Monday, October 26, 2009

What Can We Do?

Now that Matt and I have posted a couple of Huffington Post Watch articles, some readers may be asking “What’s the point? Why are you recording all of these comments on your website?”

First of all, we need to keep these comments in the database because even though the Huffington Post moderators may delete them hours if not days after they have been posted, they remained long enough to do their damage. We record them so that the Huffington Post administrators cannot deny their existence.

Second, to hold the Huffington Post moderators to account. Under their moderation guidelines, a comment will not be published if it is “abusive, off-topic, uses excessive foul language, or includes an ad hominem attack.” HP’s terms of service states: “In furtherance of the foregoing, you agree that you will not... publish falsehoods or misrepresentations that could damage THP or any third party; (iii) submit material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive...”

The vast majority of threads are fully moderated (and we will let you know if they are not), which means that every comment was checked and approved by a moderator before it was published. Even in unmoderated threads there are still administrators keeping an eye on things, and they often let hateful comments remain for hours if not days before deleting them. We want to make the point that they have been lax in catching and stopping anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments.

We are not the first people to notice Huffington Post’s tolerance of Jew hatred. Check out this CAMERA report from a few months back for more details.

So what can we, as denizens of the Internet and bloggers, do? The answer is three fold:

1. Report individual comments. If you click on the “permalink” beside each comment it will take you to the comment as it appears in the thread. Below the post is a link that says “Flag as Abusive.” Click it, and it will be flagged for further investigation. The more people flagging the more posts, the more noticeable they will be, and the more likely it will be that moderator will take action against the offender.

2. Report the posters who make the comment: When we make posts that are structured around a user, click on that user’s name to jump to their profile page. Once you are there, click the “Report Abusive Profile” button pictured below:

You then must write a quick something about why the user should be reported. You can copy and paste some of the choiciest quotations, or the link for the user from this blog. Or you can write a little something yourself.

3. Write a letter to the mods and administrators. The contact info is up on their website, and you can take action by expressing your feelings about whether the mods are sufficiently cracking down at anti-Israel and ant-Semitic hate speech. Admittedly, this is the slowest method, but my understanding is that the admins do indeed read what they receive.

The good news is that I have had real success with all three of these methods, so I don’t think the moderators are working against us and are in favor of anti-Semitic attitudes being broadcast on their boards. Hopefully by working together we’ll be enable to enact some real change.


  1. I would like to see Arianna Huffington being confronted on national TV about the anti-Semitism her website is a host to.

  2. I would like to report truly egregious comments here--not necessarily because they are only anti-semitic, but because they also reveal the posting philosophy of these folks.