September 03, 2015

WATCH: CBC's double standards on website comment moderation

Brian LilleyRebel Co-Founder

Canada's $1B plus per year state broadcaster, loves to hold others to standards they don't meet themselves.

They pride themselves on exposing details that the subjects of their stories would like to keep hidden yet they are reluctant to provide details of their own operations even when required to do so under Freedom of Information Requests.

Over the years, I've documented many instances of this hypocrisy and more. The latest incident was to accuse the Conservatives of deleting negative comments from paid Instagram postings. It's bad enough that the "social marketing expert" they consulted for the story uses the hashtag, "STOP HARPER" but doesn't the CBC regularly delete comments from their own website?

Most media outlets and political parties moderate comments for legal reasons but the CBC goes too far when they create stories that provide anti-conservative fodder for the rest of the "Media Party" to spread around for doing something they themselves do.


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commented 2015-09-15 13:26:15 -0400
Paul, there are various arguments for and against the CBC (some of them quite good). Yours appears to be ideological, based on the view that government should not fund the provision of services or products that could be provided by the private sector. That’s s defensible position, but it generally breaks down when you get to particulars. Do you believe in public libraries, as well as bookstores?
commented 2015-09-14 23:39:35 -0400
Terry, I put it as “Jimmy, and Terry” with the comma in there in the hope that readers would understand that the first part applied to Jimmy and the second part to you. There was some overlap, I admit. Looking forward to your response. “prim little sermonette” LOL!
commented 2015-09-14 07:28:49 -0400
Paul: “Jimmy and Terry: I used to own a pool hall, and I’m a defending league champion of the small town I currently live in. So, I get “pool hall” talk, okay? It’s not just the word “fuck”…”
That’s nice about the pool hall. I used to work in construction. Three years with Vanson, laying pipe with a Dutch-American foreman and a primarily Italian crew. I learned to swear fluently in four language.
But I don’t.
Can you quote whatever remark I made earned me your prim little sermonette?
As for the CBC: that response will require a bit more time, but I’ll respond before end of day.
commented 2015-09-14 00:30:35 -0400
Jimmy, and Terry: I used to own a pool hall, and I’m a defending league champion of the small town I currently live in. So, I get “pool hall” talk, okay? It’s not just the word “fuck”, it’s the fact that your writing style is intended to shock with it’s language. It’s not just being conversational, it’s being agressive, planned to piss people off. Vlad uses it conversationally, I have no doubt he talks to his mother that way. Jimmy uses profanity as a weapon on this site, it’s more the action of someone intending to piss the audience off than something that just slips in to the dialogue. That quote I used earlier; no way anyone’s going to convince me that that was something someone just slips into the dialogue, not even a raving socialist.
Now, once again I’m addressing Jimmy’s inability to understand our problem with the CBC. He just bleats, over and over, how we don’t have the ability to control what the government spends our tax dollars on (so, I guess, we just lie back and take it, like all the other good sheep). And let’s not forget how it’s really our fault anyway, as it’s been our “saviour” in office for so long. What utter stupidity. Over and over, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. It’s hard to bother to fight those fantasies, again. He just puts on his blinders and repeats the same things, while thinking loudly “I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you”. Terry’s no better, of course, regarding the CBC. Not really surprised, that these two continually and so strenuously fight for their main propaganda tool, when you think about it. Now, Terry, regarding your defense of the CBC, how about you post on here, in response to this posting, the most recent reported salary of Rosemary Barton, or Terry Milewski. Without going to a FOA request, as this information should be available in some form of the reportage you claim solves this. I say you are guilty of the same “ideologues” argument you are hinting we are suffering from here, only your scotoma involves the CBC. The argument we here at the Rebel have given you, over and over, is that the CBC should be privatized. If it doesn’t stay afloat from the funds that are willingly given to it by happy customers, then the argument that it’s wanted or needed just doesn’t fly and therefore the continued support from taxpayers isn’t warranted and is in fact a form of repression. You guys never confront that. You just continue to bleat about outdated and highly biased poll results and the uselessness of the political argument. But as far as addressing the basic free enterprise argument; nothing. It’s a blind spot. You guys like the CBC, and no amount of logic or common sense hitting you in the face is going to shake that. It’s kinda sad, really. To see people who are intelligent enough to type rational sentences, some of the time, just accept that the government knows what’s best for everyone (even when it’s wrong), and we all should just relax and let it happen. Because it’s the government, and it’s the velvet rope. the velvet rope….
commented 2015-09-11 08:27:42 -0400
“I don’t know what is so hard for them to understand here.”
Ideologues of any stripe – from Maoists to dogmatic free marketeers – don’t approach information as a source of understanding. It is either data that confirms the theoretical construct they inhabit, or it is a lie, or an error, or an anomaly. Their problem is that they start with a conclusion to be validated, not a premise to be tested. The best example I can think of is a medieval cosmographer who believes in the Ptolemaic Universe. If you start with the CONCLUSION that the earth is at the centre of the universe, then you CAN, in fact, create a cosmos in which planets and stars turn, spiral, and reverse their course in weird ellipses. Similarly, if you start with the conclusion that all Muslims (or Jews, or Masons) are inherently evil, you CAN create a universe in which hidden forces move behind the scenes in the dark.
commented 2015-09-11 08:00:46 -0400
Paul: What I’ve noticed is that Jimmy tends to respond to his interlocutors in the same tone, more less, as they use to address him. When folks seem interested in a real discussion, he engages with civility. When folks lapse into chatroom/usenet style abuse, he obliges them. I have to say I prefer his sexual/scatological expostulations to Vlad’s homicidal rants.
commented 2015-09-11 07:27:12 -0400

