[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.”