commenter and a site.

Though one of the reasons that Australian blogger Andrew Bolt seriously considered switching off his comments facility was the fact that an ABC "comedy" program trawled through over 300 comments left on one of his posts to pick out three or four to use as weapons against him.

Yes, his site is moderated, but you'd think any reasonable person would firstly know that mistakes will be made and that things will slip through that shouldn't have, and that a few such comments have to be balanced against the rest.

But as this post from the Powerline blog shows, the Huffington Post is more than happy to ban people it doesn't agree with, which makes the continued presence of people who make the most outrageously prejudiced and bigoted remarks about Jews all the more significant.
This story by "Huff-Watcher" in FrontPage Magazine exposes anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hatred on the Huffington Post. Huff-Watcher documents these phenomena more fully in a longer report.

The FrontPage story makes two basic points. First, the Huffington Post "approves and tolerates user comments. . .that contain incendiary, hate-filled libels against Israelis and Jews, as well as links to anti-Semitic hate websites." It does this even though, "since at least March 2008, the website has been pre-moderating all user comments." Thus, all of the hateful and defamatory comments that have appeared since then were approved by the Huffington Post's moderators.

Here are some charming examples:
Jews are evil. Israel runs the world. Lets kill 'em all and give the land back to Islam; result-perpetual peace. Seig Heil."
By "pedrothemigrant," 5/23/08

"Funny how [Israelis] had NO problem with wiping the [Palestinians] off the face of the earth until they discovered they might actually be able to strike back in a meaningful way. proof that bullies like this are nothing but cowards."
By "peacekitten," 1/2/09

"There's a reason they [Jews] have been the most problematic group for thousands of years."
By "Amennyc," 1/4/09

"[W]omen holding limp little bodies of children in their hands, crying, as an Israeli soldier aims an AK.-47 at her head. With each civilian casualty Israel gets closer to the regime in Germany that provided the impetus for the creation of Israel."
By "SkepticHume," 1/3/09

"Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, Here I am, stuck in the middle with Jooooz [Jews]"
By "JamesR.," 11/22/08

"They [Jews] all need to be rounded up and gassed."
By "markoze," 12/30/08
According to Huff-Watcher, "all of these comments were posted by users whose accounts are still active (they have not been banned), some of whom HuffPost has allowed to post thousands of additional comments." On the other hand, "HuffPost routinely bans other users who don't violate its policies -- some after as few as six comments -- but dare to challenge or mock the radical leftists that the site attracts."

Full post here

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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