Some changes for Kiwiblog

August 19th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Over the last week or so I have seriously considered walking away from . While some will take huge pleasure in what has happened, let me say that it is genuinely traumatic to have hacked e-mails to and from yourself (even if you were not the one hacked) floating around, and to also realise that because you are a blogger and pollster, it means you and your office is fair game. One of the worst moments was having a senior staff member of mine, who is also a very good friend, tell me that she had been worried that I might think she was the leak, as our politics are different. I hate the impact this is having on so many people.

Some of the revelations coming out, also do not show aspects of the blogosphere in a good light (to put it mildly) and I’ve thought quite a bit about how this impacts the wider blogosphere.

I don’t believe that the book shows me having acted in any way inappropriately. I have  gone out of my way to be open about my background and leanings and relationships, and I follow my own views when I blog – hence why I campaigned against the Government last year on the copper tax (despite being a Chorus shareholder!). I never have taken any form of money or kind for blog posts, and disclose even the mist minor gifts.

There is part of me that wants to walk away so I am no longer a target. Politics is far less important to me than family and friends. I’ve also considered whether to do what Cameron often calls me, and become a travel and arts blogger, and have less or almost no focus on politics. But the trouble is the blog for me is an outlet on what I think – what I like, what annoys me, what amuses me, what appals me. And I can’t imagine it can function as that, if I try and avoid politics. I do genuinely blog because I like having my say – that is my primary motivation.

Also I do like to think, without being immodest, that I do make good contributions to politics in NZ. I can data crunch, I have a 20+ year history of political knowledge which can put things in context, I have good relationships, and I generally get good feedback on my commentary in the mainstream media. I’m far far from irreplaceable, but there are not that many people who have the time, skills and employment situation that allows them to substantively blog.

So after some reflection, I have decided to carry on, but to make some changes. I want to improve trust in myself, Kiwiblog, and perhaps the wider blogosphere. So I’ve decided on the following.

  1. Kiwiblog is sending in an application today to join the Online Media Standards Authority. I’m not doing this so I can be called media. I don’t intend to label myself as media. I’m a blogger. I’m doing it so I can be held accountable to a public code of ethics and standards, and an independent complaint procedure. The code of ethics and standards will apply to both myself, and all guest bloggers here.
  2. I receive up to a dozen unsolicited e-mails a day, suggesting stories to me. Most are from people who are not politicians or staff – just ordinary readers. Some are just links to stories, some make some points on a topical issue. I sometimes quote these e-mails in posts. I have always been very careful to distinguish between content I write, and content people may send me (which I quote as coming from a reader). But I’m going to go a further step and if any content substantially comes from a parliamentary, or political party staffer, source I will state so when using it. I will not name individuals, but if I quote someone I will include information on their affiliations, when relevant. You will find this is very infrequently.
  3. There has been a culture of sharing stories in advance with others who may be interested in the story. Nothing wrong with sharing information. I don’t do it that often, but have when I think I have a particularly relevant story, that others may want to also blog on. This isn’t a conspiracy, it is simply information sharing. However I’m not going to do this in future. Generally no one will gets a heads up on my stories. The exception will be if it is an explicitly co-ordinated campaign such as happened in early 2009 over the pending changes to the Copyright Act, when I contacted blogs from the left and right to take part in the Black Out campaign.
  4. When I have disagreed in the past with stories Cam has run, I’ve tended to say so directly to try and influence him. The joke is my 1% success rate is higher than most.  On the recent case of Tania Billingsley, I said in a phone conversation that I didn’t think speculating on her motives was a wise thing to do. I made contact after a friend of Tania’s asked me to have a word. But I accept that having a direct conversation doesn’t mean I shouldn’t also publicly say when I think something is wrong. So in future I will more often. One can be friends, and say I think you are wrong with what you are doing. And yes we are friends. When I had some health issues a couple of years ago Cam was there for me in a big way, and on a personal note, I know he will remain there for me, and I will for him. But again, it doesn’t mean I can’t say I think you are wrong and shouldn’t do it, just as he regularly calls me out for being a pinko, or the such!
  5. After the election (ie when I have more time) I am going to consult on a tougher moderation policy for the comments. I want them to be robust and forceful, but focused more on issues than people. I have very limited time to read them myself, so probably will ask for some readers to step forward as moderators. We’ll have that discussion in October.

I hope people will appreciate the changes. I welcome feedback on them, and other suggestions. I believe political blogs can play a very valuable role in political discourse, and want to do what I can to be a constructive part of it.

UPDATE: The hone of mainly anonymous bloggers, The Standard, has a go at my decision to have even more transparency than I currently do. And what is hilarious, is the post is anonymous.

Also they print an extract from the book which is totally factually wrong. The party they cite was not organised by me, and I did not even invite anyone to attend. I went to a party in Palmerston North. Around 30 to 40 people attended the party, and they can all attest I was not the organiser. It’s just a smear.

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226 Responses to “Some changes for Kiwiblog”

  1. Inthisdress (183 comments) says:

    Well Said.

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  2. Redbaiter (8,274 comments) says:

    An over reaction.

    Just keep doing what you are doing.

    Nothing is ever as bad as it seems at the time.

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  3. trout (932 comments) says:

    All good

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  4. FeralScrote (176 comments) says:

    Don`t let the bastards grind you down David.
    This is how they work , dissent is attacked by any means fair or foul.

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  5. EAD (939 comments) says:

    DPF – I’ll take this chance to thank you for hosting a well run blog. Although I disagree with your p.o.v. on what the National Party now represent, you allow a healthy debate even when your readers disagree.

    Be careful if you go down the mods route. Pick the wrongs ones(especially if they’re over zealous) and this place will turn into am echo chamber and a number of your most interesting commentators will desert and it’ll turn into a whaleoil where everyone must agree with Slater.

    This is the only blog I post on alongside Zerohedge – probably b/c of the debates…

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  6. mjw (390 comments) says:

    Your hands are clean David, and your character is spotless (mostly). These sound like very positive steps.

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  7. Ross12 (1,377 comments) says:

    Well done David.

    The only thing I would say is, that even if you do not think of blogs as part of the media, I do.

    I think one thing to come out of the response to the Hager book is that some journalists have an over inflated opinion of their profession and some are obviously just plain green with envy of the success of some blogs. I suspect they have absolutely no understanding of the effort involved in running a good blog and maintaining the standard of it.

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  8. Redbaiter (8,274 comments) says:

    “Be careful if you go down the mods route. Pick the wrongs ones(especially if they’re zealous) and this place will turn into am echo chamber and a number your best commentators may desert it and it’ll turn into a whaleoil”

    Its like Jonestown over there.

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  9. The Stig (34 comments) says:

    You are letting the bad guys get to you. This will blow over. It’s not like you’ve been charged by the police.

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  10. GPT1 (2,116 comments) says:

    One does not simply resign from the VRWNZC….

    On a more serious note I am pleased you are carrying on but sad that you feel the need to change because some low life steals your emails.

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  11. Rich Prick (1,659 comments) says:

    David, I regularly read your blog and I would have to describe it as moderate and considered. So far as I know, you haven’t received hacked property, breached privacy laws nor ignored basic journalistic standards. So far as I’m concerned, it should be the Left (and we know who in particular) reflecting on their standards, not you. But good on you all the same.

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  12. Pdubyah (21 comments) says:

    I’m sure some days it feels like you are the pigeon, some the statue.

    Illegitimi non carborundum.

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  13. ChardonnayGuy (1,197 comments) says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, David. Your blog is one of the most informative, balanced and humane on the centre-right. And I’m a Damned Leftist!!! ;)

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  14. MT_Tinman (3,092 comments) says:

    DPF I consider Kiwiblog the best blog around.

    I repeat the advice of others that your quitting or massively changing the blog is what the lowlifes want.

    DPF don’t let the bastards grind you down, Kiwiblog is a force for good.

    Keep up the good work.

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  15. polemic (460 comments) says:

    Ah how I love dropping in the ” Trust ” Question !!!!!

    Who do you trust more David Farrar or Nicky Hager?

    Green Upticks for DPF and red down ticks for Hager…..

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  16. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    Kiwiblog is light years ahead of any other Blog in New Zealand.
    Whatever you do..Do NOT quit- Then the unscrupulous bastards on the Left have won!

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  17. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    Good to hear you are going to carry on DPF, and I think your suggested changes are excellent. You’ve always been one of the most open bloggers on disclosure, and you are taking that even further.

    Moderation can be very time consuming, a difficult beast to confront. It’s a REAL SHAME that more responsibility and respect isn’t shown here by commenters.

    You are setting a higher standard for yourself – now it will be interesting to see if the blogs to the left who have been busy claiming they are not as bad as those on the right step up and follow your example.

    As Bunji has just posted at The Standard – Left wing blogs aren’t “the same”.

    No, they are not the same. Are they willing to up their standards too?

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  18. Peter (1,688 comments) says:

    Good move. Distance yourself from The Standard.

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  19. peterwn (3,238 comments) says:

    There is another consideration too. Those who are retired or who have pots of money (or a few other categories) enjoy enhanced freedom of expression. However those in employment or dependent on the goodwill of clients have their freedom of expression curtailed as they have to be careful not to upset their employers or customers. This is another thing that wanabe bloggers have to consider.

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  20. Chris S (111 comments) says:

    This is good to hear DPF, you’re a fixture in the blogosphere and political commentary is (generally) richer for it.

    Does this mean we’re going to see a little more analysis and a little less “looney left this” and “green taliban that”?

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  21. Linda Reid (412 comments) says:

    David, first, thank you very much for this blog. I have found it to be both entertaining and incredibly informative. I love that I get to read many points of view in the comments section as well. Often my assumptions are challenged and I enjoy that.

    Second, please keep going. Those of us who read your blog would be less well informed if you stop. I know that theoretically no-one is irreplaceable, but in your case I think there is an exception to the rule.

    Cam is as Cam does, and I read his blog as well. He breaks stories and puts his own spin on stories and I disagree with his approach often. But he also serves a purpose and allows dissent.

    NZ is fortunate to have both of you blogging. Don’t let the hackers and wreckers get you down.

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  22. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  23. DeadlyNZ (5 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  24. soundhill1 (169 comments) says:

    Open political discussion is a threat to the corporatocracy. Sheldon Wollin writes of “inverted totalitarianism” (wiki). The corporatocracy wins when people lose faith in being able to be able to change anything by democracy. Back in UseNet days I never really could figure how much of the sometime voluminous off topic sex for example was intended to make readers go away.

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  25. Colville (2,248 comments) says:

    Its a great blog, easy the least slanted and by far the most informed posts and comments of any blog in NZ. I think that is because of the almost self moderating comments.

    Very rare for you DPF to step in and slap someone (you whacked me once , for calling Darren Hughes bad names :-) which are true dammit! ))

    I hope you do go the moderation route but I also trust you to do it in the spirit that the blog runs with now. Very light handed.

    I do hope tho that moderation wouldnt stop the drunken late night General Debate melt downs we have seen….great entertainment value!

    Keep up the great work!

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  26. SGA (982 comments) says:

    @DPF
    From “About”

    I blog on any issue or thing I find interesting. Now this is mostly politics, but also quite a bit on technology and the Internet. And as my friends use the blog to keep track of what I am up to, there’s a fair amount of personal stuff also, photos of places I have been, food, theatre or movie reviews, or just anything I want to share.

    I enjoy the “politically-inclined magazine” format, fwiw – offers places to go when some people start taking themselves far too seriously.

    I have very limited time to read them myself, so probably will ask for some readers to step forward as moderators.

    The tricky bit is that the people most willing to take on such a thankless, time-consuming commitment are often the last ones you’d really want to do it. :-)

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  27. Rick Rowling (825 comments) says:

    You’ve been outed as a shill

    Tom Jackson – I hope you’re being ironic. DPF is one of the most open NZ bloggers about who we supports and what his background is.

    Another is Danyl.

    Compare with the mostly anonymous Standard (I suspect anonymous in part because they’re blogging on the taxpayers dime in their cosy public service role, but who would know?).

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  28. Colville (2,248 comments) says:

    DeadlyNZ. If you wanted to be flamed you wouldnt be hiding your name would you?

