01/11/2009

Daily Mail comments and the milk of human kindness

Last month, Jamie Sport from The Quail published a great post over at MailWatch about how some companies were uneasy about the Mail introducing unmoderated comments to the website.  Apparently, according to the Head of Online Marketing at O2:

There’s always the risk with user content that our brand advertising may appear next to a comment we may not agree with or like.

Right now, there's a great big O2 advert next to the Mail article 'Migrant found dead in the back of a lorry as it prepares to enter Channel Tunnel'.  Comments on the story are moderated, meaning that each comment is vetted and approved as suitable for publication before it appears on the site,  so there shouldn't be any danger of the advert appearing next to anything contentious right?

This being the Mail, and this being a story about a dead illegal immigrant, you've probably guessed that some of the comments will not exactly be expressing sadness at the news of a death of another human being.  What you probably won't have guessed is that at the time of this writing, not a single one of the 13 comments on the story express sadness or any sympathy at the news, some actually express a desire for other people to die and all 13 have been green-arrowed.  Here they all are, in order of popularity:


Presumably, O2 are fine with this sort of pre-moderated user content.

**UPDATE**  It's lunchtime on Monday, and I've been checking in now and again, watching as the comments get red-arrowed by the more sane.  One seems to have been deleted, but it's not possible to tell which one since the option to view all comments has been disabled.

**UPDATE UPDATE** A few minutes later, and the comments are down to 5.  I can't imagine they'll all be there by the end of the day, since 'One down and quite a few to go' is still there.

**UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE**  Quarter to four and they're all gone.  Phew!

**UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE**  Now two are back.  Including my favourite one about trucks not being searched at border controls.  Genius.

12 comments:

Alex said...

Hello there. Is that the 'immigrants get free cars' myth I see there?

Five Chinese Crackers said...

You know what? I think it is!

I especially like the 'why oh why are these lorries not searched at border controls??' one, which misses the fact that the body was found while the lorry was...er...checked at border controls.

Ernie Goggins said...

This isn't really to the point, but I was intrigued by the comment attributed to "Mute Requiem". I googled that phrase and discovered lots of references to a song of that name by Quo Vadis, a "melodic death metal" band from Canada.

Further investigation on Wikipedia reveals that melodic death metal is "combines the melody of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) with the intensity of death metal".

Which prompts two questions: do death metal fans read the Daily Mail? And what melody of NWOBHM is that then? These people clearly never heard the Tygers of Pan Tang

Five Chinese Crackers said...

You know I'm going to download whatever Quo Vadis I can find now don't you?

Alex said...

I'm genuinely disgusted by this. There's plenty of hateful bollocks in the Mail - from readers and journalists alike - but nothing that's made me lose quite so much faith in humanity as that comments thread.

I've long accepted that a large number of this country's population have far less sympathy towards immigrants than myself, and that a good fifth of them would seriously consider voting for a party that intends to remove them from the country altogether, but it still comes a shock to see an article on the website of a mainstream newspaper (Britain's second best selling, at that) upon which the majority of the comments posted are actually rejoicing in a man's death, and that these comments have been positively rated by hundreds of others. I mean, fucking hell.

(I'm not the same Alex that posted above, by the way)

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

That's a pretty vile collection of hateful messages from a vile and hateful readership.

Nic said...

Now down to 4 comments, although "1 down and quite a few to go yet" is still there.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1224133/Migrant-dead-lorry-prepares-enter-Channel-Tunnel.html#ixzz0ViLqRgjw


I notice the Jan Moir column that caused a bit of bother the other week has also been cleansed of its comments.

Five Chinese Crackers said...

Down to three now. The 'quite a few to go' one is one of them.

angrysoba said...

Hello!

Never seen your blog before but noticed that someone had been referred to Hitchens Watch from here.

Think it's a great idea to keep an eye on the Daily Mail but it's almost like dropping into a sewer to point out the turds.

Five Chinese Crackers said...

Hurrah to Hitchens Watch for sending me a reader!

Akela said...

Ye Gods. That really was vile to read. I dread to think what got moderated out first time round.

sianandcrookedrib said...

i came across this on tabloid watch. what is so horrific is that the mail et al have now so succeeded in dehumanising immigrants and asylum seekers, so thoroughly created a percpetion of them as being sub human, that people feel comfortable rejoicing in their deaths and not recognising that a human, with family and prospects and a life to live has died. has died!
not to fall foul of godwin's law but this dehumanisation does have terrifying historical echoes and the fact that someone could ask on a forum "millions to go" - to ask for the deaths of millions of people, wtf. completely despairing and hideous.
do people not realise what they are writing? this person who died was just a person.