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Fair comments?

Posted on August 18, 2013 by

We’ve been getting quite a lot of emails and other messages recently from people complaining about what they perceive to be heavily biased moderation of comments on the website of the Herald. We haven’t done anything about them because most of them lacked any supporting evidence, but today we decided to gather some.

heraldmasthead

And what we discovered was pretty disturbing.

Earlier today we noted that the Herald seemed determinedly disinclined to let its readers know the source of figures quoted by other commenters from our Panelbase poll of this month. A short while after publishing that post, though, it seemed we’d been belatedly but clearly proved wrong.

herald67comments1117amsunday

As you’ll see if you click the image, at 11.16 this morning the Herald had cleared a comment from Wings Over Scotland reader Derick Tulloch, answering the day-old question of Herald user Alex Sloan. (Which, you can see at the bottom of the screen and by checking the timestamps, he’d repeated after not receiving an answer.)

All well and good, then, though it didn’t explain why our own attempts at answering Mr Sloan’s question had fallen foul of the moderators. Except then we noticed a comment in our own pages from Mr Tulloch, and had another look.

herald67comments1428sunday

That’s the same page three hours later. Mr Tulloch’s answer has vanished. But why?

Some readers had copied us in on their email responses from the Herald’s Group Digital Editor, one Calum MacDonald, which were often somewhat snappy and brusque in tone. A recurring theme is rather indignant reference to the claim that “we are unashamed in having uniquely rigorous posting rules, and applying them fairly”, accompanied by a link to said rules.

heraldcomments

The Herald’s comment rules can be read here. If any readers can suggest to us any way in which Mr Tulloch’s comment of this morning (which to our eyes was entirely clean, highly relevant, non-inflammatory and published under a real name) breaches them, we’re sure many confused Herald users might find it helpful.

As it happened, we’d already dropped Mr MacDonald a line ourselves. This is it:

“Hello Calum. I’m not going to get into the whole broader debate about which comments and commenters are and aren’t allowed to post on the Herald.

Most of mine – not abusive, not in breach of any published rules, and submitted under my own name – don’t seem to make it even though I’ve been posting on the Herald for about four years now and one would have imagined that was sufficient time for you to “know you well enough”, but clearly it’s up to you what you allow and whether that includes certain pro-Union individuals whose comments are often personally insulting and bordering on trolling.

I’d be grateful, however, if you could clear up a single specific example for me. On Ian Bell’s most recent opinion column, a reader mentioned the figure of 67% of Scots who don’t believe the Unionist parties’ promises of more powers in the event of a No vote. Another reader demanded repeatedly to know the source of this figure, and I sought to enlighten him.

A first attempt, which noted that I wouldn’t be allowed to post a link but suggested a method of Googling which would direct him to the poll (“panelbase scotland 67%”) doubtless fell foul of your moderators’ hyper-sensitivity to anything which could be construed as even the mildest and most indirect criticism of the Herald’s comment policy. So I had a second try a few hours later. It read, in its entirety:

“From a Panelbase poll last week.”

It had no more success than the first effort. If you could possibly spare a moment to let me know which of your rules those six words contravened, I shall take greater care in future to behave in an acceptable manner.

Regards,
RSC”

We’ll let you know if we hear anything back.

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    120 to “Fair comments?”

    1. redcliffe62 says:

      Not easy when other than thru censorship you cannot defend your argument.
      Freedom of the press is an issue in Pyongyang. It seems to be the same issue in Edinburgh which is sad indeed.

    2. McHaggis says:

      I have pretty much stopped adding comments.
       
      Although roughly half of mine get published and stay published, often, they are many hours or even a day before appearing and it mostly destroys any relevance.
      Of the other half that don’t get posted I would suggest more than 95% don’t break any rules at all.
       
      I am fairly certain if I changed my name to John MacIntyre OBE and regularly posted comments doing nothing more than slating ‘Alex Salmond’ then every one would be posted immediately.
       
      The herald has come close once or twice to showing balance, but I reckon behind the scenes and at its core, its pretty much heavily slanted to the Union.

    3. frankieboy says:

      So at the Herald its not what you know, but who. Smacks of cronyism to me.

    4. Rod Mac says:

      For those readers  that thought the Herald , Sunday or otherwise was beginning to show a slight leaning towards balanced and fair reporting please note the above.
      not one of the MSM or broadcasters or radio stations can be trusted to deliver a fair and balanced Referendum debate.
      It is verging on theft of democracy in Scotland.
      If Unionists think stealing a Referendum will somehow “kill the SNP dead ” and resume normal Labpour dominance post 2014 you are sadly and dangerously mistaken.
      Winston Churchill I believe famously said “You cannot look forwards without first looking backwards”
      Peoples who have their democracy stolen usually end up allowing their frustrations boil over and take their democracy back from the ones that stole it in the first place.
      Unionists should remember that when  twisting and denying ,lying and obstructing fair debate.

    5. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      The last bastion of unionism against Scottish Independence i.e. deception is being eroded. They know scare mongering isn’t going to work. Now it looks like pretending there’s going to be more powers is going the same way.
      At least their media puppets  are hanging on to the bitter end. Don’t print the truth, no matter what.  
       

    6. mogatrons says:

       You’ll never shame them into fairness Stu, but at least you can expose their bias to a much wider readership than their own …
      … and yet they continue to wonder why their circulation and readership figures plummet. [facepalm]

    7. Rod Mac says:

      These are the same people that bleat and greet when something like Levenson comes along every other decade.
      These are the ones that tell us how important freedom of the press, and freedom of speech are ,then the very same hypocrites use censorship every day to keep the British ruling class in situ.
      There is another phrase give them enough rope and they will hang themselves.
      They have had enough rope .
       

    8. Tony Little says:

      Rev.  Just looked (I had planned to leave a comment) and there are now NO COMMENTS at all.  HoHum!

    9. Peter A Bell says:

      My own comments rarely make it past the Herald’s Guardian’s of The One Truth. But I always publish them elsewhere – Referendum 2014, Facebook etc. – so I will not be silenced.
       
      Might I suggest that others who are regularly frustrated by the heavy-handed moderating on mainstream media sites might like to copy their text and post it as a comment on the relevant link at Referendum 2014. If the article in question is not featured you can always suggested using the Scoop.it facility or by emaii.

    10. Tony Little says:

      Missed EDIT: @frankieboy – Oh Dear, I seem to be a ‘favoured one’ over at the herald.  Should I stand in the corner? 😉

    11. BillDunblane says:

      Unfortunately for the Herald, the recent introduction of voting on reader’s posts has shown the real weight of opinion.
       
      I also have been virtually banned from posting on the Herald – any comments I made, if they were allowed at all, were delayed by at least several hours, and on one occasion two days! – Trying to debate with other users is impossible if they post on Sunday and my reply doesn’t appear until Tuesday.
       
      I post fairly regularly on many sites, many within the same ‘Disqus’ system that is used by the Herald, and adhere to the various site rules (within reason!).   Even the BBC accepts my posts in real-time!
       
      The Herald has become a small ‘clique’ of approved posters, and anyone else is treated like an outsider.
       
      It cannot therefore be representative of opinion in any way.
       
      I look forward to the next set of sales figures.

