Censorship on BoingBoing

Background: BoingBoing just put up a post that was ‘Sponsored by Windows Mobile’. Not surprisingly there was a lot of blowback and discussion in the comments about having ‘Sponsored’ posts instead of just separate ad blocks on the site, and notably what this said for transparency and honesty in these posts.

I left for about two hours and came back to follow the discussion further and see what else people had said. The discussion was totally gone, without even so much as an “Update: The discussion got out of hand we moved/suspended/did something else with it”.


Here is the letter I sent in:

Frauenfelder I’m calling you out.

An hour and a half ago there were 58 comments on this story. I’ve reloaded the story several times and switched browsers in disbelief, but now there no comments on the Win Mobile story. In fact, you went so far as to nuke the ‘discuss’ link from the story. There’s not even an “Update: We’re moving the discussion somewhere else” note.

Tell me I’m wrong and you didn’t stoop this low.

For the entirety of it’s existence bb has been the paragon of well reasoned civlib discussion, a beacon for transparency and frank discussion. If this is what it looks like this beacon just burnt down, fell over, and sank into the swamp.

We all understand, you’ve gotta pay the bills, the sidebar/header ads are completely reasonable, even the Honda thing no big deal, but mixing ads and content crosses a line. You should have expected some discussion on that. But to kill the discussion and hide it’s corpse blows right past that line and sails straight into the land of ‘lost’ emails, “No Comment”, and retroactive immunity we’ve come to know and loathe.

So Mark, Xeni, Cory, any of you…. please tell me this is a bad dream.


And here is the link to the story: Hamster’s Lunch at Coco’s in Los Angeles

UPDATE: *Mostly* a bad dream.  Frauenfelder posted a rebuttal, and comments are to exist again at some point.  But, um, order of operations here people?  Don’t demolish the bridge before you put up the detour signs……….just sayin.

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