Follow-up on the Huffington Post’s censorship of The Radical Secularist

So I decided to send a second email to the good folks at Huffington Post asking for an explanation. Here it is:

To whom it may concern,
It turns out that my account has been removed from your website after I emailed you complaining about the treatment my posts and the quality of your bloggers (attached). I would like an explanation, of course, as to how you justify banning critical voices from your site. If the particular individual who made this decision had the courage or a modicum of common decency perhaps he/she would not hide behind the organization to punish criticism. If the organization, had a modicum of political honesty, it would admit criticism of its content. Of course, no such thing is to be expected from employees, members or administrators of the HP. Yet, it seems to me an explanation is in order. I like the fact that you have chosen to apply the O’Reilly technique for dealing with thought: expulsion. Hope you sleep well,

Dr. Martin Gak
TheRadicalSecularist.com

Of  course, there was no response at all. The conspicuous silence is rather strange and adds to the Kafkian texture of the organization. As if by divine will, we were struck down from the site and there is no appeal, no explanation, not a prayer. There is something deeply unsettling about finding one’s political concerns swallowed by the sepulchral silence . This is a trick that was well known by many a political and religious organization: political exile is the vanishing of discourse.

Thus, in happy indignation, I went out looking for fellow exiles. And in so doing, I found a rather impressive collection of stories about the hidden face of the HuffPo. It turns out that both at the level of moderators but apparently also at editorial level, HuffPo has a more voluminous file of censorship than any self-proclaimed progressive defender of free-speech would want to have its name associated with.  A great place to go read about it is http://bannedfromhuffpo.blogspot.com. This site contains an ever increasing list of stories and cases of censorship. My favorite one is probably Elizabeth Abarbanel’s, who is a K12 librarian and whose postings criticizing James Tracy’s Coming of Age with Information Overflow (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-tracy/coming-of-age-with-inform_b_524807.html) were censured by the HP or perhaps by Mr. Tracy himself.  Here entire post can be found here (http://archipelagoblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/huffington-post-censors-comments-by.html)

However, there are more visible figures that have  been singled out by the HP. In addition, members of the scientific community have taken aim at the HuffPo for their vulgarization of science and medicine. For that story, you will have to check back.

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5 comments to “Follow-up on the Huffington Post’s censorship of The Radical Secularist”

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  1. Apparently, the Huffington Post thinks it is in their self-interest to support their chosen bloggers. It is unlikely Laszlo would ever be selected by a reputable newspaper as a science writer or columnist, given his pseudoscientific tendencies. The Huffington Post is interested in internet hits, not credible science:
    http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Get-a-Million-Hits-a-Day-on-Your-Blog

    It is doubtful that any of the Huffington Post editors are sufficiently educated in science to critically evaluate Laszlo or the history of his inflated claims and career. New Age mystical physics appeals to many, despite being little more than science fiction or fantasy.

    Interestingly, the Huffington Post also includes blogger and physicist Victor Stenger, who refutes quantum consciousness (in the last link):
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-stenger/hawking-and-the-multivers_b_713744.html

    http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/Quantum/QuantumConsciousness.pdf

  2. You said in another post:

    “It is an outrage for the HP to be presenting Chopra and Laszlo as philosophers or scientists when they are merely new age gurus who have no business discussing any of the matters for for which they claim authority and by the lights of the community of scientists,philosophers and theologians they have none. This is not a matter of opinion, this is a matter of fact. Laszlo has an honorary degree and Chopra is an endocrinologist. For the Huffington Post to allow the claims of these men to go unchallenged and to deny us the right of reply amounts to an abuse of public trust for which commentators in politics and media usually like to accuse Fox and friends.”

    Your post suggests why science literacy will continue to decline: unchallenged media access and prominence to unqualified, self-promoters. Very few people recognize, as you do, how most physicians and scientists ignore Chopra and Laszlo for their unsubstantiated claims and lack of peer-reviewed, replicable research.

    It would be helpful if you were to follow-up with an essay on the dumbing-down and distortion of science and medicine in mass media. The Huffington Post could offer lots of entertaining (and sad) examples.

  3. bdaved 0 minute ago (7:57 PM)
    108 Fans
    This comment is pending approval and won’t be displayed until it is approved.

    And then there’s Comment Limbo, where this reply has been languishing for 5 hours, neither posted nor removed:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/bdaved/huffpost-community-moderator_­b_740009_6­2847104.html
    Is that the kinder, gentler censorship?

    That one was removed, “in accordance with Huffpost’s moderation guidelines.”

    bdaved 0 minute ago (8:08 PM)
    108 Fans
    This comment is pending approval and won’t be displayed until it is approved.

    I was amazed at how fast my comment about “Comment Limbo” showed up. It disappeared just as fast, though. The comment I referred to as being in Limbo remains there yet.

    That one disappeared as well.

    bdaved 0 minute ago (8:15 PM)
    108 Fans
    This comment is pending approval and won’t be displayed until it is approved.

    Adam, the fiction associated with this statement:
    “This comment was removed in accordance with HuffPost’s moderation guidelines”
    is an insult to your users.

    That last one actually showed up, and remained on the page, although it was shown as a “Removed Comment” when I followed the link from “My Activity” page.

  4. wolfcreekman says: -#1

    After having several of my posts censored I made a separate comment “this is the most censored blog on the Internet. If you have any comment that is contrary to the liberal views of Huffington Post, your statement will never see the light of day. I’ll bet that this post will never see the light of day.”

    I won that bet. Not only did Huffington Post refuse to publish my statement (as I knew they would), they “banned” me from Huffington Post. I rest my case.

    If you’re statement is derogatory, but liberal in nature, you are free to call people “redneck, white trash, hillbilly, bottom feeders, ignorant, inbreeders, racist, homophobic” or any other derogatory term the liberal writer can think of and their remarks will never be censored.

    BOYCOTT THEM AND EVERY SPONSOR THEY HAVE.

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