    12. Rod Mac says:

      Great idea Peter and I will in future do that.
      Incidentally an absolute pleasure to meet you and the others on Friday night.
      (I  trust you noted  the famous word in the comment)

    13. Juteman says:

      They’re almost as bad as NNS! 🙂

    14. Davy says:

      The laddie must have been trained by the “labour hame” moderation team:
      Labour hame moderation rules.
      1. Dinna post anything.
      2. If you dae post something make sure it agrees with labour hame article.
      3. If you dae post something that disagrees with article by accident, dinna dae it again.
      4. Never reply to accidental posted comment as their bound to be lying.
      5. Dinna post anything.  (please)

    15. Tony Little says:

      EDIT: Excuse the muppet!  I looked at the wrong Bell article.  My only excuse is that I was up ay 3.00 am to catch a plane.  8-/

    16. les wilson says:

      This  type of censure is endemic throughout the the Scottish MSM, and of course the BBC in buckets in particular.
      Censure, twisting of facts,manipulation of data, and on occasions downright made up lies. This is what Scots have to put up with many times a day.
      The staff of these “Unionist ” organisations should hang their heads in shame as they comply to their Westminster agenda to “Contain” the aspirations of Scotland. in preference to telling the truth the way it is,to the electorate.
      Why,this need to keep us?
      well there is no doubt they will be poorer in many ways without us,which Westminster politicians know very well, and it is just dawning on the English people, those who grew up thinking of us as drunks and benefit junkies, that wait a minute “this would effect our lives”, well in many ways it would.
      Of course we could look forward to a new dawn also, but with optimism.
      Nevertheless, to deny a democratic Scotland the right to look after our own affairs, is unacceptable
      I only hope “their day will come” When their rags go down the Swanee!, and the BBC have to abide by democratically accepted rules, no matter how it sticks in the throat of our overlords at Westminster. 

    17. Andy-B says:

      A clean cut sign of bias, at the Herald, no wonder its US owners Gannet are enforcing job cuts, (Source Newsnet Scotland).

    18. Tony Little says:

      OK, posted a reply to Alex as such
       
      Alex if you haven’t found the answer to your question yet (I thought it had already been posted) there was panelbase poll last week which gave those figures as one of the answers.
      I am sure it will be available on their site
       
      Screen shot taken.  Do you want it Rev, and if so, how do I do that?
       

    19. Andy-B says:

      O/T Rev.
       
      I see Andrew Marr in the Sunday Mail, dumping his gums again in a two page spread about independence, (Perfect timing for his new book) Marr says Quote
      “The real question, given all the undoubted risk, is if a separate Scottish State, can make enough difference to ordinary life to justify the gamble”.
      What gamble? arent we already in a poor way under Westminster?.

    20. Iain says:

      The crux of the matter is accountability. I’ve no idea what Moderator MacDonald’s view on Scottish independence is, but the black and white evidence formed by his own censoring hand is pretty damning. BBC Scotland stops allowing comments on its political blog without a by-your-leave or justification. Similarly it says it has no duty to be balanced about the referendum until the 16 week run up, again no reasoning given. The MSM studiously ignores a poll asking respondents whether they would join the Union as it now stands, while breathlessly reporting attitudes to red trousers and royal spawn. And the only thing that can pull them up about it is folk on the internet.
      It’s an irony that what makes Cybernats is not pathological, aggressive nationalism, but a runtish, biased media and a self-satisfied, complicit establishment. Well done chaps!

    21. HandandShrimp says:

      I have never posted posting anything either on the Hootsman or the Herald. The Hootsman because the standard of debate there is shockingly poor and the Herald because I wouldn’t last 5 minutes. For all its bias (mainly Severin) the Guardian moderators do cut me a fair amount of slack. It is by far the best board for both debate and in terms of layout (despite recent best efforts to muck about with it). 
       
      Never been enticed by the Telegraph because the starting point is so often a piece of absolute drivel from Cochrane and Times is behind a pay wall. I occasionally add a piece to the Mail but only to see if I can win the red arrow game. 

    22. Andy-B says:

      Another O/T comment sorry Rev..I do apologise
       
      Less than average actor John Hannah, has put the boot into Scotland and Scots, declaring Scotland “A grim place to live in, Hannah, goes on to say Scots are more miserable than anybody else, this nonentity, in the acting world, adds Scotlands weather leads to misery, alcoholism and violence.

    23. Peter A Bell says:

      Friday night was a real treat. Well worth the journey from Perth.

    24. liz says:

      I post on the Herald website and although I am always ‘awaiting moderation’, I usually get posted.
      This is in contrast to about one year ago when I rarely got published despite obeying – as far as I could see – their moderation rules.
      I complained to the PCC as they had allowed remarks to be posted which definitely broke their rules whilst refusing to post mine.
      I informed the Herald that I had sent a complaint to them and despite the PCC siding with the Herald, I now seem to be allowed to comment.
      It could just be a coincidence

    25. Bawheid Bragg says:

      Despicable, but I guess unsurprising. Thank God for people like Ian Bell, Peter Bell and Stuart Campbell who work hard to find the TRUTH.
       

    26. Dcanmore says:

      I cannot for the life of me get a comment past The Herald moderators these days. For the past month or so it has been virtually impossible, yet previous to this I had no problem at all. All of the my comments adhere to the rules but of course they are critical and ask questions in relation to the article. Today (before seeing this blog) I attempted to comment on the Iain McWhirter page but to no avail after several tries at it.

    27. Robert says:

      “Free Press” doesn’t necessarily mean “Fair”

    28. Andy-B says:

      Deputy SNP Nicola Sturgeon has accused no campaigners of running scared, after Con/Dem Ministers refused to go head to head with her, on live tv.
      The Deputy First Minister, will clash solely with SLAB’s deputy minister Anas Sarwar next month, on STV.
      , Sturgeon said “It speaks volumes when SLAB are prepard to do the Westminster Governments dirty work,” “Sturgeon added that Sarwar had been sent into bat for the “Bedroom Tax”.
      The BT camp spokesman replied calling Sturgeons comment “Desperate”.
      Are their no depths SLAB will stoop too, how they can look at themselves in the mirror, in the morning is beyond me.

    29. Kenny Campbell says:

      The ever angry Terry Kelly has a similar post on his crazy blog, he says no one is listening to his rants. I was put on moderation for previously taking Terry to task and my posts have had about a 30% pass rate since then.
       
      Best poster for entertainment factor is Richard Mowbray, in my opinion a bat crazy retired academic who posts crazy theories and gets them published in the letters page. If he isn’t a plant he is a gift to the Herald letters page.
       
      There is even a crazy guy who says he has an OBE and just castigates Salmond continuously in a sort of Victor Meldrew style.

    30. Kenny Campbell says:

      To be fair to John Hannah there are plenty of grim places in Scotland so I would agree to some extent, he was himself and EKB boy. The weather can also be pretty crappy however it has plenty of plus points as well. I don’t see why we should take it personal, its not like he is not aware of how it can be.

    31. Steve McKay says:

      Alex Sloans question was directed at me and another person who had replied to my post.   I tries to respond but after three of my comments quoting Panelbase had recently been deleted and my staus was changed to being pre-moderated my reply never made it through.
      I have been trying to get an answer as to why my comments were deleted – heres the correspondence so far;
       
      Steve

      Most of what you say about your comments I can’t disagree with, and thanks for the positive feedback about the Herald.

