Update #2: Here is what I said about the missing comments being found.
***Update*** Happy news and happy reading! Some of you went to work today and just now I see that there are 137 comments posted (while the number had hovered around 28 since yesterday)! All of you who contacted me are now posted for all to see! Here !
Yesterday I told you about that completely inadequate “reform” proposal for the US Refugee Admissions Program that the Heritage Foundation took to the White House last week. If you missed the story click here.
Heritage invited comment from the public on its plan, but has apparently failed to post many of your comments.
I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt until tomorrow morning that their failure to post comments, or more accurately let the commenter believe his or her comment was posted, but then not make it visible for the general public is because they had a technical malfunction and that all comments would be posted on Monday when they return to work…..
However, the other scenario is that Heritage was practicing what is called “shadow banning” (a highly questionable trick in the tech world) where the commenter can see his comment as if it had been posted, but no one else can. I wrote about it here in August when obviously twitter had briefly shadow-banned me.
Again, we will see what happens tomorrow when DC workers return to their offices and Heritage checks its system.
(I do know that Heritage says they screen comments and reject some, but if so, why do they appear to some readers and not to others if they had been outright rejected? And, if you are immediately thinking they are rejecting comments they don’t like, it doesn’t make sense. Some of those that have disappeared don’t seem any more critical than some they did post for all to see. And, besides, is it reasonable to assume that a Heritage worker, knowledgeable about refugees, was screening comments on Saturday of a holiday weekend? No.)
This is why I suspect shadow-banning is possibly going on. It would be very shameful if the estimable Heritage Foundation is engaging in that unfair practice. After all, they were soliciting comments!
Here is what they asked:
What do you think should be done about America’s refugee program?
Several readers wrote to me to tell me that they had posted comments, but I couldn’t see those comments. Some reported that they hadn’t seen mine. Strange, I thought, because mine is right here in front of me. This is a screenshot of what I saw. (At that time there were about 16 comments and as of this writing there are 28.)
I was the first commenter on November 25th right under Ron and before Gail:
I then tried something else. I opened the site in another browsing window and what do you know, I was gone! See screenshot below. Who is now missing between Ron and Gail? Me!
So, dear readers, how many of you can see my comment, and how many can’t?
About six other people reported that they had posted comments that they could see, but were not visible to me. Here are two of those. Tell me, can you see Margaret Starry or Richard Falknor’s comments? I can’t (other than in the screenshots they shared with me below)!
Look for her just before Thomas Stark, do you see her comment?
How about Richard Falknor’s?
Can you see Richard Falknor’s comment immediately following Stephen Palmer? Mr. Falknor could obviously see it in order to take this screenshot.
Since so many comments are missing, there is no way for me, or anyone!, to know if you posted a comment. Please send me an e-mail here: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will tell you if your comment is visible. I have already received e-mails from a few of you who sent me your comment’s text and I confirmed that it is not visible to me.
If you can, get a screenshot of your ‘posted’ comment and send it to me.
Or, ask one of your friends to go to Heritage’s comments and see if they can see your comment!
And, tomorrow if Heritage has a good explanation we will report that—stay tuned!