[Updated March 3, 2011: Please refer to comment below. Apparently, this disabling of the link over at Reddit and deletion of the poster comments were done by the poster himself. I will chalk this up as a lesson I need to be more careful in not reading to much into something that isn’t. I am sorry, folks and also to Reddit.]
An interesting act of moderation yesterday over at Reddit.com yesterday deserves some coverage. I really don’t have an opinion about Reddit itself, except that ocassionally we have traffic from them because their readers reference articles on this blog.
A Norwegian user of Reddit was really upset with what happened to his entry refering to my recent article, “Chinese Citizens React to Fake Western Media Coverage Of Jasmine Revolution In China.”
Obviously I read the original entry and the few comments before the moderation took place. I found out about this Reddit entry, because I ocassionally browser who on the Internet are linking to Hidden Harmonies in our blog stats.
Discussion below concerns this particular URL at Reddit.com:
Refer to the image below, because I am not certain if the link will persist:
1.) The user made an initial entry on Reddit about my article.
After he made the initial entry, the link was eventually disabled.
2.) He then added comments criticizing the referenced article’s link being disabled – using the “f” word. He also dug up Hidden Harmonies host provider information to show that we are based out of the U.S.. His point was that Western media criticizing China censoring, but the “Westerners” censor more egregiously things in the West.
(I am recreating from memory, and I cannot retrieve the original comments even with the web archive tool.)
Notice that “NotTheKitchenSink” saying the links works. That’s because initially it worked when this particular user loaded the page. My guess is Reddit have distributed servers around the world and it takes time for entries to be fully synched with one another. During this window, even though the original poster complained, this user “NotTheKitchenSink” sees it still working.
3.) A user ‘paultards’ attacked the original poster and called him a “Chinese clown.”
First of all, notice that the Reddit moderator does not remove this type of comment. Apparently it is OK to call Chinese people “stupid clowns.” This is a rampant reverse-censorship, if you will, that we often see in the West.
This got him very upset.
4.) He declared himself a Nord from Norway and not of Chinese decent. I wished I had made a copy of his original comments, but as you can see, they have been deleted. The gist of them were:
a. As a Nord, he is sick and tired of being lumped together with the “Westerners,” because that labeling largely represents the “imperialists” which he wants no part. I think he highlighted the U.S. and the U.K..
b. He is upset that Norwegian politics have been hijacked by this “imperialism.”
c. He is upset at the “Western” media contually justifying “imperialism” through lying and disinformation.
I’ve place quotes around the words, because I recall he using them specifically. There were probably more “f” words than there were sentences. So I understand his comments triggering moderation.
I am perplexed why the link was censored in the first place. Why it is still down?
At the grander scheme and at a society level, it is a given that censorship laws vary. But as exemplified by this case over at Reddit.com, at a grounds level, censorship is easy. I would argue this form of censorship is rampant in the West. Roland Soong’s attempt at correcting media disinformation were dismissed by the Western media as “so what” <em>is</em> another form of censorship.
Why was the China “clown” comment left intact and not the “bigot” Western media comments?
Reddit has gone as far to delete the Nord’s username, and we cannot go back to him for his original comments.
The most important point to me is that there are many people in the “West” like this Nord who can see the hypocrisy and other nonsense from the Western media. They in fact, reject being lumped together with this “West.”
I am a fan of reddit, and much to my amazement and relief, many commenters on chinese issues do not take the typical dumb stereotypical western view of china. Here’s another submission on the fake revolution:
As you can see, the top comments are mostly people taking a rational view. There are many other instances where when clicking on a chinese related submission and preparing myself for the worst vitriol against china, was instead pleasently surprised by many who take a rational view, even defending china. Of course there is still much vitriol, but not nearly as bad as other western media outlets and social sites. Even sites like slashdot, whom readers are probably highly educated engineers and techies, are surprisingly worse .
Don’t know why that particular submission was corrupted. Maybe it was posted in the wrong “self” category?
It worked for me initially too when I saw it in our blog stats; I visited it and followed the link back to the blog.
Today I visited it again, I noticed the moderation. So I am pretty sure it was changed from “world” to “self.”
I haven’t used Reddit much, and I should make it clear I am discussing just this particular instance of moderation rather than the whole of what Reddit is doing.