      But you’re asking for the sort of personalised critique I don’t have the resource to offer.

      Simple rule: if the moderating team delete a post, don’t repost it. We don’t do a lengthy appeals process….

      Calum

      —–Original Message—–
      From: Steve McKay
      Sent: 16 August 2013 19:10
      To: Calum MacDonald
      Subject: Re: Deleted comments

      Thanks for your reply Calum.

      You have been very good at explaining where I have breached the Heralds comfort zone in the past.   This time, as I mentioned before, I cannot see how my comments were irrelevant to the article or broke any rules.

      It is rather frustrating to spend time reading the Herald, considering the issues and debating on your forum if the line between what is permissable or not is not clearly defined.  I attempt to be polite, well informed and honest in everything I post – I think you can see from my posting history, and the response of fellow readers, that this is the case.

      So – I politely request that, when you have time over the coming week , you extend me the courtesy of explaining why my recent posts were deleted and my status changed.

      A final comment – I think that the Heralds coverage of the political situation in Scotland has improved greatly over the last year.   I understand that the paper is under huge pressure and whole heartedly believe that your more balanced approach will, if maintained and broadened, reap great dividends.   I look forward to reading about, and participating in, the debate you facilitate in the future.

      Regards

      Steve McKay

      On 16 aug 2013, at 19:40, Calum MacDonald wrote:

      Steve

      Quick reply, because I’m trying to get home after a very long week.

      In essence, the moderation issue which relates to you is a time/resource one for me: if a poster is given pre-approved status, breaks the rules on a number of occasions, gets warnings, promises to behave, then re-posts things which have been deleted from threads, it’s no longer feasible for me to maintain that privileged status on what is OUR site.

      You might get frustrated at moderating delays, but I am able to retain the control which is essential to protect the integrity of our deliberately rigorous rules.

      I can’t spare any more time for lengthy feedback; my only recommendation would be to ensure you follow the rules meantime and, if you wish, ask me to review your status. I can’t guarantee when that would happen – moderation is not my team’s primary function.

      Regards,

      Calum

      —–Original Message—–

      From: Steve McKay

      Sent: 16 August 2013 11:18

      To: Calum MacDonald

      Subject: Deleted comments

      Hi Calum

      Any chance you can get back to me about my three deleted comments yesterday and why my status was changed?

      Regards

      Steve McKay

    32. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I’ll point this out again. For £10,000 you could print 100,000 eight page newspapers.
      It could be a called “The Lying Bastards” or some other pithy title and distributed about the country by merely being left in newsagents shops, garages, pubs etc. for folk to pick up. It would surely be widely read if it was hard-hitting enough 

    33. David Milligan - a very Sovereign Scot says:

       
      This is my experience of the issue……………….

      From: David Milligan [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
      Sent: 04 August 2013 09:09
      To: GL-HeraldScotland-Customer-Service
      Subject: Moderation question
       
      Dear Sir or Madam,
      I have made several reply comments to the Herald’s online articles.  I am a supporter and promoter of Scottish independence, I do not disguise that fact and where other folk have their comments displayed in a timely fashion, I wait several hours and sometimes the comment is never published.
      I think if you look back on everything that I’ve submitted that I have never used bad language and my posts tend to be a logical argument to that proposed by a pro-union supporter thus creating balance in most cases.
      If I have been banned or I’m under some sort of special moderation policy, may I ask why?
      There’s a lot at stake next year and we expect that the Herald will do its part to convey both sides of the argument.  This is our Scotland, mines and yours.  I would not try to shut anyone up no matter what their stance and I expect the same treatment from others.
      Can you take five minutes out to respond to me on this as it’s become a confusing issue.
      Thank you.
      Kindest regards,
      David Milligan Lvss
      PS my signature was previously “David Milligan – a very Sovereign Scot” until I formed the now well known “League of very Sovereign Scots” where I adopted the shortened version “Lvss”.  People belonging to the group either use “Vss” or “Lvss” as their suffix. 

      From: Calum MacDonald [javascript:DeCryptX('1D3d1m2w3p0.1N3d0c1E3r3q1b2n1e2B3k1f1s0a1m2f1b3q3g3w1j2o0e1t0.1d2q203x2m')
      Sent: 05 August 2013 10:15
      To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
      Subject: RE: Moderation question
       
      Mr Milligan
       We make it clear that we will grant pre-approved (live posting) status once we get to know posters well and they demonstrate familiarity/compliance with our deliberately strict forum rules.
       Your track record suggests that you meet the above criterion and I’ll change your status when you post next.
       Hope that helps,
       Regards,
       Calum Macdonald
      Group Digital Editor
      calum [dot] macdonald [at] heraldandtimes [dot] co [dot] uk

      Thank you Calum, very much appreciated.

      Kindest regards,

      David Milligan Lvss
      ——————————————————————————

      Since that time I don’t think I’ve had any problems. It has only been a few weeks though.  I hope this helps folk.  We cant force a newspaper to behave but we’ll catch more wasps with sugar than we ever can with vinegar.

    34. Stuart Black says:

      To be honest, Newsnet is just as bad moderation wise. It seems that, like the Herald, no criticism, however mild, is tolerated.
      They had a piece the other day criticising Naughtie for some comments he made about Edinburgh and, on reading the article c/w misleading headline worthy of the Hootsmon, I felt moved to sign in and comment. The gist of it was that most people would agree with Naughtie’s comments – Princes Street does have some of shite shops – and hatchet jobs of this nature had no place in Newsnet, finishing off with something like “Newsnet is better than this”.
       
      This was posted immediately after a regular poster had said something along the same lines, but it never appeared. I can understand abusive and nasty posts being moderated but surely we are all adult enough to point out small failings without falling out?
       
      Incidentally, my nicest comment that never made it past the Herald mods was
      “Great article Mr Bell, thanks.”

    35. Steve McKay says:

      ps – the email time stamps look a bit wonky in my post due to the time difference between Swedish and UK time.   The first email is obviously the most recent.   Apologies for typos – sent off before I was done and edit function does not seem to be working!?

    36. Marcia says:

      Having read the comments here about the Herald Forums why is it when I  read the comments below the articles that certain individuals with a gong seem to have their comments allowed although they seem to break their rules all the time? Answers on a postcard.  
       
      In bumping into old friends and colleagues in the past few days it has cheered me up to find people who aren’t that really interested in politics now mentioniing the referendum without me bringing the subject up. Comment such as ‘daft scare stories’ or that ‘we would be better off Independent ‘ being said frequently. There is movement away from the default No position to Yes.

    37. Tony Little says:

      UPDATE.  My post alluded to in post passim has vanished.  Another I also made just after is still there.  It seems that the PanelBase Poll did not in fact take place.  It also seems that Winston Smith is alive and well.
       
      I have not yet tried to post again, so do not know if I have been relegated to pro-moderation for my sins. 

    38. Stuart Black says:

      Marcia, I too have had an email from Calum McDonald stressing how his rules must be adhered to and how high their standards are, but the ease with which Mr OBE maintains his constant feed of bile and invective gives the lie to that particular statement.