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  29. Bovver (161 comments) says:

    This is the best centre right political blog site in New Zealand hands down, moderating some of the personal attacks against posters is no bad thing, some comments are way over the top (Flipper), the number of times I’ve seen poor old PG railed against does not make for informed debate.

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  30. Rick Rowling (825 comments) says:

    Hi DeadlyNZ

    Welcome back to a blog that allows dissenting views in the comments section.

    It’s so much more interesting than the highly modded one-sided blogs.

    You know you’re welcome to stay here and disagree if you like :-)

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  31. tom hunter (4,671 comments) says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been considering walking away, though I don’t minimise the toll plus the effort it takes to keep this thing running alongside a business and a life.

    I’m glad that you’ve decided not to quit Kiwiblog. As far as your ideas are concerned joining the Online Media Standards Authority is a bad idea. You really think the denizens of The Standard or The Dim Post are not going to wage law fare against you via that complaints process? You’ll be letting yourself in for even more work and stress.

    Besides, what standing does that group truly have to judge? What are their backgrounds, history of ethics and so forth. It will eventually devolve into yet another public group dominated by “activists” and you’ll find yourself being publicly hung out to dry on a 3-2 vote (or some such) with no comeback because you voluntarily submitted to their “standards”. Look at the membership:

    Television New Zealand Limited
    TVWorks Limited
    RadioWorks Limited
    Sky Network Television Limited
    The Radio Network Limited
    Radio New Zealand Limited

    Seriously? Has there ever been a complaint about the appalling Correspondent from the USA section on Nine To Noon, Jack Hitt. Their standards are meaningless.

    As far as debate is concerned I don’t think it’s a matter of banning people for getting stuck into each other, that happens to almost all of us. What is needed is a ban on people who persist in stupid flame wars on subjects about which they’re obsessed. For my money this blog would be greatly improved by dumping the following:
    – Bainiacs (both sides)
    – The Jewish-Free Mason-Illuminati

    Even then exception should be made for occasional posts – just for a laugh – and open slather allowed if that’s the topic.

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  32. Bill Bennett (31 comments) says:

    Good on you David.

    For a moment I thought of following your example joining the Online Media Standards Authority. Then I saw the membership fees are more than I make from my blog. Still, I guess I can follow the guidelines without paying the cash.

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  33. PaulL (6,019 comments) says:

    @DPF: It was clear you’d slowed down in the last few days. I think you’ll find with a bit more time that some of this will seem less important, so I’m glad to see you’re not doing anything drastic in haste.

    I’m also glad to see you’re drawing a line between friendship and support. Friends are friends for a lot of reasons, but it doesn’t mean always agreeing. Cam is often over the line, and does need to be reminded of that – in my opinion he could potentially be going to have a big impact on the election, which is not what politics should be about. He’s living in a bubble of his own making and it sometimes needs popping.

    I like your suggestions on changes you’ll make to how you treat some stories. But remember that those who disagree with you will still choose to disbelieve you, don’t get too concerned with those whose minds you cannot change anyway.

    On moderation, think hard about your moderation policy. There are some here who are destroying the comment threads (the constant to and fro with Judith at the moment for example), but also remember that a large part of what is great about kiwiblog is that you don’t over moderate. The nature of moderators is to be officious pricks sometimes, you need a way to keep it light touch without it turning into censorship or an echo chamber. That’s a hard line to walk along, but I’d suggest that erring on the side of less moderation than more will give the better long-term result. I suspect only about 1% or less of comments need to be moderated, and most will self moderate once they know there are limits.

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  34. freedom101 (491 comments) says:

    DPF, you run the best blog in NZ by a country mile. Keep up the good work. The changes you have suggested are good, but wait a month or two and then review the changes you are proposing to make. This week is probably not a good time to rely on personal objectivity in your decisions.

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  35. Nostalgia-NZ (5,093 comments) says:

    Good decision David. Not so much about keeping the blog going because I doubt you seriously considered letting it go apart from fleeting thoughts. However advancing moderation and joining The Online Media Authority is timely. One thing that has emerged over the last few days is what could be called the ‘association principle’ – one where it appears that by association KB would be lined up beside WO, that doesn’t look to have happened. A reason in itself for you to have perhaps seen that keeping going was important – closing down would have resulted in a celebration in some quarters that there was no difference between KB and WO when in fact there clearly is. In fact when the ‘story’ broke you were candid in your opinion of Slater’s methods, hardly the reaction of someone seeing the need to ‘stick fat’ for fear that there would be something to hide if you didn’t.

    But back to the blogging, the landscape has changed. Over a period of time you have made various submissions regarding change or standards in the blogosphere, hopefully to the point that you are considered a moderate and measured voice on the issues that have resulted in a whole range of ‘events’ which have happened without restraint for many years on the nz internet. So forwarding KB in that direction seems to have been the likely result anyway – whether or not this can of worms had opened. Good on you, congratulations on turning a page which other blogs will invariably follow. Also, good fortune with securing your systems in a way that will put you at ease.

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  36. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  37. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    The first reaction from The Standard shows their hypocrisy claiming the moral high ground – No Changes for Kiwiblog

    Whoever wrote and posted that didn’t even have the guts to put their name to it.

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  38. Lucia Maria (2,275 comments) says:

    David,

    I agree with Redbaiter, I think the changes you are making to the blog are an overreaction to what’s happened. However, I can understand why you’re making the changes because no one likes being a target (except maybe Cameron Slater).

    I’m not going to urge you to keep blogging (though I’m glad you’re not stopping), even though this is the best political blog in NZ and you should be proud of what you’ve achieved in regards to political discourse. For, ultimately blogging is something that is best done when it comes from the desire to blog, irrespective of who reads. Otherwise you become a slave to the blog and it controls you, rather you controlling it.

    Thank you for this blog and all the time you’ve put into it.

    As others have said, don’t let the bastards win.

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  39. Tarquin North (254 comments) says:

    Well said David, I agree it’s all getting pretty tiresome. Imagine how John Key feels. Context is a word missing from the left dictionary, they just join random dots instead to create weird outcomes. Keep up the good work and be proud of what you do.

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  40. m@tt (630 comments) says:

    Moderation is the key. There are some worthy debates and discussions to be had and you pick your topics very well but too many of your commentors resort to ad hominem and trolling attacks to readily. I’ve seen many a solid logical argument completely streamrolled by abuse from those with closed minds. It devalues your site immeasurably.

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  41. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    For a moment I thought of following your example joining the Online Media Standards Authority. Then I saw the membership fees are more than I make from my blog. Still, I guess I can follow the guidelines without paying the cash.

    Bill, is it worth formalising something on this – have a standard “I comply with the standard of the Online Media Standards Authority” sort of thing, or set up a bloggers equivalent based on that?

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  42. Daigotsu (454 comments) says:

    ” But I accept that having a direct conversation doesn’t mean I shouldn’t also publicly say when I think something is wrong. So in future I will more often.”

    So, in the past, when Cam did something that you thought was wrong, you just kept quiet about it?

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  43. dime (9,799 comments) says:

    Would be a big loss if you quit DPF.

    “an independent complaint procedure” – this is a worry. do you trust the nutters not to swamp you?

    Moderators – there aren’t many good ones out there. have a look at “pete” on whale oil. what a condescending nutter on a power trip. to be fair though, it is needed. lately there have been a lot of judith types here – their stamina is impressive but they are destroying many threads. Personally i think the moderators should only really bust the spammers. apart from that, as is.. if anyone goes too far etc

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  44. petal (705 comments) says:

    “tougher moderation policy for the comments”

    *snigger*

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  45. Fisiani (1,024 comments) says:

    Your pain is clear to see. The violation of your privacy and business by a spy must have been devastating.
    The campaign of the forces of the Left this year have stooped to new lows. Hacking, stealing, burglary, effigy burning, implanted chanting, swastiki and racist graffiti and damage to hoardings.
    Cam strongly suspects that Kim Dot Com has paid for much of this.
    If the Left triumph does anyone think he will be extradited……………… He has the best politicians that money can buy in his pocket.
    I welcome the tolerance shown on Kiwiblog to the trolls who seek to incite and deflect. It takes a lot to be banned on posting here unlike The Standard where reasoned and reasonable dissent is not tolerated. ( disclosure- I’m currently on a third ban from posting there till after the election!)
    Many of the posts that you publish are used as material when I campaign over the water cooler and on the doorsteps. I thank you for your excellent blog and wish you well.

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  46. publicwatchdog (2,516 comments) says:

    David – I give you credit for allowing me to have my say – although we are usually on different galaxies on most issues.

    Unlike Cameron Slater and Martyn Bradbury, you have never banned me from your site.

    When it comes to freedom of expression, it is my experience that you DO ‘practice what you preach’.

    In my view, encouraging those who make comments to put their (genuine) names to their posts would help to stop a lot of the ad hominem nastiness, by those who prefer to attack the messenger because they don’t like the message.

    My personal guidelines are:

    1) Try not to say anything about someone that you couldn’t or wouldn’t say directly to their face.

    2) TELL THE TRUTH!

    What I’ve found that ‘where there is heat – there often ends up being light’.

    I also give full credit for Nicky Hager for publishing ‘Dirty Politics’ in order to shine a public spotlight on dark and dirty ‘black op’ practices, which should have no place, in my view, in our system of New Zealand government.

    So – good on you for outlining what you are now doing to help ‘clean it up’!

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    1. Kiwiblog is sending in an application today to join the Online Media Standards Authority. I’m not doing this so I can be called media. I don’t intend to label myself as media. I’m a blogger. I’m doing it so I can be held accountable to a public code of ethics and standards, and an independent complaint procedure. The code of ethics and standards will apply to both myself, and all guest bloggers here.

    2. I receive up to a dozen unsolicited e-mails a day, suggesting stories to me. Most are from people who are not politicians or staff – just ordinary readers. Some are just links to stories, some make some points on a topical issue. I sometimes quote these e-mails in posts. I have always been very careful to distinguish between content I write, and content people may send me (which I quote as coming from a reader). But I’m going to go a further step and if any content substantially comes from a parliamentary, or political party staffer, source I will state so when using it. I will not name individuals, but if I quote someone I will include information on their affiliations, when relevant. You will find this is very infrequently.

    3.There has been a culture of sharing stories in advance with others who may be interested in the story. Nothing wrong with sharing information. I don’t do it that often, but have when I think I have a particularly relevant story, that others may want to also blog on. This isn’t a conspiracy, it is simply information sharing. However I’m not going to do this in future. Generally no one will gets a heads up on my stories. The exception will be if it is an explicitly co-ordinated campaign such as happened in early 2009 over the pending changes to the Copyright Act, when I contacted blogs from the left and right to take part in the Black Out campaign.

    4. When I have disagreed in the past with stories Cam has run, I’ve tended to say so directly to try and influence him. The joke is my 1% success rate is higher than most. On the recent case of Tania Billingsley, I said in a phone conversation that I didn’t think speculating on her motives was a wise thing to do. I made contact after a friend of Tania’s asked me to have a word. But I accept that having a direct conversation doesn’t mean I shouldn’t also publicly say when I think something is wrong. So in future I will more often. One can be friends, and say I think you are wrong with what you are doing. And yes we are friends. When I had some health issues a couple of years ago Cam was there for me in a big way, and on a personal note, I know he will remain there for me, and I will for him. But again, it doesn’t mean I can’t say I think you are wrong and shouldn’t do it, just as he regularly calls me out for being a pinko, or the such!
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

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  47. kowtow (8,154 comments) says:

    DPF

    Please seriously consider tom hunter’s 936!!!

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  48. tom hunter (4,671 comments) says:

    Oh yes – and ban fuckers who don’t know how to link but instead simply cut and paste vast screeds.

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  49. G152 (269 comments) says:

    Only Blog I post to!
    Don’t allow the small and the bigoted to affect you.
    Just carry on as you are.

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  50. RF (1,366 comments) says:

    DPF. You run a very fair blog and it is a breath of fresh air being able to read the diverse comments without any censorship.

    I was formerly a card carrying member of the Labour party with a position in the local LEC and know how they operate. They are basically communists and a danger to our society.

    Keep up the good work.