Reddit has the ability to take market share away from the Western mainstream media. For that reason alone, I really like it.
Interesting that that Peking Quacker made a post on thatreddit submission comments, trying to discredit ESWN/antiCNN’s post as not representing western media bias. The quacker’s argument, that anti-cnn’s evidence doesn’t represent western media, misses the point. If one just searches for “china jasmine” under google news, there is a plethora of articles by very much mainstream news outlets. The deception is that there are this much reporting at all on an non-existent event.
Walter Tseng says
This is nothing new. Originally I found your blog via Alltop.com. But of late they have deleted your site altogether & made it an almost exclusive menu for anti-China blogs. 10 out 10 of their political bloggers have a distinct biased slant on their China reportage. The write up at the Pekind Duck site on the recent “Jasmine Revolution” in China, was a big big effort to disparage the “China Lovers”. Their readers too seem to derive a vicarious pleasure in riding along as can be seen by their comments from such regulars like FOARP, S.K.Cheung etc who I noticed also made snide remarks to your blog.
But then I noticed they do not dare to do the same on your columns. One of the reasons they gave (a.o) for failing to match your versatile arguments was that you or one of you have a Lawyer’s background. I too have seen your arguments (when I first accessed your site in Alltop) and they were logical, precise, backed with facts & without prejudice. Not the same for the the Alltop groups. It is always healthy to read both side of the argument. Keep up the good work. You have my full support.
While the opinions written is something I agree with, the actual details are different here and I must clarify – it would be an act of deception on my part if I did not.
That was an act of self-moderation.
Upon reflecting on several of my postings, I felt I had gone far too far in my mood, my anger and the way I wrote. I felt I was hurting the cause of clearing up the nonsense that was going in the different mediaspheres.
I deleted that posting myself.
There’s also several misunderstandings people can get when some sort of nordic or regional nationalism is mentioned; and I felt I was starting to probably attract agreement from people that were doing it for very different reasons than I were.
Having had a few beers didn’t help either.
Either way, to clarify – I deleted my own post; it was an act of self-censorship. It’s easy to go too far, and I believe I did. The moderators on reddit are innocent in this.
I offer my apologies for the misunderstanding. This was on me.
To add to the issue of the server being censored or blocked; that was wrong. I was wrong on that, straight up. I jumped the gun, as I have accused others of many times in the past. I guess I had that one coming.
Thanks for the compliments and support. Regarding Alltop.com, we are still there, but I know what you are saying regarding their priority for the bashing perspectives.
Appreciate you coming here to help correct. Just so that I know you are the Reddit user, could you email me (address in about page) or simply post here the user name you used. I think I will know once you let me know through one way or the other. I just want to authenticate before retracting this post. Thanks.
Mail in the ether.
Thank you for authenticating. I feel bad for faulting Reddit and really appreciate you setting the record straight.
Don’t feel bad, this was on me.
Seems to strike me as a funny twist though. This has now become a perfect example of how certain outlets should have acted when they were informed their initial facts were wrong.
yinyang, sometimes there is pack pressure on bloggers/commentors to toe an unspoken line or face ridicule (such as the China clown remark) and be cast out.
I cite an experience on an anti-China blog A where the owner trashed Martin Jacques on a thread. One commentor appeared on Blog B to proclaim disaster, that I had appeared on Blog A. lol!
But when I wrote to him personally explaining my stand, he was very agreeable with some points that I made.
But he would obviously not make a public stand supporting a pro-China stand – and certainly not someone already branded as bi-polar! lol! So you know how it works.
I also wrote to Martin Jacques to alert him to the thread on Blog A. Surprisingly he replied and, to his credit (I would say) he merely dismissed knowledge of that blog at all.
Some bloggers also have their gofers running around to discredit or run people off blogs, such as happened on FM when a notorious pair tried to put Marc Antony Jones out of circulation.
To FM’s credit, they failed.
This sort of behaviour doubtless extends to the print media. Publications such as WaPo and NYT have an agenda and their writers have to fall in line or face the sack.
George Bush may have been ridiculed sometimes for his my way or the highway politics. But truth be told, this is how reality works. When you join any company, the company has a vision, an agenda, a goal. You either subscribe to it and fall in line or ultimately you are out. It is not different with media organizations.