Is the Whidbey News Times and Sound Publishing now censoring users in their comments section?
It is now becoming clear why the Whidbey News Times and Sound publishing swiched the comments system in their online newspapers to the Facebook comment system. It is apparently so they can control who posts to their comments section.
If you think that you are seeing all of the comments posted in a particular article be aware that many of the posters posts may not be visible to you.
Facebook has incorporated visiblity settings in their comments social plugin that allow the moderator to set the visiblity of posts made by individual posters to their comments section. What this means is that if the Whidbey News Times does not want your posts to appear they set your “visibility” to “has limited visibility” and your post appears to you and anyone that may have friended you but it they will not appear to the general public. There is no notification of this to you as the poster and your posts will appear to you as long as you stay logged into your Facebook account. If you log out of your Facebook account the comments will not be visible to you either.
This is a pretty good way to control abusive posts but it seems as this tool is being used to censor posters from having their posts visible in the comments section.
As you can see from the post below there is no abusive content in the post and it is whithin both the Whidbey News Times Terms of Service and Facebooks Terms of Service.
Apparently The Whidbey News Times has decided that they do not want to allow posts from certain users. As I have never posted anything against the Whidbey News Times Terms of Service I can only assume it is because of political views.
While the Whidbey News Times certainly does have the right to control who posts to the comments section it does make one wonder just what other posters and what other messages are being censored by the newspaper.
Vew of comment while logged into Facebook, notice the top post in this thread.
View of comments not logged into Facebook account, notice the top post is now not visible.
Showing posters Facebook Wall showing post that does not appear in the Whidbey News Times.