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  51. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    petal (705 comments) says:
    August 19th, 2014 at 9:41 am
    “tougher moderation policy for the comments”

    *snigger*

    Snigger away. I doubt DPF would ever ban at whim or censor opinions that don’t fit his.

    Whale Oil needed to clean up but as dime says, power tripping and message control isn’t the way to do it.

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  52. RandySavage (209 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  53. kiwi in america (2,495 comments) says:

    David
    These are excellent and reasonable responses to a thorny situation – to contemplate the possibility of being spied on by agents of the left is indeed galling and you are to be commended for staying and looking for ways to tighten up the ship.

    I have always enjoyed your blog and I have preferred commenting and debating over here than over at Whaleoil although, since he has tightened moderation, things have improved. There are many differences between you and Cameron and one is that you are a more gentlemanly opponent who commands respect from your political enemies. Cameron loves a fight and will go for the jugular if needed. I get that he’s on attack mode after Hager’s book and Dotcom’s hack but he opened himself to some of the attacks I’ve heard journalists make about the West Coast ferals and Christchurch scum comments. All stuff some of us might say at the pub with mates over drinks but it makes it harder for Slater’s message to be heard while he fights back because the way he crafts his message can be easily attacked at times. This is not the case with you.

    Finally – you have been generous to me in allowing the occasional guest post and I hope to do so again on the odd occasion but under the higher standards required of the Online Media Standards Authority. Hang in there and don’t let these privacy intrusions put you off your insightful and thorough analysis of our political opponents and friends.

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  54. Bovver (161 comments) says:

    Penny Black Op practices have been a part of democratic politics since way back when, despite the lefts denials they are just as adept as the right.

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  55. Bill Ted (92 comments) says:

    @Tom Jackson. The problem I have with the left in general, is that you are just keen to shut down opposing voices. Farrar has always been a moderate voice. Everyone knows he is rooting for National, so runs their messaging when he agrees with it. He also attacks them when he doesn’t. To say he has been “outed as a shill” and has colluded with National is, to be blunt, just you being a dickhead. If this blog was to shutdown, to your delight, it just removes a reasoned and intellectual perspective from the political landscape. The problem is, that’s exactly what you, and the likes of Hager, want.

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  56. xy (181 comments) says:

    Nice post. I’d give some thought into the up/down vote system – at present it is literally just used as an ‘i agree / disagree with this post’ which means that dissenting posts get hidden. Look at some of the arguments between Judith and other people recently – Judith’s posts were driving the conversation, but if you come along to the post the day later, the whole discussion thread is incomprehensible because all her posts are hidden.

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  57. RandySavage (209 comments) says:

    If someones in a different galaxy in comparison to Penny Bright you can rest assured youre in the right Galaxy. Pay your rates lass

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  58. coolas (115 comments) says:

    A useful addition to your ‘Changes’ would be an up to date declaration of pecuniary interests. ie. What money, gifts, favours have you received from those you advocate for: Israel, US Republicans, alcohol industry, tobacco, sugar drinks, fast food etc. I think your loyal readers deserve to know who pays the piper. For instance: Slater has been exposed for taking money to bag Doug Sellman. You’ve done the same. Did you receive any favours from alcohol lobbyists?

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  59. RandySavage (209 comments) says:

    Anyone who is dumb/narcissistic enough to sign there each and every post in 2014 is definitely in their own galaxy

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  60. Don the Kiwi (1,684 comments) says:

    Good decision David, happy you are staying – this is one of only 4 or 5 blogs I visit daily. (even if you are a pinko ;-) )

    I hope you catch the mole that betrayed your trust, and sue the arse off him/her.

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  61. Brian Smaller (4,037 comments) says:

    That’s the problem here. He’s just too close to the National Party to be an independent voice.

    @Tom jackson – are you kidding? He wears his affiliation on his sleeve. Go back to the Standard with it’s ‘anonymous’ public servant bloggers pretending not be to who they actually are – and who stifle ALL contrary opinion.

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  62. Inthisdress (183 comments) says:

    I gave in my notice at the dimpost the other day even it has become a circle-jerk as each commentator appears to be hell-bent on shouting down any views that don’t coincide with their own. Danyl has apparently lost his reason over the past week, but now is posting a sanctimonious tome about how the election is being sabotaged by a coordinated strategy, apparently unable to confront the notions that that just days ago he was cheerleading it and completely sucked in by these revelations ‘In the public interest’. So now I read but don’t comment, it’s become a complete waste of time.

    I’m over this election already.

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  63. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    This is sad for freedom of expression. I can understand how you feel after being targeted by cyber criminals, DPF,
    but look at the membership of the Online Media Standards Authority . It includes:

    Television New Zealand Limited
    TVWorks Limited
    RadioWorks Limited
    Sky Network Television Limited
    The Radio Network Limited
    Radio New Zealand Limited

    It’s under the MSM’s thumb. For a taste of what the MSM would like the blogosphere to be, listen to the boring ex-editor of the Hooerald in his Tuesday morning pontifications on Radio Labour.

    However, thank you for what you have done until now for freedom of expression in New Zealand. You have been very tolerant, fair, and generous in your resources. A good bloke!

    Let’s hope the hunt for the cyber thugs who feed Hager the Horrible can continue robustly, preferably in Kiwiblog, but if not …

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  64. meanybeany (26 comments) says:

    David – I too disagree with your views on most things, but consider you a true gentleman. . . unlike other commentators and bloggers on both the left and right. Don’t give it up. I enjoy constructive debate and hate the nasty, personal and vindictive stuff that, regrettably, happens when you open up the posts to all comers. It is for THIS reason that I post under a psuedonym.

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  65. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    @Tom jackson – are you kidding? He wears his affiliation on his sleeve. Go back to the Standard with it’s anonymous paid public servant bloggers pretending to be who they are not.

    FFS do I have to explain again?

    There’s nothing wrong with DPF being an open National supporter. What’s wrong is him pretending that he is an independent voice when he’s actually, as Hager has proven, part of National’s publicity machine.

    See the difference?

    You cannot present yourself as an independent voice when you are in fact part of a spin machine. It’s astonishingly cynical to do so, DPF has been caught doing it, and now he has to pay the price for his duplicity.

    If DPF wants to dispute Hager’s claims, let him go ahead. I’m sure the hacker will be happy to prove Hager right again.

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  66. Nigel Kearney (969 comments) says:

    I would not change anything.

    So some other blog written by someone loosely affiliated with National turns out to be a disgusting and dishonest cesspool that no decent person should go anywhere near. Your blog also happens to be written by someone loosely affiliated with National, but there’s really no other similarity except in the desperate minds of people in opposing political parties that are struggling for relevance.

    Re the comments, unfortunately it is not the abusive comments that are the problem. It is the people with single issue agendas who keep dumping irrelevant nonsense into the middle of interesting discussions. I would rather have comment threading than all the other changes you proposed.

    I also agree with Tom Hunter it’s a bad idea to outsource your standards. Just publicly state them and stick to them. Why waste your time having to deal with a complaints process being abused by others whose main goal is to waste your time and piss you off?

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  67. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    @Tom Jackson. The problem I have with the left in general, is that you are just keen to shut down opposing voices. Farrar has always been a moderate voice. Everyone knows he is rooting for National, so runs their messaging when he agrees with it.

    Hager claims that, like Slater, Farrar is part of National’s publicity machine, not some fellow traveller. Farrar is the “good cop” to Slater’s “bad cop”. Hager has DPF dead to rights on this in the book. Read it yourself.

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  68. kaykaybee (153 comments) says:

    David, I can hear where you are coming from and I hear you when you say that nothing is more important than family and friends. I love the balance you offer and I love your humour and good natured manner you have that over-arches nearly all your posts. This blog attracts some very insightful commentary and the only problem I have here is the intemperance of some of the cruder, less intelligent and the conspiracy commentators. I am mindful of what a huge job moderation is but please don’t let the political blogosphere or the bullying antics of thieves and their tacit supporters take away your voice of informed intelligence and humour. That’s what they want. Save us from the strange and alien world of thestandard and thedailyblog!

    Take care

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  69. publicwatchdog (2,516 comments) says:

    errr …. Randy Savage – I am in my 60th year (still not yet in my prime ;) – so am hardly a ‘lass’.

    I’m also making a stand for transparency in Auckland Council rates spending – to which we are supposed to be lawfully entitled under the Public Records Act 2005 – which is why I’m refusing to pay my rates.

    A pity a few more didn’t have the guts to make the same stand.

    Why on earth shouldn’t we be given the ‘devilish detail’ – the NAMES of the consultants and private contractors, the SCOPE, TERM and VALUE of these Auckland Council contracts, so we can see exactly where our public monies are being spent?

    Seriously – how hard is it to understand why I’m doing what I’m doing – or are many Kiwibloggers just overdosing on their THICK pills?

    (Meant of course in a caring way :)

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

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  70. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    Just when you though it was safe ,i come black with a vengeance…mwahahahaha !!!

    But on a serious note. I dont have a real problem with your blog or politics DPF. It’s the blinkered partisanship and the ‘nothing to see here’ attitude you take to mainstream stories that run counter to the National party narrative and the allowance for the feral cracka ass nutjobs to vent some truly vile spleen here that kept me away.

    It’s like there is a karmic price to pay for reflecting back what others project. I dont particularly like being obnoxiously insulting. It creates an energy of it own that affects me in real life. Not only that, but its time wasted just being an internet asshole.

    Fuck, just look at Slater with his bloated sense of self importance reflected in his bloated self. It was only a matter of time before the prick’s bubble got pricked and with that comes the pop of realization that it was all just hot air keeping things pumped and then there’s inevitable deflation of desolation with the desertion of the ratfuckers leaving the sinking ship in droves.

    reap what you sow.

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  71. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    Pete George’s enthusiasm for DPF signing up to the MSM-dominated Online Media Standards Authority is a good indication of what Kiwiblog could become under the OMSA thumb – bland and boring.

    Think on it for a week or two please, DPF.

    You’ve done a great service, and done it excellently, with Kiwiblog. It would be sad if you were to be a victim of the loathsome hacker mouthpiece, Hager the Horrible.

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  72. Lance (2,620 comments) says:

    @Tom Jackson
    None of this posting what you think shit aye?

    Tom do you realize what a sad censured stifled internet you crave for. You are a sad control freak and part of the oxymoron hackers who hack in the name of freedom so they can destroy freedom.

    I despise what you stand for.

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  73. freemark (556 comments) says:

    Don’t let the lying, troughing Socialists win DPF. The consequences for our country and our children would be disastrous.

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  74. Sam (498 comments) says:

    Tend to agree that this is an overreaction, but I can understand why, and I think it will make your blog actually better in terms of transparency.

    I’d forget the moderation policy though – I remember when you tried it some years ago, without much success. Don’t confuse your commenters wit your audience is all I can say – most of your audience won’t read the comments. Look after them, and forget the rabble below.

    I think your existing policy of not reading the comments is by far the most effective, and certainly one that I follow in relation to your blog (I used to read and engage in the comments a lot, but the environment has grown ever more toxic over the years). Your posts are usually thoughtful and informative (even if not toward my own leanings), but languishes below the level of tolerance in the comments section (much the same as online newspaper article fwiw).

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  75. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    BTW…i think i would make a great moderator here.

    so yeah, make me an offer i can’t refuse..hahaha

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  76. Lance (2,620 comments) says:

    @BWAV
    Serious question;

    Why do you read Kiwiblog if you don’t like it?

    There are many many alternatives across the political spectrum to choose from. Why advocate silencing a tiny part of that spectrum?

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  77. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Tom do you realize what a sad censured stifled internet you crave for. You are a sad control freak and part of the oxymoron hackers who hack in the name of freedom so they can destroy freedom.

    Nice attempt at changing the subject.

    Who’s stopping Farrar from blogging? Not me. He can do whatever he likes, but he can’t stop people labelling him as a shill, because he has been outed as a shill.

    Farrar can do whatever he likes, but he cannot expect other people to treat him as if he is some independent voice when he’s been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, dick in the maid, etc.

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  78. Tinshed (138 comments) says:

    Moderation is the key. There are some worthy debates and discussions to be had and you pick your topics very well but too many of your commentors resort to ad hominem and trolling attacks to readily. I’ve seen many a solid logical argument completely streamrolled by abuse from those with closed minds. It devalues your site immeasurably.

