Skip to comments.Is Real Clear Politics Restricting Conservative Reader Input?
Posted on 12/21/2007 4:12:33 PM PST by DakotaRed
For some time, the web site Real Clear Politics has been known as one of Americas premier independent political web sites. This has been especially noticed in the section they label Readers Articles, a sub-section featuring the most popular articles as submitted and voted by RCP users.
Readers, mostly amateur bloggers and writers usually submit stories they write for their blogs and other readers cast votes as to whether they like them or not. That I could ever tell no one wins any prizes or accolades, just the knowledge that other readers appreciate their words.
For some unknown reason, around December 12, a group of conservative bloggers I associate with online started receiving the following message when they tried to cast their votes, for each other and for writers outside our group, as we saw fit.
Your voting privileges have been revoked. Please contact the site administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
With no explanation or warning, one by one, we all received this message over the course of a couple days. Numerous contacts to admin as indicated, drew absolutely no response to any of us, maybe a dozen or less bloggers. On December 16, 2007 I emailed the following,
We are at least owed a reason why.
Today, December 21, neither I nor any other person alluded to above have received any reply.
Seeking a terms of service to ascertain if we were violating some policy was for naught as a TOS seems vacant from their site.
Searching around the site, I did notice that the website seems to be owned by Time/CNN, news sources not noted for conservative ideals.
Is this an effort at stifling dissemination of conservative words?
Did we violate some invisible TOS by voting for each others articles, after reading them elsewhere?
Is Real Clear Politics really one of Americas premier independent political web sites, as they claim?
Without being informed as to the why of revocation of voting and submission privileges, we are only left to guess.
I did not know that, and it makes all the difference in the world to me.
I don't support anything by either of those. RCP is now off my list.
Another poster placed this on Real Clear Politics. It has gotten 23 votes and is currently at the top of their Readers Articles section on the front page.
And still, not a word from admin about it.
Comments on my blog about it are interesting too as it seems to be happening to others without warning or notice.
I’m glad they responded, but it doesn’t really matter to me. Their link to Time/CNN says they are (or will be) biased at moments of their choosing.
So far, none of us have been reinstated and none of us ever registered under more than one email address, as mentioned in the reply,
-—— Original Message -——
From: Russell, David
Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2007 12:09 PM
Subject: RCP Reader Articles
Dear Mr. Waters,
We came across your blog post about the Reader Articles. Others have written to us about this problem and we are addressing it. We have sent the following letter to those people. I would have posted it as a comment, but I didn’t have a Blogger ID. Please consider this a response to your post.
Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. We care deeply about the site’s integrity and take our responsibility to provide an unbiased source of political information seriously. So I wanted to provide some context to why we’ve been blocking user accounts the last few weeks.
We have been receiving complaints that some readers are using multiple logins and are gaming the system to inflate the votes to their links on ReaderArticles. So we’ve been closely monitoring the article submissions and votes, and temporarily blocking accounts that we think are being used to cast multiple votes from the same user.
However, if your complaints are accurate, we may have been too aggressive in blocking accounts. We want to reassure all of you that this is not a conspiracy toward any candidate, party, or ideology.
In future, we will send out an email and allow a user to respond before blocking his/her account.
If you feel like your account has been unfairly blocked, please email me at (drussell at realclearpolitics.com) and I will look into it.
We appreciate the contribution you all make to RCP as active participants and apologize for any inconvenience caused by this action.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
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