    39. wee162 says:

      Hate to be potentially defending something like this, but I am aware that on The Guardian all it takes is a few people reporting a post and it is then removed before a moderator has even looked at it. Could be there’s a similar policy with the Herald. So it might be that there’s just some readers who take offence at any pro Indy sentiment and press the report button by default when they see one. If there’s a few people doing that then you will get to the point where it’s all being moderated.
      Now personally speaking if that is the case I’d be looking at who is doing the reporting and have them on an ignore list so it doesn’t automatically lead to a post being removed.

    40. Thepnr says:

      As a newbie to posting on “newspapers” websites and others such as WOS. I, due to my naivety was gobsmacked that a post I made wouldn’t be published. The first time this happened only a couple of weeks ago I emailed the Rev asking for a WOS view on censorship.
      Got a nice reply but it is no longer important, I now realise what I am up against in just trying to express a personal opinion. The “man in the street” like me doesn’t have a clue as to how much his opinion will be censored. Absolutely disgraceful and all the more reason for voting YES.

    41. Juteman says:

      The Herald seems to give a reply, even if it is nonsense.
      The response to my 3 emails to NNS asking why I was banned are as follows……
       
       

    42. Kenny Campbell says:

      OBE and The Midlands Muse are the engine that feeds the comments turnover…they cannot be banned for that reason alone.

    43. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      A long time ago, when the Herald had an open policy on their web sites, I was banned and it became evident that a lot of other pro indy bloggers were been being sifted out also. They shut down their blogs.
      I stopped reading their junk, which progressed in parallel in a downwards spiral to their print sales.
      When they restarted their blog commentary I was intrigued whether they could be testing the water for their editorial position. I found no evidence of such and stopped reading their online edition.
      Along the paywall and I thought maybe they were getting serious about their indy position and with a couple of Sunday herald articles I thought they were adjusting their position. No bloody way.
      They are not pro indy and anything they have done to give us that impression is a puff pastry of nuance and obfuscation.
      Don’t buy the inky fingers version of this propaganda penny dreadful or subscribe to read online. It just encourages the bastartds.
      Desert them, let them dessicate, (see classy double entendre there?), shrivel and die.
      As with the current bunch of troughers, collabos and political pygmies who represent the Union parties, they will need to be swept into the sealed landfill of Scotland’s past so that new proper democratiic institutions and a true free unbiased representative Press can arise.
      They need to fail and be interred to let their betters replace them.
      Go, I say to them, you have stayed to long to no great good.
       
       
       
       
       

    44. CameronB says:

      A free press in Britain?
       
      Is it possible to know if information is being suppressed by a DA-Notice?
       
      What is ‘National Security’?

      It is a phrase widely used in legislation, but there is in fact no definition. As far as the DA-Notices are concerned, although no definition of National Security is given, the Committee has provided instead a context of scale, that the threat must involve ‘grave danger to the State and/or individuals’, and it is in this context that areas of National Security covered with some precision in the Notices should be read.

       
      http://www.dnotice.org.uk/faqs.htm#19

    45. pmcrek says:

      Its rather ridiculous, they are basically cutting down their own web traffic to support of their own editorial policy and going even further into financial ruin as a result.

    46. Indy_Scot says:

       
      This makes BBC Scotland look impartial and balanced; at least they censored both sides of the debate.
       
      I’m here till Thursday.

    47. Edward Andrews says:

      I had an interesting run in with them. They published an absolute load of rubbish about the Church including  the information that The Moderator of the General Assembly was the Head of the Church. I disagreed and was heavily edited.
       I further argued with the use of the word “admitted” as in the headline that Ian Banks admitted that he had cancer, and was modearted
       I engaged in a correspondence with Calum McDonald, and eventually I got a reply from Magnus Llewellin
       answering another question about the failure to supply the paper to the Highlands. Since then I have been unable to post as I have been effectively moderated out of existence.
       I don’t think that Mr McDonald is against independence, merely anything which is contrary to his views.
       I finished my letter
       
      Your coverage of the Church has been especially poor. Once upon a time you had something and it was good, and actually at times had an effect on the life of the Church. I know that future Principal Clerks and Deans of the Chapel Royal were at least consulted if they didn’t actually write the stuff. Now you recycle press releases from people like the Tron
       
      It is little wonder that your circulation has been overtaken by some of the Blogs, simply because they write fresh challenging materials in decent English, while you represent what is worst about the Main line Media.
       
       Please have a word with the sub editors so that people making a distressing personal statement are not admitting – you admit shameful things. Get your reporters to have some understanding of what they are writing, no more moderator as head of the Church. No more formulaic writing which merely fills up space. Stop recycling press handouts. These are all bad habits which can creep up if no one bothers pointing them out.
       
       I wonder if I annoyed him?
       

    48. HandandShrimp says:

      The fact that OBE, MM, Rosa and the entire Kelly family can post at will says more than any pusillanimous excuses from the Herald as to why other posts are heavily moderated. The Herald is running scared because it knows perfectly well that there is a strong and large pro-independence presence that isn’t afraid to pen to paper and finger to keyboard.

    49. Jiggsbro says:

      The rules do say “Material which we consider to be defamatory, inflammatory or offensive in any way is liable to be deleted.”. Clearly, facts about the union or people’s views on the union are likely to be inflammatory and will offend unionists.

    50. Vronsky says:

      Leather Weekly hasn’t come out for independence, and I’m worried that this could be influential.  It has much, much higher circulation than the Parish Herald.  So are S&M fans plotting against us-  just to be harsh, only for our pleasure?  Oooooo-oh, I hope so.
       
      Has WoS indignation collapsed into self-satire?  How much whipping do you guys need to get off?  Keep whippin ’em Rev, they love it.  And keep jacking up (off?) the bill.

    51. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      So many threads today but someone somewhere said that John Hannah gave Scotland the No Mean City thumbs down in his inner vision of paradise.

      I am underwhelmed.

      Who cast him as Rebus in what must be an Oscar entry in the Guinness Book of Casting Failures?

      Ken Stoat looked like, spoke like, lived like, took a heart attack like and probably smelled like the real Rebus.

      end of
       
       
       
       
       

    52. Albalha says:

      I’ve just had a look at the newest comments under the Bell article that are there, nearly all are pro YES. I’m a bit confused.
      There ‘reasoning’ may be they don’t want promote other media, ie this website and so the poll, I don’t know but from that quick look the comments btl don’t seem ultra unionist.
      Anyway have tried to post for the first time, referring somewhat obliquely to the interviews yesterday, I’ll see if it makes it or not.
      From those who do comment there how do you know if it has been rejected? I registered via Disqus.

    53. Steve McKay says:

      I got into hot water with the Herald back in July for openly quoting  NNS and Wings (I thought it was only polite to say where I had seen the information) – emails below – most recent first;
      Steve

      Re your note: as long as you’re clear that comments should not include material sourced from other sites, or refer to the moderating process, I can reinstate your pre-approved status.

      Note, though, that the benchmark is not what other commentators think – it’s the rules and the moderation team.

      Please advise,
      Calum Macdonald

      —–Original Message—–
      From: Steve McKay
      Sent: 28 June 2013 09:44
      To: Calum MacDonald
      Subject: Pre-approved status

      Hi Calum

      Can you please confirm how long my pre-approved status will be suspended for.   As you will appreciate it is virtually impossible to debate when it takes several hours for comments to appear.   

      I have posted well over one thousand comments without problems and most other commentators seem to think they are fine.  I do not resort to the rude or nasty tactics employed by others.

