Friday, December 12, 2008

I React to the Redact

Here's an update on the new commenting policy at the Chronicle of Higher Education's Brainstorm blog.

I posted a comment on Graham's most recent entry two nights ago and yesterday I fell victim to the new policy. My comment was summarily removed. I didn't make a copy of the comment but it was basically the same one that I made here yesterday,
And Graham has stumbled on a way to filter out the noise emanating from comments on his blog. The staff in the Old Main Propaganda Shop has conveniently archived his CHE blog on the psu domain without the comments. This allows them to promote Graham's pompous, and often pointless, pontificating to faculty, staff and students without the worry which comes from these underling's exposure to alternative viewpoints.
I'm not sure why I had my post removed, but last night I posted a new comment which has yet to be removed.

My post which came before AHA’s post at 10 was deleted. My guess is that the reason for the deletions was that I used a common Yiddish expression for an clueless individual. However, since the new policy does not offer us any feedback on the reason for deletion, I am left guessing. Trial and error might lead me in time to the rules which are now being enforced, but I would run the risk of banishment before having enough data to infer the rules. This is provided that such rules actually do exist and the deletions are not entirely arbitrary. How devilishly Orwellian.

I will now restate my original post without the humorous use of the Yiddish expression, in the hope that I have arrived at a rule with my first guess.

It would seem that Dr. Spanier has found a way to filter the noise which emanates from the comment section here at CHE by reproducing his blog posts on the psu domain without the comments or links to the original posts. This brilliant maneuver then allows his crack marketing department to promote these pearls of wisdom to the larger Penn State community without having to expose these impressionable people to rougher element that on occasion post here.

Dr. Spanier, my hat goes off to you and your staff for such out of the box thinking.

By the way, the Yiddish word I used is yutz, as in what a yutz.

For the record this isn't the first time I've had a comment critical of Graham removed from a forum. Very early in this blog's life the Centre Daily Times removed my comment along with other comments on an article about the elimination of the free legal service for students. I had always assumed that it was under pressure from Old Main.After yesterday's experience, I'm absolutely certain that it was. Thanks for the verification Graham.

And for the record, here's the comment that the CDT deleted-I had a copy of that one.

Spanier is well known to engage in machinations in order to further his interests in the name of Penn State. Consider his use of the UniSCOPE learning community to end run a Faculty Senate committee which was blocking his efforts to weaken tenure and promotion guidelines. Or his orchestration of the replacement of the Dickinson Law School Board of Governors which had blocked his plan to move the law school from Carlisle to University Park. We can’t forget that he had two tenured professors who were outspoken critics of Penn State policies, Nona Gerard at Altoona and Mohammed Nouri at Wilkes-Barre, fired in advance of the Middles States Accreditation process. In that case, a crony who had carried water for him in the Faculty Senate was on the standing committee which recommended dismissal. Since it is a standing committee, Spanier knew prior to the charges being lodged who would be hearing the case. Then he pulled the plug on funding for the student run radio station about a week after they interviewed Gerard. Last year he pulled the plug on the USG after they became outspoken critics of high tuition. Student affairs channeled private funds to students to help in the process of dismantling the USG.

This brings me to my point. When Spanier or his minions give an innocuous explanation of one of their actions they do not deserve the benefit of the doubt. If I were a reporter I’d start to dig into who the attorney was advising. For example, he may have been giving advice to USG members concerning the administration. On the other hand, his dismissal may have been a preemptive move.
As I said here on the blog after that comment was deleted," would appear that there is no free speech when Spanier is the object of criticism. "

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

No comments: