Dear Broadsheet…


Tony Groves

Whether it’s Orwell, or Chomsky, or JFK it doesn’t matter; the sentiment is that in order to believe in freedom of speech you must extend that belief to those of whom you disagree with.

Easier said than done, folks.

I’ve watched people I know, like and respect verbally attacked for having the temerity to have opinions. I’ve seen those I dislike, disagree with and wouldn’t hold in high regard suffer similarly. Hate, vitriol and discrimination doesn’t discriminate against its victims.

Sadly, it’s getting worse. A recent report of Service Men and Women told of uniformed Irish Navy Officers being accosted in public and called traitors for rescuing Muslims from drowning. These are our brothers and sisters, rescuing our brothers and sisters.

The new Minister for Culture, Josepha Madigan, while defending Leo Varadkar’s lukewarm speech to the Fine Gael National Conference, reminded Hugh Linehan of the Irish Times that “Hitler was a brilliant orator”.

As examples of Godwin’s Law go, this was not the worst. But comparing anyone to Hitler is not a good look; particularly in the context of a backhanded compliment to a genocidal maniac.

When I mentioned the hilarity of this on twitter the Minister blocked me. While hardly a great look for a public representative, it is a nice example of a lesson more of us need to learn: Freedom of speech doesn’t mean people have to listen to you.

To take this a step further, freedom of speech doesn’t mean you should have a platform. There’s privilege in a platform, power in it even.

Places like Broadsheet give platforms to people with a diversity of opinions. They often do it well. Their coterie of comments section trolls are, in my opinion, a stain on what is , for the most part, a force for good.

The editor of Broadsheet and I disagree on this. He believes freedom of speech extends to anonymous trolls and therefore believes that the price for being heard (platformed) is verbal abuse, slanders and smears.

But he’s wrong. He’s not protecting freedom of speech. He’s platforming hate. The type of hate that asked the mother of a palliative child “where’s the father”. The type of hate that discusses rape and ethno nationalism on articles about politics. The type of hate that reacts to articles about homelessness by blaming “foreigners”. The type of hate that groups me with murderers for mentioning Sinn Féin.

It is opinions like these, platformed by Broadsheet, that spill out onto the streets and lambast Navy Officers. It is by platforming these views that Broadsheet normalises them. Believing in and defending freedom of speech are not the same thing as platforming hate.

So Broadsheet, you can upgrade your site all you want; but until you upgrade your values you will be part of the problem.

Tony Groves is a full-time financial consultant and part-time commentator. With over 18 years experience in the financial industry and a keen interest in politics, history and “being ornery”, he has published one book and writes regularly at Trickstersworld.

123 thoughts on “Dear Broadsheet…

    1. Andrew

      That’s exactly what Tony wants.
      Surprise surprise, left wing ideologue wants to silence those with differing opinions. It’s all drearily predictable.
      You see if you have a differing opinion you’re not just wrong, you’re a bad person too. Whereas everyone that shares Tony’s opinion, has no need for re-education under the regime Tony no doubt dreams of.
      Get off the stage!

      1. petey

        people shouting “jews will not replace us” are in fact bad people. and killing those you disagree with, as american rightwingers do, is the ultimate censorship. i know you’ll agree.

  1. rotide

    Suddenly I see where the phrase special little snowflake comes from.

    Not even a hint of irony in this piece

    p.s. you either don’t understand Godwin’s law or don’t understand what an example is

        1. Go A Way

          Haha Cian

          I did that on purpose to see if he’d take offence to me “trolling” him by getting his name wrong.

          He seems very sensitive today.

          Never know he might even get another clickbait article out of it!

  2. Teresa

    I saw a similar piece yesterday by Terry McMahon about Broadsheet. It would appear that more than a few others have a similar opinion about the level of hate and vitriol being spewed by the serial commenters. Just sayin’.

