Note, the "deemed as spam" posting that triggered me this morning, is posted here on the good old open web. You won't get what the comment is about if you're not familiar with Wilkes-Barre, but if you are, here's a chance to see the posting that the Times Leader muted under the guise of possibly being spam. Maybe you will find it spammy, I dunno, but I'm giving it its daylight notwithstanding. That's whatcha' can do with the open web.
I, on ocassion, write long comments at the newspaper website local to my birth town of Wilkes-Barre PA, The Times Leader. Consistently, however, they remove my posts typically without reason. They just suddenly find themselves "under review by moderator" or as in today's case, now, the "blame the bot", "Detected as spam" tagline.
The blocked postings always have some note appended about how someone will ultimately review the posting, which by my assessment, if they did so, would eventually result in it being immediately unblocked. But only if they actually did so.
In actual reality, the messages about "being under review" are perpetual, and last, well, seemingly forever. Having a post put under moderated review is basically a death sentence for that posting. Understandably nobody in the "industry-itself-is-dying" pressroom is wasting time bleeding more money than they have by having someone take time to review comments by the whacky open community, weigh them, then toggle them back to public view.
That just isn't happening.
Now let's be clear, I don't know that my writings are are really that great. In their own way they probably amount to the same stupid level of analysis and commentary as anyone eles's. But, I do take time to craft each posting, so, they take a while and for better or worse, I am proud of each one. To most people a web comment is a web comment. To me, it's how people write their books and novels, one web place at a time, cumulatively.
I'm also a narcissist, and fairly open about it. It's a character flaw, rooted in deep insecurity, yada yada, among a few other character flaws. But it's also benign and has only ever bothered people for with which I am in some power struggle with, or, who feel threatened by my "power" -- if you can believe that I have any.
I have no power, except to the people who know that I do.
When I have written something that hits a pitch-perfect balance while making a point, nothing makes me more happy to see a like or better, a string of likes, follow.
It's not because I think it adds social proof or validation to my point; validation is established the moment that I so make the post. Rather, it's that it encourages me to do it again and again and again - to keep writing. You know, that thing when an artist, singer, or YouTuber says "Your love keeps me going". That thing.
Putting postings that are actually not offensive or mean, or if they are coming off that way somehow, are not unreasonably so with all due process toward empathy and compassion, into permanent "moderation review", is simply pure censorship.
In making this point, I don't pretend that anyone cares. Crying about online censorship boo-hoo-hoo (damn people, learn to put up your own websites already) in forums or on social media platforms is the stuff of right-wing nuts these days. They actually have a case from time to time, but nobody cares. And even prior to digital civilization, people really didn't care then either. Censorship is a thing to scream because it feels good excusing your theories about Jewish laser stations in space by high-minded principles like freedom of speech, but it rarely gets the person screaming about it anyplace gratifying otherwise.
Coming back to earth about my purged posts though, even if there were a review that actually took place, and said review actually resulted in my posts being re-approved -- by then, interest in the topic matter and the fresh eyeballs have all moved on. One could totally see a smart anti-Dave-gets-to-keep-his-post-on-my-fancy-pantsy-newspaper-website-but-only-after-nobody-cares clearing a moderation flag days or weeks later, just to say a fair review was given. But now nobody's going to see it, and Dave ain't getting his likes or his exposure. And Mister or Miss "mustache-twirler" would be right. It's very deflating.
By Dave for for WBRAIL.