The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Daily Mail Censorship - a policy of the newspaper

Out of curiosity, I did a search on Google on Censorship at the Daily Mail, after my experience with being censored on the website of this British newspaper. My search turned up over 1.3 million returns.

Clearly, I didn't check them all out - but the upper ones were clearly all relevant and referred to specific instances of censorship on this daily newspaper. What became apparent as I read through these readers failed attempts to comment on the website was why the Daily Mail censored them. It seems that the Daily Mail has a policy of blocking anyone who points out an error, an omission, an oversight, a misunderstanding, the presence of misinformation, or any failing of any kind, on the part of the paper. They also seem to block anyone who holds a contrary view to the one expressed in the paper.

Is this policy consonant with the idea of freedom of speech? No. Is it consonant with the modern idea that media are interactive? No. Is it consonant with the idea that a newspaper should seek to purvey the truth? No.

It is however consonant with the idea of an organization attempting to inflate its image by presenting a front of perfection. By this I mean, the organization wishes to appear infallible and all-knowing.

Yet, that is not the effect their policy has. Each time they block a reader comment, they are losing a reader. Do you think that a reader will have the same view about the paper after their attempt to correct a story has been blocked? I don't think so. What is likely is that reader will tell quite a few people about their failed attempt to comment and the censorship that the paper imposed on them.

It is evident that the Daily Mail doesn't want to be a newspaper in the long term. For it is obvious that the long term effect of their comment policy will be to alienate their readership. Who are the readers most likely to attempt to comment? The precise ones that they should be trying to keep happy: vocal, intelligent, proactive people who can either spread the word about a paper in a good way - or do the opposite if offended. I was really surprised at the tales of censorship that litter the internet in connection with this newspaper. This is a phenomenon totally at odds with the public image they portray in England as being "defenders of the British public". It is evident, now, that their public image is just a ruse. The true nature of this paper is not one that most free-thinking people would wish to support. They suppress the truth and massage their public image, in so doing.

It was quite a surprise to learn that my experience was not a rare instance of a comment being overlooked - but the product of an active policy of readership censorship.

In allowing comments, at all, they are trying to present themselves as being open to their readers. Yet, as one of many people who have tried to comment, but failed, they show themselves to be, in fact, closed to the truth, to feedback, to enlightenment of any kind.

There are many newspapers in this world. I will buy one that actually allows its readers to comment. For instance, the Daily Telegraph - they published my comment within eight hours. I think I will stick to them, then.

(If you would like to read about Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and three months, or his gifted brothers, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 3:23 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, did you 'google' censorship in the Daily Telegraph?


10:23 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Interestingly, I did and found nothing to indicate that it was a problem at The Daily Telegraph...however, that is not surprising considering the differing treatment my comments received. I tried to comment twice on both papers. On the Telegraph I commented once on two different stories: both comments appeared soon afterwards.

On the Daily Mail I commented twice on one story: neither comment appeared.

It was revealing that a quick search on the Daily Mail revealed many people complaining of censorship. A quick search on the Daily Telegraph found no complaints among the first several pages of results - the ones deemed most relevant. This would seem to indicate an absence of such practices.

Best wishes

10:54 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I have posted countless comments to the Daily Mail, and hardly any have appeared - this must be because they know I do not have the heart or mind of a Daily Mail reader. At least one can have the satisfaction of knowing the person who elected not to include it must have found their Daily Mail sensibilities all affronted.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

He he, Julie.

They really should be more open in their policies - it is better for everyone.

Best wishes

5:08 PM  

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