Inconsistent chatter from a Sacramento-based 'Sconi attorney.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

SFGate Creates Nefarious Device

Apparently, SFgate, website for the San Francisco Chronicle, has created a device that allows its editors to delete comments on its articles. On first glance, this doesn't appear to be that big of a deal, because lots of websites give the owner the ability to delete comments. What makes this innovative and evil is that this device will delete the comment to all users except the original writer. It will leave the comment for the original writer, but any other user will not see it.

Here is the desription from Investigate the Media - that broke the story:

If you make a comment on an article posted at SFGate, and if the site moderators then subsequently delete your comment for whatever reason, it will only appear as deleted to the other readers. HOWEVER, your comment will NOT appear to be deleted if viewed from your own computer! The Chronicle's goal is to trick deleted commenters into not knowing their comments were in fact deleted.

Why would SFGate do such a thing? Because ever since public input was first allowed at SFGate, many commenters who had their comments deleted would come back onto the comment thread and point out that they had been silenced for ideological reasons -- i.e. they weren't sufficiently "progressive" -- or because they had pointed out ethical lapses at SFGate and the Chronicle. Or any number of other reasons that the Chronicle did not want known. So, to pacify these problematic commenters, the SFGate moderators came up with a very clever and underhanded coding trick to prevent deleted commenters from ever finding out that they had been silenced.

Yep, this is real progressive. Nothing like refined censorship.

UPDATE: George Soros funded Think Progress is apparently doing it too! Now that is rich.

No comments: