Norman Hadley – a doyen of the Untrusted – pompous, disdainful, censor.

Norman Hadley – a doyen of the Untrusted – pompous, disdainful, censor.

Back in 2010 the was a heated debate on Comment is Free with the rather pretentious title – A panel debate on web moderation, with ATL contributions from the editor, Natalie Hanman, Jay Reilly, Tim Skellett, the Lawyers and the Moderators. There were 957 comments on the thread that followed.  While doing a bit of housekeeping I came across this exchange.

Probably because like so many others, Norman felt a need at some time in the past, to mount his white charger and come galloping to the rescue of those Untrusteds who were being rather unkindly treated while away from the protection of their own site, he made a world shattering contribution on moderation with the following:

Morning bitethehand/auxesis/Job/yanquapin
I hope you are keeping well out East but can I repeat my entreaty from earlier this year that you never speak to me? Thanks.


I responded to the moderator’s prefect for the day:

Let me say from the outset that I do not advocate sackings, censorship or any other curtailment of free speech.

Nevertheless NormanHadley, as you know there have been posters who’ve been banned from CiF because they’ve persistently abused the moderators, something I’m please to say I’ve never been guilty of.

However you make a scurrilous attack on the professionalism of the senior staff who work for The Guardian and among other things manage and write for CiF.

Yet when politely asked for evidence you provide none.

So how are we supposed to judge the validity of your criticisms and how they relate to the current moderation policy, and how it might change in the future?

And followed up with the following:

NormanHadley, as you’ve declined to defend and far less explain your criticism of the conduct of those you call the ‘CiF top brass’ during the Jane Andrews and Madeleine Martin threads and much, much more’, can we all assume you were just posting for effect, rather than because you have any evidence to back up your accusation, of what, unprofessional conduct?

Norman West has already pointed out the flaw in your dualism. Excellent post.

So could it be that on the Libby Brooks article your comments were treated by the writer with the contempt they deserved, that is the ones that weren’t removed by the moderators, and Ms Brooks gave you an appropriate response with her stunning retort:

It seems to me that there’s little point in you all wasting your energy for the rest of the afternoon telling me you think I’m a shitty person.

And the clincher comes from the Barbara Ellen thread where ‘Outraged of Tonbridge’ demanding “can we please have some indication of how the Guardian intends to respond?”, was quite rightly ignored by paper’s top brass and everyone else there.

And your behaviour on this thread makes your claim to support freedom of speech ring rather hollow.

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