Sunday, December 14, 2014

Read Guido’s Column in the Sun on Sunday Online

harman

In Guido’s Sun on Sunday column today: the silence of Harriet Harman over a string of sexist outbursts from Labour MPs. Claim your free one month trial and don’t miss out on:

shapps

  • Rapping proof that Grant Shapps don’t stop, the rock it to the bang, bang boogie.

greens

  • Are Green Party candidates a bunch of trustafarian posh kids?
  • Russell Brand slammed as “diva” and nicknamed “his majesty” by Question Time producers
  • Who really is the inspiration for George Osborne’s haircut?
  • Ed’s wallet-wounding supper with mysterious short male companion
  • Fast food fight in parliament

Click here to read Guido’s column for free with a free 30-day trial…

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Friend of Ed Selected for Holborn & St Pancras
Rules Bent to Get Keir Starmer Safe Seat

starrmer

Sir Keir Starmer had the rules bent for him so that he could take the plum seat of Holborn & St Pancras in the epicentre of Labour’s North London luvviedom. There was one small problem – he only joined the Labour Party last November and under the rules candidates for parliament must have been a member for a year. For a friend of Ed this can be fixed – Labour HQ delayed the selection process until this month, when Sir Kier will have been a party member for the required 12 months. Progressive Prosecco for the Public Prosecutor all round…

De Re Commentari

Guido will soon be winding down for Christmas and the team would be faced with the tedious job of comment moderation over the holidays or to decide to just let anarchy prevail. For the last few months we have as an experiment adopted an even more laissez faire attitude to comments. Animated GIFs, YouTube videos, tweets, images and the like were allowed. The result was gay porn, racist videos and it generally getting worse. We have now after ten years tested the “no pre-moderation” model to destruction.

During the run up to the election this site’s readership will probably top-out at some quarter-of-a-million hits per day, comments will be in the thousands daily. The post-moderation system is just not viable, the team would have to spend all day reading the comments instead of doing the writing that provokes them.

This graph from this article on the economics of blog comments summarises the situation:

comment moderation costsGuido has over the last decade copped a lot of criticism for the generally laissez faire attitude towards the comments – remember Derek Draper calling the comments “a sewer” on Andrew Neil’s Daily Politics? In some ways it was easier for Guido to take a laissez faire attitude, counter-intuitively it provides some degree of legal protection to not pre-moderate.

Comment moderation costs a fortune, we occasionally have to spend time with lawyers and the police as a result of comments we have not written or often even read. It is expensive in time, every day the Guido team deletes a load of comments which have, in our rather arbitrary judgement, just gone too far. The software algorithm modbot blocked as much racist, scatological and gynecological nonsense as could be predictable. The truth is that we were happy to tolerate profanity and such like directed at the political class, we were not so keen on the repetitious and tedious stuff about minorities.

Picture credit : GQ

Some get very worked up about online comments because they are so often rude and abusive. We’ve taken a “sticks and stones” view to a large extent, particularly with regard to prominent public figures, it is actually pleasing that Ed Balls gets angry about the abuse dished out here, that self-important politicians hate it so much, that thin-skinned journalists don’t like a taste of their own medicine. The comments and the blog itself perform the role of a cyber-stocks, you can say almost whatever you like about leading political figures and it will go unchecked, however say something gynecological about a lowly intern, it is likely to get deleted (if it is noticed).

Originally when this blog started and had readers numbering only in the tens, rather than the tens of thousands, some of the regular comment makers were very witty and brought actual gossip. In the last decade millions of comments have been made, the signal to noise ratio and average quality of the comments has declined. That is an inevitable consequence of having among the tens of thousands of readers a fair number of moronic, window licking, certifiable loonies for whom this is their preferred outlet. Mostly it is people just venting about their bugbears and commenting on the character and parentage of politicians, with a few gems to be found. Guido has no problem with readers swearing at politicians. That has its place, and that place is for better or worse here.

Things are changing, you will still be able to say what you like (within somewhat arbitrary inconsistent limits) without pre-moderation or registering. That privilege will be removed from people who cross the line, they will be blocked from commenting. We’re not known for political correctness, we believe in freedom of speech, exercise it elsewhere if you want to post porn or abuse people witlessly. Will the obsessive who posts “Vote UKIP” all day be blocked? Maybe. Will we lose traffic? Not as much as those obsessive comment makers think. Will it work? That is up to you.

Breaking: Jim Murphy is Scottish Labour’s Leader

Jim Murphy

Labour’s Scottish branch office has a new manager. A rare victory for a Blairite in Ed Miliband’s Labour Party…

Saturday Seven-Up

Friday, December 12, 2014

Come See CITIZENFOUR
Christmas Drinks / Movie With TechnoGuido

techno-guido-citizen4

Guido presents a special readers’ screening of CITIZENFOUR, the new film starring Edward Snowden from Academy Award nominee Laura Poitras, next Wednesday, 6.30pm, December 17 at the crumbling old Guardian HQ on 119 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3ER. Come and see inside the Lubyanka-like former headquarters of the Guardian, watch the movie and enjoy a drink before Christmas.

This is a free screening for Guido’s readers and Techno-Guido will be supplying the drinks!

In January 2013, Laura Poitras several years into the making of a film about abuses of national security in post-9/11 America when she started receiving encrypted emails from someone identifying himself as “citizen four”, who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies.

In June 2013, she and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely unique in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes.

Warning: this movie has strong libertarian undertones…

Tickets available below:

Boris Says Balls Looks Like He Has a Finger Up His Bum

balls

Nifty work by The Tab, who have recorded Bojo charming a Tory party fundraiser by telling them Ed Balls has:

“the air of a pop-eyed man who looks like he’s undergoing an unexpected prostate examination.”

A line he has shamelessly nicked from Anna Soubry…

Boris’ Godless Christmas Card

Friday Caption Contest (Dirty Donations Edition)

Entries in the comments please…

Pic via Spectator.

WATCH: Highlights From Face-Sitting Porn Protest

Watch Guido’s entire NSFW coverage here.


Seen Elsewhere

Speaker Bercow Defeated | BBC
Nigel Farage is Bigger Than Jesus | Speccie
Year of Sleaze | City AM
Top 10 UKIP Donors | London Loves Business
Tory Candidate Leaflet Blooper | Get West London
Why Aren’t Middle Class Voting Tory? | Sun
UKIP Do Not Have Monopoly on Fruitcakes | Danny Finkelstein
Ed Must Stop Dithering | Mary Riddel
Ed Cannot Rebuild Trust From Westminster | Rafael Behr
An Open Letter to Russell Brand | "Jo"
Merry Bin-Mas From the Greens | Speccie


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Labour insiders turn on Ed over Powell’s latest gaffe:

“When is he going to stop promoting useless people? He was warned about her.”


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