Dana Ullman, having run out of fresh material, posted a piece on Huff about his favorite Nobel Prize winner who went wonky, Luc Montagnier, whose latest ideas have been roundly dismissed and occasionally derided as being beyond absurd.
I commented, absolutely within the guidelines, pointing out that he was appealing to authority, the material wasn't new, and that several science-based bloggers had already debunked this. It made it up long enough to get comments and then was removed because it "violated guidelines."
I'd at least posted it over at facebook as a link, where part of the comment was posted. The rest of it read if you're evidence-based, you follow the science, etc. Typical stuff.
I noticed last night it was removed, so I tried to get a couple variations up:
But no luck. Now what's so threatening? Me or Novella? I'm sure it's mostly Novella, but come on? So I asked. Authors at Huffington can moderate comments, thereby bypassing the guidelines, and if you routinely post at Huffington, you know that the moderators do not follow the guidelines. So I started asking on twitter:
Dana's response, his usual sweetness and lightness is as you see:
None of my comments appears at Dana's article. The ones I tried last night didn't get on at all. So Dana, you'll totally be complaining to Huff, right, and argue that even if it disagrees with your articles by linking to articles that rebut you, it should go on since it doesn't violate the guidelines.
I tried again this morning:
Same comment, under two profiles, and neither allowed on. As you can see*, these violate no guidelines. How do you tell something might be complete bunk? When it won't even allow criticism or rebuttals.
Ullman, this is going to be my introduction of your woo to students. Thanks.
*The guidelines can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/p/frequently-asked-question.html#moderation and read in part:
"(I) The Huffington Post welcomes all users to join our community and to comment and treats all members of the community equally.
We do not discriminate based on the person who is posting, and we never censor comments for political or ideological reasons. We never delete an appropriate comment because we disagree with its viewpoint or ideology, and we never publish an inappropriate comment because we agree with or support its viewpoint or ideology. We also do not tolerate ad hominem attacks of any kind."
Not even this one applies,as they didn't allow the comments: "Members of the HuffPost community deserve to be free from spam, and we do not allow posting the same comment multiple times within one thread or on multiple threads." No violations, just the fear of people reading rebuttals to Ullman.