CBC Just Another Fake Friend Of The People

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Some of the comments I post online can be found in big discussions, with hundreds of posts. Especially now, at election time, you’ll find lots of energetic (mostly noise) discussions. There isn’t a site, Left or Right, that carries the perfect discussion features. I am sure that that can’t all be laid at the feet of the company providing the software. That’s because I’m sure that each customer has the option to customize, to an extent, the platform they use. How could these companies compete otherwise? So, When you are on CBC’s website and get involved in a lively discussion, say, about selling weapons to human rights abuser Saudi Arabia or about your government’s cozy relationship with the fascist, bloodspilling Benjamin Netanyahu, and want to gauge the reaction to your comments, you might just forget about trying to when you see how much time you must spend sifting through comments, clicking on ‘show more’ forever. Do these people really want us to have discussions? I don’t think so. I think they just don’t want to deal with people complaining about their anti-democratic attitude, so they go through the motions.

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The CBC’s website could be worse. It could certainly be better. The few comments allowed before you have to click on ‘show more’, is sad. Then there’s the inane ‘show older comments’ button. You’ll often spend a lot more time clicking than reading and thinking and participating, once your initial comments have been posted.

I hate Disqus, for the record. It’s another Facebook-type company. It’s a great idea in the wrong hands, as usual. I came across a mention of it once that confirmed my suspicion. It’s a data collecting company. But they all are, Aren’t they? I’m not an expert on Disqus, but I’d rather a site used it’s own platform in an upfront manner. I’d also like to see people embrace democracy, rather than say they do. But good luck with that, Right? We are being crushed by mafia capitalism. There’s little honesty, positive professionalism and good intentions anywhere you look, Left and Right.

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Here’s a snapshot of the kind of posts CBC will disappear. If you’re a busy commenter, on top of being a voracious reader, as I am, you may not have time or energy to check on all the comments you post to forums and you may not see that you’re being disappeared by fake friends of the people. But you should expect that, unless you actually have nothing to say, you’ll be censored. And the degree of censorship will depend on the site and other factors:

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Are those comments truly deserving of censorship? If you’re rightwing and unprincipled, you may say ‘yes’. But the question is for fair-minded people. Also, Note the weasel words. CBC doesn’t label the disappeared posts with something like “You’re post has been disallowed.” It’s “commenting disabled.” You could be forgiven if you thought that it wasn’t being directed at you personally. It sort of implies ‘all’ commenting.

Raif Badawi

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