Waltz: What happened?

From Waltz yesterday:

Just dropped by to say farewell - CiF has finally banned me. I put the cat's nine lives to shame there long ago but one day it had to end ... Keep up the good work, Mr. or Ms. Heresiarch.

15 July 2008 19:44

(It's Mr, by the way).

Has Waltz been banned from CIF? Was it all a mistake, or have the CIF moderators descended to new Stalinist tactics to stifle dissent? They seem to have been busier than usual in the past few days. Threads such as this one from Seumas Milne have been distorted out of all recognition by deletions. Is that just keeping a watch on hate-speech, or is it an attempt to define what is, or is not, a sayable opinion or a thinkable thought?

I'm re-posting all Waltz-related comments to this thread. Feel free to say what you like, about her, about what you think might have happened, and about CIF and net censorship in general. I'm not a moderator.

UPDATE: Waltz wasn't banned after all, say the Mods. It's just a software glitch at her end. Allegedly. (See comment). Still, the Mods should be asking themselves why we believed it.

UPDATE2 (19/7/08) Waltz says:

I don't think it's anything to do with my browser, which has always worked perfectly with CiF until one week ago. Plus I tried posting from my office at work yesterday and couldn't do so from there either. So I think I have in fact been banned, regardless of CiF's claim that I haven't been.

What on earth is going on?

UPDATE3 (21/7/08) Waltz is back!

I'm able to post to CiF again - my brother did a system restore on my laptop and it seems to have solved whatever the problem was.

No conspiracy after all. Still, it was an entertaining thread.


Edwin said…
Cif has banned you Waltz? How dare they? I took the Guardian to the PCC over a Xmas Eve blog by one Masroor which described Roman Catholicism as suited to paedophiles (among other slavering idiocies) and when the PCC decided the Guardian hadn't broken any of its weird rules I banned Cif from my mac and only went back cos of guys like you, Sarka, Olching and of course Heresiarch (thank goodness for Heresy Corner).

I'm on the verge of dumping them again - the new Cif is a drag, a drag, and the current Martin Bright thread shows signs of terminal Cif blah Islam blah decay. Should we dissidents all form a Cif in Exile?

Was going to comment on your Obama piece Heresiarch but too annoyed now. I think you're right the cartoon may define him eventually.

Bloody hell.

16 July 2008 07:26
The Heresiarch said…
Waltz, if you're reading this, I hope you find a way back to Cif. Echo what Edwin says, of course. I'm thinking of coming out "in sympathy", as t'brothers used to say. Unless you've been banned before, they might let you back in a week or so's time. Until you do, there's always a place for you here. Not quite the same, I know. But I'd like to carry on reading your pithy thoughts. Just because you agree with me, it doesn't mean you can't comment.

16 July 2008 08:56
Edwin said…
Yes, echo Heresiarch Waltz. Was chatting to SteveJones on Cif the other day and he had just been banned for two weeks. I guess it's temporary - the Martin Bright thread I mention above shows how much the big boys and girls are actually needed by the Guardian - and Queen Georgy and Bicycle Repair Man Seaton know this as well as anyone else.

I'm too boring to get banned, though my posts are regularly blootered into oblivion.

16 July 2008 09:19
Waltz said…
Thanks Edwin and Heresiarch. I'm not sure if it's a permanent or temporary ban - no notification, I just can't comment there anymore. Maybe not such a bad thing though - I'm doing a final rewrite on a book at the mo so it will stop me procrastinating quite so much! I'm changing my ISP next month anyway so I might sneak back under another name then if the ban proves permanent ...
Meanwhile, I shall drop by here every now and again.

Take care, both.

16 July 2008 10:45
martillo (via cif) said…
Heresiarch - ask her if she's using firefox. I bombarded the guardian with mails complaining (and later apologising) because I constantly received a message about 'commenting not available' for the whole weekend. Due to another problem, I asked the IT boys at work and they told me to clear out my cache. Then pbwiki helpdesk told me to 'hard refresh'. It worked for me...

16 July 2008 11:09
Edwin said…
Waltz there are Cif guys (must be male guys!) who study new posters to find out if they're banned or fedup oldies come back - I was recently lamenting SkierGolfer's absence and someone popped up immediately to say 'he's over there!' The Cif gauleiters seem to leave them alone though, I suppose it must be a kind of online etiquette to do do.

I voted for you as commentator of the year, incidentally.

