From Games with Words comes this illuminating piece:
Earlier today I wrote about the research behind an opinion article at the New York Times. When I looked at the sources cited, I was unable to find any information supporting the claims made in the article. In fact, what I found directly contradicted those claims. I finished by saying that while I was willing to believe these claims, I’d like to know what data support them. In passing, I mentioned that I had submitted an abbreviated version of this analysis as a comment on the Times website.
That comment was not published. I figured maybe there had been a computer error, so I submitted another one later in the day. That one was also not published. Finally, at 6:13pm, I submitted an innocuous and useless comment under an assumed name:
I agree with Pat N. It’s nice to hear from someone who has some optimism (@ Dr. Q).
This comment was published almost immediately.
The Times states that “comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.”Since the moderators didn’t publish the comment, we can conclude one of two things:
1) Discussion of the empirical claims made in a New York Times article is not “on topic.”
2) Pointing out a mistake made in a New York Times article is a kind of abuse.