Sunday, September 7, 2014

Correcting Two Mistakes in Yesterday's Postings re: Elizabeth Warren and Larry Summers, and Flagging of Comments in NCR Discussion Threads

In two of my postings yesterday, I posted incorrect information. I want to correct the mistakes in both postings:

1. In my posting about Elizabeth Warren and Larry Summers, I stated that the meeting between the two recounted by Warren in her book A Fighting Chance took place after she became a senator. 

I now see a separate posting at Bill Moyers's site, in which he interviews Warren, and in which she states that the meeting occurred before she became a senator. I'm sorry for the mistake, and wanted readers who may have seen that previous posting but won't see my correction appended to it to know about it.

2. In my posting about the flagging of comments in the discussion thread following the recent National Catholic Reporter editorial calling for Archbishop Nienstedt to be transparent and accountable to the public, I stated that it appeared that NCR was moderating the discussion thread even as I was writing my posting, and had removed from the "awaiting moderation" queue several comments that had been flagged, including one by John David.

I thought those comments had been removed from the "awaiting moderation" queue, because I could see them in the thread after I myself clicked on the "awaiting moderation" tag. Clicking on that tag made them visible to me and made them appear in the thread, and so I thought they had been returned to the thread by NCR moderators.

I now learn, when I return to the NCR thread today, that John David's comment and several others remain invisible, with a statement that they are awaiting moderation. If one clicks on that statement, the comments then become visible.

I wanted to correct my misstatement that it seemed the NCR moderators had returned these "awaiting moderation" comments to this thread. None of this changes, though, the substance of what I noted yesterday: namely, that one commenter in this thread encourages participants in the discussion to flag comments in order to make targeted individuals unwelcome in the discussion, and another says she's flagging every comment in the thread discussing Jerry Slevin's censorship by NCR, with the goal of getting the whole discussion about Jerry Slevin's censorship erased.

I continue to conclude that John David's completely inoffensive comment and several other comments that are marked as "awaiting moderation" wouldn't be in an approval queue unless several people had flagged them, triggering an automatic shunting of these comments into the approval queue. And I continue to say that I think NCR moderators need to pay careful attention to the possibility (in the case of Brahmin's comments, the certainty) that people, sometimes acting in collusion, use the flagging system to target individuals they wish to drive out of NCR conversations.

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