I find Cif invaluable for procastination (I too write for a meagre living - only 40 people in Scotland make a living just out of books and I am not one of them) but as I say I am increasingly fed up with Cif - it's becoming almost a chore to post there, and the 'join the debate' shout line is increasingly a bad joke.

Anyway, Heresy Corner is a good place to be, the blog is great, the company is good and the gab is both friendly and intelligent.

16 July 2008 11:22
CynicalSteve said…
Cif has gone to the dogs....two recent threads have made them look ridiculous (the Islamic creationist "debate" & Brooker's current wind-up)....both needed, but didn't get, de-trolling....

Well, I can't pretend to have agreed with Waltz on every occasion, but I'm sad to see her booted off....I've more or less given up on what was once a fun place....

16 July 2008 17:02
Waltz said…
Hello again,

I've just had an email from someone at CiF informing me that I am neither suspended nor banned.

If that's the case, I'm not sure what has happened. I can't post to CiF anymore - comment box opens but post comment buttons are dead. Using same browser and laptop as before, no new software installed or anything.

Big mystery but if CiF says I'm not banned then I guess I'm not.

Will get my brother on the case over the weekend and see if he can figure it out.

Thanks everyone for your support.
The Heresiarch said…
I hope you manage to sort it out. Have to tried a different browser? If that doesn't work, and Martillo's suggestion doesn't work, then you've obviously been cursed by the god of CIF, no doubt as a result of your manifold sins (a.k.a. interesting and sensible comments).
IanG said…
waltz, I would guess from what you say that the problem is with the way CiF Ver II now uses Java Script on the browser. This has caused all sorts of problems and I for one cannot even read the comments at work as our PCs are 'locked down' such that there are no executables allowed. However, FWIW, I too had a problem like you describe on one of my home PCs, I think I just used a different browser, so you could try that for a start?

But generally, I too am fed up with the new version and suspect that it could be a deliberate ploy to steer web traffic away from CiF.

Any views anyone on that conspiracy theory?
Waltz said…
Hi (Mr) H & IanG,

I've had no problems at all with the new CiF format and I haven't changed my browser, laptop, or anything on my laptop. On Friday I could post on CiF and on Saturday I couldn't and I haven't been able to since. At first I thought it might be a glitch on CiF itself but other people are evidently still able to post there, just not me. So I assumed I'd finally been banned but the CiF gods say I'm not so .... I'm mystified.

I'll try logging in on my partner's laptop and network over the weekend and see what happens. I mean, dear Berchmanns must be crying his eyes out. And how will Inayat cope?
therealalekid said…
Hi, this is my favourite blog on the Internet and have been reading it avidly since the new year, the posts are a lot better than most newspapers.

I've been tempted to post messages, but it would largely just agreeing with most that ahs been written.

Also check in daily to CIF, but am largely put off by a number of the posters. I remember the Masroor article poor form around the Christmas period.
Tomper2 said…
Good news about you not being banned, Waltz. Hope to see you back soon.

I was once banned for saying I agreed with a headline in the New Statesman on a Madeline Bunting thread. OK, the headline was, "Silly Bunt", but as I didn't quote it, link to it, or even specify which headline I was referring to, I thought being banned was a tad harsh.
cynicalsteve said…
Well, if it's a false alarm & she ain't banned from Cif, so much the better....nevertheless, some good commenters *have* been banned for nothing more than exuberance (my online friend Mishari al-Adwani included); whereas outright trolling is allowed to continue (including by some "above the line"....

The moderation there is....shall we say peculiar....it's a tricky job, which needs doing, but doing better....on the GU books blog today there was a bizarre situation where a comment was moderated....for "plot spoiling"....on my (rather silly) blog, GU books blog articles & their subsequent comments & moderation are a recurring theme....

We need robust debate - and insults, sharp put-downs and close-to-the-edge language are always going to play their part....trolling doesn't contribute: this is where current Cif moderation fails IMO....the Piranha brothers ("harsh, but fair") would have made excellent moderators....

Now: I've been here before, but need to read some more heresy....
Edwin said…
Oh, and back on 10 July on an Agnes Poirier thread, some of us wondered where Donge had gone: he normally zooms breathlessly into Senga's patisserie as soon as it opens, and Bromley suggested this:

'As to Donge's disappearance I suspect it could be something to do with the browser he is using. I find that on some versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer the comment section does not work although you can read the articles. I use Mozilla Firefox. Crap design by whoever wrote the code as despite IE being awful it is the market leader due.'