      I have also confirmed that I will refrain from mentioning other news sources etc again – I thought this only applied to posting links but clearly this was not the case.

      Best Regards

      Steve McKay

      On 24 jun 2013, at 11:26, Calum MacDonald wrote:

      Mr McKay

      They have been removed because they are sourced from other media. Our rules make it clear that we don’t have the capacity to check the content of other sites.

      We also are not in the business of allowing our platforms to be used to advertise “alternatives” to us, for blindingly obvious business reasons.

      And finally, you broke another rule by “insisting” through a pre-approved post that your deleted posts be reinstated.

      They won’t be, and I’ve suspended your pre-approved status for the above rule breaches.

      As I’ve previously warned you, we are unashamed in our determination to ensure the integrity of the forum.

      Regards,

      Calum Macdonald

       

    54. Rod Mac says:

      Well OBE and Midlands I find inflammatory , and defamatory.
      I would not pay them a red cent to the Herald , let alone the £2.99 they beg.
      Amazing that here the £7k was raised in a matter of hours .
      I bet the Herald does not even have £7k of subscriptions

    55. Peter says:

        MM,  JMobe, JR and the racist neo-nazi councillor from Renfrewshire plus their supporting cast of lesser unionist spam-bots can post any amount of filth and have it published without any problems.
        JMobe regularly posts outright and proven lies about the First Minister that are allowed even after people have complained about their defamatory nature.  The Herald moderators are proven liars and need to be exposed as such to a wider audience.

    56. alexicon says:

      Rod Mac says:
      18 August, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      Well OBE and Midlands I find inflammatory , and defamatory.
      I would not pay them a red cent let alone the £2.99 they beg.
      amazing that hre the £7k was raised in a matter of hours .
      I bet the Herald does not even have £7k of subscriptions
      Don’t forget Mr Peter Mosley who has conveniently dropped his location nowadays…Lytham St Anne. 

    57. Albalha says:

      @SteveMckay
      The business argument doesn’t surprise me, of course how consistent it is, who knows.
      I’ve now had a look at the comments below the Play Doh story and see the regular posters as others have pointed out, not very good level of debate is it. Maybe the Bell articles are less partisan due to the quality of his writing and analysis.

    58. HandandShrimp says:

      I have no big issue with Hannah deciding he prefers the palm trees of Vegas or wherever he lives these days. Our climate is challenging and people do get depressed at northern latitudes, it is a common problem from Canada to Vladivostok and all the way in-between. I think we because we are fighting for something we think will improve the lot of the Scottish people can get over-sensitive when people prefer the grass in another field. That will always happen, whether it is Gore Vidal preferring Paris to the States or Kate Beckinsdale preferring the US, people move for a variety of reasons.

    59. HandandShrimp says:

      On the Herald, I suppose they feel justified because they have an editorial line. I feel justified because I stopped buying the actual paper. The more of us that simply cancel our subscription the happier they will no doubt be that their cash register is unsullied by nationalist coin.

    60. alexicon says:

      There as me thinking it was only me who was getting heavily moderated on the Herald. Only 2 weeks ago I emailed Mr MacDonald [again] and received the standard reply.
      I have seen in the past Alex Salmond being accused of being a thief and a liar, from a certain Mr Kelly if my memory serves me right. This comment was allowed to stay under the Herald’s stringent rules.
      I’ve also noticed, as I’m sure many will have, that trying to post on a Gardham articles is all, but impossible, especially if you merely point out the truth, as apposed to his Labour spun ranting’s.
      Gardham thinks he’s being a bit fly by submitting articles minus his name or his god given looks, but the bile and spin in the anti SNP/Independence piece gives him away to easily.

    61. Molly says:

      RodMac , good title for a book if not already taken . ‘The theft of Democracy ‘ . Was registered for the Herald but after none of my comments being allowed ( mostly praising the fantastic work the Murray Family do for tennis behind the scenes) , gave up and unsubscribed . Plus life’s too short for the likes of trawling through Mobes nasty drivel about Alex Salmond day after day .

      Reading Murray Ritchies book , although I was aware of Labours control freakery of the press  , this book really brings home , how in the pockets the Scottish media were. What I wonder is , are they still afraid of incurring Labours wrath ? If they are , why?

      Labour in Scotland have little money so huge amounts of advertising is not going to be going the way of the newspapers. Even London Labour is in hock to the Co-op and the Unions could throw a spanner in the works at any time if they wanted to so it can’t be profit. You can meet more scary folk on a Friday night so it can’t be the wrath of big Gordy , the fear of being excluded from the loop in the future ? It can only be a choice to report ad nauseum any Labour press release, just as it is my choice not to hand over money to read it.

      O/T one of the tactics that comes out , when reading the book is, when difficult questions were being asked , the likes of Donald Dewar and Douglas Alexander went AWOL , 14 years later , they are still using this tactic – eh Johann ? Actually , it reads like a blue print for their Referendum Strategy . 

    62. Jock McDonnell says:

      Yup, I also fell oot wi Calum, if you check the readership stats for most read articles, it’s hardly worth bothering with the Herald now. Forums are almost unreadable due to OBE n Michael whits his name.

    63. gordoz says:

      Underdogs have absolutely no chance against confident front runner establishment big hitters.
      Boys against men in terms of formations & campaign. All over before its started really
      Sound familiar ??
      Tell that to KYLES ATHLECTIC who triumphed 4:3 over the mighty NEWTONMORE in shinty’s MacAuley Cup.
      Nobody gave them a chance not even the impartial BBC! well done to the boys from Cowal. Both sides a credit to this true Scottish game (BBC Alba)
      (Sorry for the digression guys)

    64. AlexMci says:

      @Peter Bell, agreed, I don’t get out much Peter , but enjoyed the company on Friday night immensely. I hope that it happens again soon. A meet at the Hill on September 21st for anyone who would like too is a must.

    65. Jon D says:

      I had noticed that a number of pro independence points with substantiated links I made on the Scotsman had not received any attention. ie no thumbs up/down- odd given that they’re mad for thumbs.
      My comment was visible to me whilst I was logged in, but not if using another computer. Is this why they have revemped their website. And, unsubsribing from the Scotsman and deleting ones account does not seem possible, (as mentioned here before). Dirty tricks afoot at the Scotsman also methinks. Can’t be bothered doing screenshots as the forum, although frequented by well informed pro-indy folk, has descended to a desperate level in the past few months

    66. mealer says:

      I don’t feel any need to comment on MSM websites,but have no great problem with those of you who do.As long as youre not neglecting other aspects of our work.There is a particular need for letters to be sent to European newspapers pointing out the Scottish media bias in Scotlands referendum.So if some of you who are blessed with another language would fire off a few emails it would be very helpful. Cheers.

    67. gordoz says:

      Catalans would be most sympathetic about press bias

    68. Steve McKay says:

      @Albalha
      I agree – I don’t have a problem with the Herald protecting business interests but should it extend to not being allowed to even mention other sites?  When I have posted links to other sites or recommended them and had the comment deleted I thought it was fair enough.
      I think the Herald is more balanced now than it was a year ago and the majority of people posting are strongly leaning toward independence (not quite as much as on NNS or WoS of course…).   I just ignore the most offensive / ignorant unionists these days.   This Panelbase censorship issue is pretty worrying and really irritates me – which is the reason for me posting about it here.   In general I think the Herald should be supported but it needs to sort this issue out.

