At this blog we spend quite a bit of time monitoring the comments below the line at ‘Comment is Free’ checking for antisemitism and the broader problem of biased moderation. Specifically, we often observe pro-Israel comments deleted, or pro-Israel commenters banned and/or placed in pre-moderation, while Israel haters, or those engaging in Judeophobic commentary, seem far less likely to suffer such Guardian sanctions.
A commenter who uses the moniker Berchmans is a great example of this latter dynamic.
He hasn’t been banned or, it seems, placed in pre-moderation despite comments which include:
- Suggesting that Hollywood and the media have pandered to Israel in advancing their Zionist narrative
- Arguing that the charge of “Holocaust denial” is merely a cynical means to tar any criticism of Israel with the false charge of antisemitism.
- Opining that: “modern antisemitism is an IDF-related phenomena”
- Frequently suggesting darkly that Zionists engage in an orchestrated assault on opinion at ‘Comment is Free’
- Suggestions that Hamas’ charter is not antisemitic
- Implications that Hamas is justified in hating Jews
- Expressing general antipathy towards Jews
More recently, he offered a possible explanation for why Jews may be hated. (For a more prolific voice, published routinely at ‘Comment is Free’ above the line, justifying antisemitism, see our profile on Ben White.)
Commenting below an essay by Fiachra Gibbons: Toulouse shootings: race, religion and murder, March 19, Berchmans, responding to another commenter, wrote:
So, in a CiF commentary about the murder of four innocent Jews, which included three young children, outside a Jewish school in France, Berchmans offers advice on the Jewish moral deficits which may help us “understand” antisemitism, and includes a “cheeky” reply to the specter of Israel’s demise.
Not banned. Evidently not in pre-moderation.
Here are a couple ‘Comment is Free’ emails if you want to register your complaint – in the context of their “community standards” – about the seeming impunity enjoyed by this commenter who routinely expresses palpable antipathy towards Jews. (Here’s a link to Berchmans’ CiF User Profile.)
- Berchmans’ dehumanizing comment about Israelis: 266 Recommends & not deleted by CiF moderators (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian readers and their inalienable right to make Israel-Nazi analogies (cifwatch.com)
- The anti-Zionist malice of ‘Comment is Free’ contributor Mya Guarnieri (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian reader’s thinly veiled threat against Jews doesn’t result in suspension of user privileges (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian readers skew conversation about UK, U.S. & Iran in a decidedly Semitic direction (cifwatch.com)
- ‘Comment is Free’ writer praises Hamas for limiting its acts of terror to ‘only’ Israeli Jews (cifwatch.com)