I have no idea what this means - like some Muslim fundies I just assume it's all wee demons handknitting down in the vaults.

Also, Donge disappeared before and I remember asking him where he'd been and he said he was on his final warning from Cif - which sounds fairly definite.

Yes, there is a techy thing going on, but they are also at it, is my gut feeling. Seamus Milne used to run Cif, and he is of course a son of a BBC director general, and was educated at Winchester, and that sort, like modern-day Vicars of Bray, just gravitate to the power and fill any available space with their own kind. The problem at Cif is a cultural one - the Cif rulers allow some of us above the line, like Cath (how good she is), but the bottom line is that they are expensively educated people, and however the dice roll they will be the other side of the baize from us smirking and on the high roll - we can be sure of that.

From Donge to Waltz - now there's a spectrum, and I want both back on Cif (for different reasons of course).
KillingTime said…
Yay, all's well that ends well then, once Waltz has sorted out her technoprobs. Feels a bit odd being upset at the prospect of someone I've never met or even spoken to much being banned, but a good Waltz comment is always guaranteed to brighten the day and put a sparkle in my cheeks.
Thermaland said…
I got banned from CiF last year (no warning, no notification) for writing in a jokey thread:

[Deleted by moderator - and if you do it again we'll break your legs, son]

Evidently the joke went miles over someone's head and they thought I was threatening another poster...

What has skiergolfer regenerated as then?
Edwin said…
Hi Thermaland - Ninemilerancher says he has come back as StrifeZ, have been looking out but haven't come across him.
Anonymous said…
Hi, Heresiarch, waltz.

All I can say is that I don't know whether or not you've been banned from CiF waltz but I do note that even seraching The Guardian website under 'waltz' NONE of your previous comments are found! So, I guess you haven't been banned after all, you're simply an 'unperson'. After all, if you don't exist, you can't have been banned, can you? (Stalinism 101)

Frankly I can't remember all the exchanges we've had, I have a vague memory we've disagreed several times (LOL!), but so what? Hope we see you again soon,



PS, A set of blog comments about commenting on blogs, guess we're all equally sad then ;-)

PPS Posting this as 'anonymous' because I can't be arsed to register for yet another thread etc ...
parallax said…
Hi Heresiarch,

Stop Press on Waltz

According to Berchmans, Waltz may well have been banned. Here's a cut and paste:

## what the hell has happened with Waltz ##


She could have been banned ..she implied INAYAT was SADDAM ...SPIKE PARIS was banned for likening SHARON to a WW2 figure so its possible.

Lets not hear it for WALTZ.


This is from Matt Seaton's blog about CIF Moderation, page 3 - I'll post the link separately just in case your spambot eats it :)
parallax said…
and here's the link

Heresiarch said…
Thanks for the heads-up parallax. But who ever took anything Berchmans said seriously.
Hammer the Clap said…
Well, Seth Freedman said on one of his posts that he was going off to play football.

I wrote back sympathetically warning him to be careful he didn't break a leg and my post was deleted.

Of course, it could have been because it was off topic.
Hammer the Clap said…
I also had problems with posting on CIF. I suggest that you download 'Flock' from www.flock.com

It is a browser - light. It seems to work much faster than Internet Explorer and has much less crashes. Seems to integrate to CIF very easily with no problems. Suggest you try it. If only to annoy Berchams who I ignore studiously. Not that we have always seen eye to eye. But at least you oppose the 'Guardian World View'.
Yeractual said…

" comment box opens but post comment buttons are dead. "

If you are pasting text in to the box (from notepad, wordpad etc) the submit button will remain dead (greyed out) until you type in a couple of characters directly - these can be spaces.
CiF Mmsrm said…
Are all here naive enough to believe the Guardian at face value?

This is the institution which used a single word in the margin of a Foreign Office draft to try to imply Jewish control of the British government.

People of goodwill should recognise the Guardian as a throughly depraved, degenerate, Stalinist institution wholely devoted to the propagation of leftist authoritarianism, anti-Semitism, and Islamism.
Waltz, I am sorry you got banned but not surprised. CiF is terrified of the shrivelling which occurs when its double standards are exposed to the daylight of honest opinion.

Matt Seaton is there at present waffling on about among other things - that CiF is "avowedly liberal"; that the moderators are "educated" about moderation, and that CiF is not anti-Israel.

