I received an interesting reply to my final email sent just before I removed myself from HP. The cynical me might think this only came because of days of users abandoning that site, but let’s give this moderator the benefit of the doubt, and deem her reply sincere.

Here is a recap of our exchange thus far, if she responds to my reply I shall post it then:

Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 4:20 PM
Huffpost Username: zootliberal

3 years, 1300 some odd fans, and I get banned from commenting because I tried to tell some friends about a another blog. Ironically I had elected to stay here while keeping my options open. Telling friends at the other site not to be so strident in their objections to the merger. So much for 3 years of reasonable posts, where I had many conservative friends despite being liberal. I hope it was worth it for you, apparently nobody here has read “The Tipping Point” I would have said good luck, but now I hope your whole enterprise fails. You broke my heart.

zootliberal

Okay, a bit melodramatic, but today I received this reply:

From: Stephanie Vaughn Hapke
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 23:14:10 -0800
To: (zootliberal)
Subject: Re: banned from commentingHello,

Your account was not banned, it was suspended for 24 hours. Furthermore, it was not done as a result of sharing another website, but rather your spamming of that message, along with the blatant obfuscation to try and conceal the other site’s name.
We define spamming as posting the same comment multiple times to the same or different article. Spammed comments are always removed, as are complaints about moderation. These two factors were the cause of your suspension.
I see that you have self removed at this point. If you change your mind and would like to come back, please let me know. If you do, you will once again need to abide by our posted comment guidelines.

Stephanie Vaughn Hapke
User Support Specialist
Huffington Post Moderation Team

To which I replied:

From: (zootliberal)
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2011 14:38:46 -0800
To: Stephanie Vaughn Hapke
Subject: Re: banned from commenting

Hi Stephanie,

Thank you for replying, I am sure you have been very busy, so I do appreciate it.

I am not sure it would have made a difference, but the message I received simply stated that I was banned from commenting. No mention of the 24 period. That I felt the need to employ “blatant obfuscation” in passing on a useful link to my friends was of course in direct response to HP’s blatant censorship. If you doubt me, please note your email indicated as much, off-handedly stating “complaints about moderation” are “always removed.” Why would HP censor such complaints?

In case your defense might be there that were other channels – links to suggestions, & tips etc. – available for such complaints, note I availed myself of those numerous times. Always polite with my suggestions, always acknowledging what a difficult job it must be to moderate a site with millions of users, and almost always ignored. Almost, because about a year ago I suggested that when a comment is flagged ‘pending’ and later deemed suitable that it be placed at the top of the list of comments, instead of posted – and often buried pages deep – according to the time submitted. I thought this hampered discourse, and discourse is why many of us commented there. Indeed, eventually, and especially in the last couple months, discourse became difficult and frustrating. I did receive a reply that this suggestion would be considered, but its consideration obviously had no effect. At least I received a reply.

As for returning to HP, perhaps, though it’s doubtful. You won’t see my avatar at CNN, USA Today, or any of the other purportedly political neutral news sites either. I came to Huffington Post because it leaned left, because it offered those on the left a chance to have our voices heard by a large audience. The right wing has more than their fair share of similar outlets, so it was refreshing to have HP, for awhile at least. The other night, on the Bill Maher show, Arianna confirmed what we all were thinking when she stated that Huffington Post is “95% entertainment, and 5% political.” Like so many of your ardent and long time commenters, I didn’t come there for the entertainment. I didn’t complain about it either, and often enjoyed it, but there are an abundance of entertainment sites. I want a site that speaks for the left, that calls out the r/w propaganda machine on its lies. Forgive me if I thought that was the main mission of Huffington Post, and not entertainment, am I obviously slow and rather naïve.

I believe HP missed an opportunity, and perhaps the editors can make amends. May I suggest that instead of banning (even temporarily) users sharing such sites as PlanetPOV, you should investigate and maybe write an article on them, as places where people might go for further discourse. Sites such as PlanetPOV are not HP’s competition Stephanie. May I extend a personal invitation for you to join us, see what we are saying about HP, join in the discussion, argue with us for goodness sakes, your comments aren’t limited to 400 some odd words, or censored. And that wasn’t a criticism of HP. Millions of users, and tens of thousands of commenters necessitates some sort of system to keep things organized. Indeed. except for the heavy handed moderation – and the way “level 2 mods” learned to game the system – HP has perhaps the best commenting system on the web.

Once again, thank you for the reply.

Sincerely,

zootliberal

The subtext here is that perhaps PlanetPOV could prove a valuable adjunct to such sites as HP/AOL, overtly, where users could go to really get down and dirty with the important political topics of the day. I have no idea how such a partnership might be engineered, but it’s worth thinking about. Yeah, I’m a dreamer, but can’t we all get along – lol.

