Monday 27 February 2012

Hootsmon Headlines

Back in the olden days, when the term "Cybernat" was a twinkle in Laird Geordie's researchers' eye, I got caught up in a flamer on (you've guessed it) the Scotsman's comment pages. My original moniker disappeared from the annals of history for good, and I stopped posting for a while.

After Foulkes' and the advent of "Nat Black Ops" the moderators got desperate and started banning people for banter, or for revealing themselves as previously banned, or just on a whim, who knew?
Now the good people at Newsnet Scotland seem to be going down the same road; their reason is that the MSM pick up on the more rabid statements and publish them and them alone as evidence that the SNP are "swivel eyed loons".

Yet once you start censorship, mission creep begins. A post calling the Scottish Secretary a cunt is fair game to the blue pencil, then any satirical reference to him and finally there is the removal of any post that is slightly disrespectful to the Queen's annointed on this earth...

If Newsnet Scotland thinks that this approach will stop unionists calling them Newsnutter or Newsnat then they are mistaken. Instead of an organic discussion leavened with humour and off topic revelations, they will end up with a very sterile site indeed.


  1. Well said Conan. I gave up reading the comments on NN some time ago. Anyone who deviated from the 'plan' was obviously not welcome. That didn't bode well for stimulating debate.

  2. I haven't posted for a while and in fact don't read it very often.

    I had a comment totally removed about Lord FFSake to the effect he was connected to one "intelligence" committee and wondered out loud who was doing his research for him. At the end said I also said that he had been outed on Order-Order and the Universality of Cheese blog as being a cruising homosexual. My point was not his sexuality but his method and I would have said something of the same had he been cruising picking up females.

    His lack of personal responsibility betrays someone I would not wish to help run my future. It is also a good recruiting area for said dirty ops, allegedly.

  3. I've been becoming increasingly fed up with Newsnet Scotland's comment policy, much as I enjoy the articles posted there. I'd hate it to turn into a clone of the dead on it's feet LabourHame. LH has two problems - poor articles and a throttled comments policy. NNS suffers only the latter thus fat, but I'll be spending my time in the freedom of Twitter.

  4. Agreed.

    I was just looking at newsnet this morning myself, I think its still valid but there is a balance to be struck between being a well-thought-of news site and a comment/blog type site.

    The info to be gotten there is still very valuable, sometimes invaluable. But its finding the balance between allowing people to comment and just getting the info out there, it seems to be there is a fuzzy line after which the comments seem to devalue the news story. No idea if its to do with the content (internet commentary is notoriously crap, irony intended.) Or perhaps its the sheer number of comments.

    Personally, my opinion is my own, I know it is of only passing interest to others (if at all.) You do get people who become quite petulant at the notion their opinion may not be as important to others as it is to them (which I find entertaining.) On the other hand, some contributors really do add to the site.

    No idea where the balance it. I know that with the internet, sites come and go, wax and wane etc. Maybe its time for NNS to wane (or wax, I get them mixed up.)

    For now though? I'd just censor out anything litigious. I'd also think about only having comments on opinion pieces.

  5. Conan

    Numptynet Scotland is a waste of the ether 99% rubbish and the other 1% even more rubbish.
    the amount of Nats been moderated on that site is massive and they all cry over it sob! sob! sob!.
    the fact is that site has its own agenda and allows comments which is in keeping with what they want you to see(Err! Censorship).
    The Nat loony is just a smokescreen for the real reason.

    Still on the plus side for us Unionists the home??? of the Nationalists have came out and admitted the Cybernats are a stain on the Scottish nation.

    so all we got a do is find a Cybernat sitting peacefully minding their own business poke them with a big knobbly stick..
    And when they react jump back and say 'Look see how those Nationalist behave' and then we Unionist rush in save the day..Brill eh!

    'the Scottish Secretary a cunt' well a Tory placeman which i spose is the same thing.

    Back in the olden days The Scotsman comments page yes! well! I was raped there many times by big hairy Nationalists(Highlanders cant change a habit of a lifetime can they).......great oafs

    Sighs!!!happy days!!!

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  7. I don't know about the mod policy on NutNet - they actually let me away with calling the deluded old fool "Dr Wilkie" of "Vienna" a "fantasist / hoaxster" - in fact quite a few Nats joined in giving him a, er, doing.

    But the mods there don't like their own stuff being trashed. E.g. a tedious, turgid, multi-page drone from Hazel Looney which you can demolish by pointing out a single well-placed fact. Oddly, such comments are never published.