    69. gordoz says:

      Lets face it they are all at it.
      Expect theyll all be looking for new jobs abroad after next year; wont want to stay in a newly reformed wee stupid independent country surley.

    70. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “if you check the readership stats for most read articles, it’s hardly worth bothering with the Herald now.”

      I didn’t know you could do that. Do you just mean the number of comments/tweets/Facebook likes?

    71. Crag Evans says:

      It is very interesting that in the Herald there are two regular commenters who always get posted; a certain OBE and a gentleman from Woking. They seem to be ably to say what they want and at all odd times of the day!
      i comment irregularly and am often not posted though I never get any reason why.
      Could it be that I am generally pro Independance?

    72. Albalha says:

      @SteveMcKay
      Until this article I’ve never really looked at the comments on the Herald. It’s interesting that over at the Guardian where I do comment they actively seem to encourage postings, information from other sources including so called on line rivals.

      Perhaps there are more backs against the wall at the Herald but surely a more wide ranging and open debate would drive more traffic their way, the business argument seems rather short sighted, as you suggest.

      Anyway looks like my first attempt to comment wasn’t accepted, doubt I’ll be bothering again! In it I didn’t actually mention this website but did mention ‘a crowd sourced poll’ and BBC Radio Scotland.

    73. drygrangebull says:

      Och, I know this of topic….kinda, we will not be able to say anything soon because we will all be putting an X on the official secrets act. Well if this bill goes through 
      http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2013-14/nationalservice.html
       

    74. Vincent McDee says:

      Is a hopeless case. To expect fair play from them is akin to believe in fairies.

      Is their playpen and the have the right to refuse admission. So do too the yes supporting sites, if in this case some are more zealots than others in drawing the line.

      Moderating fairly is a fine art implying a team of several mods, with alternative points of view, keen on respecting and making respect by eraser. It definitely needs: very (un)common sense, as few as possible and very plain English rules, plus a permanent and frequent REMINDER of them, as very few commenters even bother to.

      Some sites are much more open to be participated than others, supporting it’s social side as forum and meeting point, for talks and discussions among users. Some sites owners love and thrive on it, some others find it a waste of time.

      Fortunately for all of us WoS is one (and probably the best) of the earlier.

      NNS used to have the best working volunteerMod Team I’m aware of, with stricts rules about which comments should be allowed, edited or just puffed and a private room were others available members could be queried about particular cases, borderlines and conceptuals too. If decisions already made by the available, were later challenged by other mods, open discussions with quorum were organized and a final co-opted decision achieved and puffed were edited, edited made whole and allowed revised down.

      It was based on a simple concept: The site belongs to users and lets all have fun using it, within reason, and it was the Mod Team task to define that when applyng the rules. Benefit of the doubt was always granted, interference last resort, explanations sent to the commenter by email by the Team Coordinator, warnings and last chance too.

      Now is all gone. The new concept is: If the comment does not contribute to the article ignore it.
      O’course the NNS mod team is actualy composed not by 7 or 9, just 1/2 and harried.
      Owners own.
       
      PS: I used to play the game of guessing both the author and the labourmouth names, on the Herald’s articles headline, with regular success. The day I found myself guessing the author and the snp spokeperson based on the same…..Now I only visit if Peter Bell has scooped it. Shame, because Paul Kavanagh is just the best and his duggy amazing.

    75. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

       My post alluded to in post passim has vanished.”

      Tony, if you drop me a line via the Wings contact page I’ll let you know where to send that screenshot. Failing that, just upload it to something like Twitpic or Flickr and post the link as a comment.

    76. Shinty says:

      Sorry O/T,  just checked out the March for Indy website, should Wings Over Scotland not be on their list?  I’m sure we’d get a good few behind the banner – if nothing else it’s free advertising.

      http://independencerally.com/main/?page_id=1719

      Willing to donate to a Wings banner by the way.

    77. Geoff Huijer says:

      When they talk of the FREE press what they mean is
      that they are free to print whatever they like and free
      to delete any comments they don’t like.
       
      We, as customers, are certainly free to post what we
      like but as mentioned they are free to delete them
       
      ‘Free’ press my erse…

    78. Bill Fraser says:

      Sorry to report that I too have had my extremely moderate comments clipped too. Or (conspiracy theory alert) delayed so long to that they had lost any effect.

    79. Derick Tulloch says:

      Stuart,
      Thank you for that.  I do LOVE evidence.
      A further post I made a little later on the same thread, simply suggesting to Mr Sloan that the answers he seeks re the 67% are online, and not mentioning this website, or even Panelbase by name – has also been disappeared.
      A further post about constitutions is still there.  Well it was 5 minutes ago.  Looks like even breathing the same air as Wings is a hingin offence!
      I have bought the paper version of the Sunday Herald ever since it was established.  Yes, mainly to light the fire, but also because it is a decent paper.
      Not after today

    80. Bill Fraser says:

      Perhaps they think they can clip our wings.  (Not likely! )

    81. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Slightly O/T
      Does Iain Macwhirter live in Scotland. His piece in the Sunday Herald today is not bad but strangely uninformed in bits. The suggestion for instance that the YES campaign is “struggling” is taken as gospel down south but is actually just unionist spin.

    82. alexicon says:

      Vincent McDee says:
      It was based on a simple concept: The site belongs to users and lets all have fun using it, within reason, and it was the Mod Team task to define that when applyng the rules. Benefit of the doubt was always granted, interference last resort, explanations sent to the commenter by email by the Team Coordinator, warnings and last chance too.
      Now is all gone. The new concept is: If the comment does not contribute to the article ignore it.
       
      Not how I see it. The site did belong to the users before the volunteer moderators got involved. I was 1 of the early contributors, member 240, back in 2009(?) then there was a buzz about the site because you could write what you liked, within reason. Then the moderators got involved and things started going from bad to worse. They were pulling down comments, without an email being sent to the member, I know because I became a victim more than once. The reasons? Don’t know, but it sure wasn’t for rude language or insults or accusations in the comments, more like it didn’t fit its ever increasing high brow aspirations.

      They moved away from their core supporters, donating supporters, to try and move up market, not realising that the low brow was what attracted so many people in the first place.

      Not all voters can write grammatical English you know.

      I still visit and recommend NNS, but I only visit to read the articles, not donate or make a comment.

      Note to all grammar Nazi’s: who cares what someone’s English grammar is like, as long as they have the same aspirations and beliefs as yourself and you get the message.

      It does tend to put genuine commenters (voters) contributing off you know.

    83. scottish_skier says:

      It is very interesting that in the Herald there are two regular commenters who always get posted; a certain OBE and a gentleman from Woking.
      Nobody in their right mind would actually put these two on the front-line for the union surely? I mean I’ve met some idiots in my time, but if these two are really, seriously, being given the task of promoting the union cause on the web then the referendum is in the bag.
      And I’ve no idea why people reply to them. Does anyone seriously think a potential Yes would read their tripe and go ‘Hey, I like this guy and feel he’s being straight up?

    84. Albalha says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill
      He lives in Scotland but seems to have a romantic view of his stint in London, doesn’t seem quite able to see the reality of Scotland as an independent nation.