I don’t know what is so hard for them to understand here. But thanks for further explaining things.
commented 2015-09-11 07:07:38 -0400
“despite the CBC’s government origins and public broadcasting mandate, shouldn’t it be required to operate in an economically efficient and sustainable manner, and be financially accountable to its shareholders, i.e. taxpayers?”
It does indeed have an obligation to operate in a economically efficient matter, and to follow all GAAP, and it does, to the same extent as any other crown corporation or federal agency I am aware of.
I’m not sure what you mean when you say it should operate in a “sustainable” manner, given that it runs on the basis of an annual Parliamentary appropriation, which can either be raised or cut. "Sustainable’ generally implies a level of control over revenues (or at least the means to influence them) that’s associated with the private sector. Perhaps you could expand?
The CBC submits both an annual budget and an annual audit to Parliament, your elected representatives. It is also required by law to commission an independent detailed and in depth examination of its financial and management control and information systems, and of its management practices, every ten years.
commented 2015-09-11 00:35:24 -0400

You being offended at the way that I talk – is your problem. It’s not my problem. You allow yourself to be offended and I am not required to appease you.

I don’t know how old you are and how out of touch you may be considering your completely outdated pool hall dialogue comment , but I am surrounded by people – especially in my industry that use the word fuck and many other “crude” words all day every day. It’s just the culture and the way that some people talk.

You know who else talks like that? Gavin McInnes, as it’s part of his culture too.

“…only without the porn”. LOL.

Since I don’t give a shit what you have to say and because I truly respect Erin – I trust that you can appreciate that I will value her opinion that I am not a troll and not care about your opinion which means less than nothing.

And no you shouldn’t have a say when it comes to the CBC. Just like I don’t have a say when it comes to the things that my taxes go to that I don’t support. But you have a few more weeks – write a letter to Stephen Harper and ask your lord and savior why he hasn’t cut the funding to the CBC. He’s been in a power for 10 years. There is no one else for conservatives to blame but him.