    1. Hello Burford Van Stormm

    2. Ah, flamed.... My cup runneth over! Poor buffy, can't deal with up to 1500 words.


      Hazel Looney... oh, the wit, the wisdom...the imagination it must've taken for that massive leap....

  8. I dont think the NNS team should remove comments unless they are rude, rascist, sectarian or inciting hatred, which ofcourse hardly any are, so dont know whats going on there.
    I dont agree with you Nikostratos. If Scotland had a fair and balanced media then the cybernat community would quieten down, and if you ever read the Daily Mail and see some of the Scottish hatred that the paper produces and the abusive anti Independce and anti Scottish comments it returns, and then deletes any polite comments in favour of Scotland, then you would have more grievance! But this has always been the British way, Scotland has had 300 years of bullying.

  9. All you people coming from Newsnet; please comment, I won't edit you, you are safe here...

  10. Thanks Smee, you really made my point there...

  11. I have been in pre-moderaton on NNS for four months so I know about the disappearing posts. It seems to be a function of how busy the moderator(s) is/are. I suspect that if the moderation queue gets too long the old ones fall off the stack and if you require to be pre-moderated you get pushed further and further up 'til - Pouf the Magic Dragon. Sad really.

  12. Saw your comments on NNS, Conan, and tried to reply but it seems to have been referred to the Kirk Session again.

    I am disapponted that I now seem to be anathema to them as I have never posted anything that is seriously out of order. Frivolous and light-hearted, yes, but not racist or abusive like some.

    I believe that NNS has been and still could be an invaluable source of information about the politics, culture and history of Scotland. But hey-ho!

    If NNS goes all parochial, as I fear, it will be a loss.

    BTW - Good to see you're still getting all the Unionists to read your blog. Maybe the message will eventually sink in.

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  14. Deleted because of a typo. Here is what I meant to say:

    I love Niko's stance of total innocence. Unionist abuse = good. Nationalist abuse = bad. But of course, unionists have the RIGHT to abuse their opponents. It's a matter of mote, beam and all that.

    However, I have a hard time seeing how one can complain about Salmond being called Hitler, Mussolinii and Mugabi and the entire SNP party being labeled as Neo-Fascist (on the floor of parliament) and turn around and use similar abuse. Of course, it won't keep Newsnet from being called names. Niko and his ilk will call anyone who is for independence names. But it should be name calling and not truth.

    I'm sorry but I think moderation is required and called for. I know this won't make me popular, but it's an honest opinion.

    As long as the MSM is seriously biased against the nationalists, and Newsnet and other such online publications will be absolutely necessary to try to achieve something like balance. Like their moderation or not, they are necessary.


  15. another NNS refugee28 February 2012 at 15:22

    JR. I think the problem with your idea that NNS are trying to just maintain the balance is that it has actually become the type of beast that it's fighting against ( mainly the Unionist BBC).
    NNS blocks anything that fails to confirm their narrow view of the world. They regularly write stories supporting the 'renewables revolution' which is just another facet of the global warming scam. Long articles by global warming scammers with more holes than a Greek bailout are allowed to pass unquestioned.
    Similar to their take on Saint Alex who I agree is the best leader in the UK but he's not perfect He's got the windmills and renewables wrong. They're just wastes of money creating fake jobs. Their love of the EU and mass immigration is similarly allowed to go unchallenged. And don't get me started on their pathetic justice policies with mass murderers released and blocks put on any debate on the subject.
    Kenneth Roy pops his head above the parapet with slight pops at the FM and is shot to pieces.
    So although I'll continue to read their stories, I won't look at the comments as they're just psycophantic rubbish. Which is a great pity.

  16. Hmm! and J. R. Tomlin will now give us all a link to where I abused someone and called them names.......I'm waiting

    still for a person who agrees with the use censorship in aid of duping the masses its the accusation which counts...the truth a necessary casualty

  17. Conan

    she not realise we were once lovers??

  18. Congratulations Niko, that is the strangest thing you have ever said, and by the Flying Spaghetti Monster, you have said some strange things...

    1. I'll tell you conan the strangest things are the unsaid ones they just clatter round me mind driving me...well strange.....

      Two Loves

      What is thy name?' He said, 'My name is Love.'
      Then straight the first did turn himself to me
      And cried, 'He lieth, for his name is Shame,
      But I am Love, and I was wont to be
      Alone in this fair garden, till he came
      Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill
      The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.'
      Then sighing, said the other, 'Have thy will,
      I am the Love that dare not speak its name.'