    .

    This a thousand times. I regularly follow Metafilter which has very clear moderation rules. The discussions on an immense variety of topics are as vigorous and aggressive as you could wish but without personal abuse and/or trolling. Yes, there are overheads in moderation but in my view it is a key strategy for high quality blogs.

    As most of us will know Whaleoil has introduction more stringent moderation policies and is much better for it.

    Metafilter also have a nominal ($5) one time joining fee. What this does to is stop one-time trolls or those that only want to post one of two destructive/meaningless post such as DeadlyNZ above. While I am sure there would be resistance to such a measure it does stop some of the “riff-raff”. Something for to consider to help improve the quality of comments.

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  79. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson’s rabid ravings (as at 10.20) are more evidence for the value of a fully independent Kiwiblog.

    Where else can the politically insane left howl?

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  80. unaha-closp (1,157 comments) says:

    Hager claims to have discovered a great conspiracy, again. He has got his market marked. The idiots swallow it whole.

    Don’t rush into anything, reserve judgement and see what happens.

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  81. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    Don’t let the lying, troughing Socialists win DPF. The consequences for our country and our children would be disastrous.

    For some of us, the country made by the culturally elitist capitalist predators of successive right wing governments and the cronies they support has made for a disaster our children are suffering from at present.

    And for the record, i dont even know what a socialist is.

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  82. Judith (8,531 comments) says:

    Very good David. Each experience is a learning curve. I am pleased you have taken this stance, and I applaud you for doing so.

    I am sure that neither you nor Cameron Slater have given much thought to the power that even an innocuous comment made by yourselves online, can have to others reading it. As bloggers you are in a position of power. People interpret what they read according to the ‘space’ they in at the same time – consequently there is always the potential for harm, and although you cannot be responsible for how some perceive your comments, there is the aspect of ‘duty of care’.

    Now if we can just get others to appreciate the need for openness and transparency maybe the best party will win the election, because they are ‘the best’ and not just ‘better at being bad’.

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  83. kaykaybee (153 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson @ 10:20 am

    If you’re an example of the activist left and the maid analogy is par for your course then I pity your fellow travellers.

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  84. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson’s rabid ravings (as at 10.20) are more evidence for the value of a fully independent Kiwiblog.

    The problem for you is that I’m right.

    Good luck defending people who think that other people are “fair game” in the Scientology sense merely because they disagree with you on politics. There are limits to what the public will accept, as Cameron Slater is discovering.

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  85. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    If you’re an example of the activist left and the maid analogy is par for your course then I pity your fellow travellers.

    Says the guy defending a blogger who colludes with people who refer to earthquake victims as “scum”.

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  86. Judith (8,531 comments) says:

    @ Lance (2,519 comments) says:
    August 19th, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Anyone that forms an opinion without knowing or bothering to find out the various standpoints of a particular issue, does not have an informed opinion. That is why no one needs a blog that consists only of like-minded people. There is nothing to be learned from such a blog where the participants are involved in nothing but patting each others egos.

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  87. Peter (1,688 comments) says:

    What’s wrong is him pretending that he is an independent voice when he’s actually, as Hager has proven, part of National’s publicity machine.

    Is there anyone in the blogshere who doesn’t know DPFs bias? He’s been very clear about it. Next you’ll be getting outraged about The Standard and the Labour Party.

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  88. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    Kiwiblog’s standard are already princely compared with those of some in the MSM. Consider the Hooerald today report on emails allegedly between Whale and a former prostitute. Salacious, highly sensational, and meant to be politically damaging to the Government.

    The source:

    …according to details provided by a person who claims to have hacked the website.

    And this is the standard that might be imposed on Kiwiblog?

    Incidentally, on the Hooerald web site, there does not seem to be a reporter’s byline. Can any Aucklanders tell us whether there were bylines in the print edition. If not, it’s an indication the Hooerald hierarchy thought they might be on shaky ground.

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  89. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    Why do you read Kiwiblog if you don’t like it?

    Didnt say I didnt like it did I ?

    And i’m not advocating silencing anything.

    It’s just sometimes people need putting in their place and being made to shut the fuck up.

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  90. tom hunter (4,671 comments) says:

    There’s nothing wrong with DPF being an open National supporter. What’s wrong is him pretending that he is an independent voice when he’s actually, as Hager has proven, part of National’s publicity machine.

    See the difference?

    Another blinding revelation presented to us by that non-voting nihilist, Tom Jackson.

    There are any number of times that commentators have pinged DPF for running what was appeared to be a PR piece for the wonders of the Key government.

    It goes against your fundamental belief about your fellow citizens but – as is usually the case – the masses don’t need elitist plonkers holding aloft the great “Independent” seal of approval.

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  91. Judith (8,531 comments) says:

    Just a suggestion DPF.

    Although I get probably more down ticks than anyone else, they don’t worry me, if they did, I would have ceased posting here a long time ago – however, I strongly feel that system does not add to the overall professionalism of your board. Many do not even read the associated comment, but merely use the system as a means of ‘insulting’ the writer, due to personal dislike.

    I think the system encourages argument, and I would encourage you to abandon it and instead perhaps run daily or weekly polls on various issues – therefore making it about the issue, rather than the poster.

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  92. big bruv (13,678 comments) says:

    As others have said DPF the low life pricks on the left want you silenced. If you give up you have let them win.

    Fight back, do unto them as they have done unto you.

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  93. Peter (1,688 comments) says:

    The Metafilter $5 one-time joining fee to post comments is a good idea. I would support this. Those who won’t pay such a reasonable fee, to help ensure debate is largely troll free, is unlikely to be worth reading.

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  94. Redbaiter (8,274 comments) says:

    ” What’s wrong is him pretending that he is an independent voice ”

    That’s just a dirty lie and a cowardly smear.

    Or otherwise you’re just completely FITH.

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  95. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    Just a suggestion Judith.

    Start your own blog and do what you like. No one gives a shit about the rule of the coloured thumb. Humans argue, its how we do. If i want to insult someone i’ll do it by insulting them and ususally its cos they’re an ignorant fucktard.

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  96. Judith (8,531 comments) says:

    @ Jack5 (4,721 comments) says:
    August 19th, 2014 at 10:31 am
    Your argument is valid but it fails to take into account that the Herald has competitors who offer a different perspective and therefore the public overall get a balanced perspective.

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  97. seanmaitland (488 comments) says:

    I read this blog a lot, and comment occasionally, but I would hope that with moderators it won’t become like The Standard and most other left-wing blogs where they only let people who don’t share their views post comments so they can then personally attack them and abuse them.

    I posted on there recently about the split of left/right leaning journalists at the Herald, and who I thought fell on each side and got called a “john key loving parasite who deals in lies and BS”. When I tried to elaborate to defend myself, I got banned by the muppet who runs that blog.

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  98. Redbaiter (8,274 comments) says:

    “Although I get probably more down ticks than anyone else,”

    I think that is because you have so little to say but take so much space to say it.

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  99. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    The syndicate of pro-NZ First Bainites who post under the name Judith want the uptick-downtick system abandoned (10.34).

    That’s like a rugby team thrashed 60-nil wanting the grounds scoreboard covered over.

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  100. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    ‘Many do not even read the associated comment’
    How could you possibly know that, Judith? You earn your downticks.

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  101. Judith (8,531 comments) says:

    Black with a Vengeance (1,584 comments) says:
    August 19th, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Fair enough, and that is your choice, and like you, I also don’t stop short of offering insult if I am riled enough. But I am quite capable of doing that by expressing that opinion, and not by some mindless ‘tick’, which does not tell the person anything much, and especially what the other person dislikes about their comment, or has issue with in their comment. Nor does it allow others to see that alternative opinion, so therefore it is not a learning experience – no one gains anything from the tick system.

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  102. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    As others have said DPF the low life pricks on the left want you silenced. If you give up you have let them win.

    Fight back, do unto them as they have done unto you.

    Way more important things to worry about than fighting low life pricks of any political leaning.

    Such a waste of energy mostly and what does it get you ? Whats Slater got from it ? Hows his mental health, relationship status, childrens welfare, financial well being ?

    Its not about winning. It’s about playing the game fairly. Fuck dirty politics…thats the message here!!!

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  103. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    The Judith team posted at 10.39:

    Your argument is valid but it fails to take into account that the Herald has competitors who offer a different perspective…

    And Kiwiblog doesn’t have competitors? What is this Standard posters here talk about.

    Whoops! Sorry to the Judith team for referring to you as “Bainites” in an earlier post. The correct term, of course, is “Bainiacs”.

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  104. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    @The Standard

    We’ve not been involved in any sort of intimidation to drive ordinary people from politics.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/left-wing-blogs-arent-the-same/

    Also @The Standard

    Enough is Enough
    19 August 2014 at 10:26 am

    In my opinion he is a filthy person with filthy morals and if we can get hold of his emails it will show much the same as what we have seen in blubber boys.

    The first thing we should do when we regain power is regulate those hate sites.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/no-changes-for-kiwiblog/#comment-869391

    Note the “we”.

    That may be just bluster but it’s not uncommon, recently Martyn Bradbury was posting about when the hard left takes over power “soon” they would clamp down on unfavourable media (not his words but it;s the gist of his meaning).

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  105. Judith (8,531 comments) says:

    @ mikenmild (11,135 comments) says:
    August 19th, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Because some say exactly that – see my post to BWV – as I said, there is nothing to be learned from the ticks. There is no sharing of information that adds to the discussion that enables people to learn about both sides of the issue, and the arguments involved.

    Surely that is why we take part in blogs, to share knowledge, information, experience and to put our side of an issue before a ‘panel’ of people, who assess it accordingly, and provide their alternative opinions?

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  106. lurcher1948 (151 comments) says:

    I like your blog Mr Farrar,and if you feel you need to change it or just keep it the same am i happy with your decision.I must say i really like the rabid right wing posts about the left wing,a good laugh to get me through the day……Lurcher

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  107. Keeping Stock (10,264 comments) says:

    And again Judith succeeds in diverting a thread about DPF and his blog into a shouting match in which she is at the centre.

    Thread-jacking is the primary reason why moderation is sadly needed.

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  108. Judith (8,531 comments) says:

    @ Jack5 (4,723 comments) says:
    August 19th, 2014 at 10:45 am

    What has that got to do with the Herald Jack? It was the Herald you had commented about and to which my reply was targeted. The Herald is a media outlet, not a blog – it is written by journalists. There are plenty of similar media sources that people access, and therefore, are able to be informed by a balance.

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  109. Paulus (2,594 comments) says:

    I love Cunliffe commenting this morning (again) that nobody from the Parliamentary wing of Labour has anything to do with the Labour Blog – the Standard.
    Lady Lyn tries to say the same thing but we all know that many of the unnamed commenters are from with the Parliamentary Labour wing, and the Public Service.
    Waiting for Cam to open a few files in this direction as a number have been in contact with him discretely over the years fro within the Labour Caucus. Remember Cam has all his files still.

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  110. UrbanNeocolonialist (267 comments) says:

    I think two things I would like to see as far as moderation goes is a posting limit, both in length and number of posts per day, on those who get consistently down-ticked, perhaps median filtered over previous 10-20 posts. And temp posting bans for those that really plumb the depths (eg 30+ downticks – pretty good indication of trolling). Would also be nice if we could each block out posters if they persistently annoy us (but leave them visible to everyone else). If this could be automated then might not require any work from moderators.

    That said, it’s not that bad as is, the trolls are mostly bearable.

    I do love that there are voices from across the spectrum here. Not the echo chambers of left wing blogs, (and to a degree now whaleoil too) who can’t brook dissent, and generally kiwiblog seems more enlightened and enlightening for that.

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  111. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock (10.47)…. nah, keep a bit of levity in it.

    The nuttiness is the salt and pepper.

    The Judith syndicate says it wants an audience, but it wants a silent audience. The syndicate doesn’t like the reaction to its posts.

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  112. rangitoto (239 comments) says:

    Stay the course David. I agree with the stronger moderation policy. There is too much ad hom on here. Whales blog comments have improved a lot since they put a stronger moderation policy in place.