You get that right? You bitch and moan about the CBC – but it’s your guy in power. You act as if the liberals have been in power for 10 years and you have been waiting for a conservative to come along and finally defund the CBC. You have had that conservative for 10 years. So give Harper shit – not people like me that support the CBC.
commented 2015-09-11 00:05:30 -0400
Jimmy & Erin: wow, we may need kleenex here, I’m getting weepy reading your love letters! A couple of points, all to Jimmy: You’re a troll, despite what your new fan club president believes. I say this because I really, really don’t like people who have to be purposefully crude in their comments. 5 days ago, on this thread, by you: “You lap up Ezra’s and Brian’s ejaculate with pleasure”.
Really? And that’s not the only example of your pool hall dialogue. I know, everyone’s got their rights and why be prudish, blah blah blah. That comment, and other like it that you’ve made, just, wrong. If you can’t say something without going all shock and awe, maybe just shut up. And no, that’s not a conservative thing, because Vlad here is just as guilty as you, and just as irrelevant. I say “irrelevant”, knowing that gets your dander up, because Terry makes the same arguments as you, only without the porn. So…the token Liberal troll position is filled. You’re the entertainment here Jimmy, not Ezra or Brian. Feel free to take your obscenities elsewhere.
Now, the CBC. Your current parrotting seems to be how popular the CBC website is. So, that’s worth a billion a year, plus? That’s gotta make it the most inefficiently run website anywhere. Go to any high vis newser, count the microphones. Or anytime Justin opens his mouth. It’s the CBC forest, with a sprinkling of all the others, combined. All the privately funded networks share resources. The mother corp has to have a representative, a camera operator, a producer, at least one tech, and the talent to give “reports”. For every channel represented. And I pay for it all. You don’t seem to get that as a stakeholder I should be able to have some say in how my money is spent. You’re a sheep, not only willing but enthusiastically prepared to participate in such a top down, thief enabling system. Even in the face of such waste, of your own money. Kinda explains the rest of your attitude, I guess. Oh, and the CBC only has 2 conservatives: one of them’s named Rex and the other one sticks mainly to hockey (but not always). Out of hundreds. And they’re vilified for it.
commented 2015-09-10 22:34:52 -0400

CBC can’t be all things to all people and please everyone. Based on the fact that CBC is among the most popular sites in Canada with the most traffic out of millions of websites – an argument could be made that they are pleasing their shareholders. Of course there are always going to be people who complain.
commented 2015-09-10 22:31:52 -0400

I don’t think The Rebel is a news site – I think they are an opinion site. They don’t really cover daily news here – they have an agenda to sell (for example – help get Harper re-elected) and they have the right to do that, so I have no problem with The Rebel existing.

I appreciate your kind words and I am glad someone a cool as you – doesn’t think I am a troll. I guess it’s very telling of the people that do think I am a troll and wish that I would go away. I think they do want The Rebel to just be this bubble where everyone agrees with each other.

Just out of curiosity since you seem like a more laid back conservative – is there something specific that make it impossible for you to be liberal/progressive. Is it just about a preference to be fiscally conservative? You don’t strike me as someone who is socially conservative to any strong degree. Are you for gay marriage for example? Pro-choice?

I dig talking to you – if you want, we should email and talk about something else besides politics.
commented 2015-09-10 22:29:04 -0400
Terry, that’s a valid point, and the answer is obviously the latter. But my question to you is this: despite the CBC’s government origins and public broadcasting mandate, shouldn’t it be required to operate in an economically efficient and sustainable manner, and be financially accountable to its shareholders, i.e. taxpayers?
commented 2015-09-10 21:54:41 -0400
Jimmy, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on some of these points. I will admit that CBC has a few conservative voices, and so it’s not entirely left-wing. And you’re right, Fox News does deny having any bias in its news reporting, but Sun News (now TheRebel.Media) does not. It openly admits to providing a conservative-oriented perspective. Is that why you don’t consider TheRebel to be an actual news source?
I have read the Toronto Sun from time to time, yes, but not often. Before spending 10 years with Southam/Canwest/Postmedia, I actually worked for the Edmonton Sun for about a year. A large part of working in newspapers involved constantly keeping an eye on what your competitors were reporting, and so I don’t focus on any one news source exclusively. If I hear of a particular news story that piques my interest, I’m liable to google and bing search it to death, just to see how it’s being reported by different print and online news outlets, how the headlines and ledes are changed, etc. It’s a bit of a hobby.
I think you’re pretty awesome, too. We’d probably be friends IRL (which would likely involve plenty of heated, but incredibly fun and interesting debates over beers, I’m sure). But to answer your question, I don’t see you as a troll simply because you aren’t one. Expressing a point of view, even if it’s unpopular, does not equate to intentionally disrupting, inciting or harassing people (the definition of an internet “troll”, as I understand it). See, the nebulous concept of “justice” informs my personality in a big way, and while it means many different things to different people, I’ve come to believe that justice is simply the act of acknowledging what is. I probably read that somewhere once, but it’s the best definition I’ve come across. Striving for, preserving and enhancing justice is just more important to me than being right, or fighting over politics. Although I do like to be right (who doesn’t?), and I very much enjoy a good political debate.
So if you’re ever out in Edmonton, you should let me know and we’ll go grab a beer.
commented 2015-09-10 13:23:01 -0400

