It is interesting that it is the more traditionally left-leaning organs that are showing the least tolerance of dissent in their comment columns. The Guardian, of course, is now controlled by Bill Gates with his cash (though it still pleads poverty to its readers in the most emetic fashion), so it’s not surprising that comments are now largely a thing of the past except for anodyne or asinine subjects, and even then they are likely to be deleted. The demise of the Guardian as a home of truth to power is really complete, even if its writers seem to have suspended thought to avoid recognition of the fact.
Naive as I am, I expected different of the Independent, but my very first comment was removed “for violating our community guidelines”. I wrote to them:
I am sorry to say that it would appear that the Independent has sunk to the level of the grubbier social media in their efforts to control to public narrative over the pandemic pantomime in censoring constructive debate.
I put up an on-point comment asking, in the light of 3 facts – the ONS deaths from all causes figures for 2020 and 2019, 589,000 and 530,000 respectively, and the recent government admission that over 100,000 “non-virus” deaths have been caused by the closure of the NHS to elective surgery and consultations, how it can be said that there is or has been a pandemic?
That is a matter of the most profound public interest based on factual matters, But you send me a message to say it violates your community guidelines.
Free speech? Liberal democracy? Are these outwith your community guidelines? I never thought I would have to pen such a note to you.
Joss Wynne Evans
The only response I have had was their template response referring me to the guidelines.
By contrast the Times and the Telegraph have generally allowed dissenting comments most of the time, with occasional flashes of skulky manoeuvering, such as disabling likes on comments. The first six months of last year, when no dissent was tolerated anywhere across the press has so far not been repeated.
It is generally a depressing picture across the media. The control of information sources is going to have to change if the media is to survive. The reptiles who have corrupted it so thoroughly have ensured that it will not survive the spread of public awareness as the drama unfolds.