1518
Leave a Comment

Please Login to comment
154 Comment threads
1364 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
106 Comment authors
foxismsgmb007intotheabyssjkkFLbettybp Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
2ndClassCitizenPundit
Member

I still have not gotten a reply to my request (three weeks ago?) that HP stop sending me notices of new articles. Apparently, you have to manually unsubscribe from the notices before you delete your account (or before you get banned).

However, Gmail now classifies these notices as Spam, so it’s all good.

foxisms
Guest

Zoot’…
Your mock up is a work of art!
I’m brushing up against some really creative people here and very happy about it.
Just goes to show how positive a’ role free speech and a little latitude can play in an online community.

gmb007
Member
gmb007

Zoot, your spoof front page of HuffPost is OUTSTANDING!! Totally love it! Keep up the great work. 🙂

Buddy McCue
Member

It sure fooled me at first!

Great Photoshopping.

bettybp
Member
bettybp

Thanks everyone, for making the planet such a great place – I really like it here!

jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

Betty

It’s pretty awesome here isn’t it? I got here about 12 days ago and there are some really amazing people here.

And friendly? Hell, even the conservatives here are chipper. So far 🙂

Have fun

AdLib
Admin

From Gawker:

Arianna’s Mandatory Cult Meetings

Ryan Tate — Arianna Huffington for many years sought to downplay the extent of her involvement in the Movement For Spiritual Inner Awareness, a cult ex-members described as sexually and financially exploitive in a series of Los Angeles Times exposés in the 1980s and 1990s.

During her then-husband’s 1994 U.S. Senate run, the Greek-born socialite claimed movement founder John-Roger (pictured with her at a 2004 book party, left) was a mere friend, and pictures of him holding her daughter were ordered withheld from the group’s newspaper, the editor later said. But the Huffington Post editor-in-chief is an ordained “Minister Of Light” in the group and once described John-Roger to Interview as her “way-shower.”

John-Roger is depicted as a paranoid leader who secretly wires each room in Insight headquarters with a microphone connected to his office, who taps the phones, and who warns that his critics “had been infected by a powerful and contagious negative force known as the Red Monk,” a spirit of whom members were terrified. He removed “negative entities” in a popular “exorcism-like” ceremony known as the “Super II’s,” organized hours-long “Prana Awareness Trainings” involving “repeatedly answering a simple question,” and organized followers into a complex hierarchy, including a Melchizedek Priesthood and an inner, elite circle of attractive young male ministers known as “the Guys.”

The LA Times said one of these favored sons was among at least three close John-Rogers associates who said they had sex with him “as an important spiritual favor:”

Lots more here and in other Gawker articles about Arianna, a real treasure trove there:

http://gaw.kr/fPi6h5

KillgoreTrout
Member

I take it she never read Robert Hienlein’s “Stranger In A Strange Land.” 🙂

PocketWatch
Member

KT – or maybe she did!

Truth
Member

Thanks AdLib. BTW: can we use the Reference Tab in “Take Action” to post important links like that? Or how else could we collect material of all sorts for the election and so on?

Khirad
Member

It’s like a bad cult parody.

He really just threw it all in there.

bettybp
Member
bettybp

New Friends/Old Friends:

Hi, am new today, and hoping to see many of my old huffpo friends here – I miss you guys!

intotheabyss
Member
intotheabyss

Welcome! I’ve only been here for about 10 days. A lot of former HP people have just arrived as well. It’s a refreshing change from the growing insanity back “there”. Glad you decided to join us.

Truth
Member

bettybp, welcome. For the rest I say right à la HuffPost; intotheabyss, x2

celere
Guest
celere

Welcome, bettybp! There are lots of us newbies here. It’s so benign and pleasant compared to HP, takes some getting used to. 😉

intotheabyss
Member
intotheabyss

Wow. I just read the Gawker post about Arianna’s cult. That pretty much explains everything. She’s a total manipulator. As others here have stated, it was easy to get sucked in to the site. It did become addictive. Now we know it was all in the master plan. Scary. I haven’t felt any desire to go back there in the two weeks since I left. I guess it’s like quitting any addiction. Cold turkey usually works best.

coffeegod
Member

I’m pretty lost without my daily update on Gwennie’s latest cleanse or the latest propaganda post about nutrition.

* shudder *

Ye ghods, what a memory. I’m much better now.

Khirad
Member

Think of us as a nicotine patch and methadone all in one!