No media source comes right out and says that they have any sort of bias.

Fox News tries to sell themselves as fair and balanced, even though they are a shill for the Republican party. CBC does have conservatives that work there – Amanda Lang is no liberal and Andrew Coyne is a conservative commentator among others.

While The Rebel is needed – let’s be honest here that it’s not remotely as valuable as the CBC. Keep in mind that CBC offers so much more than just the couple of hours of news that they provided. It’s a whole network of arts, culture, music, documentary, education, information and Canadian content. The Rebel is really just a more hard core version of The Toronto Sun since Ezra is running it. Do you read The Toronto Sun?

Like I said before, we may not agree on a whole lot – but I think you are awesome….actually let me go back a second, I am sure if we actually knew each other in person, we would probably agree on a ton of stuff, but we are stuck here in the world of political discussion.

I have a question for you – why don’t you see me as a troll when some other people here that share your political view think that I am. Again, I wish more people were like you.
commented 2015-09-10 12:50:54 -0400
“Some such media outlets have been around even longer than the CBC, and have far more local historic value, but when they were forced to lay off employees who’d served 20-30 or more years, they didn’t blame the conservatives or the PM.”
Earl, were the media outlets to which you refer established by an Act of Parliament and funded with a specific mandate under the Broadcast Act? Or where they private businesses operating for profit?
commented 2015-09-10 04:52:59 -0400
Just like Jimmy and Terry have their issues with TheRebel’s bias, I have my issues with the CBC. But, just like they argue the CBC is valuable (and to a limited extent, I agree), I would counter that TheRebel is at least as valuable. After all, what good is having multiple media outlets if they all tell the same story from the same point of view? I acknowledge and accept that TheRebel relays a conservative viewpoint, and I think most of the commenters here would agree that the CBC provides a more liberal perspective.
And here’s where Jimmy and I probably disagree. My main issue with the CBC is not with its receipt of public funding, but with its ongoing failure, refusal or inability to simply acknowledge that it DOES hold a liberal-friendly, anti-conservative bias. I don’t want to see it go away or be defunded. It is a Canadian institution, but I certainly don’t want us to become more like the UK, which on top of using income tax dollars to support the BBC actually imposes a TV tax directed toward a BBC slush fund. All I want is one of two things: 1) for the CBC to admit its left-leaning news bias, or; 2) for the CBC to actually BE more neutral in its news reporting. And perhaps 3) for it to quit politicizing its recent cutbacks.
The CBC is not alone in having to “do more with less” — every media outlet in Canada (and for that matter, the world) has had to streamline, digitize, and find new, more efficient means of delivering news content. Some such media outlets have been around even longer than the CBC, and have far more local historic value, but when they were forced to lay off employees who’d served 20-30 or more years, they didn’t blame the conservatives or the PM. For them, it was just the necessary cost of continuing to stay in business. For example, a week after I quit the newspaper in April 2012, it stopped printing a Sunday edition (I worked every Saturday night). I like to think (arrogantly, I know) that the two were connected, but the point is that even though I was doing the jobs of at least 5 people, it couldn’t justify hiring a replacement. Three months later, more than 20 copyeditors were laid off.
It’s just the CBC’s attitude that bothers me. I’m not particularly fond of an entity with an overgrown sense of entitlement that tends to bite the very hand that feeds it, and doesn’t appreciate what it has. But despite all that, I still watch The National almost every night, and whether I agree with the coverage or not, I wouldn’t want to see it gone.
Regardless of what Jimmy, Terry or anyone else here says about TheRebel, the fact is they’re HERE. I, for one, celebrate that, as I don’t see liberal “trolls”, but strong-minded individuals who are tolerant, curious and who seek out interesting discourse with strangers on a site they KNOW to be conservative-oriented, in what appears to me to be a sincere effort to gain understanding and share their own perspectives in return. OK, that sounded a little like the intro to Star Trek, but hey, I’m definitely a product of my media-saturated upbringing, and if I believed in God (not to say either way, that’s too private to disclose), I’d be thanking him/her each and every day for having been so blessed.
commented 2015-09-10 03:56:37 -0400

