Why we’re deleting so many of your comments…

We’ve got two debates on the blog at the moment (on Gaza and on homosexuality) that ARE leading us to delete well over half of the comments YOU’RE POSTING. So, to save your time and ours a little reminder of our blog rules…….

Robust debate is welcome. Comments that are too long, stray off the topic, are racist or homophobic will not be published. It also comes down to tone. If it sounds like you are being threatening, or launching personal attacks it won’t be published.

We want to have an informed, sensible and respectful debate and I’m sure you do too.

85 Responses to “Why we’re deleting so many of your comments…”

  1. 1 Peter
    December 30, 2008 at 15:45

    I think readers can decide what is right or wrong . What is important is that everyone gets heard

  2. December 30, 2008 at 16:13

    Peter everyone will get heard if they remain courteous. It’s not too much to ask is it?

  3. 3 Ramesh
    December 30, 2008 at 16:21

    No doubt, there must rules directing to civilized writings. I, myself, get the temptation to respond to provocative posts! It may cool down my blood but dosn’t serve the purpose of the debate.

  4. 4 mark, UK
    December 30, 2008 at 16:26

    this is a silly excuse to use in order to control the debate to bbc benefit and it affiliates within the concerned debates

  5. 5 ZK
    December 30, 2008 at 16:27

    The “important that everyone gets heard” argument goes out the window as soon as there’s racism or homophobia or anything similar imo. We don’t tolerate it in society so why should we tolerate it here?

  6. December 30, 2008 at 16:36

    Here is a problem that I have seen with people sending in comments, not one believes that they are being sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, anit-Semetic, and so on, but it is easy to identify those that are. Also, it seems that some believe commenting or debating requires a novella, not a quick response.

    Good luck, WHYS.

  7. 7 Lubna
    December 30, 2008 at 19:14

    OK guys, my comment has been deleted yesterday from the WHYS blog page ‘Gaza-Your Stories’… I personally thought of my comment more like my own personal analysis of the situation down there in Gaza, but anyway, I do believe in you guys, yeah I do, and that’s why I’ll just leave it to you guys to decide what’s in the best interest for us i.e. the WHYS family, for this blog, and for this programme… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  8. 8 DENNIS
    December 30, 2008 at 19:35

    From Chloe’s remarks:
    I agreed with your remarks that we should have some sense of respect and; be able to conduct our comments in a respectful way…Since, we all have very differing views on subjects….


  9. December 30, 2008 at 23:03

    Some of WHYS topics are deep and complex. Simply stating you don’t agree with something is often not enough. We have seen in the media where clips that only include the most controversial statements are used to condemn a person. Statements like, “not god bless America, but God dam America.” left alone can seem a bit provocative and negatively unhelpful. Only by highlighting context, perspective, and origin of such a statement can one answer the argument of people who so vehemently assault such a statement.

  10. 10 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    December 31, 2008 at 04:09

    I’m glad to hear it. Censoring those who don’t participate responsibly is a favor to those who want to take part in an open minded topic-specific debate.

    Provoking others to respond is an even bigger problem, simply in terms of volume. It discourages people like me, who aren’t speed readers, from wading through the distractions to find the real points of contention.

    I do recognize that I, myself, can be less than concise at times, (less as more) but hopefully the moderators will continue to recognize the difference between unpolished writing skills and uncooperative intent.

    NPR has a good set of specific guidelines defining what will be considered as an unacceptable contribution. Does the BBC have anything like that? I would add to the list at NPR by including people who speak on behalf of others who they do not actually represent. But I realize that is a fine line to walk.

    Sometimes these comments reveal commonly held misperceptions, which desrve to be refuted. The deciding factor should be whether the comment is truly relevant to the question being discussed. Perhaps such comments should not be simply deleted, but diverted to generate new topics, either here or on WHYS After The Show.

  11. 11 Don Lax Detroit, U.S.A.
    December 31, 2008 at 04:21

    If responding to vicious ad-hominim attacks by citing scriptural reason is perceived as being prejudiced or threatening to the intolerant radical homosexual or atheistic contingent then my comments which were deleted certainly fill that bill quite admirably

  12. 12 Colin Hooper
    December 31, 2008 at 04:22

    Are you sure it’s not BBC Censorship under another name? Colin.

  13. 13 DENNIS
    December 31, 2008 at 05:06

    From ZK’s remarks:

    We don’t tolerate it in society so why should we tolerate it here?

    i do not think that we should accept comments that are slanderous and could be liable than, they should be deleted….


  14. 14 Don Lax Detroit, U.S.A.
    December 31, 2008 at 09:03

    It pains me to observe that you do not consider theophobic comments to be worthy of deletion. By your ostensibly reasonable criteria of being overly-long and/or straying off the subject I would point out that one of my responses which was deleted was a direct response to one of the ten or so comments which not only insulted the intelligence of every scripturally-believing Christian but used belief in the absolute infallible correctness of classical Darwinian evolution as the basis for launching his invective. A rather lengthy explanation of why anyone who doubted abiogenesis theories was hopelessly UNSCIENTIFIC was offered and as far as I can tell printed in exhaustive nauseating completeness but my response to this which addressed the same issues and was shorter by about 200 words was not posted. BBC’s atheistic bias is showing a bit too blatantly for my liking.