      1. Teresa

        I don’t think so. They have a lot of support and many I speak to in the real world would also have a similar opinion about the commenters. Quite the poor reputation. Just sayin’

          1. mildred st. meadowlark

            I dunno.

            I think he has a point. You DO seem to take comments about Terry rather personally.

          2. mildred st. meadowlark

            Well, you seemed rather affronted on his behalf last week on his post. Took a swing at a number of commenters who were having a go at Terry’s ‘style’.

            Of course, I could have read your tone all wrong, but that’s how it seemed to me.

          3. mildred st. meadowlark

            Do you have a sense of humour at all Terry? Do you not recognize a bit of mild teasing?

            Sorry, Teresa you don’t mind if I call you Terry, do you?

            (And just in case I wasn’t clear enough – I’m only joking with you)

          4. Teresa

            Stick to the public cliquey banter Ms Broadsheet. Your mates might get it but not those who visit infrequently and have a life beyond the site ;-)

          5. mildred st. meadowlark

            You’re getting the hang of it now :D
            And you never know….

            You may end up enjoying our little clique. You know, bantz and all that.

      2. Warden of the Snort

        their own groves, surely?

        indeed I recall Tony saying once that most of his columns are written in the gravediggers pub

        signs are on it

    1. snowey

      terry mcmahon writes an aggressive piece and then takes issue with the commentary to that piece.
      How up his own bum or lost in his own echo chamber is he?

      in the piece on medicinal cannabis it was pointed out that people could find his article grating without failing to support vera twomey in her campaign. He (nor Tony G) are infallible.
      my own comment – was a question that he failed to answer or contribute too.

      Dan Boyle does actually engage on occasion and hats off to him

      1. Go A Way

        He does to be fair. I don’t really like Dan but I do agree some people stalk him here. There was some guy called Ray who badgered him obsessively- it was really weird. Another guy who gets it is Donal Moloney.

        However these rare examples of bad apples actually prove how worthwhile broadsheets model is. Over on the journal it’s wall to wall vitriol and filth. On broadsheet however there still is room for the beautiful and good in life like Janet’s post about trying to get in touch with Will over the weekend and numerous other.

      2. Charger Salmons

        I just wish Dan Boyle would change his profile picture.
        He looks like a hungover Maths teacher coming into school after spending the night on a park bench because he missed his last train home.

  3. snowey

    Oh lord , I did consider the article a wind-up initially but sadly it’s probably a genuine thing.
    I believe in freedom of speech but lets censor people cos they say things I don’t like and I lazyily label that “hate”. Anything I don’t like is “hate speech”.
    The broadsheet is one of the most non-hateful comments sections I’ve seen where diverse opinions are tolerated. If you want everybody to be nice and lovey dovey there are plenty of facebook pages where all comments are on song and the admin ban desent.

    As an aside
    “Places like Broadsheet give platforms to people with a diversity of opinions. ”
    They don’t really – I like the broadsheet a lot , good article but the direction is very much liberal progressive.
    Pro choice for all.. Identity politics, lets bash David Quinn… for all as examples… Comments are free to disagree which is good but the authors are all driving in the same direction (politically and socially)

    1. rotide

      Spot on.

      I wanted to reply with something as coherant and sensible as this but i went with the hate speech option

    2. Cian

      I agree with you, there is relatively little “verbal abuse, slanders and smears” on BS.

      There are some contrarians, a few conspiracy theorists, some anti-everything-types, some Shinerbots, blueshirts, FF supporters, and even one commentator who has a consistent go at all of Dan Boyle’s articles, and a host of others – but it’s mostly ‘normal’ people with ‘normal’ gripes/comments/support.

  4. Brother Barnabas

    In fairness to BS, I can’t think of another publication – online or offline – that would publish an article that criticises it in this way.

    can’t say it’s not consistent and can’t say it doesn’t live by own principles.

  5. Col

    I think it’s important to understand the other side’s argument so you can be prepared to debate it properly. Or even try and bring them round to your understanding.

  6. Go A Way

    This is one of the most shameful and hateful articles ever posted on broadsheet. Opinionated bigot in I only want to hear the sound of my own voice shocker.

  7. Frilly Keane

    I dunno what all the cribbing is about
    But only speaking for meself now like
    Imo the commentary is the best bit of Broadsheet

    Everyone is free to come and go as they please
    Commentators and Columnists alike

    1. Charger Salmons

      Indeed Frilly.
      BS operate the lightest of touches in its comments section and as a result debates are lively and interesting with only the worst abuse being deleted.
      Seems to me they have it just about right even for right-on,lefty,mung bean-eating sandalistas.
      The easy alternative,obviously,is to simply not read the comments section.

      1. snowey

        “even for right-on,lefty,mung bean-eating sandalistas.”

        consider your phrase stolen ….

  8. b

    Fair play to Broadsheet for continuing to allow comments, i find this site does lack a little balance editorially as is their prerogative so allowing comments from alternative views is important

    Nobody should resort to name calling and abuse, but robust criticism and gentle ribbing of contributors doesn’t do any harm.

    As for Tony’s comments on Godwins law….i do find it ironic that a number of ‘contrary’ posters including myself have been called ‘blueshirts’ in comments before

    1. rotide

      What’s ironic is that tony called and continues to call me a racist because I corrected some of his research about Peter Norman.

      He literally is that commenter he is complaining about

  9. Charger Salmons

    I’ve always found that there’s no disagreement which can’t be solved by a chat over a nice cup of tea.
    Gentle ribbing should be seen for what it is – a playful poke in the ribs.

      1. Nigel

        Abusive personalities will always tell you their abuse is in jolly good fun, so that’s not worth much, is it?

        1. Ban the Poo. Ooh-er!

          Probably not

          Will they ALWAYS do that though?
          Will some of them not just abuse you and NOT pretend it’s fun?

          1. Nigel

            You’re right, I wouldn’t want to make too many sweeping generalisations that might tar ALL abusive personalities with the same brush.

  10. Pádraig Ó Raghaill

    Yeah, sorry, no, I cannot agree with that. Sure, overly abusing personalised attacking there is some justification for stopping that in comment sections. However, getting ‘upset’ at other opinions that do not match your own is just looking for a safe place. You have to be honest in the rhetoric; immigration has a positive and a negative and pretending it does not is just dishonest. Hell, the reliance on immigration as a way to pay for pension liabilities is not more than a Ponzi scheme. We as countries, should not be building reliance on immigration rather we should be encouraging it only out of ‘want’ not ‘need’ and that is a fundamental distinction.

    Oh, and by the way my good man, Hitler was a very good orator, that does not negate, diminish, his parties abhorrent acts, another important distinction. Obama was a great orator, lousy president, and quite weak that does not diminish the man, important distinction.

    People in socialised fishbowls spit vitriol, unfortunate, yet it is in ‘every’ socialised fishbowl. We can all wish for the opinion that agrees with our worldview; unfortunately, that is what Hitler did and so too Stalin. Let’s not want for channelling a Stalin, maybe a little vitriol here, and there is just sticks and stones.

    1. Listrade

      Is that what’s being said though? I don’t see Tony saying stop discussion on opinions he disagrees with. He doesnt say we can’t have a discussion on immigration, only that when reactions to a piece on homelessness is to blame foreigners (and he’s probably being polite in that phrasing), that in his opinion those comments should be moderated.

      You agree at the start on tackling the abusive posts, which I think is really the point of the piece.

        1. Listrade

          I didn’t say they couldn’t. I’m with John Stuart Mill on most matters of free speech, including when it is right to restrict.

          I gave my interpretation of what Tony had written and disagreed with the implication that he wanted to shut down any negative discussion of immigration. He might well do for all I know, but I don’t see that expressed in his article.