  19. Newsnet Scotland has two major problems for me. The first is that, while it was funny at first to read alternative versions of news items that took a blatantly pro-indy bias as opposed to the blatantly anti-indy bias given through the MSM, it's a joke that has worn pretty thin. I'm not saying all articles do this, but a fair number drift into making convoluted points, sometimes to the extent of just looking petty. Just because the MSM does it, does not mean a site purporting to be a serious pro-indy alternative should utilise the same behaviour.

    The second problem is a lack of professionalism. Far too many articles are headed "by a Newsnet Reporter", which sounds a bit secretive. This secretive nature was really compounded when there was that bizarre inter-Newsnet war between the people who ran it, which included emails being sent out telling people there was a new version of Newsnet because someone had changed a password, and then not to use the old URL, and various other strange goings on. It all felt very much like when the far-left has one of their Trotskyist vs Marxist-Leninist splits, and completely implodes. I'm still not sure what exactly went on, but I really think they should have explained it to people.

    On top of that, some of the articles just aren't very well written. I realise they're written by volunteers on the whole, but that's no excuse.

    That's not to say it's completely worthless - that John Jappy article was extremely illuminating - but I find myself clicking "mark all as read" on my RSS feed most of the time.

  20. Newsnet is dying. Unreasonable censorship is killing it. Articles are being slanted. Increasingly I feel as if I am walking on broken glass when trying to comment there.

    I am concerned that it is not just the Independence cause that is under attack but Scotland as a whole that is being trashed by the MSM and its Unionist enemies.

  21. Doug and Anon.

    I'm not quite au fait with the politics behind the Newsnet "change of management".

    Is it the usual People's Front of Judea stuff?

    1. Fascist bully boys from way back!

    2. I'm not entirely sure myself, but whatever it was led to the creation of the Scottish Times, which I've never really bothered with. It looks far more slick, but has far less content, and I've always said that the number one rule of the internet is "content is king".

      There was a point where Newsnet was really serious about trying to become a professional service that could challenge the media, but a lot of that seems to have been from the people that now run Scottish Times.

      But as I say, I can't explain what actually happened, because they never explained it. All we can do is pontificate and guess based on some weirdly worded emails which talk about nameless parties without specifying who. I'll never understand why people think it's better to let minds run wild rather than to just state what the reality is.

  22. NNS is a good example of the difference between a news site and a forum: the two don't work together at all.

    Its hard to know about the censorship though, different mod's will have different thresholds of tolerance for commentary, (someone had a very low threshhold when the Apple guy died, must've been modding from his ipad.)

    I think NNS has reached a critical mass in terms of readers, there are now just to many for comments to be practical. It is increasingly difficult to pick out the sane voices in amongst the din. I understood a while ago that by commenting myself I was a part of the din, I wasn't saying anything unique or new so decided to shut up completely.

    In terms of quality of writing and reportage, you can't compare it with other news sites, it may tried to paint itself as a news site but its really only a blog with a large following.

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  24. Oh Niko;
    There would have been a time for such a word.
    To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury...

    1. Shakespeare, errrr Hamlet?

    2. OK

      I looked it up

      The Scottish play.

  25. Conan, life is, indeed a walking shadow, but whether we strive to strut or simply want to point our view across, it ill behoves anyone else to decide whether to say Yay or Nay to the promulgation of our, or anyone else's views. What I admire most about your often brilliant offerings is that they illustrate precisely the nonsensical approach to the facts behind the written word typified by the Scotsman.

    Niko is a humorist, whether deliberately or not is immaterial, the only way we can get to know him and others is to read their views and these views, no matter how nonsensical, arrogant or antagonistic, we should allow them to hold and express.

  26. Brownlie

    'Niko is a humorist' Well of course I am tongue firmly in cheek, foot in mouth, arm behind back
    and then to Blogg.........

    Any unintended offence is intended

    as Oscar wilde could of said of me

    I have nothing to declare but my ignorance

  27. Conan, if your posts are ignorance, bliss cannot be far away! Can I recommend the aid of a 15 year old Macallan? Keep up the good work and I'll meet you at Cochrane's?

  28. John.

    I only have the 10yr old sherry cask.

    Sorry, I only had the sherry cask...

  29. Thoroughly agree - it's a very disappointing development. It isn't new, though - they're ony formalising what has been policy for a long time. It is the only site (can't count The Guardian) which has deleted my posts. Sometimes I could see why (don't dare call our heroic boys in Iraq 'witless thugs') but other times I hadn't a clue. So I don't bother anymore.

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