  15. 15 Roberto
    December 31, 2008 at 09:32

    RE “” It also comes down to tone.””

    ———- In otherwords, in the midst of people dying in a conflict, you’ll maintain political correctness.

    I see the vitriolic accusations against Israel, but you won’t publish anything that suggest the real problem is the self genocide of the Palestinian people. They were given all of Gaza and used it to establish new staging areas to

  16. 16 Shlomo Shunn
    December 31, 2008 at 12:27

    “the self genocide of the Palestinian people. They were given all of Gaza…”

    Israel occupied Gaza, then thought itself “honorable” by leaving (like Germans expected kudos for giving back stolen Jewish art). Only Israel did NOT really leave. It kept the borders sealed, controlling all commerce and movement inside. Germans once did that, too. So should we blame “self-genocidal” Warsaw inhabitants for not being grateful when German soldiers vacated that ghetto?

    Listen long enough to Israeli excuses and you will hear echoes of similar excuses made by Germans in the 1930s-40s.

    Now some think it verboten to compare Israel with the 3rd Reich. Well, too bad. They don’t get to control the discussion any more. Accusations of “anti-semitism” are outre. They will no longer silence critics of Israeli thuggery.

    As for “balanced” reporting, when will Israelis admit they goad Palestinians for internal political purposes? They continued killing Hamas supporters despite a “truce” because politicians running for office want war-mongering cred. Wonder how they’ll feel when the inevitable blow-back comes and Israelis start dying en masse, too.

    Finally, why deny entrance to reporters unless Israel has crimes it needs to keep hidden?

    Israel: A blight unto other nations.

  17. 17 Jennifer
    December 31, 2008 at 12:31

    This topic makes me laugh!

    Like not letting someone tell the truth about harassment they have received because of this blog and the fact that you can’t curtail the hoodlums who post here.

    There was nothing non-polite about what I said and it was STILL deleted. However, it would have most definitely disturbed the precious who post here! So, I believe, it’s not worth my time!

    What you have is a blog that is in no way representative- in sum- it’s a joke. I don’t know why the few people who are intelligent continue to waste their time participating here.


    You have people on the “homosexual” thread disrespecting the POPE, which you find perfectly acceptable. All the while you are telling people to be “respectful”. Notice the irony in that? Might want to self check.


    If you want to have “informed debates” try providing accurate information to your guests. That might help! 🙂

  18. 18 roebert
    December 31, 2008 at 13:39

    Two of my comments were recently deleted, as result of which I have decided not to post any others. The one was on the 4 state solution for Palestine-Israel, and was not offensive in any way. The other was a comment on the rudeness from your side, where warnings are given to the effect that ‘people wishing to post this or that sort of comment are welcome to take it elsewhere.’ I found the tone of that sort of admonishment quite rude, frankly, as it presumes to speak down to bloggers. My comment complaining about this was duly deleted, too.

    I think I have consistently kept to a civil tone, and have tried to remain polite within reason. Perhaps I am a little pompous (no…I definitely am) and sometimes a little frayed or abrasive. If those are reasons for deleting comments, then so be it: I’ll delete myself permanently.

  19. 19 Steve
    December 31, 2008 at 14:52

    People, the BBC has been in trouble since the Russell Brand incident. A little bird told me that they even need their supervisor’s approval for publishing their own posts. Give them a break.

  20. December 31, 2008 at 15:59

    ‘Awaiting moderation’ means an actual human being has to make decisions about our comments, and put the bread and jam destined for their own table on the line. Which words will or will not bring about fines, lawsuits, threats or worse?

    I do not really care that some of my comments don’t make it because I often refer to facts that might have to be fact checked and would therefore be too time consuming.
    I comment but mainly read the blog for input rather than output.

    On another website, I found my time ‘awaiting moderation’ hilarious. The blogisphere reaction to Obama choosing the anti-gay and truly creepy evangelical preacher Rich Warren to give the Inaugural prayer was lively. One activist suggested protest by taking black flags to washington for the ceremony. another suggested rainbow flags. Both comments went up almost instantly. I suggested that crystal beaded clutch purses would be more successful–reflect light and since every third person will have one, open for spontaneous support. Throw in a rousing chorus of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and you are right and ready. Days later, I was still awaiting moderation. I do not have a clue why I was censored, but I am still laughing about it.

  21. December 31, 2008 at 16:24

    @ WHYSer!

    All the best for the New Year!

    I have thoroughly enjoyed posting here and I really must say all the best to Ros, Chloe, Kate, Madeliene and all the rest of the WHYS Team! Great work! Keep it up!

    Regarding a comment which was made by WHYS earlier in the course of the coverage of the Israeli strikes against Hamas, regarding BBC bias, I feel it is important to endorse (?), in some way, your treatment of this issue.