          1. Go A Way

            You’re contradicting yourself now

            Read that again

            Again – why should such negative comments be moderated ?

          2. Listrade

            There’s some progress as we’ve moved on from saying I was calling for expressing an opinion to be prevented.

            There is no contradiction in believing in free speech along the lines of John Stuart Mill.

            Freedom of Speech protects you against sanction or censorship by the state. Not a website. However, Freedom of Speech has never been absolute. Even the Universal Declaration of Human Rights regards it as having “special duties and responsibilities” and may “therefore be subject to certain restrictions”.

            Mill introduced the famous harm principle which I happen to feel is a good basis for when it is right to moderate speech.

            There is nothing contradictory there.

          3. Go A Way

            You tacitly backed Tony’s call for moderation of such speech – don’t be all Jesuitical and cute now all of a sudden

    2. Shayna

      I thought Obama was a great POTUS, the seat at The Oval Office is however not the ultimate power. It’s still the 1% whether Democrat/Republican, they control the U.S. It’s pretty much the same, here in Ireland. I guess it’s pretty much everywhere, politics = cash (in some way/favours).
      I’ve a friend from Dublin who’ve I’ve encouraged to run for An Seanad, he runs a successful news-based internet site.

      1. Shayna

        (There were a few comments to which I was replying, which have since been deleted, now my stand alone comment appears, just a tad incongruous, perhaps you could delete my reply – much appreciated, Shayna)

  11. Listrade

    There’s stuff not being said in this piece which I completely understand. Some of the abuse continues away from the site. So it perhaps isn’t always seen.

    I’ve been skiving off work for too many years on BBS, forums and now comment sections. It’s yet to be solved as to where we draw a line on free speech and moderating.

    I don’t think civility is too much to ask for no matter what your belief. That’s not censorship, that’s just social interaction.

    There’s always a tendency for the comments to be about the individual rather than what they said. Sometimes with some of the contributors or commentators that goes too far and old/new grievances are all we see.

    I don’t think Tony is looking to shut anything down. At least not in my reading. But if your comments would be out of line in an ordinary social sense, then they should be out of line here too (or anywhere). I think that sometimes a comments section needs some moderation. That’s not the same as censorship.

    But it’s Tony, so we’ll just have most comments being about Tony.

    P.S. I have no connection to Tony. Apart from he’s my dad.

    1. rotide

      Come on. Tony isn’t REALLY complaining about rape threats (as suggested below). He’s complaining about people with a different opinion to him offering it on his pieces. You only have to look at Tony’s typical interactions with the comments to his articles to see what he thinks of any sign of someone daring to question him.

      While I actually think broadsheet’s moderation could be tighter, they do get rid of stuff that’s way over the top mostly. I didn’t see the rape threats that are mentioned further down, but I’d be surprised if its still there.

      No, Tony is upset that that there are people who are making unwelcome noises in his echo chamber.

      1. Cian

        this. Tony is perfectly happy to reply to comments that support his point of view.
        He ignores/belittles anyone that disagrees.

      2. Listrade

        I don’t think he is and I don’t think you can read that from the above. The level of interaction with yourself and Tony and Cian (below) is different to what this is about. I genuinely don’t see a call for your disagreements with Tony to be censored.

        There’s nothing here about censorship for holding contrary views, it’s when the posts are specific attacks or hate.

        I genuinely don’t know where the line is, but I have seen some targeting against individuals. I think it worthwhile discussing at least, no matter what side you’re on.

        There’s plenty on here I’ve seen dish out, but also appeal to the mods to censor another poster. Many who have commented on this post.

        BTW I brought up the rape threat, in a different context. I didn’t suggest that was part of Tony’s point, it was in reference to what limits there are on freedom of speech/expression.

  12. Termagant

    “Believing in and defending freedom of speech are not the same thing as platforming hate.”