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  113. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    Surely that is why we take part in blogs, to share knowledge, information, experience and to put our side of an issue before a ‘panel’ of people, who assess it accordingly, and provide their alternative opinions?

    yeah nah…

    Foment happy mischief. Shits and giggles.

    K.I.S.S…keep it simple sweetheart.

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  114. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    UrbanNeocolonialist
    Voting people off the island…

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  115. Judith (8,531 comments) says:

    @ Keeping Stock (10,159 comments) says:
    August 19th, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Excuse me? I think you need to rethink that – I made two comments to DPF – about the subject matter – others decided to address comment to me – of which I answered – why don’t you have a go at them KS – apart from the obvious reason that you like to try and shut up any opposition – we all know – well at least those that have read the book exactly where you stand, you don’t need to make it so blatantly obvious.

    There were many before me that had changed the subject matter – target them KS.

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  116. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    Rangitoto at 10.50 wants to follow Whale in moderation!

    A great model. A great beached, bloated model.

    Those who want moderation, of course want the comments moderated to their world view or prissy level.

    They would prefer Kiwiblog to be a squeaking choir of castrati.

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  117. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    Judith’s 10.53 post included “we all know”.

    Everyone unanimous in the Judith syndicate today?

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  118. jawnbc (74 comments) says:

    Good on your DPF.

    When this brouhaha started several of communist horde mates spoke ill of you—I quickly called them on it. You have your own political position and you often postion postings based on it (sometimes subtly and sometimes assertively partisanly), but you’ve not once turned odious.

    Your commenter? Well there’s lots of vileness there, sadly, because it’s unmoderated. Moderation is a royal pain (I’ve done it for years in all sorts of online communities), but after an initial hateful period, it tend to get better: the trolls and misanthropes seek more febrile soils for their negativity.

    This is a great blog because it—meaning your postings—rise above the ad hominem attacks. I would miss it if it were gone. Even as a lifelong social democrat. Society is successful when people with very different ideas can still engage collegial because of certain core values: candour, respect, and kindness.

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  119. Judith (8,531 comments) says:

    @ Jack5 (4,726 comments) says:
    August 19th, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Did you stop reading at that point Jack – I clarified that as ‘those that have read the book’ – very convenient for you to make an argument by omitting the defining aspects of the comment.

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  120. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    Fwiw i’d only moderate the violent espousing, abusive, mysoginist, racist crap by banning every white male over 50 :)

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  121. rangitoto (239 comments) says:

    Jack5 wrote:
    “Rangitoto at 10.50 wants to follow Whale in moderation!

    A great model. A great beached, bloated model.”

    So I take it you got banned ;)

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  122. Tinshed (138 comments) says:

    I also think there is an argument to made for not having a “downvote” option. Without this option you need to express disagreement with words and this therefore promotes discussion which is the essence of a good blog. Otherwise the down-vote/up-vote can turn into a kind of “voting”, similar to the thumbs up/down of gladiatorial contests in ancient Rome. That’s fine for many blogs and I can see the logic. Sadly whenever I see a highlighted downticked post I am more likely to read and invariably after reading it I am depressed/angered by it. And of course it tends to be the same 3 or 4 usual suspects. That one of those suspects is suggesting this change doesn’t mean the idea doesn’t have validity.

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  123. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    Rangitoto (11.02)

    No, I’ve never posted on Whale. But if I had I would have been banned.

    The Whale is stuffed. Kiwiblog will retake poll position provided doesn’t pay blackmail to the Online Standards Media Authority.

    Who gave those MSM-dominated citizens the right to call themselves an “authority”?

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  124. DJP6-25 (1,355 comments) says:

    I’m glad you decided not to quit DPF. In respect to the material that was stolen, I presume you’ve complained to the police. If any of it was from g.mail, or yahoo, you should also contact the FBI. Google is domiciled there. Anyone who has contacted you should do the same if they used Google, or Yahoo.

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  125. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    DJP – I’m pretty sure the book says the material from DPF was leaked by a staff member.

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  126. David Garrett (6,952 comments) says:

    David, can I add my support to the massive amounts of it you have received above? Surely that must be very heartening for you.

    I also agree with those who say “wait a few days”..decisions made in haste are almost never good ones.

    I concur also with those who say this is the best blog in the country – both for the politics AND the “other stuff”. My regular morning routine once I get to sit in front of the ‘puter is look at Stuff and the Herald (there goes 10 minutes which usually could have been better spent) and then come here…Almost without exception there is something which interests me and often, informs me far more than the MSM sites. I also believe you have the best “stable” of commenters here…I consider myself very well informed, and I learn something new here almost every day. To attract so many intelligent and well informed people to add to the discussions you start is no mean feat.

    Keep up the good work young man…don’t let the bastards get to you.

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  127. rangitoto (239 comments) says:

    Jack5 yer dreaming

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  128. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    What DJP6-25 said at 11.12. Spot on!

    Action is needed. If National and its supporters had got one the job after the hack of Brash-era National instead of swallowing Hager the Horrible’s bullshit that it was an inside job, then the latest cyber crime probably would not have been committed.

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  129. Alan Wilkinson (1,866 comments) says:

    I don’t see why you want to enlist an outside organisation to manage your ethics. You should be able to do that perfectly well yourself. As for moderation, I would hope it is light-handed, preferably triggered only by report/complaint and in accordance with a simple and reasonable set of rules.

    Frankly I see little wrong with Kiwiblog that couldn’t be cured with a little enforcement of ad hominem moderation.

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  130. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    Awww Garrett, thats really sweet…kissy kissy itchy gooey woo.

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  131. hj (6,813 comments) says:

    I’ve been permanently banned from Frogblog and the Standard. Some organisations /groups just don’t want some things heard. Radio New Zealand is the most egregious offender (from my point of view – since they are supposed to be objective).

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  132. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    hj
    Do you think they have heard enough about the Savings Working Group?

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  133. Enkidu (8 comments) says:

    I am at the opposite end of the political spectrum and I think that it would be a sad day if Kiwiblog were to drop the political aspect of the postings. You say that you are not irreplaceable, but I doubt that. Yours is a sane voice on the political right. Whatever I might disagree with in what you say, this is the only blog that I keep coming back to. You are always constructive.

    PS I never read the comment so the loss of one or two or the more rabid posters would not be a loss!!

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  134. hj (6,813 comments) says:

    mikenmild (11,143 comments) says:
    August 19th, 2014 at 11:27 am

    hj
    Do you think they have heard enough about the Savings Working Group?
    ….
    how would you know?

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  135. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    Regarding upticks and downticks – sure they’re sometimes used for petty point scoring but they can also serve a useful purpose if you ignore the usual noise.

    I often post here to test opinions, the upticks versus downticks can be a useful indicator. Sometimes I know I will get a lot of downs but it can be a useful way of testing ideas and opinions.

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  136. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    Milkenmild posted at 11.18:

    I’m pretty sure the book says the material from DPF was leaked by a staff member.

    The book? The book? The book?

    Do you really thing this material was revealed to Hager the Horrible by some electronic Moses?

    From the extracts I have seen it’s full of extrapolations from hearsay.Whatever Hager is saying about sources is near certainly bullshit to protect those sources.

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  137. UpandComer (528 comments) says:

    David it’s an overreaction, you do the best blog in Australasia and the trolls are stoked they’ve made you feel uncomfortable. You’re an effective voice that had to be shut down apparently. But whatever you do good luck, I think you give people like Judith and black with a vengeance and Tom Jackson a reason to live and a dissonance inducing education. You’re a vital moderate voice in the monopoly on information and opinions – please don’t change mate

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  138. SGA (982 comments) says:

    Pete George at 11:35 am

    I often post here to test opinions, the upticks versus downticks can be a useful indicator.

    An indicator of what exactly?

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  139. Peter (1,688 comments) says:

    Just a note to the Pennys, Judiths, PhilUs and similar…

    Brevity is king. Verbosity on blogs tends to annoy people, unless what you have to say is *very* compelling.

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  140. RRM (9,770 comments) says:

    You’re a good guy DPF.

    Publicly committing to standards few (if any) other bloggers would ever abide by.

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  141. UpandComer (528 comments) says:

    They hate you because you do a good blog that eloquently explodes their misinformation, like around power prices, or welfare, or debt, or wage increases or education and health etc.

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  142. Pollyannarh (2 comments) says:

    David

    I for one really appreciate the time you put into getting the stats up there for us to compare – your ability to summarise and articulate issues is very important. You do a great job and hopefully there are as many left as right leaning who read and see the sense in the issues you post about. Your ability to articulate the issues clearly and fairly regardless of their origins is a much needed service to the general public.

    Thanks,

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  143. flipper (3,941 comments) says:

    1. Ross12 (1,208 comments) says:
    August 19th, 2014 at 9:11 am
    Well done David.
    The only thing I would say is, that even if you do not think of blogs as part of the media, I do. ….

    ****
    There are many, many, nay almost all comments are supportive of you, David, and Kiwiblog.
    I agree with those that are supportive, and add my “voice”, so to say, to the resounding vote of confidence accorded you personally, and in Kiwiblog as it has operated.

    I have had a couple of issue differences with you – issues on which I still believe you are wrong – but on which you will eventually come to realise and correct your current faulty positions. :-) However, I am about to have a further respectful disagreement with you. And that is in relation to outside media and whether blogs are part of the media.

    The problem is that blogs are part of the media as it is in 2014. Only the fools fighting a rear guard action in the MSM believe that the word refers to them alone. Over the past two hundred years the media has been in a state of evolution, now having reached a point where the print version might be in death throes. Why? Because the internet has made has brought about changes that senior (as in age) folks could never have anticipated.

    To summarise – Radio grew out of the advances in telegraphy and this facilitated media reporting of the Great War. TV came along between the wars, but was secondary to Movietone News and the like. There is no need for me to continue to outline the progression but I think my drift is clear. Now we have Facebook, Google, Bing, Twitter and more … and they all report news. Those outlets, bloggers, and the MSM ARE the media, circa 2014. Did we anticipate this when Woodward and Bernstein (less than 60 years ago,) used Deep Throat to start a chain reaction which brought down a US President???

    As The Outside the Beltway Group said in January 2013:
    “The Press Council could do with an overhaul, as could the Broadcasting Standards Authority (which in its present form is simply a throwback to the days following the New Zealand Broadcasting Service) so that they better reflect 2011-2012 . Tinkering may be in order, but we detect no voting-public demand for State intervention. There was a time in New Zealand when all radio news bulletins were subject to Government scrutiny (and editing). Once on that slippery slope (again) it is devilishly hard to stop.

    “So, how are the New Zealand media to improve their game? It is outside the scope of this document to suggest the ways, even if that were possible, but up their game they must. Otherwise their businesses will eventually fail and be replaced by new players who have solved the problem.

    “We make these points to emphasise the importance of the media in the community’s affairs. If they are indeed the “Fourth Estate”, they too must change and grow when the turmoil we are seeing internationally, (and which we expect to dominate public and private affairs ) will in 2012, affect the life and prospects of every citizen in every country. “

    So my “key” point David, is that in 2014 Blogs are indeed part of the media. A good voluntary code of ethics is important for all. But giving editorial moderation to any outside group dominated by existing vested media interests would be a very big mistake.

    One final point: Journalism is a coverall term. But there are no journalists. Journalism involves the craft of reporting, photography, computer operation, and writing. Writers are writers, not journalists. Reporters are not journalists (but the effete snobs among them continue to believe!), and so on. I wish they could remember that.

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  144. David Garrett (6,952 comments) says:

    What is remarkable about this thread is the consistency of praise and approval of KB right across the spectrum of commenters…other than the usual anonymous clowns like that Vengeful Black chap, and no-one takes much notice of them.

    When Red, Penny Not So, Chardonnay Guy and I all agree, that surely says a lot!…I haven’t bothered to do any numbers, but I would have said no more than about 2% of the near on 150 comments this thread has attracted so far are negative.

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  145. ross411 (433 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson (2,475 comments) says:
    August 19th, 2014 at 10:08 am
    Hager claims that, like Slater, Farrar is part of National’s publicity machine, not some fellow traveller. Farrar is the “good cop” to Slater’s “bad cop”. Hager has DPF dead to rights on this in the book. Read it yourself.