The CBC is in the top 20 websites in Canada out of millions. That means many millions of people go to the CBC website every single and numerous times a day. The CBC is obviously very relevant. People have just moved from TV to the internet.
commented 2015-09-10 01:39:02 -0400
Jimmy, thanks :) And I wish more liberals were like you (i.e. we don’t agree on much, but have a blast anyway). It’s ALL about lively debate. The only major ground rule is mutual respect, and the only concrete requirements are a bit of patience and a sense of humour.
That said, Peter Neverville, if you tell me your CBC comments were deleted even though you refrained from swearing, intimidating, name-calling, etc., I believe you. I would never assume someone is lying. In fact, I try not to make assumptions at all, if I can help it. All I’m saying is that this so-called “censorship” by the CBC doesn’t appear to be a strict organizational policy, because plenty of conservative comments aren’t deleted.
Maybe they only get deleted if another commenter actually bothers to complain to the moderator. Whether or not the complainant has a valid objection to the comment, the CBC moderators might have a policy to delete comments whenever a complaint is received. It might just be a CYA (cover your ass) move recommended by CBC’s lawyers. When I moderated online comments for a daily newspaper, we had a similar policy, however unfair it may seem. Toward the end of my 10-year tenure in the newsroom, I was literally doing the jobs previously done by 5 individuals (we all were, due to staff layoffs and cutbacks), and moderating comments was WAY down on the list of priorities when we were all racing around to meet deadline.
commented 2015-09-09 13:37:27 -0400
The CBC was created to unite Canada and Canadians. To bring us together right across the far reaches of this country. In many remote location they built transmitters so that people everywhere could listen to the news and be entertained with hockey games and science shows, etc. Driving along the trans Canada, their little road side signs were much appreciated. Some of my friends who grew up in northern communities only had the CBC to know what was happening in the world. There was short wave radio at night but often that was difficult to tune in. As a child, I remember listening to Joe Adamov from Radio Moscow on short wave or the BBC. But that wasn`t Canadian.
But then the internet and satellite radio and TV showed up. Suddenly, the CBC lost its relevancy and dominancy. It became obsolete. But it still plodded along as it did not depend on advertising or private money, it was and is a government run network.
The Liberals were in power for many years and so the CBC and the mainstream private media became aligned with the Liberals for the most part. Canada became a somewhat politically Liberal country in those years. The Vietnam war and draft dodgers helped define that. It was empire building and the CBC became the ministry of propaganda.
There were some short lived Conservative governments but “the natural governing party” always returned.
Then, PM Harper and the Conservatives came into power. The Liberal Empire was decimated at the polls. The Ministry of propaganda, the CBC, was now without its political masters. What to do.
The only thing they and the aligned mainstream media could do was to use their power of the media, to try and win the hearts and minds of Canadians to return to the glory days of the Liberal empire. This was war and the ends justified the means.
So for the last ten years, ever since the Conservatives formed government, we have had to endure constant partisan and biased media attacks on the government. The biggest propaganda campaign this country has ever had.
History will expose all of this. Future generations will be able to dissect and study all the comments and all the people commenting and read between the lines and see the truth.
commented 2015-09-08 21:14:33 -0400
CBC is so bad. They are clever about it but even when they are being nonpartisan and letting people share their opinion they will arrange it so it almost subliminaly come out how they want it. They said it was a tight race and got pro liberal and ndp and a few traditionally con but thinking about switching. All in all it was most a liberal thing. They always try to get the last speaker to be a liberal. Their whole show was ridiculous. They didn’t have one single pro con speaker, only leaners. They even used such wording as to say the libs and ndp both have 50% of the vote. Not sure if you understand math CBC. They are supposed to be a national newscaster and they might as well be put in the same box as other lib mainstream media. They are clever but if you read/listen closely enough it is almost always partisan. Oh, and the moderators. You can’t even call in without passing the producers. And I have definitely seen the deletion of comments.
commented 2015-09-08 16:38:30 -0400
just had 8 posts in a row censored at cbc.. all the truth easily verified and none a rant .. i am still waiting on the review of my original complaint (unrelated) because the initial response from jennifer harwood was self serving nonsense.
commented 2015-09-06 01:10:57 -0400
Jimmy, taxes a la carte would be what I’d like. Don’t want to pay for the military? Don’t. Want to? Go for it. Don’t want to pay for the CBC? Don’t. Want to? Go for it.

