[Published 6 April 2016]
Internet manipulation of readers’ comments in response to articles published on overtly anti-Israel and anti-Jewish web sites is allowing those web sites to spew out their venom unchecked and uncontrolled.
Freedom of speech on these web sites is non-existent - and its absence is playing a large part in influencing the opinions of those who visit these sites and see no readers’ comments that act as a counterbalance or rebuttal to the article published or readers’ comments supporting such articles.
Such manipulation has until now taken either of the following forms:
1. Simply not publishing a reader’s commentI received this treatment when seeking to comment on the decision by McGraw Hill to trash the remaining copies of a text book “Global Politics: engaging a complex world “ – after four maps of “Palestine” in 1946, 1947, 1948-1967 and 2000 were subsequently determined by McGraw Hill to be inaccurate and misleading.
2. The editor can claim to exercise editorial control of what appears on his web-site – and there is nothing you can really do about it.
My comment detailing why McGraw Hill’s decision was justified was not published.
This rejection motivated me to write an article “Palestine – Internet Intifada Denies Free Speech” - which was published on many web sites - and subsequently went viral.
Publishing readers’ comments – overwhelmingly anonymous - that do not address the subject matter of the article but comprise general comments repeated over and over again - such as “ethnic cleansing”, apartheid” and “stealing Palestinian land” - denigrating and delegitimising both Israel and Jews.
A web site using both of these manipulative practices in tandem represents a web site where only the Arab narrative of the Jewish-Arab conflict is presented and the Jewish narrative is deliberately suppressed and excluded.
Now a far more serious form of manipulation to those outlined above has been exposed - involving the initial publication - but subsequent deletion - of readers’ comments some considerable time after they have first been published.
Again – I have been the recipient of this highly offensive and objectionable practice in relation to the identical comment posted by me supporting McGraw Hill’s decision on another anti-Israel and anti-Jewish web site.
Two comments were initially posted by two other people on this website criticising the McGraw Hill decision to trash – and were published on 20 March and 26 March. So far – no problem.
My comment was published on 29 March – no problem.
My comment drew a very virulent and hate-filled response from an anonymous third reader on 29 March – resulting in the exchange of a further seven published comments from each of us to the other - ending on 2 April with the following post by me:
“You seem intent on not wanting to answer this one simple question:
“Do you consider the maps withdrawn by McGraw Hill to be inaccurate and misleading because they did not show the Negev to be “desert bedouin land” as you yourself have claimed?
All you need do is answer “Yes” or “No”.
That is not too hard for you is it?”
Imagine my complete surprise - when I visited the site the following day to see if a response had been posted – to find that all eleven comments published between 20 March – 2 April had been deleted by the web editor and the comments section totally removed.
Luckily I had taken a photo shot of all eleven comments posted.
Otherwise you might not have believed it possible that hostility and antagonism towards Israel and Jews could stoop to such low levels.
Beware hate-filled Arab propagandists who want to conceal the truth at any cost.