    Notwithstanding the need to report the facts and to give an accurate picture of reality, as experienced by your organisation, I have long since felt that there is no way that we can gain true insight into an issue, to which we play audience most times, without some amount of bias (?) in reports.

    What we get, in the process, is a combination of a perspectives which are necessary for the audience to arrive at its own truth/ conclusion, especially when you dig deeper behind the headlines. It is necessary that this be done, as you are all well aware, not just because it gives the sense of reality but it also introduces us to the various actors in the piece. The coverage of this story, especially, as well as the Mumbai Attacks were awesome in that regard.

  22. December 31, 2008 at 16:39

    If I could digress momentarily from the discussion of Hamas, to add two additional points to my first entry.

    There is a clear ‘First World’ bias which impacts how places like Jamaica and other countries which fall outside of that space have been covered, over time, in a more general way. This is something which has to be worked on even while acknowledging criticisms in relation to seeming Hamas sympathies.

    Examples, of course, include the notion that you hear the perspective of an entire region/ country through the voice of one person, when those people fall outside of the Europe or the USA.

    Closer to home, the BBC reported in its Olympic coverage, earlier this summer, that people did not have (as many)television sets here, based on the fact so many were congregated around television sets in public places during the Games. This is not true.

    Jamaicans love to party and the opportunity to watch our country men and women win at the Olympics, in live and living colours, in a large party-like atmosphere, occassioned by the presence of others would not have been passed up by many.

    Many of my colleagues/ friends also got dressed and went out to watch the public TVs becauase of the sense nationalism engendered by the experience/ spectacle. Hence, the public square party gatherings. Not because TV sets were either scarce or unavailable.

  23. 23 Alan Hedges
    December 31, 2008 at 17:07

    Why ? My comment didn’t need moderation!

  24. 24 viola
    December 31, 2008 at 19:33

    In the heat of argument it’s so easy to say something that hurts another’s feelings or or inspires anger. Everyone should self-censor. Just take time to read your own offering and imagine someone else reading it and how he or she would react. When in doubt, throw it out and start over. Manners are always in style and I, for one, will always be more receptive to viewpoints offered in a civil manner.

    I don’t like censorship. Be civil and maybe there won’t be any. Just don’t judge others as uncivil simply because they disagree with you. Any viewpoint can be aired if it is aired in a civil way. A ridiculous viewpoint offered civilly can be refuted most effectively using civil language.

  25. 25 ryan
    December 31, 2008 at 19:36

    world view, actually means that world view not what suits one geographical taste, culture and ideological belief over the other. if a stone is hard let it be called so, if its a fact, oh unless if the censurer is a stone and hard, then hey whoever creates is God right.

  26. 26 DENNIS
    January 1, 2009 at 00:11

    @ Alan Hedges comments at 31 December 2008 (1707hours)

    Why ? My comment didn’t need moderation!

    [The reasons that all of the comments are moderating by the BBC; since, they are fearful of being sue in a civil court on many grounds ranging from libel and slander….]


  27. 27 rick
    January 1, 2009 at 09:46

    I’m with you roebert.

  28. January 1, 2009 at 13:18

    I may add that contributions shouldn’t be just about “reporting” the news but commenting on it without breaking the rules.

    Concerning the length of the comments I hope a comment in the range of 150-200 words shouldn’t be considered as long by the moderator.

    As long as there are justifiable reasons to delete comments, let it be. What matters is that the WHYS blog shouldn’t be deleted altogether. It’s a must for many listeners. What makes listening to the WHYS show entertaining and informative is the use of the WHYS blog as a backup to get more ideas and views which can’t be aired because of time constraint. What matters is to get one’s view across through live contribution and by sending comments.

    There was a debate about blog improvement . I hope deleting comments policy shouldn’t be considered just as a blog worsening by those who see it just as a form of BBC censorship.

  29. 29 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    January 1, 2009 at 16:54

    To Whom at WHYS, et. al.

    Sorry about the multiple attempts at posting my questions to Israel yesterday. As I explained in the second attempt, (via e-mail) I feared a bug in my Safari, or somewhere in between that program and yours. However, my third attempt via an alternate URL did make it obvious that I was truly motivated by the temporary delusion that my words might somehow be *effective* “at opening a doorway to a dreamworld of alternate reality.”

    * * word context from:
    ” ” and slightly altered concept from:
    THE LATHE OF HEAVEN by Ursula K. Le Guin.

    This is mostly because I am one of that type which is hard-wired for the influence of such mood swings. It is difficult to resist the temptation to truly believe that the tilt of my pen against coal-fired power plants can make them go “poof” and see windmills appear in their place.

    ” ” word context from SMOKE SIGNALS
    Screenplay by Sherman Alexie – based on his book:

    While I believe it is always important to recognize when an apology is due for one’s actions, I can’t apologize for my motivation because it is simply a facet of who I am. And after all, isn’t the desire to make our words speak just so, the reason we are all here in the first place?

