Selective censorship, whether through threats of violence or deleting standard user comments, will undermine

Misters Said Amin and Jahanshah Javid:

The administration of this website exerting selective censorship over this site’s participants in the manner we have just witnessed to impede the polite and free expression of opinion is unconscionable.  The article CIM posted had 14 comments and within the hour it was stripped down to 8.  We read the comments of the users that this site removed and there was absolutely nothing objectionable about the removed comments when viewed against standard publishing practices – They were basic expressions of opinion by several users; the general idea of the removed comments was that organized groups of commentators writing under pseudonyms are given special privileges to threaten others and to manipulate the site’s contents.  By removing those politely worded opinions and user experiences in essence the site has proven those critics right and sent a message to the public that they should not rely on the accuracy of the content or assurances on your site.  Simply stated, you may find that the public will not trust the information or guarantees provided on this site. 

Oddly enough, one of the issues that we wrote to you about – this site allowing certain users to threaten violence against the families of individuals with whom they have a difference of opinion – is not addressed by the site while the ownership and management allows that practice to continue. So people understand: A deliberate choice was made by the site to permit repeated violent threats and insults (though its terms andconditions indicate it forbids them) while the site removed comments of users politely describing their personal experiences on this site.  Two methods are being used: (1) publication of threats to discourage participation and (2) the removal of innocuous user opinions of the type one can expect to find on any reputable news site.

The suppression of users’ opinions by arbitrarily controlling the levers of publication is indistinguishable from deliberately disseminating propaganda.  What we observed and archived shows that the site you manage is cherry picking comments to convey a distorted outward message to the public.  By selectively deleting certain comments and preventing the public from accessing that information you are not enhancing the image of this website, you are in fact degrading it. 

As was written in our email to you before, there is no need to for threats, insults, and baseless innuendos because we have offered to sit down with you in an interview format (whether in-person orthrough a medium such as Skype) and to have a direct dialogue on these issues. Given the number of complaints we are fielding there undoubtedly would a great deal of interest in the interview and we request that you seriously consider the offer in light of the reoccurrence of complaints.

Thank you. 


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