    To be honest lad it is a little bit

    If you provide a platform of any kind and you believe in free speech you have to be open to the idea that some of your platform might be used for hateful reasons, and if that happens so be it

    It’s not as if Broadsheet is exclusively posing as a platform for hate, it’s hardly Stormfront.

    1. Listrade

      “If you provide a platform of any kind and you believe in free speech you have to be open to the idea that some of your platform might be used for hateful reasons, and if that happens so be it”

      To give a recent example related to Broadsheet: does the “so be it” principle apply to rape threats against another contributor?

      1. Termagant

        If you believe the threats are serious alert the gardaí.
        If you believe the threats are only intended to offend grow a thicker skin.
        If you wish to on one hand espouse a belief in the freedom of people to express themselves as they see fit and on the other host a platform to that effect with an ounce of integrity then absolutely it applies.
        Freedom of speech up to the point at which someone subjectively finds it offensive is no freedom at all.

        1. Nigel

          Why would the principle of freedom of speech oblige a person who provides a platform for debate to tolerate rape threats of any kind? Why is ‘you must allow rape threats’ an (apparent) fundamental principle of freedom of speech while ‘grow a thicker skin’ is as well? If rape threats scare people or discourage people from speaking, is that not detrimental to freedom of speech? What value do rape threats add to any debate? How do they bolster any opinion, other than the opinion that someone should be raped, and does that opinion have any value? All rape threats are threats. A platform provider cannot be expected to be in a position to correctly judge the seriousness of any threat, but since issuing a threat is in itself a crime, allowing rape threats, or any physical threats, is providing a platform for criminality.

          1. Termagant

            Golly, that’s a lot of questions Nigel! I’d almost suspect you were trying to snow me under! I’d never accuse you of such an underhanded tactic though.

            If you provide a platform that you claim upholds freedom of speech you fundamentally cannot silence someone using that platform regardless of how little you like what they have to say. If you adopt a position of “people can express express themselves how they like unless I find how they express themselves in a way I find unsavoury, in which case I will silence them” then speech is constrained to what you do find savoury, which is equivalent to being un-free. You can’t have freedom of speech if speech isn’t free, Nigel! That’s what the words mean.

            Again, the necessity of speech being free to the concept of free speech demands that you allow people to say what they want how they want. And if you’re allowing that then sure, mean words are going to be said, which results in the additional necessity of people who use a free speech platform to have a thicker skin than, say, someone who solely uses platforms populated by people who agree with them (as a result of speech not being free on those platforms and off-message posts being moderated out of existence).

            If someone is legitimately made so afraid by someone’s comment on the internet they would be absolutely right to alert the authorities. But how can you justify prohibiting certain action A on the basis of purely hypothetical result B? Anything can be justified based on secondary or tertiary effects. What if Leo Varadkar reads Broadsheet and becomes aware of the ridicule he’s subjected to here? He’d probably be very much discouraged from posting! So should we suppress anti-Leo rhetoric? No, because that would be a dangerous step on a dangerous road.

            They add no value, but if we restrict discourse to posts that contribute positively to debate here the place will be a dustbowl populated entirely by advertising robots and LeatherJacketGuy logging in to see if anyone cares about him

            The platform provider is not your nanny. He or she owes you nothing. If you feel subject to a serious threat call the guards, that’s what they’re for. The platform provider should judge nothing, if they truly endorse freedom of speech then that is the opposite of their job.

            Woo! That’s a lot of words! But it’s all worth it if it clarifies the issues you seem to be having! You’re welcome in advance Nige!

            The law is an obstacle to personal freedoms, that’s axiomatic. But just because there exists this necessary obstacle doesn’t mean we should voluntarily further compromise freedom of expression because it’s by necessity a little tarnished.