    A Dios

  30. 30 Bob Ormston
    January 1, 2009 at 18:39

    OK. After reading the above, I still have the same question I had when I clicked on this link: Why are you deleting so many of our comments? I’m sorry; but, sometimes the truth hurts! Two points: Those who are offended, probably deserve to be; &, they should be glad that the truth is the “weapon” we have chosen to wield.

  31. 31 Jennifer
    January 1, 2009 at 20:02

    I am surprised that my post was published. However, since I left out certain factual details I guess it was acceptable…..

    I’ll give the BBC a break when they stop downplaying the stuff they created and do something about it. It’s their place to ensure that the participants of this blog are able to voice their opinions without being harassed here and elsewhere; especially where external moderation was concerned. The fact that they have to make a post about deleting comments because they are so bad proves how bad it is.

    When I started posting on this blog I considered the BBC a credible news outlet now I do not. I expected better. I agree with roebert. Noone likes to be talked “down to” or dismissed. The fact that they would allow anyone to do what they did and sweep it under the rug without the assurance that it would not happen to someone else was wrong.

    @ Abdelilah Boukili

    I attempted to speak with you on the “blog improvement” thread but it was not meant to be! The BBC is not doing enough on this blog to ensure all point of views are heard in a peaceful environment! That means external moderation was not good and the problems it has caused should be acknowledged. I don’t really care about comment length; it is pretty small compared to other issues. 🙂

  32. January 1, 2009 at 22:36

    different languages does not mean different standards of communication! people are the same homosaphiens…..One must understand the differences…..In the western society negotiations come first before agreements. In the eastern society agreements come before negotiations??? The standards are not the same!!

  33. January 1, 2009 at 22:40

    awaiting moderation???

  34. January 2, 2009 at 00:46

    There are two things to think about.
    Firstly, The readers are mature enough to assess the content. I think the discretion of the readers is good enough
    Secondly, there might be few objectionable writings which are beyond a conventional way to express concern or call it anguish over an article. Such objectionable content can always be put on hold. Isin’t?
    My suggestion would be to adapt a customized approach. It works.
    Thank you.

  35. 35 John in German
    January 2, 2009 at 11:42

    It is understandable that some comments are removed, but Who decides what is right or wrong?. Surely the guide lines are sometimes bent to suite the situation.

    Of course, opinions differ, that is why people enter thier comments, and according to where we live, so varies the importance to us. And Israelis are going to write a little bit different as to Palestine’s.

    Sorry but i cant help having the feeling that the BEEB is biased towards the Palestines at the moment, i wont say Hamas. Israel are reacting as they should, there is no half way, or easy way. Hamas just need to stop launching the Rockets and there will be Peace. But all the time they think they have Western support they will carry on. They do not have any respect for Peoples Lives.

    John in Germany

  36. January 2, 2009 at 21:36

    Several people say they have been harassed. I would really like to know the details of harassment. If people are somehow tracked and hassled for their views, why not have a forum in which those details can be made clear? Some thought out web safety precautions for the vulnerable might calm the tone.

    A person who is actually persecuted for belief or opinion may express edginess and despair because they risk so much to speak. LIkewise a paranoid, so why not have a focussed discussion on the mechanics and repercussions of free speech and censorship? Blogging is dangerous to those living under vitriolic regimes, and we should not let them or their speech rights get lost among more everyday complaints.

  37. 37 Luci Smith
    January 3, 2009 at 08:34

    Have been away from the computer and radio, demonstrating peacefully against the bombing of the people of Gaza.

    I think that it is great that the BBC moderates the blogs. You also moderate who calls into the show. That is the broadcaster’s job.

    That is the difference between the BBC and a lot of the commercial media that Americans are used to. This site is meant to allow for the responsible exchange of opinions in a civilized and polite manner. Sometimes you can exchange information quickly on breaking stories or background.
    I find some of the bloggers to be consistently kvetching about having been censored and I wonder why they don’t find another forum where they can freely sling mud at other people.

    Please do moderate, Thank you!

  38. 38 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    January 4, 2009 at 00:26

    What I find strange about this debate is the presumption that any comment sent here should be posted. The New York Times does not publish every letter they receive. Theoretically, they do their best to represent a cross section of readers. The same should be true here.

    In my last post, (above: Jan. 1, 16:54) I talked about wanting desperately to be heard, but I did not emphasize that my point was to recognize that the BBC has an obligation to make this not only a place to be heard, but also a place to *listen* without distraction. The comment I referred to in that post may have seemed to me like a unique perspective, but I realized in hindsight that it also contained reference to a film that included historical records which could have acted like gasoline on a fire. History should never be forgotten, but it also has a time and place.

    That comment, as I stated, was also quite a fantasy in the face of very real and dire consequences. Fantasy too, has a time and place. Perhaps I will rework it for posting on the chat section of WHYS after the show. Look for it (hopefully)some time after Monday under the subject: Meek And The Strength.

    If I might also throw in a suggestion, it would be nice to have a link to a list of guidelines for comments. If this link were placed right next to the submit button, it might help people pre-edit their comments, or explain after the fact why their posts expired while “awaiting moderation.”

