Saturday, November 08, 2003

Freedom of Speech Under "Diego"

Regular readers will recall that I have been using the comments section of riverbendblogS to post little notes to "Diego" to let him know just how much trouble he's managed to get himself into thus far. I have noted several other fans of the real Riverbend have also availed themselves of the facility. Of course "Diego", who despises American values like free speech and has turned his life into a crusade against them, made a point of regularly deleting the comments that did not correspond to his tiny little world view. In Diego's perfect Reich every thought expressed ought to fit into his vision of what is correct or ought to be erased or aborted.

In a sense, like a criminal on the run, Diego's erasing comments identifying him as the riverSbend smearblogger might be understandable. Not exactly excusable, but in the same way as once a killer has done the deed we don't consider it a new crime for him to wash the blood from his hands I'm not going to particularly focus on his erasing the "You are the riverSbend smear blogger" or "Diego you're an ass" type of comments which clearly relate to his previous crimes.

What I found much more interesting was that even when posters put comments on his site that did not relate directly to his smearblogging but merely expressed sentiments relating to other matters he would frequently delete those as well. While leaving other comments, perhaps those in sympathy with his viewpoints, standing.

Now I should say there is no point in going to look at the blog now. For some reason every couple of days, every comment vanishes. When I last looked there were none at all. I suspect "Diego" is not fully au fait with whatever software he is using.

But it was easy to see which comments passed the "Diego" test - if he didn't like a comment it could be erased in a matter of minutes, and would certaintly not last a day. But other comments, approved by "Diego" would stand, even while the other offending comments would vanish around them.

Now I must confess I soon learned how I could:
(a) venture somewhat into the murky depths of "Diego's" mind and
(b) have a bit of fun

by posting a wide variety of comments under a series of fake names just to see which comments achieved the riverSbend fuhrer's approval. (Almost every comment anyone might have seen standing on "Diego's" site over the last week or so has been mine.)

For one thing our man is not an intellectual elitist. He allowed the following comments to pass the "Diego test":

"Soon the Iraqis will learn that were willing to pay nearly full marker price for the oil. Maybe then theyl put down their gnus". - Steve Tupid

"This blog is just waht we need. I tink its just good to here from people whore really in Iraq like you. Im tried of just getting all stories from the libruls in the meedya". - Rick Etard

And my personal favourite:
"Iwll be so happy when we finely catch up with that bastrad Osama Hussein. Give me jst 5 mins in a room with him and he wnt even rember his own name." - Dave Ense

Yes it seems that misters S.Tupid, R.Etard, and D.Ense were certainly to be allowed to give vent to their sentiments on the riverbendblogS.

However Mr Howard Z did not last long having stated "Bush is a war criminal".

Perhaps surprisingly in view of "Diego's" cosying up to his gallic pals during the week, there was little room for French sentiment on the site:

Even the adulatory:
"George Bush est le meilleur président au monde. Je pense qu'I l'aiment" - Jacque Auberge
(Translation: George Bush is the best president in the world. I think I love him) was gone within the hour. But I had to confess to myself after writing that in removing this comment Diego didn't necessarily show himself to be anti-French. He might just have been being anti-gay.

Further anti-French suspicions did arise however with the rapid removal of the innocuous "L'enfer est les autres" (Hell is other people) - Maurice De Lacor

Even "Vive l'Etats Unis" (long live the US) was frowned upon when written in French.

However passing the "Diego" test was:

"George Bush is the president of the United States"
Edwin Vident.
It seems merely being completely obvious and E.Vident was not a problem for "Diego".

I did think the possibility that anti-gay sentiment might have been behind the yanking of "Mr Auberge's" Bush comment warranted further investigation with a few more offerings from the previously authorised Mr Rick Etard.

"The US has the best damn military in the world!" - Rick Etard

No problem.

"There's nothing more impressive to the friend or foe than a long line of US soldiers in their uniforms. A wondrous sight to behold!" - Rick Etard

Again no problem.

"I love our men in uniform" - Rick Etard

Once again, no problem.

"On Halloween my boyfriend went as a marine and I went as USAF. We were voted hottest boy couple at the party!" - Rick Etard


Well the next time I went to the comments section on riverbendblogS I was greeted with the message: "Banned by webmaster. Your comments will not be added"

So I suppose, by this admittedly non-scientific method we can asceratain, the sign on the door to Diego's Brave New World, says "don't be French, don't be anti-Bush, for God's sake don't be gay! but if you're an ungrammatical moron with a violent streak - come on in!"

Well birds of a feather, and all that :)

[I'm not sure if it is only my IP address that Diego has managed to ban from his comments section. I'll see if I can try again from a different PC in a few days]