          2. Nigel

            So, a fee speech absolutist, even allowing rape threats. This is a ridiculous position, of course. If you allow rape threats and similar kinds of thing, you are destroying not only anything resembling debate, but also discouraging free speech in others. Allowing rape threats as a kind of freedom of speech is akin to championing personal freedom to the extent that someone like Harvey Weinstein be allowed to operate with impunity. That’s great for the rape threateners and the Weinsteins of the world, a hellhole for everyone else.

            You’re not allowed to make rape threats, offline, to a person without risking a visit from the police. Is that a restriction of freedom of speech? You’re not allowed to bully, abuse, insult or threaten in most settings, and in those settings where you can get away with it, the target is generally regarded as being victimised, abused, bullied, threatened. You could get fired from a workplace, kicked out of a pub, have your children taken away from you. But it’s okay online? Freedom of speech demands that some people be subjected to bullying, abuse and threats? That’s an abuser’s charter, where abusers are allowed to do what they want, but everyone else must grow a thicker skin, because standing up to abusers, it turns out, is inimical to freedom of speech. What you are saying amounts to a concession that absolute freedom of speech and good debate are not necessarily compatible.

            The idea that rape threats are protected or made obligatory by some concept of freedom of speech is utterly perverse, since if a rape threat isn’t about trying to shut the other person up, then what else can it be for?

            The platform provider is subject to copyright and libel laws, by the way. They cannot be passive observers.

            As a public figure, Leo Varadker can expect to come on from some criticism, but yes, the abuse here does get disturbingly personal, though almost all politicians get the same treatment. Women politicians come in for even worse abuse, though not here so much.

          3. Termagant

            You know what Nigel you’re not a very honest conversationalist, I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt earlier but it seems like you just keep doubling down on transparently cheap debate tactics. It’s honestly a bit rude Nigel!

            I mean take your first paragraph there for example, you assert your feelings as facts and frame them in rhetoric implying they’re indisputably so. You say OF COURSE my position is RIDICULOUS, but as for an explanation why? There is none, you haven’t provided any! And then you go on to baselessly paint me as some sort of actual-rape apologist, which is frankly very offensive to me. Not that I wish you should be silenced for it, but it’s mean Nigel, and it’s not very elegant.

            Let’s move on, anyway. You’re conflating an online rape threat with a real-life in-person rape threat, and in a grander sense any form of online abuse with real-life abuse. These are not the same! I don’t know you, I don’t know anything about you, anything I say is so completely lacking in context that it’s meaningless. If I met you in the street, and I was someone you knew, and I said to you “Nigel, you’re an awful horrible person, god I wish your ma had just kept her legs shut for 5 bleedin seconds” you would absolutely take offense, because my saying that implies I’ve sat down, thought about it, assessed you and have now tried to hurt you with my negative assessment. But if I say it to you online – how could you possibly be offended? I don’t know anything about you OR your ma! It’s completely absent of anything relevant to you in any way! And context is key, Nigel, it really is.

            “standing up to abusers, it turns out, is inimical to freedom of speech” is a statement that might be true if the only way to stand up to abusers was to, through eldritch machinations, silence them in a way that they can’t un-silence themselves. But there’s another way, Nigel, you referenced it there; grow a thicker skin and use your own freedom of speech to defend yourself. If they’re actively trying to deconstruct your worldview prove its validity to them; if they’re just some prick trying to get a rise out of you then don’t release any of your rises and ignore them. Or banter with them, for a laugh. If someone tries to silence you your have options other than A) be cowed into silence or B) appeal to a higher authority to silence them for you, in an ironic case of turn and turnabout.

          4. Nigel

            You’re certainly a poster-child for the standard of debate that comes with believing rape threats are protected by freedom of speech.

            Threats online and threats ‘in real life’ are pretty much the same, as are insults and abuse. They’re just easier to get away with for various reasons to do with difficulty of enforcement, a lack of will to enforce legal and ethical and community standards, and the subsequent sheer volume of them. No-one should have to put up with threats and abuse and be told they just have to grow a thicker skin. The tools available to defend oneself from that kind of thing also include law enforcement. HR and management, depending on the setting and severity. Why should online be any different? Having to constantly deal with bullying and abuse is exhausting and time-wasting and wears a person down, which, of course, is part of the point. Thanks for championing the enabling of that kind of thing.