  39. 39 Adel buhaia
    January 4, 2009 at 08:54

    One should be able to say what he wishes and express his feelings without being controled by anyone. this what I feel as free press. We tired of poeple contolling us or what we wish to address and only allow what suites and what doesen’t. I always wish to express what I feel freely and this is why I have loged to World have your say, simply because I can say what I like. So let us freely express ourselves………….

  40. 40 James
    January 5, 2009 at 01:14

    Once again, in the name of doing good, we advance evil, or at least, we silence the people who try to point to it.

    Unfortunately, even the most basic and agreeable of excuses, ‘not being a racist’, starts to lose credibility when you see that racism is defined to protect those very ‘special’ kind of racists… religious racists.

    Thus, by merely including the words ‘religious racist’, I risk being not posted. Why? Because the wise know who the religious racists are, and the first people who will accuse me of being a racist radical will be these same people…

    The irony of western ‘tolerance’, tolerating an ideology of hate.

  41. 41 Jennifer
    January 5, 2009 at 03:26

    Re: Proof of Harassment

    How could harassment be showcased here? I think that is a very good idea. I have some things I would like to submit. 😉 Boy do I ever!

    I kind of wonder why someone would be so eager to see proof of harassment. What point would there be to it? Is it going to change the way things work around here?

    The BBC is having this problem with comments because they allow people to disrespect others on here. You can state your opinion and it may get past the moderators but then you have to deal with people who are not being civilized and accepting that others have different opinions.

    I’ve been looking into the BBC blog guidelines…..which others might want to check out, too.

    Take care and good luck with the blog! 🙂


  42. 42 ben's younger brother
    January 5, 2009 at 12:42

    If you cannot state your case without abuse you should keep your mouth shut

  43. 43 Andrew M
    January 5, 2009 at 14:45

    Steve is right – this is not a personal blog it’s a BBC blog and they will always err on the side of csution. Anything mildly controversial is deleted. I agree that no one wants to read essays, but remember y’all… it all depends on who is moderating, and their own views and politics. Sometimes it is too Liberal and sometimes too Right wing. Sometimes neither. At any rate who really believes that the comments really reflect world opinion??

  44. 44 Jennifer
    January 5, 2009 at 17:03

    Is there any way that we can submit stuff to the blog for everyone’s viewing? I mean, we are seeing all of these posts about how rational people are and how they supposedly have such good common sense; I’d really be interested in knowing how they react to seeing proof of the contrary.

  45. 45 carole santa cruz county ca usa
    January 5, 2009 at 19:35

    We would do well to consider Viola’s comments in Post No. 24 as the guidelines for appropriate contributions to WHYS.

    As for those who suffer from “on-&-on-itis,” I believe they have too much time on their hands…please find a charitable organization and start volunteering…today.


    I am absolutely, thoroughly addicted to the BBC, also listen to it via KSPB, 91.9 fm Radio Stevenson School in Pebble Beach CA as well as “in the background” on my computer at work.

    More than once, I have phoned my Mother in Los Angeles to ask her about an earthquake that just happened ~ when she asks how I know about it so quickly ~ I reply, “I heard it on the BBC, of course”.

    Happy New Year. If you want peace, work for justice. c

  46. 46 carole santa cruz county ca usa
    January 5, 2009 at 19:55

    (Did I already send this?)YHooray Chloe! We would do well to consider Viola’s comments in Post No. 24 as the guidelines for appropriate contributions to WHYS.

    As for those who suffer from “on-&-on-itis,” I believe they have too much time on their hands…please find a charitable organization and start volunteering…today.


    I am absolutely, thoroughly addicted to the BBC, also listen to it at home and in the car via KSPB, 91.9 fm Radio Stevenson School in Pebble Beach CA as well as “in the background” on my computer at work.

    More than once, I have phoned my Mother in Los Angeles to ask her about an earthquake that just happened ~ when she asks how I know about it so quickly ~ I reply, “I heard it on the BBC, of course”.

    Happy New Year. If you want peace, work for justice. c

  47. 47 Jennifer
    January 6, 2009 at 14:18

    At the risk of having on an on itis……I’d really like to know if there is a way to submit things….I noticed that bbc has the flickr widget, could items be emailed and you post?

    Why is it that the BBC makes these posts asking for opinions and thoughts if they don’t want really want to hear them?

  48. 48 DENNIS
    January 7, 2009 at 07:22

    [Why is it that the BBC makes these posts asking for opinions and thoughts if they don’t want really want to hear them?]

    I do not think that you are correct; I think that the BBC wants to hears from everyone and there opinions; as long as they don’t violate the BBC Editorial guidelines….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  49. January 7, 2009 at 12:48


    What part of what I have said here violates bbc editorial guidelines?

    I made no posts after the blog improvement one so no hamas/Israel posts deleted were mine.However,of course I see this post as an oppurtunity for the bbc to address other issues directly surrounding this issue.

