Blacklisted from Raw Story for violating their terms of service


Why?  Who knows.  Their terms of service state abusive or insulting language will be blacklisted.  Violence or threats of violence will be blacklisted.  And the word that was used in my notice is yes, BLACKLISTED.

Terms of Service

Comments and commenter accounts are maintained at the sole discretion of Raw Story, its employees, contractors, freelancers and designated agents (hereafter referred to as “Raw Story”). Comments may be deleted and/or commenter accounts suspended at the sole discretion of Raw Story without notice. By commenting on the site, you are agreeing to these terms of service.

Commenting guidelines:

Raw Story appreciates and values the community that comment boards build, and uses moderation to make these discussions more productive for all who participate. But in order to maintain a productive community, our moderators generally hew to the following guidelines and we encourage commenters who wish to remain a part of this vibrant community to do so as well.

1. Abusive language. Almost everyone (including the editors of Raw Story) loves profanity, and the creative use thereof. But when profanity or other inappropriate language is used towards other people, it can either start non-productive arguments or silence another commenter. Any comments deemed abusive towards other commenters will be deleted and commenters who continue to engage in this behavior will find their accounts suspended.

2. Advocacy or threats of violence. Any comment that threatens violence against others (commenters or subjects of stories) or advocates that someone be subjected to violence (including that they should do violence unto themselves) will be removed. Commenters that continue to engage in this behavior will have their accounts suspended.

3. Ad hominem insults. If your sole contribution to a discussion is to insult the participants in it, your comments will be removed and your account suspended. It’s both unproductive and uninteresting.

4. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism. If your comments contain any of these things or other slurs similar to these, your comments will be removed and your account immediately suspended. This includes comments that smack of veiled slurs (dog whistles) as determined at the discretion of Raw Story — but note that we work on the Internet, and we quite likely know exactly what your “subtle phrasing” means.

5. Attacks on editors, writers, staff, moderators and management. Our staff is no less subject to criticism than those we write about — but there’s a pretty large gulf between criticism and attack. Abusive language, attempts to bully (in comment threads or in any platform, including email and social media) or ad hominem insults aimed at those who work for Raw Story will not be tolerated and will result in the immediate suspension of comment accounts and/or the deletion of comments. If you have a specific disagreement with a piece of information, have more information on a story that is in a piece or noticed a typo, spelling error or grammatical error that made it through our editing process, a polite email to tips@rawstory.com will be forwarded to the appropriate staff member for review.

6. Anything else our moderators, staff or freelancers deem disruptive. We wish this could be a comprehensive list, but we’ve been on the Internet long enough to know that there will always be someone who can some up with some offensive thing we haven’t thought of before. A good rule of thumb is that if you are writing it to piss someone off, stop. If you are trying to trump something offensive someone else said, stop. If the other person “insulted you first,” stop and flag their comment for a moderator and/or email tips@rawstory.com instead of replying with another insult. If the Secret Service would be asking us for your ISP address if they read it, stop. If a little voice in your head says, “The moderators might challenge this,” listen to that voice before submitting the comment.

But we’re not all mean. If your comment account is suspended, we will offer a process for appeal. A suspended commenter can send a polite email to tips@rawstory.com explaining that his/her commenter account has been suspended and s/he’d like to come back to the community, and will receive a response that the suspension is under review. There is a 3-day mandatory cooling off period during which our staff and/or moderators will determine why the account was suspended and whether, in their judgment, it warrants further review. During that cooling off period, the suspended commenter will be told, if s/he doesn’t know, what sparked the suspension. If s/he wishes to return as a commenter, s/he must then acknowledge in the email that they violated our comment guidelines, understand it was inappropriate and pledge not to do so in the future.

Note, however, that abusive, bullying or inappropriate emails or interactions on social media sites will end the review process. Each commenter may receive one review; if the account is suspended again, the decision is final.

I will note that one of the blogs I follow, Guns Save Lives, added Disqus as their commenting platform within the past week or so.  Given that Raw Story is a liberal news site, I am guessing that the mere fact that I commented there would be enough to have me blacklisted (read banned) from Raw Story.  I’ve been commenting on Raw Story for – oh, probably 7 years without a single issue – so this mere fact makes me suspicious.

Either that, or the fact that I used the actual word ‘hell’ in a comment…as in “what the hell is a public official doing unilaterally giving tax payer money to a private company with no vote on how that money is to be spent” Because that of course is insulting or threatening or abusive.  Because the word hell, even though it’s a biblical word, and was used with that meaning in mind, is insulting or threatening or abusive.

Or perhaps it was my comment that Luddites were skilled craftsman trying to protect a trade from outsourcing and lower quality, and romanticizing the industrial revolution should perhaps be re-evaluated and researched by the commenter, as should the actual history of Ludd and his Luddites.

Like I said, who knows.  I have noticed recently that Raw Story does tend to ban anyone who doesn’t fall into lockstep with their liberal agenda.  Kind of like the worst of the Tea Party blogs.  The difference being that most blogs are owned/moderated by one or a few individuals with a limited audience and no advertising.  If they pay for their own blog to make their own points and outline their own platform, more power to them.  It prevents honest discussion, but that’s their choice.  Raw Story, however, is a for profit site that makes a lot of money from advertising and depends on it for their profit.  They also have a definite liberal slant that is obvious both in the reporting of stories and in the commenting.

No big deal, I had an adblocker that enabled me to read the stories without the annoying and pervasive ads…perhaps that was the reason I was blacklisted.  The content for the most part is getting pretty annoying anyway.  Note the final paragraph here:

But we’re not all mean. If your comment account is suspended, we will offer a process for appeal. A suspended commenter can send a polite email to tips@rawstory.com explaining that his/her commenter account has been suspended and s/he’d like to come back to the community, and will receive a response that the suspension is under review. There is a 3-day mandatory cooling off period during which our staff and/or moderators will determine why the account was suspended and whether, in their judgment, it warrants further review. During that cooling off period, the suspended commenter will be told, if s/he doesn’t know, what sparked the suspension. If s/he wishes to return as a commenter, s/he must then acknowledge in the email that they violated our comment guidelines, understand it was inappropriate and pledge not to do so in the future.

If they think I’m going to apologize for a single thing I’ve said or done, they are smoking the liberal crack.  I’ll just make a point of copying, pasting, and commenting here on my own blog if I have a problem with a story or a comment – after all, they’re the ones all for fair use.  But maybe that only means for liberal bloggers who don’t have an original thought outside of what Raw Story’s writers and editors think for them.

Man, it’s hell being neither liberal nor conservative, and having a thinking brain that compels me to research anything anyone says…don’t blacklist me because I said hell tho.

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