    85. HeatherMcLean says:

      Peter A Bell says:
      18 August, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Friday night was a real treat. Well worth the journey from Perth.
      Sorry I missed this .. hope theres anothing meeting planned .. perhaps more central and more accessible for us Dundonians and anyone further afield?

    86. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Note to all grammar Nazi’s”

      “Grammar Nazis”.

      😉

    87. M4rkyboy says:

      @drygrangebull
      I saw those.If you look at the list of bills for 25/06/13 you’ll notice that it’s essentially the BNP manifesto that has been mooted.
      http://services.parliament.uk/bills/public.html?group=date&order=desc
      They should be laughed out of Parliament,shouldn’t they?

    88. alexicon says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      18 August, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      “Note to all grammar Nazi’s”
      “Grammar Nazis”.

      😉
       
      I put that in there for the grammer (grammar) and spelling Nazis.

      Phew! I’m glad that’s all you picked up on.
      😉
       

    89. Jon D says:

      @alexicon.
      I do agree on the grammar thingy so if we just agreed on a couple of wee rules then and put the issue to bed;
      1.Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.
      2.Never use a preposition to end a sentence with. Winston Churchill, corrected on this error once, responded to the young man who corrected him by saying “Young man, that is the kind of impudence up with which I will not put!
      3.And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
      4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
      5. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
      6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
      7. Be more or less specific.
      8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
      9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies endlessly over and over again.
      10. No sentence fragments.
      11. Contractions aren’t always necessary and shouldn’t be used to excess so don’t.
      12. Foreign words and phrases are not always apropos.
      13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous and can be excessive.
      14. All generalizations are bad.
      15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
      16. Don’t use no double negatives.
      17. Avoid excessive use of ampersands & abbrevs., etc.
      18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
      19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake (Unless they are as good as gold).
      20. The passive voice is to be ignored.
      21. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words, however, should be enclosed in commas.
      22.Never use a big word when substituting a diminutive one would suffice.
      23. Don’t overuse exclamation points!!!
      24. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
      25. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth-shaking ideas.
      26. Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed and use it correctly with words’ that show possession.
      27. Don’t use too many quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations.. Tell me what you know.”
      28. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a billion times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly. Besides, hyperbole is always overdone, anyway.
      29. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
      30. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
      31. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
      32. Who needs rhetorical questions? However, what if there were no rhetorical questions?
      33.Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
      34 Avoid “buzz-words”; such integrated transitional scenarios complicate simplistic matters.
      35. People don’t spell “a lot” correctly alot of the time.
      36. Each person should use their possessive pronouns correctly.
      37. All grammar and spelling rules have exceptions (with a few exceptions)….Morgan’s Law.
      38. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
      39. The dash – a sometimes useful punctuation mark – can often be overused – even though it’s a helpful tool some of the time.
      40. Proofread carefully to make sure you don’t repeat repeat any words.
      41. In writing, it’s important to remember that dangling sentences.

    90. HwnBroon says:

      One reason why these unionist newspapers have an axe to grind with the SNP and Alex Salmond, Is that after that magnificent ground shaking day in 2007 when the SNP kicked the unionists erse right in to touch, one of the first things that happened was that all the ads for government jobs were put on line and taken from the press. That must have been a sore hit on the ads budget, as there used to be pages of them. SLAB used this as a blatant back hander to these papers. The cosy back scratching relationship was gone. Alex Salmond said of The Scotsman, “why would anyone buy that paper.”
      Here we see how Massie sees the problem, he admits to the unionist bias, his own included but cannot see it making any difference, therein lies the problem. Unionist blinkers!
       
      An excellent summary of it in an old comment on the Independent. From one OskarMatzerath

    91. Albalha says:

      @jond
      Come what may subjunctives, that’s my real problem, truth be told.
      I wish it were still Summer.
       

    92. Tamson says:

      @Stuart Black:
      I posted on the misleading nature of the NNS Naughtie article almost as soon as it appeared (I post there as weegie38). I think I just happened to be first, since my comment appeared. When I checked later, the aticle had disappeared, only to reappear later again, with a non-misleading headline.
       
      TBF to NNS, they probably got a few comments like mine and pulled the article off the site for a rewrite. I don’t have a problem with what they did at all. Mind you, I’m not a frequent commenter at NNS so can’t comment either way about heavy-handedness.

    93. Steve McKay says:

      @Albalha
      It’s a funny one.   I used to post a lot on the Guardian but I got sick of it.   There were so many comments, many of them trolling, and the articles relating to Scotland were sporadic, lacked any sense of local understanding and were often pointlessly bias against independence.   After a while I got bored and realised there was little to be gained in debating most of the No voting readers about independence as they have no vote.   The Herald seemed like a more relevant forum – at the heart of the struggle with ‘on the fence’ Labour voters.   I think the debate on the Herald forum can be pretty good – despite the odd troll with a title.  Easy to ignore.   Hope I don’t get moderated off this site now for my mild recommendation of a competitor…….;-)

    94. Martin Henderson says:

      I enjoy hassle free pre approved posting at the Herald. I’m also not shy in getting stuck in to support independence, but I’m careful not to comment on the paper’s editorial policy (At first I did get stuck into them on a piece that I found overtly biased and manipulative, but Callum explained their position clearly and also fixed the piece by putting in the correct titles and references. I thought ‘fair enough’).
      Earlier this week I had a post removed for no good reason after it had been up for 4 hours on display. I was replying to Stewart Murdoch’s comment on the Herald piece about the 5 old polls.

      My point to Stewart was that media bias is not allowing the yes side to get their point across by drowning them out with endless unquestioning promotion of any old pro-better together story, press release or comment. I made no reference to Herald policy or broke any of their rules. I merely referred to the panel base poll and questioned why none of the msm considered it newsworthy, especially given the other stories that they print. I suggested there was only one conclusion that could be drawn and that it is essential we get some mainstream balance.
      Unfortunately most folk don’t trawl looking for truth. They just believe what they read in the msm.
      I find this a worrying development as I considered that the Herald had more class than this.

    95. Tony Little says:

      To be fair to the Herald, there are a number of pro-Independence posters that always seem to get everything posted ‘real time’ as you can see the conversations with some of the pro-Unionists.  I recall one particular article when Jezerna Roza [she seems to have disappeared, by the way] was in full flight and at least three posters were challenging her with what appeared to be instant posts.  I see many regular pro-indy posters: alasdair galloway, morag branson, Dr Douglas McKenzie, Peter Piper, John McIntyre (the “other” John) etc.  So not all ‘doom and gloom’

    96. Tony Little says:

      @Jon D
       
      1. Verbs [plural] HAVE to agree …
       
      (wee smiley thing)

    97. Stuart Black says:

      Yes Tamson, your comment as Weegie38 was the one I referred to in my post above, you mentioned the misleading headline, basically it was saying that Naughtie had called Embra ‘cheap & nasty’ when he was actually referring to some of the shops on Princes Street. There is now a note from Admin to the effect that it has been changed due to the comments.
       
      My comment did not appear at all. I believe Newsnet is an important part of the Indy campaign, they post some decent journalism online, much needed, but their moderation is just a bit too severe. I won’t bother posting from now on, though I will of course continue to read the site.

    98. Jock McDonnell says:

      Stu, yes, the likes plus the 5 most read vs 5 most commented.
      I think it’s just the anoraks on the politics page (Me included), Has to be. Not that we should give unionists a free run but who else reads 100 comments ?