    Like other times before when there has been mild attempts to address issues there is talk but that’s pretty much it that ends with use good sense…ovbiously, if people where doing that there would be no threads like this at all.These are the same individuals that see fit to take things further than sharing opinions here and they have definately not even acknowledged this thread, whether because of denial or believing that no rules apply to them at all.

    Maybe you or anyone else thinks that I am complaining for fun but I assure you that is not the case.Some issues,not addressed, greatly affect the validity and credibility of this blog.If bbc is genuinely concerned about quality of this blog they will address issues instead of skirting around them.

  50. 50 omissam
    January 7, 2009 at 17:59

    I heard Condy Rice to-day quote 3 points that Hamas must respect in order to end Israel’s attacks. What I would really be interested in knowing is WHY nobody, I repeat NOBODY, has ever mentioned that dad the Israeli abided by the numerous UN resolutions -instead of spurning them- put an end to the occupation and withdrawn to the pre-1967 frontier, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THERE and therefore Hamas would have no need to shoot their insignificant rockets ! The various Israeli governments have constantly ignored not only UN resolution but even the International Court of Justice and nobody has ever even raised the little finger ! Is Israel above the Law ? When are sanctions going to be applied to the country who deserves them most ?

  51. 51 omissam
    January 7, 2009 at 18:06

    I’ m afraid the only way to be accepted by U is to praise Israel and that is something I honestly could not do unless they change their behavior. So I’ll not waste my time with U anymore. Fortunately there are less biassed people in the world !

  52. 52 DENNIS
    January 7, 2009 at 20:09

    @ Jennifer [January 7, 2009 at 12:48]

    What part of what I have said here violates bbc editorial guidelines?
    I am not able to fully answer your question..Because, I don’t have the information available to me to make a correct decision…But, they have HOUSE RULES, as Chloe Tilley, has set up the link in her earlier remarks on this issue….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  53. 53 DENNIS
    January 7, 2009 at 20:12

    @ Jennifer [January 7, 2009 at 12:48]

    I made no posts after the blog improvement one so no hamas/Israel posts deleted were mine.However,of course I see this post as an oppurtunity for the bbc to address other issues directly surrounding this issue.

    But, after reading your comments further: The BBC and WHYS are not asking for other issues directly surrounding this issue….They want it kept to the question, they are asking….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  54. 54 Chen
    January 8, 2009 at 15:28

    I will keept it short just in case…
    “Comments that are too long, stray off the topic, are racist or homophobic will not be published.”
    (1) It is a dabate. In debates there always going to be extreme views on the spectum. Racis or homophobic views serve a purpose because they are exposed and give a chance for people with those views to communicate with others who don’t agree with them. Shut those people up will not lead to less racism or homophobia, but the opposite. Also, what is the fun to debate if we all have similar views i.e. BBC-approved?
    (2) The BBC moderator can decide which comments “stray off the topic?” Wow. BBC and the moderator give themselves too much credit. BBC, the cheerleader of the Iraq war that, knows which comments stray off the topic. Don’t kid yourself.

  55. 55 Chen
    January 8, 2009 at 18:20

    ZK” We don’t tolerate it in society so why should we tolerate it here?”

    I am not so sure that racism and homophobia are “not tolerated” in society. But it is not the point. Even if we don’t tolerate racism and hopmophobia in society, we do support rights of people with those views to voice their views. Remember, censorship is a double-blade sword, many of the progressive views which I assume you will share, such as evolution, abolition, were once banned and silenced for the same reason you want to delete racist and homophobic comments.

    Also, where is the end of this blacklist?

  56. January 9, 2009 at 07:27

    Maybe you should have a digg like feature for comments too. A thumbs up and a thumbs down

  57. 57 Gabbi from London
    January 9, 2009 at 13:52

    “It also comes down to tone”
    Maybe you should consider the “tone” of your talking points too.
    I think that “Can Israel do whatever it wants?” and “Is Israel strengthening Hamas?” can be classed as leading questions in anyone’s language.

  58. 58 Chen
    January 9, 2009 at 14:37

    Appapently, this new censorship policy works this way: when discussing the Gaza conflict, it is ok to blame either Isreal or Palestine for this Gaza mess. But it is not ok to pointed out that the source of conflict and bloodshed started when Britian controlled Palestine and Britain in fact placed one brother against another. After obviously long deliberation, BBC finally decided to delete my comment on this issue. Was my comment “straying of the topic?” “too long?” “homophobic or racist?”
    Yes, BBC you can delete my comment, but you cannot change the history. Of course, you think you can.

  59. 59 Chen
    January 9, 2009 at 14:44

    Gabbi from London :”I think that “Can Israel do whatever it wants?” and “Is Israel strengthening Hamas?” can be classed as leading questions in anyone’s language.”
    Leading questions are permitted in court when the witness, in this case, the other side of debate, is hostile or incooperative.

  60. 60 Chen
    January 10, 2009 at 03:16

    This subject “whey are we deleting so many of you comments” sounds very familar. Right, there is another discussion called “Can Isreal do everyting it wants?” The asnwer to both questions is yes. When you have guns in you hand, you also have god on your side.