Truth
Member

intotheabyss: rather scary stuff, isn’t it. Did you read up on the sect too? There are some reports on the net from ex-members. It’s a long time ago when I read that, so I have no links. However, I suggest we could start to collect reference material of all sorts under the Action Tab/Reference. I asked the admins if this is meant for things like that, am currently waiting for the answer.

intotheabyss
Member
intotheabyss

I haven’t read up on the sect yet. From the article on Gawker it sounds pretty typical of a cult. Mind control is what they’re all about. I hope Stephen Colbert’s bit calls more attention to the hidden motivations of Ms.H. She’s garnered a lot of credibility for herself and it will probably take a concerted effort to turn that around. I like the idea of an article we can all contribute to.

Truth
Member

Mind control – you sum it up very well. And yes, I’m determined not to let her get away with the millions AND the good reputation. But one step after the other…. If we all work on it, that should be pretty good!

KillgoreTrout
Member

Steven Colbert gave Ariana a Wag of the Finger, last night. He got in some pretty good jabs.

celere
Guest
celere

Really glad to hear this, KT. We can’t just suffer in silence. The situation needs wider attention.

KillgoreTrout
Member

No suffering here. If the Gestapo type censorship at HP hadn’t existed, I would have never been directed to The Planet.
This place is just miles above HP. HP now resembles Politico, with all the right wingers.

Truth
Member

KT, good, but not enough! The silence of the left is deafening, really.
We thought of writing a post together about all that crap – deygirl said she’s start it. Let’s see how the dynamic develops when we start on that….

Truth
Member

@deygirl: It would sure be excellent if you want to start it. You could also ask AdLib to help you in setting it up if you feel like?
My media button is now finally there and working in my dashboard, so I’m currently in the learning process to upload a picture…. Great to meet you!

deygirl
Member

Gotta go to work, so remind me, kay? I’ll be under my bed. Throw a spider after me, should scare me out of there in a big effing hurry.

Truth
Member

Oh my! You think I’m that cruel? Nah! If you feel like starting the thing, do it – if not, ok too! If you want any assistance or whatever, just ask. No worries, this will work out just fine.

bettybp
Member
bettybp

Hey, Boomer! – glad to see, am looking forward to getting reacquainted with everyone!

BigDogMom
Member
BigDogMom

Welcome bettybp!

bettybp
Member
bettybp

Hey, bigdog!

escribacat
Member

Hey Betty, Welcome!!

bettybp
Member
bettybp

Hey escriba – glad to see ya!

chasethis
Member
chasethis

Welcome, bettybp! Would we recognize you under a different name, or are you bettybp at HP, as well?

bettybp
Member
bettybp

yes to your hp question! thanks chasethis, glad to see you here – will take me a bit to get used to getting through this site, as I’m somewhat computer challenged, but it looks great so far.

boomer1949
Member

Welcome to The Planet bettybp! Happy you found us! 🙂

deygirl
Member

Posted two comments at Huffy {[spit}} yesterday. One stated that the banks’ part in the meltdown was not as big a danger to the country as Thomas’ betrayal of the country in the Citizens United case.

The other stated that Obama had been destroying the country since the 1950s.

Guess which one was deleted.

jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

Dey

I am enjoying the Huff {[spit]} stuff

You Canadians may be a bit of a pain with your cheery attitude and national health care but I do like your sense of humor

deygirl
Member

I’m an Oregonian who happened to find Corner Gas when it briefly graced our airwaves.

thanks for the kind words. 🙂

jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

So an honorary one. Americans are rarely that polite and gracious 🙂

I am half Canadian on my dad’s side. It was hard to deal with getting close to it as my dad was an asshole but I’ve managed to get through it. Love my Canadian cousins in Quebec and am making progress on my French.

Corner Gas sounds like a gas – I’ll sic my son on finding some DVD’s

PS. My son loves Oregon. Think he’d move there in a second

KillgoreTrout
Member

Good to see you deygirl. Welcome to The Planet.

boomer1949
Member

Welcome to The Planet deygirl!

BigDogMom
Member
BigDogMom

Afternoon dey, gee, let me guess, give me a minute, why’d you have to make is so hard! 😛

deygirl
Member

I’m just wicked that way. 😉

BigDogMom
Member
BigDogMom

How you doing, taking some time for yourself I hope? Being a caregiver is not any easy job, takes it’s toll after a while if you don’t step away sometimes.

deygirl
Member

Looks like I’ve found a sunny beach to relax on, here.

I miss when my son lived with me and could spell me. Since my siblings are “too busy” to pitch in, I sometimes feel overwhelmed. That’s when I pitch a good tantrum (I quit! I’m to old! I’m too little! It’s not FAIR!) and get back in the trenches.

You guys have been my salvation.

jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

Dey girl

I am the sole responsible for my 87 year old mother. She’s up and around but needs someone looking in on her, doing the cooking etc. Thankfully my son helps out as well. My younger sister has MS and can’t help. The other one lived far to the south. The two times a year she comes through is a living hell as she makes up for her guilt my micromanaging anything and everything, when she leaves town my son and I breath a sigh of relief. I am sort of dreading when he’s done with school and heads out on his own.

Orcas Island
Guest
Orcas Island

Why either would be deleted is fkn annoying.

Truth
Member

Since the …. (I don’t want to spit) is so progressive the answer is clear….

deygirl
Member

It’s just virtual spit. 😉

It’s hilarious on Corner Gas, because whenever anyone says the name of the other town, EVERYONE spits without even thinking about it, and keeps talking like it’s normal.

Khirad
Member

The reason I watch that show whenever it comes on:

[img]http://m1.wholesite.com/2010/1/13/8cc235f4-a67b-c6f4-2d7d-0937fd689a5a/650x0_gabriellemillerpurple1.jpg[/img]

Truth
Member

Khirad, you’re another person who seems to know just about everything? I’m floored! See you later, I need to get a close-up view from my bed now.

Truth
Member

Khirad – thanks God I have no TV! I can’t tell one of those songs and vids from the other, thanks anyway. My reason to be there however is spiritual and my other language is Swiss German, not Hindi….

What is the meaning of Indophile?

Khirad
Member

Ah, ashram thing?

Indophile means a lover of things Indian, including Bollywood in all its cheesetastic glory. But that song was from a Telugu film because I forgot Bangalore is Kannada (the scripts throw me, it’s the difference between Hindi and Marathi).

Oh my God, Schwyzerdütsch? Hochdeutsch is no use!

deygirl
Member

She is drop-dead gorgeous. How effing unfair that there’s no eye candy for us straight gals?

Truth
Member

Why not….. i live in India and when they spit it’s not all that virtual….

deygirl
Member

Where in India? My dad was from Nagpur. My mother (who is white) attributes all of my idiosyncrasies to my Bengali genes. 😉

Khirad
Member

I notice you’re in Indian silicon valley there. Coincidence?

I’m an Indophile, took a few years of Hindi. But here’s something more appropriate to Bangalore. 🙂

I should call you सच from now on. 😉

Truth
Member

I’m in the South near Bangalore. Good to know about your dad, so I know you can relate to India.

***Edit: Although you said your family life was very difficult. I can imagine that it had to do with the 2 entirely different cultures.

Truth
Member

The discussion was not yet done, so I bring this up here:

deygirl says:
02/17/2011 at 9:09 AM
Here is good. Different takes, different experiences, different reasons for staying. Different reasons for leaving.

It would be interesting to see what others thought/felt. It could be quite illuminating.

— Absolutely agreed, and I think it will develop automatically from here once the ball gets rolling. Let’s see what happens!

chasethis
Member
chasethis

Truth, I also agree. One suggestion I’d like to make is that we include all our previous HP {spit} monikers so that those of us who are brain damaged (me) can know who we’re talking to. Perhaps this suggestion to us newbies would be better placed on another thread.

Truth
Member

chase, I am as new here as you, although already in my second incarnation…. Not sure if I can revive my former incarnation….. As a matter of fact, I think I don’t want that. I was (..edited….) and sometimes I’m still on Fluff. I chose a new pic on purpose…

chasethis
Member
chasethis

Truth, I always recognized folks by their avatars rather than their names. It would drive me nuts when people would change their avatars on me–without permission, no less! 🙄

Truth
Member

Chase, okay, I make a compromise with you. I went now on Fluff and posted on the Obama article, for they have no moderation. (Funny that, really!) Okay?

deygirl
Member

LOVE it!

deygirl
Member

Did you see adlib’s comment below? It could be done. And then we could publish it on huffy {{spit}}. 😉

AdLib
Admin

See below, I think the best way to start a collaborative article would be to post an article expressing that project and kicking it off with an initial overview in that article.

Truth
Member

Good idea, AdLib – and where is now our *chosen one”, DawgBone?

chasethis
Member
chasethis

Truth, I suspect DawgBone is hiding under a bed now that we have foisted a writing assignment upon him/her. That’s where I’d be. 🙄

Truth
Member

That’s too bad. However it should be someone who wants to really do it. Is anyone interested? (You can also say yes from your place under the bed, I don’t mind….)

deygirl
Member

I’ll give it a go if nobody else wants to.

But under my bed is “base” if I screw it up.

chasethis
Member
chasethis

Truth–[peeking out from dust ruffle]