Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Can someone please explain the Deseret News comment moderation to me?

Both times that I have tried to comment on the Deseret News' website my comments were rejected by the moderators.

Just now I left the following comment for this article about Peter Vidmar's resignation from being an Olympic team leader:

"Imagine, instead, that someone was actively campaigning to prevent Mormons from building temples anywhere, with the claim that he "is not Anti-Mormon, but simply believes that Mormons building temples is a threat to society." Would you want him as a team leader for a team you were on? What if he was actively using his free-speech to promote racism? Of course he has his free speech--however, speech and actions comes with social consequences. You have all the free speech you want if you wanted to call me names or be rude to me. However, you can't be surprised if I no longer want to be your friend."
A few minutes later I got the following generic response:

Dear the narrator,
Thank you for commenting on Vidmar's resignation as U.S. Olympic team leader disappoints on DeseretNews.com.
Unfortunately, your comment was not approved for one or more of the following reasons:
* Comment included name-calling, epithets, racial slurs or personal attacks.
* Comment contained obscenity, vulgarity and/or profanity (including symbol-replaced words).
* Comment contained over-use of punctuation (e.g. !!!, ???), ALL CAPS SHOUTING and/or was considered incoherent.
* Comment was considered commercial promotion.
* Comment was intended to provoke or inappropriately addressed other readers by name.
We would invite you to edit and resubmit your comment using the following guidelines:
* Comments should be thoughtful and helpful to your fellow readers with additional insight or counterpoints to the article
* Avoid personal attacks and other inappropriate responses to fellow readers.
* Treat other readers as you would if you were speaking to them from a microphone, looking them in the eyes, then passing the microphone cordially to the next contributor.

I cannot figure out what rule I violated. Anybody have a clue?


I resubmitted the exact same comment and this time got the following:
Dear the narrator,
Thank you for commenting on Vidmar's resignation as U.S. Olympic team leader disappoints on DeseretNews.com.
This message is to inform you that your comment on Vidmar's resignation as U.S. Olympic team leader disappoints was approved. Thank you for your participation in keeping our dialogue civil and enlightening. We hope you'll continue to engage in the online conversations on DeseretNews.com and look forward to seeing more from you in the future.
Deseret News Editorial Team
I'm guessing that they have different moderators, some who reject any comment that disagrees with the author.


  1. You used the word "racism". That's bigoted. ;-)

  2. In case my comment at the Deseret News article is lost to moderation, perhaps it may be of interest to your readers here.

    Building upon a comment by someone named Rocket Science, I wrote:

    Rocket Science made the observation that homosexual relationships are statistically not usual, and that "[t]he norm for ages has been marriage."

    And this is the crux of the problem for lesbian and gay people.

    The infrastructure of society was built around what was statistically common, traditional marriage. Everything from health insurance to spousal immigration regulations are based on the marriage model that has been the norm for centuries. But now we observe that a statistically small portion of society are intrinsically and fundamentally incompatible with "traditional" opposite-sex marriage, yet are otherwise fully capable of functioning and participating in society. What's more, this small group is similarly situated to heterosexual society in nearly every other way, such that they pair bond and form families, raise children, plant gardens and pay taxes.

    So the question to the statistical "norm" is "what is the place of lesbians and gays in society? How can their families be more fully integrated into a society who's social infrastructure is based upon traditional marriage?"

    Furthermore, if Peter Vidmar publicly campaigned to deny gays and lesbians from participating fully in society, should we be surprised that some complained?

  3. I can't. But thanks for the tip. I'll try submitting twice next time. Looks like KSL has comments again. Haven't checked if Mormon Times still offers comments anywhere, but don't see any over there so apparently their experiment didn't last long. The old KSL comment boards were as scary as they come.

  4. I think Tod may be onto something. The Deseret News probably has a filter that catches any comment with a set of keywords, including racism, which entitles them to "special review." Whether your comment gets in is probably just a function of how sensitive your reviewer is.

  5. Luckily I had initially written my comment elsewhere so it was easy to submit it again. My advice is to write and save your comments into a text file before submitting them so that you can easily resubmit them when a prudish reviewer rejects them.

  6. Maybe they dinged you for "over-use of punctuation" Haha Just take out all the periods and question marks like I've done here Why else would your rather innocuous statement be censored I find it very amusing speculation


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