Continued Coloradoan Censorship - PART II - Communications with Bob

CatWhisperer's picture
Via the online "Contact Us" page, I initiated the following message chain, after being asked by acquaintances why I was no longer commenting on Coloradoan stories. The modus operandi of the banning isn't outright banning. No, the Fort Collins Coloradoan allows you to log in and comment, and they allow themselves the privilege of using your posting or getting story ideas from it, while keeping others form seeing it by not placing it on the online public web site. Interestingly, the Coloradoan staff can block your account from showing the comment, but can't block the correct comment count. It's a tattle-tale idiosyncrasy of the content management system they are using, though, regardless. Here's the initial post to online contact form (there was no response to the first communication): Thursday, December 02, 2010 SECOND COMMUNICATION: I'm demanding that you remove this despicable little block you have on my account. As it stands, I can post, but nobody but myself can see it. If I log out and refresh the browser, the post disappears. That's unacceptable. I've posted nothing profane, inciting of violence, or untrue. All I've posted has been my own composition, as personal opinion. Since others are freely allowed to do so, you have to allow me to do so also. If not, take the bulletin board down, because I will defend my right of free speech in the courts if necessary. An organization that bases it's existence on free speech can't be allowed to censor individuals because they find the individual's writings inconvenient to the local power structure. I'll also have a counter bulletin board site up this weekend. Probably alreaud.net/ColoradoanAntiCensorshipBlog, or as soon as I have the time. The only rules on that site will be no threats and you'll be liberally linked in... Sincerely, Alfred P. Reaud alreaud.net happycattech.com Bob Moore responded(12/2/2010): Mr. Reaud: When you created your Coloradoan.com account, you agreed to terms of service, which included a description of acceptable and unacceptable postings. Despite agreeing to the terms of service, you chose to engage in repeated brawling and personal attacks, which led us to block your account. The Coloradoan offers these discussion forums as a format for people to discuss issues and even have some fun. One thing we know from experience is that a handful of abusive posters can quickly drive away traffic from our site. We're not going to let that happen. We are not compelled to offer anyone a forum to say anything they want. That's why we have the terms of service. I'm sorry that you agreed to the terms of service and then decided to ignore them. You obviously don't like the terms of service we've established and prefer something different. That's OK. You can find any number of forums on the web that have different requirements. I'm glad you're setting up your own bulletin board to hosts discussions in a manner you see fit. Best of luck. Bob Moore To which I responded(12/4/2010): Dear Bob, Please document ONE instance of personal attacks or brawling with anybody. Please do so because I am very serious about this matter. Please document how many times I've been recommended vs. how many times I've been reported for abuse. You obviously mistake me with somebody else on your site. As a long term poster, on both your blog and internationally on sites such a Reuters, I'm sad to say that you are totally misinformed Bob. My postings are consistent, concise, and to the point, and highly recommended, as the recommendation counts show. I don't use profanity, don't attack the posters as other regular posters do that are not sanctioned, and try to bring positive dialectic to the board at all times. There reasons you state Bob for banning me are patently false.  Therefore I must assume that the banning is politically related due to my succinate postings that have hit the nail on the head regularly. Therefore I will not allow the banning to stand. Be advised that this is a free speech issue and that I will treat it as such in the proper jurisdiction. If the Coloradoan/Gannet deems that it can ban a long time blogger from exercising their right of free speech, in a non-abusive, non-threatening manner, on a bulletin broad that they have registered on, after allowing that blogger to do so for years, then be prepared to be challenged on the issue. The Coloradoan alleges that I've violated the terms of service, be prepared to document it. Bob, the Coloradoan has until Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 18:00 hours, to remove the block. In the event the Coloradoan chooses not to, I'll proceed to vigorously defend my rights as a long term blogger on your site to continue to do so as I've violated no term of service. You're forcing me to procure a website and administer it to exercise my right of free speech. My firm, Happy Cat Technologies, charges $35.00 for IT services. If I'm forced to expend the time, I'll intend to be compensated for it. Thanks for your time Bob, and please have a great weekend. Sincerely, Alfred P. Reaud To that email, I've gotten no response and don't believe I will. Here's the deal though, and challenge. I'll not take it to the Courts. Bugger that... To benefit others of the censored is a more effective solution to the whole censorship issue. If this site bothers the Fort Collins Coloradoan/Gannet, go to the court and get it shut down. But, IMHO, mine is a politically motivated banning, and everybody who has read my comments on the Fort Collins Coloradoan knows that Bob's reasons for the banning, as stated above, fail to hold water. This web site is an exercise in free speech for everybody. You have a story to comment on, PLEASE FEEL FREE to do so here, if the Fort Collins Coloradoan won't allow you to (or if they will, it doesn't matter). There's no charge and no bullshit. The rules are the simple and the same for everybody. If the Coloradoan wants to ban people from posting on their website for whatever lame or assinine reason, well, that's fine, they own it, and therefore what Bob Moore says, "We are not compelled to offer anyone a forum to say anything they want." is true. Somebody could probably push it as a long term poster, but why?  It was just easier to create this website! Principles and convictions are good things to have, when not taken to extremes, and remembering to always choose your battles wisely. Is your right to free speech worth the fight? I believe it is. So again I ask Monsieur Bob, why did the previous editor leave the Fort Collins Coloradoan? Can you document my bad behavior M. Bob? Or is the dialectic just too strong for y'all? CatWhisperer (aka Al Reaud)