  61. 61 Graham
    January 10, 2009 at 20:23

    What’s irritating is that the moderators seemed unable to keep up with all our comments – 11,000 were outstanding when I submitted my comment about an untrue contribution which the moderators had permitted. (If you want to see less control, and less rationale, use MSN message boards)

  62. 62 Ibrahim
    January 13, 2009 at 12:13

    Ooops! didn’t see the “too long” part. How long is too long?
    Also, if you are deleting the post, is there any email that goes out to explain the reason?

  63. 63 Mark Sandell
    January 13, 2009 at 13:47

    Graham we are World Have Your Say- the site you are referring to is the “Have Your Say” page on the main BBC website.
    and Ibrahim, sometimes i do ask people to re-submit something that’s too long. I don’t write to the offensive ones…
    and usually multiple postings won’t get approved so Chen, to get three on the bounce means it’s your lucky day..

  64. 64 Jennifer
    January 13, 2009 at 14:08

    Re: Also, if you are deleting the post, is there any email that goes out to explain the reason?

    I can see it now….

    Dear Jennifer,

    We don’t want to post your comment because we don’t agree with what you are saying. It just doesn’t go with the color of the curtains in our conversation room. If you’d like to change your thoughts and the facts to match ours, we can post your comment.

    Sincerely, BBC


    Who really thinks comment length is a problem? If you find what the person says interesting then you will read it if not scroll right by.

  65. 65 Ibrahim
    January 13, 2009 at 14:28

    Thanks for the response… if there was a subtle hint in there then I do apologise if anything I wrote was offensive, that was not the intention.

  66. 66 Madeleine Morris
    January 13, 2009 at 15:07

    Hi Jennifer,
    We don’t email everyone whose response we don’t post, simply because of time constraints. Basically, we set out the rules from the beginning, so if your comment isn’t published, you can assume it’s because you broke one of them.

    And comment length is a problem. Maybe not for you, but for plenty of other people. Imagine if you’re having a conversation with someone in a cafe. You don’t sit and opine for 10 minutes and then let the next person talk for 10 minutes, because it wouldn’t be a conversation, it would be a collection of speeches, and it’s the same reason here.

  67. 67 Jim Newman
    January 13, 2009 at 16:58

    Hello again
    I don’t know why my views about the conflict between the squatters and the Palestinian resistance have been censored. I’ve read the guidlines very carefully and can’t find anything that contravenes them. Also my views on the justification of torture were censored although they are based on well founded documentation (amnesty international and red cross).
    Luckily others with the same views as mine seem to have fallen through the censorship net so I’m not completely without voice.
    I think that the WHYS should be carefull how you apply censoreship because it could easily appear to be tendentious. We the commentators are allowed to be tendentious but you the WHYS are not. You should be fair and stick by your own guidelines.

  68. 68 Chen
    January 13, 2009 at 22:41

    Mark Sandell
    Thank you for the “your lucky day” comment. It is very sad If a person has to deem himself lucky simply because his three comments (not long, not homophobic, not repetitive, not racist, not straying from topic) survived the censorship of BBC which invited people to participate in the discussion. The sense of power in “your lucky day” comment can only come from people who feel that they have the absolute power to decide who should have a voice and who should be silenced. Power corrupts, not just politicians, but also journalists and media as well. What and how much information did BBC have but decide not to let people to hear before the Irag War? What responsibility should BBC bear for its chearleading role in the death and distruction in Iraq? By “selective reporting” or “self-censorship” a journalist or a new organization become a participant in a event, in some cases, an accomplice of crime.

  69. January 18, 2009 at 05:41

    I have a question for one of the staffers:
    Why are some of my messages are not being moderating…I know, that I am not violating any of the rules….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  70. 71 Jim Newman
    January 18, 2009 at 15:28

    Hello again
    I’ve got three comments awaiting censorship now! Two have been bypassed by other comments. I don’t mean to be rude but would you mind calling your on panel friend of zion back from holiday and put me out of my misery.

  71. 72 Ibrahim in UK
    January 19, 2009 at 15:59

    Ultimately we are all at the mercy of the moderators who may or may not have their own agendas which go beyond the BBC moderation rules. People are not saints, it is naive to expect people not to abuse their power to further their own cause. Perhaps there should be some kind of independent body/panel which reviews the moderation tendencies.
    Secondly (off topic), what are those pretty patterns next to each name? They look unique for each person. How are they generated?

  72. January 20, 2009 at 03:47

    @ Tom:
    Apologies accepted….Will they been moderated?


  73. 74 Wayne Coleman
    January 20, 2009 at 14:22

    Normally, I don’t believe in limiting freedom to express ones views however, I don’t think we want to see language or threats that could make the posts appear seedy and unprofessional either. I think that the moderators do a respectable job in keeping everything balanced while maintaining some sense of dignity. After all, it is NOT the Enquirer, it is the B.B.C. World news. As long as the moderators don’t try to infer their own points of view on a peticular subject, I think their job is beneficial, so as not to offend readers who would otherwise be put off by the posts, and not bother to write in at all. I think that we should all give them a hand at a job well done because they are very balanced, it seems, in their field.