    If the book really proved that, you’d quote the sections and anyone who previously disagreed, would have to argue with the proof rather than your claims. Instead, we just get your claims.

    I am sure you’re not a blowhard, and the way your posts come across is a misunderstanding. Please prove me wrong.

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  146. seanmaitland (488 comments) says:

    What I would like to see implemented DPF is some kind of a kill file, so characters like Judith and Milkandmilo never have to be seen again by the majority of people, and they can post in their own little worlds oblivious to the fact that no-one can see their posts.

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  147. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    You can do that yourself if my comments so offend you, sean. It’s called RIP, I believe.

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  148. Mark (1,471 comments) says:

    David,

    There has never been a question in my mind about your political leanings, your openness about that, your fairness in allowing opposing views to be expressed and that you are prepared to criticise the government where you think necessary. This blog has become an important part of the centre right political landscape and it would be a tragedy to see you pull the pin on it. Whilst I applaud your move to being a member of the online media standards authority I have little doubt that it will not make one jot of difference to the content of your blogs.

    and finally – Penny, pay your rates :)

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  149. Dave Mann (1,200 comments) says:

    I agree with all those who value and respect what you are doing with this blog, so I won’t add any more to that.

    DPF, I don’t see your need to clarify or modify your blog. Sure, you must be shocked that emails from you have been hacked, but why bother to give the arsewipe(s) who did it any space? You are obviously an open upfront guy and this should suffice, as nobody is likely to find any dirt on you.

    May the Force be with you!

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  150. Dave Mann (1,200 comments) says:

    OMG the ‘Force’ comment sounded a bit corny… sorry about that! :D

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  151. Jimbo (42 comments) says:

    Hi David,
    I think you do a great job on your blog and I’m glad you’re staying.

    On the question of Cameron Slater, he needs to be condemned, and distance needs to be put between him and the National party. I think you need to be part of that process.

    To condone Cameron Slater or suggest he speaks to a legitimate constituency is to behave like Chris Trotter, who speaks approvingly of effigy burning of John Key; or Laila Harre justifying the F*** John Key chanting. The worst manifestation of this attitude of “these people are very angry and if you do what I say they’ll behave” was, of course Gerry Adams who maintained the Sinn Fein/IRA fictional separation.

    Here’s a charge sheet to condemn Slater for:
    – taking money to post corporate propaganda;
    – posting other people’s work under his own name without attribution;
    – the “feral” comments;
    – attempting to manipulate the Auckland mayoral election;
    – manipulating National party selections;

    Perhaps this would also be a good time to lay out how some of the more responsible National party members have worked hard to try to diminish Slater’s influence in National. It would provide a useful pushback.

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  152. ShawnLH (4,481 comments) says:

    David, as I said yesterday, this is the time to fight back. I’m glad your not giving up, that would be a tragedy. Your blog is one of the best political blogs I have read, not just from NZ, but anywhere in the blogosphere.

    If you want to make the changes you suggest, all power to you. But don’t make them in haste.

    And don’t let the real dirty politics of Hager, Cunliffe, and the Stranded win. They don’t deserve to.

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  153. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    You should know that you deserve the positive feedback that you have been getting.
    So changing things for the sake of change is probably an over-reaction.
    If you want to take a more hands-off approach to the blog, then I’d suggest a moderator thread, publicly readable, where the mods could log and chat about problems. Moderating is a pretty thankless task, the easier it is the more likely that you’ll get volunteers.

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  154. Unity (483 comments) says:

    Thank goodness you are staying on. I really enjoy this site, having learned a lot from the many postings. Please don’t moderate too strictly because, as others have said, it will just become an echo chamber and it’s amazing how one’s mind can be changed when a different perspective or information is put forth. I also enjoy having an outlet to debate concerning issues. Keep up the good work and take no notice of the Nicky Hagars of this world. It’s disgusting that someone would hack your emails and it says more about that person than anyone else.

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  155. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    I think you give people like Judith and black with a vengeance and Tom Jackson a reason to live

    Oh fuck off you stupid twat !

    Family, career, the pursuit of happiness, a belief in the goodness of humanity, those are reasons to live.

    This is a blog by a right wing pundit. Hardly even worth wasting time over, let alone living for.

    Jeez…even DPF himself is having doubts that it’s worth giving up life’s other pursuits for.

    so yeah, I’d just like to reiterate that you’re a stupid twat if you think otherwise, so fuck off!

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  156. OneTrack (2,970 comments) says:

    Lance – “There are many many alternatives across the political spectrum to choose from. Why advocate silencing a tiny part of that spectrum?”

    Because he is a lefty. That’s what they live for.

    Anything for the cause, Comrade.

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  157. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    When Red, Penny Not So, Chardonnay Guy and I all agree, that surely says a lot!

    …not really. But i guess it says you value your opinion more than others do.

    I haven’t bothered to do any numbers, but I would have said no more than about 2% of the near on 150 comments this thread has attracted so far are negative.

    Oooh do the numbers…Yes, numbers good. Me likes numbers!!!

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  158. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    Anything for the cause, Comrade.

    Umm…what’s the cause i’m living for again?

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  159. SHG (375 comments) says:

    How bout we all just give up on blogs as a failed experiment and go back to posting threads on nz.general? It’ll be just like the old days.

    Come on, admit it, you miss BABYMASH.

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  160. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    Bill English speaks up against dirty politics (from Twitter):

    Bill English visibly uncomfortable today answering questions #dirtypolitics allegations, partic those regarding Judith Collins.
    English [on Collins giving Simon Pleasants' name to WO]: “That’s a style of politics, it’s not a style I like and I don’t participate in it”.
    Bill English says it is not the sort of politics he engages in.
    Bill English does not condone attack politics outlined in Nicky Hager’s book but won’t be drawn on whether Judith Collins should face consequences.

    Good on him, someone in National Cabinet needed to.

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  161. waikatosinger (22 comments) says:

    Isn’t it a pity that the Standard isn’t a member of OMSA.
    You could lay a complaint and demand a correction.

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  162. tom hunter (4,671 comments) says:

    Hardly even worth wasting time over,

    Yet here you are – with 16 comments to date on this thread alone – and for the first time in force since the 2011 election when you got such a hell of a beating. All buffed and oiled up and …

    ReadYYYYYYY toooooo RUUUUUMMMMMMBLLLLLE ……

    …. with the white folk. :)

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  163. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    There are any number of times that commentators have pinged DPF for running what was appeared to be a PR piece for the wonders of the Key government.

    Fine, but then he shouldn’t whine and bitch when people don’t take him seriously and expose him as being a conduit for a party that engages in disgusting practices.

    Media commentary is for poachers, not gamekeepers. Farrar is a gamekeeper.

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  164. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    Yes, here i am wasting time along with everyone else…go figure

    Glad you think i should aspire to higher standards.

    But hey, sometimes boredom gets the better of me.

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  165. soundhill1 (169 comments) says:

    @seanmaitland:

    “What I would like to see implemented DPF is some kind of a kill file, so characters like Judith and Milkandmilo never have to be seen again by the majority of people, and they can post in their own little worlds oblivious to the fact that no-one can see their posts.”

    I wonder if anyone silent on this blog is saying that to DPF, under threat of removing their business contracts from him. I suppose I am being a bit harsh, but joining up with newspaper censorship would seem to have that effect?

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  166. KevinH (1,194 comments) says:

    Resigning from the blog sphere would of course be a moral victory for the likes of the Standard and Nicky Hagar, the left would be celebrating. Extraordinarily it would also be a defeat for freedom of expression, an experienced voice would have been silenced therefore it is good news that Kiwi bog will continue on, Kiwi blog is easily the best in New Zealand.

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  167. Scott Chris (6,018 comments) says:

    For my money this blog would be greatly improved by dumping the following:
    – Bainiacs (both sides)
    – The Jewish-Free Mason-Illuminati

    Got a few to add to that list.

    -Obama obsessives.
    -AGW advocates/deniers.
    -Christian bashers.
    -Maori bashers.
    -Muslim bashers.
    -Commie bashers.
    -Prog bashers.

    Oh dear. See your mistake Tom?

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  168. tom hunter (4,671 comments) says:

    I’ll take your point on the Jewish-Free Mason-Illuminati topic – but have you ever seen a 1200 comment thread on any of those other subjects, and with just a few people whacking away at each other with exactly the same talking points, “facts”, opinions and even insults?

    Come on. Look at the bloody Crewe thread.

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  169. moaningmoa (68 comments) says:

    Good to hear you aren’t going to quit, and aren’t letting them get to you.

    Just remember that one day it will be the turn of those pointing fingers now, to have fingers pointed at them.

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  170. lolitasbrother (626 comments) says:

    After the dark there is the cool light of the early morning, soon enough the Sun Farrar

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  171. Scott Chris (6,018 comments) says:

    but he can’t stop people labelling him as a shill, because he has been outed as a shill.

    Oh for fuck’s sake give the guy a break. Since when did Farrar ever claim to be anything other than an advocate for classical liberal ideals?

    Funny how some people can be so quick with their knives when someone shows a little vulnerability.

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  172. Redbaiter (8,274 comments) says:

    “But hey, sometimes boredom gets the better of me.”

    No justification for boring everyone else shitless with your infantile attention seeking crap.

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  173. labrator (1,893 comments) says:

    The only thing that needs changing around here is a little more enforcement of the current rules. A ‘report this’ button would help.

    Oh and if some people could just stop replying to the attention seekers then you’ll find they disappear.

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  174. Scott Chris (6,018 comments) says:

    Fine, but then he shouldn’t whine and bitch when people don’t take him seriously and expose him as being a conduit for a party that engages in disgusting practices.

    Surely subscribing to that narrative paints you as a shill for the left Tom Jackson?

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  175. Scott Chris (6,018 comments) says:

    Andrew Geddis recently posted this piece in support of David Farrar and Kiwiblog:

    http://pundit.co.nz/content/in-defence-of-kiwiblog

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  176. Gulag1917 (851 comments) says:

    Kiwiblog is a treasure, it would be hard to find such a good blog like this in the english speaking world. Eliminate the upticks and downticks.

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  177. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    no justification for boring everyone else shitless with your infantile attention seeking crap.

    I had an awesomely witty comeback putdown lined up, but i think you only deserve this…

    Go fuck yourself ya boring old irrelevent cunt!

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  178. Nookin (3,263 comments) says:

    BWAV

    I would have thought it patently clear that commenters are fed up to the back teeth of incorrect, gratuitous insults thrown for the sole purpose of causing offence.

    How do you know he is old?

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  179. Griff (7,262 comments) says:

    Polly black wog with utu
    Such hate and negativity is talking years of your life.
    You are in need of medication.
    Valium.
    Or smoke some pot.
    and chill.

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  180. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    Griff, Black with a Vengance and a few others seem particularly aggressive in this thread.

    They aren’t, by any chance, Lefties trying to goad DPF into instituting tight moderation?

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  181. Griff (7,262 comments) says:

    I personally have a fear that tighter moderation will destroy what I value in kb
    I enjoy the opportunity to insult and harass some with wit and well grafted derision.Just as some enjoy the opportunity of attacking me. I like to think my efforts get a chuckle from even those at the receiving end occasionally.

    :lol:

    Grown ups can cope.
    Excessive moderation will take some of the depth and breadth of opinion away leaving KB poorer for the effort.

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  182. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    Such hate and negativity is talking years of your life.

    More like minutes.

    I figure there’s got to be some inverse law of karmic repercussions for every bit of bile spewed forth online.

    Maybe i’m paying for it in another universe.

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  183. goldnkiwi (1,256 comments) says:

    Is this blog not David Farrar’s? He can do what he damn well likes with it.

    I too think that you have nothing to apologise for David and if you did not feel the need for measures prior to this melee, what really has changed?

    When I first looked at this blog it was a bit of a mystery, but I soon identified who was who and what was what, a bit like trying to gauge when to jump in on a turning skipping rope, lol today it is part of my daily routine and valued.

    I am appalled that while going about minding your own business that essentially you have been violated. A call to arms, there is only one way to exorcise the black cloud over the long white cloud and that comes at election time. VOTE National.