          5. Termagant

            “Threats online and threats ‘in real life’ are pretty much the same”

            But why, Nigel?

            “Why should online be any different?”

            I explained why already!

          6. Nigel

            A threat is a threat, no matter what the mode of delivery. Your explanation doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny, since there’s no more or less reason to suppose that thought and effort are being put into online threats and insults than in real life. The online world, after all, is the home of doxxing and SWATting, both of which take some thought and effort.

        2. Listrade

          I didn’t say anything about subjective offence. We can have a debate about objective incitement or harm though.

          Freedom of speech or expression is total freedom apart from all the times it isn’t and has never been totally free. It has always been conditional.

          I wouldn’t be allowed to violate copyright on here. I’m pretty sure if I were to dox anonymous users/admins here I’d be censored (not that I have that information). Even at that, it isn’t total freedom.

        3. Listrade

          @Termagant I get where you’re coming from. Strongly disagree, but get it. My issue is that in my experience even those that say they value absolute freedom only do so until they are on the receiving end.

          Taking legal action is against freedom of speech, yet many are quick to take it.

          Broadsheet has taken plenty of significant and honerable stances of freedom. But I’m also pretty sure BS would take issue if some other site cut and paste one of their articles on its own website without credit. Might be wrong mind. But isn’t that also freedom of speech?

          I’d be censored for giving out someone’s personal address or details.

          So I get it. I just don’t believe that anyone is actually fully prepared for absolute freedom of speech, just the bits that suit them.

          1. Termagant

            I understand, it’s obviously a very hard to define issue. My philosophy can be defined as – your freedoms should extend right up to the point at which your actions infringe on the freedoms of others. And in this context that philosophy boils down to a border issue, which comes higher in priority, the freedom of someone to speak as they wish in a given environment or the freedom of someone else to not be exposed to speech they find unpalatable in that same environment. At that point the problem becomes solvable on on a personal values-based level, i.e. I personally prize more highly the freedom of anyone to express themselves as they wish than I do the anyone’s god-given right to not be offended, therefore to silence one person just so another person should not be exposed to words they don’t like is fundamentally wrong. But that’s obviously subjective, I can understand completely how someone could come down on the other side.

      2. A person

        Ah stop, that article screams “I’m up my own arse”. If you post something then people will disagree but to compare it to hate speech is nonsense.

  13. Biddy

    Reading the comments and laughing at you all.

    The only reason most of you comment here is because you are cowardly a holes who wouldn’t last 10 seconds doing the same on social media. The same old hard right idiots day in day out. Nothing of substance to say just venting those nasty little opinions that you know you can’t in public. Carry on though, it tickles me pink to watch you all desperately trying to be relevant.

  14. gorugeen

    Sheesh. Broadsheet do fine job in my opinion. Often they’re the only media outlet that stand up to certain someones. If Tony doesn’t approve of the comment sections then there’s a simple solution; don’t read them. There’s a Metallica song springs to mind…….
    Doesn’t matter what you see
    Or into it what you read
    You can do it your own way
    If it’s done just how I say

    Independence limited
    Freedom of choice
    Choice is made for you, my friend
    Freedom of speech
    Speech is words that they will bend
    Freedom no longer frees you
    Doesn’t matter what you see
    Or into it what you read
    You can do it your own way
    If it’s done just how I say

  15. Alfonso Armenta

    Tony, if you don’t like trolls, or whatever it is that you decide is a troll, do not engage with them. In fact, I do believe this entire post to be, fundamentally, a simple act of trolling. And yet you got a platform. Isn’t freedom of speech great?

