Monday, April 5, 2010

Why Do We HuffPoWatch?

A user comment today made me realize that, although we have explained why we cover Huffington Post user profiles, I have never written out why we "watch" the Huffington Post for anti-Semitic comments and other forms of anti-Jewish hate speech. Some people might ask: What's the point? Here is your answer.

First of all, there are many people who deny that there is any anti-Semitism on the Huffington Post at all. Users like lbsaltzman claim that they have only ever seen "legitimate criticism of Israel" on the Huffington Post and never anti-Semitism. Ariana Huffington herself has said that, "If you're looking for the usual flame-throwing, name-calling, and simplistic attack dog rhetoric... don't bother coming to the Huffington Post." (H/T Huff-Watcher) Clearly, when it comes to Israel and other Jewish-related issues, that isn't true. So we cover these to show the world that there is indeed extreme name calling and "attack dog rhetoric" posted literally every day. Although other sites such as CAMERA have written generalized reports on this topic, these HPWs show that it isn't an occasional problem. It happens with almost every thread.

Second, it's to show that although the moderation of the Huffington Post has improved, anti-Semitism is still a problem. We understand that it is not easy to be a moderator of a major website, and that the moderators work hard and do good work. But even so, the anti-Semitism and hate speech is still there...every day. The Huffington Post needs to be made aware of that.

Finally, other users have asked why do you focus on Israel and the Jews? Well, part of that was answered here, but simply put, this has proven to be a problem that has also been unaddressed. Bigotry against other groups, including Muslims, is certainly there. But the truth is that we have lives too and can't catch all the anti-Semitism that comes through. If someone would like to create a blog tracking other forms of hatred on the Huffington Post, please do so. I would be happy to blogroll you.

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