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  184. bruceedwards (5 comments) says:

    I’m a lurker. I tend to read without commenting, or adding to the conversation. Why do so? I’m not interested in pushing my views upon others.

    But I’m compelled to comment now, if only to say David – I enjoy your blog (even if, *especially if* I disagree with you sometimes) and am shocked at how you (and others) have been treated by Nicky H. (An author not even interviewing subjects strikes me as someone either being lazy, or writing to a schedule because they have an agenda).

    Keep up the good work. Don’t be dragged down by the nastiness.

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  185. adze (2,062 comments) says:

    Good on you DPF, this is the only blog I read on a regular basis (outside of the major social networks), even if I am usually not much interested in your travel posts :)
    Like the majority of commenters here, I am glad you have decided to persist with KB and I applaud your intention to improve the quality of content.

    Now then. One or two individuals evidently need to reach for a dictionary before using terms like “independent” and “shill”.
    By definition, a shill is someone who fails to disclose their relationships while advocating for a particular cause. DPF has always open about his party colours and yet has criticised his party’s actions on many occasions. Sorry, but that’s not shilling no matter how much a few commenters would like it to be.
    Likewise, “independent” doesn’t have to mean free from bias or political sympathy – or else it would not be credible for Radio NZ and other broadcasters to call on people like Andrew Geddis for independent expert commentary – it just means that you are speaking for yourself and not subject to external control or authority.

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  186. Steve (North Shore) (4,540 comments) says:

    This is far too good a blog to let it fall over and let the brain dead claim some sort of victory. Don’t do it DPF.
    You have your core supporters just as WhaleOil does – to hell with the lefties who try to derail this blog

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  187. Rex Widerstrom (5,345 comments) says:

    I’d just like to pitch in an echo what others have said. Having read virtually everything that’s been put out in the public arena, as well as multiples opinions on it, over the past several days I don’t feel I’ve been deceived either by any particular post written by DPF or by the nature of Kiwiblog.

    His links are well known and clearly stated, and can be read through that prism. DPF is sometimes critical of National’s policy decisions but he hasn’t descended to attacking National Party figures as Cameron Slater occasionally has. Ironically, I believed that was a genuine attempt by Whaleoil to publish “without fear or favour”, while DPF was more concerned with preserving his party relationships.

    Now it seems that such posts on Whaleoil were nothing more than attempts to settle personal scores and that any policy criticisms they might have contained were just hooks on which to hang character assassination. Whether that was an intended deceit or whether Slater and the moderators assumed people would know that what looked like principled arguments were personal take-downs, I don’t know. But the lasting impression is of cynical manipulation of the readership not to promote party and policies (which would be both expected and acceptable) but solely to advance some individuals – notably Collins – at the expense of others.

    I also find it more than a little hypocritical that moderation there has swung from countenancing death threats to, as Redbaiter so aptly terms it “like Jonestown”. Regular visitors here will know that in 5,000+ comments I’ve never descended to personal abuse (one of the disciplines that comes with commenting under ones own name), yet “Pete” seems to have seen fit to ban me from Whaleoil. For what, I have no idea.

    Contrast that with a clear, consistent, reasoned and reasonable policy applied at Kiwiblog, which hasn’t changed markedly in the many years I’ve been coming here.

    No one, and no blog, is perfect. But DPF can I think be justifiably proud that he hasn’t left readers and contributors feeling like they’ve been cynically used to further an agenda which goes well beyond what the blog claims it to be.

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  188. dime (9,799 comments) says:

    ” My regular morning routine once I get to sit in front of the ‘puter is look at Stuff and the Herald (there goes 10 minutes which usually could have been better spent) and then come here…Almost without exception there is something which interests me and often, informs me far more than the MSM sites.”

    yeah thats pretty much me as well.. probably 5 mins @ herald/stuff.

    on the weekends i come here first. dpf has usually already highlighted anything interesting the hacks have come up with

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  189. dime (9,799 comments) says:

    funny how the anti-tick people are the ones who are usually negative 10…

    seeing as though we are all being nice today, ill tear up my hate list an be nice to everyone.. until they deserve to be back on the list :D

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  190. adze (2,062 comments) says:

    Well said Rex.

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  191. snowy (107 comments) says:

    Don’t let Them bully you DPF. And that’s exactly what it is, bullying.

    You have no obligation to change the way you run your blog. It is the fairest most open political blog in nz.

    I don’t agree with all, or even most of your views, but I cherish the freedom to disagree and debate that you allow here.

    I would hate to see my favorite blog turn into a whale oil/standard/stuff clone.

    Yours in gratitude
    Snowy

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  192. Dave_1924 (110 comments) says:

    When under attack by gutless, invisible puppet masters using proxies to do there dirty work – one should stand tall DPF.

    You’re a tough rooster based on my viewings of panel discussions you have been part of and also in your responses to attacks on line. But a tough rooster with a sense of fairness in terms of playing the ball and not the man.

    You’re openly affiliated with National – big deal!!!

    The Standard is rabidly Left though as expect of the left splintered in to Labour and some fellow travels who favour the Greens

    I see no need for you to applied for the establishment media watchdog to look over your blog…. it will just encourage Standard and Daily Blog sponsored attack campaigns. We have seen them target Whaleoil’s commercial revenue stream already….

    The left hate open thought, discussion and free speech when it applies to their opponents. They are the privileged few, in their view, and only they can set standards. Don’t believe it, don’t give into them and stay just as you are until well after the election is done.

    Things will look so much better through the haze of a mild hangover celebrating your parties victory.

    Be strong, retain your faith in your staff at Curia and don’t stop being a compelling voice for the principles of the Centre Right

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  193. Dead Earnest (160 comments) says:

    Hang in there David, don’t be cowered by that sactimonious little electronic “fence”.
    Kiwiblog provides a voice for many and a news source for more still
    Keep it happening.

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  194. wiseowl (859 comments) says:

    Just another who appreciates your blog DPF.
    After a while you get to know who’s who and with a such a range of people who have experience in different areas it is a must visit to catch up on the daily happenings and comments.

    Probably the best forum operating.

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  195. OneTrack (2,970 comments) says:

    Jack5 – “They aren’t, by any chance, Lefties trying to goad DPF into instituting tight moderation?”

    No, they are more likely lefties who can smell blood in the water and now want DPF to change his mind. Lovely people. Yeah, really.

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  196. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:
    I often post here to test opinions, the upticks versus downticks can be a useful indicator.

    An indicator of what exactly?

    Depends what the comment is for. Testing opinion, reactions, fomenting happy mischief etc

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  197. SGA (982 comments) says:

    Pete George at 7:08 pm

    An indicator of what exactly?

    Depends what the comment is for. Testing opinion, reactions, fomenting happy mischief etc

    That’s as clear as mud Pete.

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  198. deadrightkev (409 comments) says:

    Stick around DPF.

    I don’t support your party or leader for lack of principle but I do appreciate being allowed an opinion occasionally.

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  199. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    It’s complex, for example it can make a significant difference where a comment is in relation to other comment that are supportive of or contrary to the point being made. Whaty time of day. What day. What sort of thread eg GD or specific topic. And there’s a lot of assumption and guesswork involved.

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  200. bc (1,364 comments) says:

    I’m glad you’re hanging around, David. It would be sad to see kiwiblog go, and I hope the comments from this post are making you realise how we all value what you do.

    I’m also glad you have reflected on how you can make kiwiblog better. I would support #5.
    There have been some incredibly hateful and nasty comments on this blog recently. It reached its peak with the Israel/Palestine warfare. There were comments from people saying that Israel should keep going until everyone in Palestine is killed. I can’t remember who said this at the time (longknives was one person from memory) but hate speech encouraging genocide made me sick, and I have only returned to this blog over the last couple of days because the conflict has quietened down.
    The uptick/downtick voting system only made it worse.

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  201. Simon J Taylor (32 comments) says:

    I’ve really enjoyed reading Kiwiblog and hope to continue doing so.

    I get much of my NZ political news from the postings (Yes I’m mature enough to tell fact from opinion)

    It also allows a wide diversity of opinions and comments to be posted.

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  202. SGA (982 comments) says:

    Pete George at 7:28 pm

    It’s complex, for example it can make a significant difference where a comment is in relation to other comment that are supportive of or contrary to the point being made. Whaty time of day. What day. What sort of thread eg GD or specific topic. And there’s a lot of assumption and guesswork involved.

    LOL

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  203. Tinshed (138 comments) says:

    An observation: many of those who wish to retain the ‘downvote’ tick and a relatively loose moderation policy seem to be saying that they like such policies because it allows them, as individuals, to express their opinions in an unfettered manner. One example is the comment upthread that says, “I enjoy the opportunity to insult and harass some with wit and well grafted derision.” Fair enough, but too often the insult is just plain ugly and obscene. For example, take a look at the comment by @Black with a Vengeance at 4:17pm. To me this is just wrong and I don’t want to participate in a blog that finds such comments acceptable. Perhaps this comment was made in jest and I have missed the ‘joke’. I am sure that @Black with a vengeance enjoyed the opportunity to insult, but I suspect that the majority of readers here did not similarly enjoy the opportunity to read such an insult. Kiwiblog would be a much, much better place if such comments were moderated and deleted. Most of us wish to debate and discuss the issues, as DPF expressed in his post, and not engage in the personal abuse as demonstrated by @Black with a vengeance. There are enough blogs where you can be abusive and obscene but Kiwiblog is better than that.

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  204. Viking2 (11,346 comments) says:

    Having watched this at times through the day and wondered I am left with an abiding sense of doom with the great attempts at thought control, censorship to suit others and in general an attempt to hijack DPF’s right to Freedom of Speech and his customers (bloggers), right to that same free speech.

    It will be a cold day in hell when Davids blog gets controlled by any form of censorship.

    David and I don’t always see eye to eye but at least we can argue about the point. We may not change each others point of view (although I did notice that he is leaning more to Act).

    DPF, having employed many hundreds over many years and being like you somewhat trusting I must say I have learnt some tough lessons along the way. People are not all trustworthy despite what appearances and utterances they may make. In business it has just become normal to have good control systems, and even then some lowlife will still beat you if you are unlucky.

    For a person who trusts in others it’s a tough thing to do but its necessary.
    I suspect that you are actually lucky that the loss is not a major or a huge amount of money. It does make you wiser and you will view things and people with a more critical eye. The best protection is good process.

    I had a property manager till recently whose turn of phrase kinda summed up tenants.
    “if they are breathing they are lying”. And you can believe its just very true.
    Who says employees and others are not the same?

    Why would you join a media control outfit that ,while it may have a bunch of well sounding words at its front page it is nonetheless merely a mouthpiece for some of the worst media outlets.
    You already have you own ethics and standards. write them up on your blog by all means and I’m happy to say that if you do it is unlikely anyone will ever challenge them. e.g. who ever challenges the MSM in any meaningful way and do they ever repair the damage they do. No Not ever.

    In business its true that the customer is always right. (even if we don’t think so).
    Looking through all these posts it very clear the most of your customers are happy with the blog and the way it operates.
    sure we have the painful, the pedantic and so on but we don’t need to read them and if we don’t comment they eventually fade away. (although with the election it seems we have an unusual amount of trolls but they will disappear in time.)

    Few seem to want moderation and its a slippery slope to censorship. Not what KB should be doing.

    Another month and this will all look decidedly a storm in a teacup so DPF keep up the good work, chill a little till it blows over and stay staunch when it comes to Freedom of Speech.

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  205. Griff (7,262 comments) says:

    Tinshed (102 comments) says:
    August 19th, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Black with a vengeance /pollywog is here trolling purely and simply
    The present moderation policy would have him banned/demerited if any one bothered to complain to DPF.
    His language and use of the c word today is outside of DPF’s usual tolerance probably sufficient to cope at least 50 demerits.
    I would rather just ignore such outbursts than have a moderation policy that is always there, used as a matter of course and obtrusive .

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  206. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    “I enjoy the opportunity to insult and harass some with wit and well grafted derision.”

    I don’t know who said that but it may be that some think they are fully of “wit and well grafted derision” but all others see is the “insult and harass”.

