ABCwatch

Tim Blair

Ombudsgod

New Criterion

 

 

Saturday, March 29, 2003
 
IS MAX-WEIRD RUNNING AUNTIE'S ON-LINE FORUMS?

Reader Bernard M reports:

Try putting a sympathetic response on the current forum. Watch it never appear. I've tried half a dozen times -- all very mild corrections of blatant untruths -- and gotten nowhere. The posts are such that 95% are anti-American -- this suggests some skulduggery.

Who knows what anonymous Forum "moderators" get up to. It's a necessary process but totally without transparency.

Max-weird McCutcheon, on the other hand, mostly works in the open. He creates an atmosphere by serial commentary, talent selection and negative responses to dissenting views. Those who disagree with the communard position just don't bother to call.

Any dissenter who breaks through the barriers feels like pig in a mosque, sounds edgy and unpersuasive, and confirms the supporters of the communard consensus in their self-belief.

The audience is never in control of these feed-back exercises.

Except one of Uncle's deliberative polls, of course.