  74. 75 John LaGrua/New York
    January 22, 2009 at 01:22

    If you are rejecting blogs you should be forthright with your reasons.Conflict in Palestine engenders strong opinions and the Gaza barbarity demands strong condemnation.Similiarly, other issues that entails egregious breaches of commonly accepted behavior should evoke strong reactions.and unless they are vulgar or uncivil they should not be capriciously censored.Of course factual evidence is important and thuse who make baseless comment soon appear as fools but that is not the concern of the moderators In this over media staffed world to much dross and propaganda passes as truth ,BBC and the WHYs has an obligation to encourage a passionate commitment to an open forum which shines light on issues to enable your particiapnts to distinguish fact from fiction ,the charlatans from the legitimate..” The truth shall set you free” Epistle ,St .John.

  75. 76 Vernon
    January 22, 2009 at 12:24

    It would be good to get some clarity on what kind of language callers are reprimanded for on the program. A recent caller used the expletive “Christ” and no comment was made. What would happen if a swear word were uttered or if a name were used as an expletive that would offend Muslims?

  76. 77 saleh darwish, Jordan
    January 23, 2009 at 20:32

    …B E D E M O C R A T I C ! ! ! ! !

  77. 78 Skyeye
    January 25, 2009 at 23:28

    I think it is inevitable that moderators will impose their bias on what to publish. They are in a privileged position to get their views across through letters chosen or discarded – they’re only human!
    My frustration is having letters unpublished because, apparently, the subject is oversubscribed – the subject should be closed for further comments if the staff cannot cope with the volume.

  78. 79 Mohammed Ali
    January 26, 2009 at 12:55

    I think the BBC is becoming a dictator here. The essence this site is to allow people express their views on issues unfolding in the world. I am of the strongest opinion that our views should be approved. If anyone disagrees with another person’s opinion, they can react to it. Refusing to publish my how I think is equal to my beleif. This will not change anybody’s opinion on a particular issue.

  79. 80 Mohammed Ali
    January 26, 2009 at 13:06

    Refusing to publish my thinking on issues is equal to silencing me from exprressing my beleif and opinions on the BBC.

  80. 81 Joan
    January 30, 2009 at 08:08

    I agree. The BBC considers itself to be so impartial but only if you tow the party line. The point is real and interesting debate and understanding only comes when people speak honestly from their heart, If it’s censored, what’s the point?

  81. 82 Chen
    January 30, 2009 at 22:35

    I strongly disagree with Mohammed Ali’s comment that “BBC is becoming a dictator here.” BBC did not become dictator — it just revealed its true face. Believe me, if BBC have any other less obvious means to control what people say in this forum, it would have used it. The least they want to do is to deleting people’s comments — it is too obvious . But BBC got what BBC got to do.
    You may ask why I am still posting here. Well, I would have left long time ago, but departure of people like me would only make BBC happier — they silenced people without even the efforts to delete.

  82. 83 William
    February 4, 2009 at 23:59

    Iam rather inclined to agree with Joan (30/1/09) How can you have an informed honest debate when run hand in hand with censorship? I too have hadcomments rejected by the BBC, so somehow I must find a way to get my view across without using reportedly offensive words, even though at no stage did I encourage hate or violence.

    I have views on homosexuality inconsistent with the alleged public perception of the issue. My view here is entirely reasonable I believe. For example most of my generation (I am 57) were taught at School, in the Church, and at home, that homosexuality is not normal behaviour no matter what the cause. For the religious among us we know that both the old and new testaments condemn the practice using the words similar to “for man to lie with a man is an anathema”

    I will never apologise for having learned my lessons well, and continuing to believe in what I was taught. Nor will I change simply to fall in line with what is currently trendy and politically correct. Very few people express the real truth of what they believe on this issue for fear of ridicule and vilification. So much for freedom of expression!

    I was once asked “What would you do if one of your children suddenly admitted to being homosexual” My answer to this was ” I still love you and will never deny or reject you, but I do not believe your orientation to be natural “

  83. 84 An answer from a Christian Arab
    February 6, 2009 at 13:00

    I don’t think I strayed from the essence of the subject, or my tone was in any specific direction (re the ex-terrorist). All I did was addressed the real issues that caused the Arabs where they are now. changing religions in the Middle East will not make him feel better for long.

  84. 85 Jim Newman
    February 13, 2009 at 18:52

    Hello WHYS
    I still think that my comments are being unfairely censored. I have a point of view on most things that is based on a certain philosophic outlook. That point of view is, I think, worth being heard and worth being defended. My point of view is based on what I consider to be the facts and if I am mistaken on any point I welcome someone to put me right including WHYS. Don’t forget censorship is only ever used to stifle ideas never to promote them.
    In your picture you look a young team so I say to you beware of ego-tripping and bigotry.
    So World Have Your Say let the world have it’s say even if it’s sometimes uncomfortable after all it would be a very boring world if everone sang from the same song sheet.

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