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  207. Nookin (3,263 comments) says:

    I read the article written by Andrew Geddis in defense of our host. For the most part it is difficult to challenge. I do, however, strongly disagree with his conclusion that the leak of material by an employee was justified. He says:

    “That being said, should David have even been discussed in the book? Should information about his business (Curia Research) have been obtained from an (ex?) employee in order to write it?

    I suspect he’ll strongly disagree with me, but I think that it was OK to do so. This was a book about the way in which a new form of information sharing – the blogosphere – is being used by a political party to further its political messaging. David has established himself as the most read blogger in New Zealand (I discount the stats that Slater reports, as there’s very good reason to suspect that they’ve been gamed), while also having a central role in that party (a role that is, it must be remembered, ultimately funded through the public purse). In turn, his success as a blogger has led to high demand as an “old” media commentator. With that level of public profile comes a level of scrutiny. You don’t get to sit in the public eye without the risk of having that gaze peer into places you might prefer it didn’t go.”

    We have legislation protecting employee disclosures. It is aptly called the Protected Disclosures Act. The revelations supported by Professor Geddis do not even come close to the protected categories — all of which involve some element of wrong-doing.

    Prof Geddis’ justification is public awareness of political methodology – regardless of the nature of the information shared. In a way it is similar to an employee of an advertising agency leaking new advertising strategies for a major client so that everyone knows about it.

    Prof Geddis does not consider the repercussions. He fails to balance the so-called public interest of knowing something most people have guessed anyway against the cynical breach of the essential relationship of trust and confidence in the employment relationship.

    Concepts of trust and confidence and good faith underpin the Employments Relations Act and any employment relationship. DPF has given a clear indication of his reaction to the betrayal (which is exactly what happened). Who can dispute the justification of those feelings?

    It gets worse. Even long standing, honest and reliable employees feel that they may be under suspicion. Any workplace devoid of trust becomes dysfunctional. That is exactly why the concept of good faith underpins the law. That is exactly why the bar for protected disclosures is set so high.

    I read an article on leaking by Nicky Hager and quoted it on another thread on another day. Although there was a relatively brief reference to ethics and motivation of the leaker it was apparent that he has little or no regard for other issues of public interest.

    The fact that illegally obtained information from DPF’s workplace found its way into the book suggests that anything goes.
    My question of Andrew, or anyone else who feels fit to respond, is this:

    Are we, as a society, really happy to leave it to journalists or their sources to determine what is and what is not in the public interest and the extent to which a balance must be made with other, equally if not more compelling interests for which they have no regard or of which they are blithely or wilfully ignorant?

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  208. Griff (7,262 comments) says:

    It was me pg

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  209. SGA (982 comments) says:

    Griff at 9:22 pm

    It was me pg

    Not necessary – already known through the assumptions and guesswork.

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  210. adze (2,062 comments) says:

    Griff
    Yes, definitely trolling – he was bragging about it on the Standard earlier

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  211. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    I deliberately didn’t look back Griff, it was a general comment. There’s quite a bit of reasonable banter and fomenting happy mischief, some real humour whether intended or not (RB comes to mind) but with some it’s hard to know what they get out of what seems like perpetual pissiness.

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  212. Griff (7,262 comments) says:

    I find it offensive at times pg.
    when phill Ure was trolled insistently and the same with some hounding of both you and of Judith.

    First they came for………

    I would not like to see to many rules introduced into our usually benign anarchy.

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  213. Tinshed (138 comments) says:

    I did a Google search on the word ‘fuckwit’ on The Standard, and on the Kiwiblog websites. Google tells me there are were some 3,600 hits on Kiwiblog, but over 116,000 hits on The Standard. Which do you prefer? Which community (“shared values and norms”) would you rather belong to? Which community debates ideas rather than personalities?

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  214. adze (2,062 comments) says:

    @Tinshed
    That’s why I find it amusing whenever someone from the Standard refers to KB as “the sewer” :)

    When toad once had a moan about KB commenters mocking personal appearance (implying it was a problem unique to the right), I pointed out a couple of commenters on Frogblog referring to “Fat Gerry [Brownlee]“. :)

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  215. Nostalgia-NZ (5,093 comments) says:

    ‘With that level of public profile comes a level of scrutiny. You don’t get to sit in the public eye without the risk of having that gaze peer into places you might prefer it didn’t go.”

    AG is probably correct where he has said that Nookin. But I would agree that the ‘risk of having that gaze peer’ is not the same as hacking. You may not know but someone posted a link here to a conversation between Kim Dotcom and a talkback host in which KD said that he intended to ask the High Court for release of information held by WO, at least, I presume, that which was stolen. Of course he will have an arguable case, really this is where ‘official information’ and what agencies are now being recognised as having not kept up with the Law or the pace of internet development. Asking an organisation to release material which might be harmful to its self or its employees is a bit like asking a person with long pockets for money. For that reason it’s good that DC, or others, go to the Courts seeking disclosure – but there should be a way that is less difficult and not meet with arguments of ‘fishing’ and so on. KB is effectively an agency because it has archives which store information that may or may not be correct.

    In Europe we now see Google held responsible for information is gathers which is not correct. It’s a good move if DPF is recognising such changes and has made a decision to be aware of KB’s potential liability not only for what it publishes but also, and consequently, for what it stores.

    Geddis must know this, and it’s difficult not to think he was ‘enjoying’ the presumption that DPF has got what he deserves by being hacked. Surprising really that a Professor of the Law would think it inevitable that ‘hacking’ is actually ‘scrutiny.’ Maybe he doesn’t, which goes to show how upside down things are at the moment, at a time where KDC sees the way to gather information is through the legal system, and under provisions of the OIA.

    Bloggers need to keep up, so it seems do some Professors of the Law.

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  216. Grizz (589 comments) says:

    DPF,

    I was disappointed that you were hacked and you intellectual property violated. It disturbs me how people with different political views to you cannot see the irony in this behaviour and shame on them. Librals have always fought against wealthy people buying elections and buying democracy to suit their own need. Here we see a good example where they actively support this activity as it suits their own political needs. You may have received a few emails from a shock blogger or been in contact with members of the National Party. You have always been open about this. Hagers book is all opinion of what he really would like you to be as it supports his own needs. The reality is that he is way off the mark. It sickens me that People like him, like KDC, like Labour/Green/Mana associates of KDC all buy into it.

    I think the real problem is that you have entered the world of political literature, offer a different opinion and they do not like it. For years, businessmen had their Business reviews and Golf Magazine. Farmers had NZ Farmer publications and left wing Activists had socialist newspapers. Along comes the internet and all of a sudden you have written political Literature that challenges what the socialists had written and got away with for decades and they do not like it. They have always used dirty and underhand tactics. The very fact that Standard Bloggers are political staffers blurs the lines even further. Making matters worse, along comes Cameron Slater who plays the same game but for the other team and does it much better than they can and they have been fuming. So their next response is to go beyond dirty and resort to criminal activity.

    New Zealand should not tolerate this. You have to keep blogging. You have to continue the contest of ideas. There is clearly an audience for your voice. If you stop you will have let the criminals win.

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  217. Nookin (3,263 comments) says:

    Nost.

    Discovery is a cumbersome and expensive process. First, you have to define what may or may not be relevant. The you have to inspect and either include or exclude every document that may or may not be relevant. Its bad enough if you are a party to the proceedings. Someone wanting discovery from a third party needs to jump some hoops to qualify. That includes paying costs.

    Dotcom is using every conceivable strategy to delay his case. I also doubt his bona fides in seeking the info. He is a self-annointed publicity freak. He wants as much info as he can get to use as a diversion to the real issues, namely is he a fraud and a racketeer?

    Nothing will persuade me that Hager’s use of stolen information was justifiable in the public interest. That doesn’t mean I condone attack dog tactics. It means that if the notion of public interest becomes subjective (and Hager appears to support this notion) then the law of self-help will prevail. Theft becomes justifiable. By extension, someone might take the view that someone else’s behaviour is such that they no longer have protection of the laws prohibiting assault. Journalists are not the right people to determine when criminal behaviour is justified or when it is appropriate to destroy the relationship of trust between employer and employer. If you analyse what Hager is bitching about, you will see that he has done exactly the same.

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  218. SPC (5,537 comments) says:

    The simplest moderation system would be one where moderators could send a post to the same hidden status that down ticked posts go to. It is also the most transparent.

    The demerits points system could kick in if too many posts went into moderation etc.

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  219. flipper (3,941 comments) says:

    Nos-NZ and Nookin….

    Thank you both. Your posts late last evening are of an exceptional standard and have a made a real contribution.
    I cannot say the same about Geddes, who seems unable to meet the standard expected of someone in his post.
    In an endeavour to stop short of an ad hominem, I simply claim that his nadir was his criticism of Binnie J.
    But I suppose academics like him think it amusing to pontificate at others expense. :-)

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  220. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    not engage in the personal abuse as demonstrated by @Black with a vengeance. There are enough blogs where you can be abusive and obscene but Kiwiblog is better than that.

    Sorry, but this blog really isn’t any better. Im just fomenting happy mischeif as per the brief.

    I could cite numerous insults and personal abuse towards any number of people here and in the wider world of politics.

    Tit for tat. I don’t insult anybody who doesn’t insult me first.

    That’s hardly trolling.

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  221. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Posting comments that break the rules on abuse is always going to happen anywhere that cherished beliefs are contested. The type of abuse (eg due to trolling and gaming vs ordinary annoyance or frustration) can be clues as to what social or political forces are at play. By running a moderator thread a blog can implement an enhanced form of social feedback which identifies problematic topics or posters. By having the thread publicly readable the system becomes transparent regarding any political bias that might be applied by the moderators.

    IMO the idea of hiding moderated comments is a good one, and it should be possible to have the WordPress software log these events on a moderator thread so that problems can be identified. An active moderator thread can give an indication that new ideas are being contested or that a blog is being gamed, while a quiet thread can be an indication that the blog is turning into an echo chamber.

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  222. hj (6,813 comments) says:

    hj (6,585 comments) says:
    August 19th, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I’ve been permanently banned from Frogblog and the Standard. Some organisations /groups just don’t want some things heard. ……
    mikenmild (11,151 comments) says:
    August 19th, 2014 at 11:27 am

    hj
    Do you think they have heard enough about the Savings Working Group?
    …..
    No in the case of the Greens it was raising connections between Keith Locke, Green members and people who want to murder and blow innocent people up.
    In the case of the Standard it was firstly saying “pooh, pooh LPrent” when he was defending Valerie Morse (who felt she didn’t have to answer what she did with a Molotov cocktail because the evidence was obtained on a -technical- illegality).
    The second time was slagging an epitome
    of PC Marama Davidson.

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  223. hj (6,813 comments) says:

    Either way the Standard and Frogblog can’t handle free speech because their feet are in murky left-wing ideology.

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  224. the conservative (64 comments) says:

    David, I think you are over reacting. Take a big breath, relax, and wait a month and this nonsense will all be history.

    I wouldn’t go down the ‘Online Media Standards Authority’ road as that could very well open the door to more problems than you presently believe you have.

    Blogging is about free speech and anything with the name ‘Standards Authority’ is promoting the opposite.

    You don’t need these people, nor do you need moderators. From what I can gather you are doing fine as you are.

    If it aint broke, don’t fix it.

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  225. Unity (483 comments) says:

    I totally agree with Conservative. I don’t even listen to news items about the book as it is. It’s a disgraceful book and only emphasised by the media because they are obviously short of any other news. Otherwise it’s a non-event even though, sadly, it is probably making that dreadful Nicky Hager a lot of money.

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  226. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Since I previously endorsed the positive, I think I should also post about the negative:

    Also I do like to think, without being immodest, that I do make good contributions to politics in NZ. I can data crunch, I have a 20+ year history of political knowledge which can put things in context

    The problem is that the context you put things in is typically statist, You reject facts that don’t fit into your narrow view of reality, running with a “rational” brand when what you sell is more accurately described as faith in a corrupt secular system.

    Kiwiblog is sending in an application today to join the Online Media Standards Authority. I’m not doing this so I can be called media. I don’t intend to label myself as media. I’m a blogger. I’m doing it so I can be held accountable to a public code of ethics and standards, and an independent complaint procedure. The code of ethics and standards will apply to both myself, and all guest bloggers here.

    You want join the OMSA? Fine, that’s your call. But you can count me out.

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