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wow I didn't think they would do that until it happened to me

I admire your perseverance in setting up this site. I was too right wing republican for the coloradoan. I also never used profanity and backed up my posts with facts, but I guess saying something along the following lines to somebody who accused me of being a bigot, "if telling the truth that if I were a middle class minority I would be eligible for SBA loans/grants which I simply am not because I am a middle class white person makes me a bigot then I am guilty" got me banned. I never got any warning that the above violated their standards but I have a strong feeling whoever banned me at the coloradoan looked through all my posts mentioning the stuff they did not want their readers to know about, like the CAMT/ACE deal guaranteed only one job gain and not the 7000-10000 numbers they keep throwing around, so mentioning minority was a good excuse to ban me. Found your website using a google search to see how common it was for the coloradoan to do this. Their comments section always seemed flaky to me. Posts and comments numbers would fluctuate so I always thought it was just a buggy implementation but now I am thinking a lot of this might be their draconian censorship at work. I am not brave enough like you to take it to the next step, but I do admire you for trying. Unfortunately I don't think the law is on your side. The Coloradoan is a private entity so they can do whatever they want to restrict free speech. The only power we have is to tell everybody we know they are corrupt and send emails to people who advertise with them letting them know they are associating themselves with a corrupt media and we will remember that in our purchasing decisions. The best bet would be to try to contact Jake Jabs of American Furniture Warehouse. Being a staunch republican he might consider pulling his heavy sponsorship of the Coloradoan.
CatWhisperer's picture

Welcome to the club...

I posted on the Coloradoan probably for over 5 years. Not always as CatWhisperer, previously as alreaud. I could change my handle and post as somebody else, even over another IP address, but what for?

This started when I posted that the art basher was a religious terrorist who used a CDL license and a commercial vehicle (It's never been reported how she got here, FYI, that's my conjecture. You'd think it would be paramount to the prosecution, right?) to perpetrate an act of religious terrorism in Loveland. Why was I banned for that? Isn't it the truth? Doesn't what she did fit into the definition of terrorism?

My take is that we posters developed too much clout. People would come on to read the comments, and the comments were way more interesting and way bigger than the stories. They could tell this by traffic analysis, same as I do with my sites.

To “I am not brave enough like you to take it to the next step”, I can only reply by letting you in on a well kept secret:

  • Everything goes to heaven.
  • Everything recycles.

You have no need to fear anything, kevins11, IMHO. The Coloradoan and entities like them can do whatever they damn well please. But they defecate on the very right that grants them their existence, IMHO. Hence, we create our own playground, with few rules, and jump right in. And if you're out on the tips of either wing, well, here that's fine. Hell even Tom Bender is welcome here, LOL!…devil

CatWhisperer
Fort Collins, CO, USA

Gregg Leverett's picture

Some Gannett contacts.

Kevin11, I know that you can contact Steve Silberman at   and you can call the main office 703-854-6000 and ask to talk with Ann Clark. Not that she will do much except maybe give Bob Moore a call and tell him another person has made a complaint about him. These calls may bring a little discomfort to Bob that people will send e-mails and call the corporate office. I know when you ask if they like placing their staff on unpaid time off, that if the Coloradoan was doing better at reporting the news they would sell more papers and advertising, then they could pay their staff to work all year round. They do not like that. 

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