Govt censors pro-Livingstone Net posts
...and IR35 and anti-fox hunting etc., etc.
The Government has stirred up a hornet's nest over accusations of censorship on its new Web site. The Number 10 Web site was earlier this week accused of letting offensive remarks slip through the net and onto its public discussion forums. Today, the site is littered with cries of censorship, with people protesting that messages are being moved or deleted because they are anti-Labour, or pro-Red Ken. One contributor, known only as 'Sylvia', suspected the site was being used subjectively by Labour to influence the London Mayoral elections. Sylvia had posted an email on the 'Countryside' forum objecting to hunting. "I responded by detailing my objections to hunting with hounds... I also asked if government time would be provided for Ken Livingstone's private members' bill to ban fox hunting, as it is a government promise and I pointed out hat Ken knows a vote winner/loser when he sees it." "Could you tell me where my email is?" asked a perplexed Sylvia. "Have they been removed/deleted?…A friend of mine's email on IR35 has also gone, now I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but he mentioned Ken as well." Another contributor, going under the name 'Anonymous', scolded the site's handlers: "By all means move them, BUT DO NOT DELETE THEM. The media are monitoring this site and it will not look good in the press if you continue doing this." Further additions by other angry writers included: "This site is a joke, you can't discuss anything here due to it being deleted. This is pants! Not a single reply posted from a minister anywhere." Ten Downing Street must have its hands full filtering and monitoring comments to the forums, but it still found time to issue the following statement on the many gripes aired on its site: "Many people have commented about censorship on this site. The vast majority of postings are not deleted. However, in some cases it is necessary to do so: 1) Language policy: This is very simple: We consider swearing inappropriate, because we would like people of all ages to be able to take part in the discussions, and for parents to feel comfortable about their children having access to the site. 2) Postings in inappropriate headings: To facilitate discussion we are encouraging users to post their comments under the relevant headings. This means postings in inappropriate places will be removed." This caused havoc on the site, with one "IT Contractor" stating: "If this rule [appropriate headings] is applied selectively it could be used to remove postings which embarrass the Government, or to hide them under a subject few people will view. "This is censorship." The debate continues. ® Related Story William Plague defaces Number 10 Web site