    99. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “1. Verbs [plural] HAVE to agree …”

      You may not have read the rest of the post 😀

    100. Stuart Black says:

      Ian McWhirter on Comment is Free, in fairly positive mood.
       
      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/18/scotland-england-growing-apart-no-vote

    101. wee folding bike says:

      I like the fact that OBE has a yellow avatar. It makes his messages easier to skip.
       
      I had a message deleted off the Herald recently but I can’t remember the content. They leave my cycling related messages alone.

    102. Derick Tulloch says:

      Tony Little says:
       
      “Jezerna Roza” has disappeared because it is probable that ‘she’ never existed in the first place (yes I know there’s a real one in Slovenia), but for a random ‘Slovenian’ to post as ‘she’ did was simply not credible.  Too many people called ‘her’ out on it so the persona has been retired.  They’ll be back.
      And I’ll probably still post on the Herald, avoiding any direct mention of their competitors.  The days of paying for the print copy are past however

    103. G H Graham says:

      The sooner you all avoid reading the propaganda sheets from The Herald & The Scotsman, the sooner they will liquidate & switch off their printing presses for good.
      Since much of what they publish isn’t news but crudely styled public information broadcasts on behalf of the Labour Party, it won’t be any loss to those who actually seek good Scottish investigative journalism.
      That died about the same time those topless birds were removed from the back of Tennents Lager cans.
      Oh, for the old days !

    104. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Vronsky (4.45) –
       
      There will be no hanky-panky in an independent Scotland.

    105. Stuart Black says:

      @ wee folding bike – yes, the yellow avatar does make it easy to skip the OBE, but the very sight of it gets my dander up, Steve Bell’s infamous Scotland can go …. itself.
       
      Only a troll would be using that and, although his banal and cretinous posts annoy me intensely, I have come to the reluctant conclusion that he is probably an asset for the YES side. No-one with more brain cells than an amoeba would want to be associated with his side.

    106. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The sooner you all avoid reading the propaganda sheets from The Herald & The Scotsman, the sooner they will liquidate & switch off their printing presses for good.”

      We heard you the first couple of hundred times, GH…

      We now link to archive versions of all Scotsman and Herald pages, not the originals, so they get no traffic or ad clicks from here.

    107. Stuart Black says:

      Dreadfully off topic, apologies Rev, but I was so taken with this English view of modern Scotland on CiF (linked above) that I felt I had to share it with the rest of the Wings troops. From someone calling himself, with no trace of irony, ‘TheUnfortunateTruth’.
       
      The people of Scotland are their own worst enemies.
      The bombastic ostentatious and lavishness on display within that benighted province is the very opposite of what people should be aspiring to.
      The Scottish often have money undeclared to the tax authorities, though poverty is equally rampant, but they have absolutely no class.
      Even the indigenous Protestant communities, from whom you might expect to set an example, are little more than trashy money worshippers, and rather too keen on subjecting the rest of the country to their verbose and illmannered vituperations.
      The very purpose of Scotland is to make the rest of the civilised UK look sublimely brilliant, reminding the us that it could be so much worse.
      Take away the street markets selling stolen goods, bottle shops and fast food halal eateries that proliferate that nation’s catastrophic health crisis’ & most Scottish contribute nothing to the real economy, preferring to blame immigrants or the English for the invidious position they find themselves in.
      There is a reason why the Scottish are viewed in the media as rampantly salacious peoples, and no amount of lipstick and powder can cover up the real problems those that they suffer from.
       
      Well, it made ME laugh… 😉

    108. G H Graham says:

      Rev,
      Folks aren’t considering the consequences of their actions because they continue to fund these sheets by reading them. So as long as they are in print & I am not prevented from posting here, I’ll continue to suggest to readers that they avoid these comic titles.
      And like any good advertising campaign, the message has to repeated even just to convert the few. That’s presumably why you include dozens of links to columns you previously published while revisiting the same themes. People aren’t generally stupid despite the media treating them like they are. I suggest they are distracted or are in need of facts.
      If I’ve just repeated repeated myself, I apologise.

    109. Tony Little says:

      @Derick Tulloch
       
      I won’t post on this again, but just to say that I have many colleagues in Slovenia and NO ONE has ever heard of a Slovene name “Jezerna”.  In fact what “jezerna rosa” means in Slovene is “Lake’s flower” so I do not even think that the person is a Slovene.  He/she/it was probably a team of pro-Union researchers as the statistics ‘she’ produced were obviously well researched, although always selective, and with poorly extrapolated projections.  There were also two or three particular posting styles, so IMO it was a team effort.  (My on line challenge about her real name got be banned for a while)

    110. The Man in the Jar says:

      I have never commented on a MSM site before but I have read the comments many times. I was just wondering what would happen if all the pro independence commenters stopped posting for a while. Leave OBE and his like to shout at each other across an empty room and the editors to wonder what is going on?
      I can understand the frustration that letting “them” get away with it would be overwhelming for some but it might have an effect in the long run. Just sayin like!

    111. Adam Davidson says:

      I have been banned twice and it took three requests to get an answer why. It is simple, do not link to or hint about other locations. And certainly do not criticise the Herald in any way. I find the best way to criticise an article is to criticise the Better Together campaign and never mention the Herald. A pain I know but more important to be able to counteract the BS from the two southerners and of course Paisleys plastic socialist.

    112. Derick Tulloch says:

      Tony Little says:
      18 August, 2013 at 9:43 pm
      (My on line challenge about her real name got be banned for a while)

      Big Grin avatar thingy
      How do people put proper photos on the avatar’s on this site btw?
      As an aside, it feels a bit weird to have your comments ‘disappeared’.  Almost as though you don’t exist. ‘did I even say that?’.
      So I am really glad about this thread.  More power to Wings!
       
       Oh, Christ, an apostrothingy in the wrong place. Penance Penance Sackcloth and Ashes.

    113. Tony Little says:

      @Derik
       
      Re: Avatars, you need to get a “Gravatar” account or similar
       
      http://en.gravatar.com

    114. Barontorc says:

      Ye canny beat good apostrophe placement. But it does somehow smack of anal retentitive-ness to go into pernickity point-scoring over grammer when the message is quite clear as it is wrote. Dontcha think?

    115. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “pernickity point-scoring over grammer”

      pernickety point-scoring over grammar“.

    116. Murray McCallum says:

      Grammer Vs grammar (was that a film?)
       
      My higher grade English teacher, after totally crushing any belief in my ability to understand proper creative narrative as displayed in our readings of many Shakespearean comedies or tragedies (they were all tragic for me), once glorified the genius of an English poet who invented his own way of spelling words and compiling sentences.
       
      Whi did not for me that work?
       

    117. Eric McLean says:

      @marcia @ Stuart Black
      There is a relationship between OBE Wan Konobi and the Glasgow Herald. 
       

    118. Patrick Roden says:

      Is it just me or can anyone else see the similarity in the Heralds font/colours in their title above, and that of BT’s.
       
      Have a look and see what you think.

    119. Kenny Campbell says:

      “There is a relationship between OBE Wan Konobi and the Glasgow Herald. ”
       
      In what way specifically ?Is he employed to spam their comments page ?

    120. Kenny Campbell says:

      @Eric McLean , what is the relationship between OBE and the Herald ?



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