Monday, July 19, 2010

Lord Troldemort Must Go Down

Newsflash: Beej Is A No-Good Stooge

All popular websites have their own trolls. The Huffingtonpost has many. One of the strangest is Beej.

Until recently that was just a name which I associated with a vast array of different socks. Some socks last only a few minutes. Others seem to last longer and rather than abuse other posters for no reason they seem to reserve their comments for someone they call "Bare-E".

A quick look at their website the Huff-Watch confirms that Beej takes the Huffingtonpost as more of an obsession than the rest of the other posters put together. It's an experience that starts off as weird and kind of impressive and then the more you look and think about the scale of the effort and the kind of intent as well and impressive turns to scary, creepy and OMFG.

Beej's creepy stalkerish website contains a vast but confused and tangled array of archives and links. There's screenshots of all kinds of things from HP. So while we're over there posting, Beej is sometimes just taking screen shots and uploading them to his vast, vast blog. The following is from Beej's site. Here in fact.

(1) What is Huff-Watch's beef with HuffPost?
  • Generates false/misleading news headlines regarding important public affairs
  • Consistently applies an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic bias to news stories concerning the Jewish state, and to notable Jewish public figures, then reviews, approves and decides to publish user comments containing hate, libels and conspiracy theories against Israel and Jews
  • Uses its considerable influence in an arguably subversive fashion, and to advance a radically left-wing, anti-Israel, Islamist*-sympathizing agenda (*for a definition of Islamist/Islamism, see Section 3)
  • Enables and protects the most egregious, pathological violators of its Comment Policy and Terms of Service to essentially "live" on the site for 12-20 hours a day, in some cases, for years --- while censoring and banning non-violating users, on a minute-to-minute basis 

So, to Beej's first point... that's my beef too! So where are all the Beej Huff-Watch articles on bad journalism?

There's a score of old HP headlines which had no bearing on the content of the article. Beej must have a hundred screen captures of that kind of thing.

Headlines which are the complete opposite of the content of the article? Or how about the HP-Geithner obsession? How about Ariana's constant fascination with her TV appearances as main article topics?

So if that's Beej's first beef, then... how come the most commonly used tagged word in Huff-watch is "antisemitic"? It's true. He tags his own posts and the tag he uses the most is antisemitic. It's right there on his own site.

The HP is not, so far as I can tell, a rag guilty of engaging in any anti-semitic views and palming that off as news. It is certainly not always pro-Israel and for that I am glad. HP is guilty of some really terrible journalistic practices in the race for clicks and placement in Twitter and Google searches. But it is not guilty of anti-semitism as a rule.

Anyone posting comments expressing any kind of prejudicial hatred have their comments removed and in time their profiles go as well. Real anti semites, and I have seen several, are simply not tolerated on HP. I believe in freedom of speech. I also accept liability. HP simply cannot allow posts of that kind to remain and nor can they tolerate anyone who logs in to simply post those kinds of hate-filled comments to have an account.

So when I look at Huff-Watch I think... what's the point of all that work? What would happen if the Beej ever used that work ethic for something useful?

Now, unfortunately, Beej has also taken on a friend of yours. A truly funny man with a large wit and a fearless trust in his audience, has been personally singled out by Beej for special treatment.

I also learned recently that a certain peaceful kitten was also singled out by this person for special rough treatment.

I do not know any real details about either case. But right now our favorite beagle needs your moral support. Please visit his blog here and leave a comment.

(Thanks to Claude for the heads up!)

This has appeared on the southpaw blog.

"Southpaw just got a call letting him know that, for now at least, the government is not seeking to interview him regarding hate speech–which I take for the moment as a sign that they will not be proceding into a First Amendment arena with him in the very near future. "
So it's looking like the Beej loses this round.

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