  16. Nigel

    Whether I’m afraid or not is hardly the point. Whether you mean it or not is hardly the point. If you said it in the context outside of using it as a prop, as you do here, it’s a threat, and I would be in my rights to contact the proprietors and bring it to their attention, and even go to the police about it. And from the point of view of freedom of speech, you are trying to silence me, and anyone else who disagrees with you. Because they’re never serious, until suddenly they are, but even if not denoting a serious intent to harm, they are abusive, bullying, sinister and aggressive. People take these seriously, and they’re quite right to. To allow them a platform is blatantly and unambiguously immoral. How many sites around the net tolerate naked death threats like that?

    1. Go A Way

      What was allowed? The threats were removed and the the poster effectively banned. What else do you want? Curicifixion in plaza hotel?

  17. Marymalou

    You too Broadsheet
    You all need to get over to twitter and watch @frillykeane and see what this guy really thinks of all his critics.
    What he hasn’t deleted anyway.

    He clearly has a problem putting up a fight, that is for sure.
    If any of ye are the Racist Nationalist Monkeys – his words, swarming around Frilly and Direct Messaging this guy in her name, and emailing his employer, again his words, then you all need to witness what is really going on with this man with your own eyes.

  18. Zuppy International

    You’re wrong Tony, as is the Broadsheet editor. Zuppy is often censored on these pages, not for abuse but because of the inconvenient truths that destroy the liberal agenda.

    I’ve had comments altered after publication. I’ve had comments removed after publication. I’ve had comments never appear at all.

    There was once a whole comment section memory-holed simply because I wiped the floor in a debate with a regular contributor/columnist.

    If you really want to know what ‘hate speech’ is then come on here and defend the right to life of the unborn. You’ll quickly feel the heat of these so-called liberals.

    For liberals, ‘hate speech’ is anything they disagree with but cannot refute.

  19. Sibling of Daedalus

    It seems extraordinary that Tony would, on the one hand, complain about being defamed and then, on the other, participate in an extensive twitter discussion with others in which entirely speculative allegations are made that, as a matter of editorial policy, the named editor of this site is encouraging contributors to troll one another.

    I mention this specifically because I am pointed to as one of the contributors who has been trolling, apparently on the basis of comments that I made in the Broadsheet on the Telly chat pit following the resignation of Mike McGrath Bryan and Izzy Kamikaze earlier this year. I was extremely critical of their resignation and the way in which it was effected, and I stand over this, though perhaps I could have put my criticisms in a more measured way.

    I want to be quite clear, however, that these comments were spontaneous comments made by me and in no way approved by anyone else on the site, and I am sure would have been moderated had they continued to be available to read on you tube after the show.

  20. Candy Crush Guru

    This submission by a Broadsheet regular does not appear to have produced the outcome he was either expecting, or perhaps felt he was entitled to, hence his resorting to Twitter to enforce himself and his true intentions further.

    I do not believe for a second, or even a part of one, that Frilly Keane is Broadsheets’ “Dog” and if anything, they deserve an apology. Both Broadsheet and Frilly Keane.

    I would also add, although I expect this may be edited out, but I am going to say it anyway, that Tony Groves Tricksters World, have I got that right? Is a Blogger.
    A Social Media personality, who is prolific to a point that one might wonder how he finds the time for normal activities such as working playing family what have you.

    He is not a credentialed Journalist or a feature in any Main Stream Media outfit that I know of.
    I am aware he is a published writer, but all his other activity and output is via the Social Media routes.

    Therefore he has to accept the same conditions and playbook as any one of us.

    I would also remind the writer of the above column and those simply attrocious tweets that you are in no position to call anyone a coward because they remain anonymous.
    For two reasons in fact.
    One, they may not be as desperate for the attention as yourself and are perfectly content to remain behind the door.
    Two, pot and kettle Tony, since you are pumping out allegations that rely on “anonymous DMs” received by you.

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