HUFFPOST SLOG BANNING: A creepy reply from the AOL folks.

Stephanie Vaughn Haupke of AOL sends the Slog an object lesson in how to hang yourself.

An astonishingly self-incriminating, perfidious and gauche email popped into my inbox this evening. Read it and weep for free speech in America: my initial response is at the top, with dissection of dissembling in red as you scroll down…..


Dear Stephanie,

See my responses to your entirely inaccurate and disingenuous email. I have no interest in being reinstated on Huffington Post as a comment threader. I thought it was an open channel for logical, empirical and balanced comment . I see now that I was wrong.

My dissection of your mail is highlight-edited in red below.


From: Stephanie Vaughn Hapke []
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 5:31 PM
Subject: Your blog post re:suspension of HuffPost account

Hello John,

You wrote a blog posting on PrisonPlanet regarding the recent suspension of your Huffington Post account.

I did no such thing. I wrote a posting on my own blog about you banning my comments. Prisonplanet and several other sites checked the story and ran their own version.

I am wondering why it is that you wrote a public blog post without contacting us first to see what the situation was that caused the suspension.

Well now Stephanie, let me tell you why that was…and why once again you’re wrong.

First off I wrote the blog AFTER writing this email to you, timed at 10.20 pm GMT Monday via Microsoft Outlook. I have contacted MO, and they are happy to confirm the transmission:

 ‘Any chance you can tell me why I was banned from telling the truth this afternoon on your comment threads, o Fascist persons? JW’

 Second, I fail to see why it is my responsibility to contact you about gratuitous censorship when you banned me

Your account was not banned,

I screen-captured the statement on your site. It said, ‘Sorry you have been banned from commenting’. That’s a ban in my book: what would you call it?

it was suspended for violating three of our comment guidelines. First, you were promoting a conspiracy theory regarding the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Have you any idea what an Orwellian organisation that makes you seem? ‘Banned for promoting a conspiracy theory’. Well (a) I specifically said in every post I DO NOT hold to the conspiracy theory saying he isn’t dead. He’s dead, of that I’m sure. But as a free citizen, (b) I choose not to believe a White House version unravelling more and more with every day that passes.

Our policy states in part, “We also do not allow the promotion and propagation of conspiracy theories, including those about 9/11.”Second, you were repeatedly submitting these comments to the same and different articles, which is classified in our guidelines as spamming.

Rubbish. Every thread was tailored to the article, in a way I have been doing without any interference from you for the last 18 months.

Finally, about all you were submitting was insubstantial comments with a link to your own blog site, which is not permitted.

See above, same applies. Hypocritical nonsense.

Because this is your first offense,

Ah…free speech. Serious crime. Naughty, naughty Slog.

I am able to offer you reinstatement, conditioned on your acceptance of our comment guidelines, and your agreement to abide by them. Specifically, you cannot promote your own blog unless you are also making a comment that would otherwise stand on its own. Furthermore, you cannot submit the same comment multiple times, nor propagate conspiracy theories.

In the words of a brave American General fighting in France for all our freedoms during WWII, ‘Nuts’.

Please reply if you agree with these conditions and I will reinstate your account as quickly as possible.

Thanks, but I’ve no desire to join the Moonies.


I would respectfully ask that nobody seeing this email (copies forwarded to anyone who wants verification) and commenting at The Slog, ever again tells me I’m being paranoid about the AOLs and the Newscorps and Net neutrality and Google and Verizon and Orange and all the rest of the sociopaths out there gradually eroding our right to comment using evidence – but in contradiction to their faith. God help us all from those who believe.

Worse still, Arianna Huffington has let everyone down who worked so tirelessly to help her be a success. Her willingness to sell out to these gargoyles is a disappointment I find it hard to express adequately.

If you wish to express your support for this view, well – the lady’s email address is there ready-linked above.

Update noon GMT: Slog forced to remove Steph’s email address after threat to ‘talk to WordPress’. More posts to follow. Stay tuned.

But I would appeal to anyone doing so to remain civil and refrain from profanity. These people will stop at nothing to make it seem as if they’re terribly reasonable…..and we’re all horribly, dangerously mad. Don’t give them the excuse to put you down: dignity can defeat a thousand tyrants in the end.