Now the real question, would you support this tax scheme?
commented 2015-09-05 21:50:28 -0400


The Toronto Sun, The Rebel, The National Post, Calgary Herald, Halifax-Herald, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Sun, The Vancouver Sun, Lifesite Canada, Brietbart, Fox News, The Drudge Report, The Washington Times, Glenn Beck, The Wall Street Journal, The Blaze, Rush Limbaugh, The Daily Caller, Alex Jones, Michael Savage, Ben Shapiro, Steven Crowder, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter to name a few.

I think you are covered for conservative media and news.
commented 2015-09-05 21:27:06 -0400

It’s the same response as to why our taxes go to tons of other things that we may or may not support.

Tough shit – way it goes.

You should focus on a plan for Canada to pay taxes a la carte or write a letter to Stephen Harper.

Let me know what he says.
commented 2015-09-05 20:47:10 -0400
Jimmy, honestly the CBC was never really necessary. If people really truly need it they can feel free to pool their money and pay the bills. Why should those of us to do not need it nor want it pay for it.
commented 2015-09-05 20:45:41 -0400
Yeah if you like everything breaking when you update Arch is heaven. Yes I program a little, I do a little bit of everything for programming. As long as the project requires minimal artistic skills. Do you do more of the front end side of projects or back end?
commented 2015-09-05 20:16:26 -0400
What can be done about a left wing main stream media that has sold its’ soul to hate for the purpose of attacking the Conservatives with all sorts of vile lies?
commented 2015-09-05 13:43:56 -0400

Just because YOU say that it’s no longer an essential service – because it doesn’t serve YOUR needs, doesn’t make it so.

The very fact that CBC is in the top 20 of the most popular websites in Canada – out of MILLIONS of websites – meaning that the vast majority of Canadians go to the CBC website for their news every single day and multiples times a day confirms the importance of CBC to Canadians.

If no one was watching CBC or listening to CBC radio or using the CBC website (if they prefer that to watching it on TV) – like say Sun News Network, then you would have a point. But since that isn’t the case, you are completely and factually wrong here. But thanks for coming out and sharing your opinion.

You are hilarious – one could say that the difference between us is that I am indoctrinated by the left and you are indoctrinated by the right. You think because you have an opposing view, that you haven’t been brain washed by the Ezra Levant’s on the right? Who are you trying to kid here? You lap up Ezra’s and Brian’s ejaculate with pleasure and you actually believe that they are the real truth tellers.

You are actually quite pathetic in this regard.