I just saw a pig flying by...
You have joined the ranks of the mighty who have dared to expose the duplicity of CiF.

Good luck for the future. Keep on speaking out.
PS: If indeed Waltz wasn't banned at all then you have to ask yourself what sort of Freudian slip led to that computer glitch and perhaps this caused the pulling of posts too.
Anonymous said…
I don't even post on CiF and was mightily sad to see Waltz banned/blocked/whatever.

exArmy, there's another I enjoyed reading immensely who has disappeared.

On the bright side, at least it reminds me why I will never give the Guardian a penny of my hardearned cash (and remember folks, *never* click on the ads)

Waltz said…
LOL @ Berchmanns - "She could have been banned ..she implied INAYAT was SADDAM ..."

You know what this refers to? The odious little creep was grovelling to Inayat and I mocked him (Berchmanns) with Galloway's "I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability ...".

@ yeractual - the non-responsive post comment box is unchanging no matter what I do. I don't think it's anything to do with my browser, which has always worked perfectly with CiF until one week ago. Plus I tried posting from my office at work yesterday and couldn't do so from there either. So I think I have in fact been banned, regardless of CiF's claim that I haven't been.
cynicalsteve said…
Have you tried posting on any of the G's other blogs? The sports blog still uses the old software, and the arts blogs a different type again....if it's a browser issue, you ought to be able to post on one of those; if it's a ban, you almost certainly can't....at least that way you'd know....
Hammer the Clap said…
Waltz. Try Flock. Read about it on Google if you want to. Internet Explorer 7 sometimes works for me and sometimes not. That is why I installed Flock. It also has an integral 'Speller'. Not as good as MS Office but still very good and FREE!
Waltz said…
@ cynicalsteve - thanks, just tried that and YES, I can post on the sports blogs! So assuming a CiF ban extends to all blogs, I guess I can't be banned after all!

@ hammer - thanks, I might do that but I'm changing my ISP and laptop next month (long story involving the rubbishness of BT Broadband) so I'll take a CiF break for a while, go on holiday early August, and see if the new set-up works when I get back.

Thanks everyone for your support and advice.
Hammer the Clap said…
Waltz. Berchams is a Stalinist. It is who he is. His inane comments on CI(F) are just a distraction as are those of CountBernadotte/SingToTheBreeze. The most punishing thing to do to either of these two sickos is to simply ignore them. They crave attention. They have tantrums when ignored.

I simply scroll past their posts without glancing at the content. When you return, I suggest that you do the same.
Yeractual said…
If you ever need a new email address (just for CiF) email me


and I will set one up for you with forwarding to your own email address (so that you are able to receive confirmation mail from the Guardian) and try that after deleting your guardian cookies.

Come to that have you tried setting up a new HotMail email address?
The Heresiarch said…
@ Yeractual,

You do realise that people from the Guardian come here and read this, don't you?
Yeractual said…
And I only suggest that because the G seems to identify by email address rather than IP address.

If you can't post with a new email address, then it isn't the G that is stopping you . . .
Not Yeractual said…
Erm . . . I do now. Which reminds me - I mustn't steal Yeractual's identity any more.
Not Yeractual said…
Waltz, this isn't Yeractual again.

If you want to email me I could give you a login email and p/w to try Just to see if it is the email login that is ballsing things up.
parallax said…
well, it's seems that the link I gave earlier is now redundant - Cif have deleted Berchmans comment - moderated on a thread about moderation.

Waltz, I wish you well with the book. Enjoy the break :)

Now that the steam has dissipated from Waltzgate, I've started the rumblings of a new conspiracy: that AdamRutherford and AllyF are holding billplasterer hostage.
Yeractual said…

Forgot to mention - great blog site - v glad to have found it!

Waltz said…
Hi and thanks yeractual and notyeractual.

I'll be back some time in the second half of August, hopefully under my "Waltz" nick. I think it must be some browser/CiF interface problem, though I've no idea why it suddenly started 8 days ago.

And now I have to go take a contingent of raucous old ladies for a day out. I just know they are all going to get drunk and start throwing cake around. Pray for me.
The Heresiarch said…
Are you sure - to return to one of my earlier theories - that they haven't banned you by mistake: they intended to ban someone else but blocked the wrong account? Because it does sound, from everything you've said (especially yesterday) that the problem is at their end.
Edwin said…
Ah waltz

'And now I have to go take a contingent of raucous old ladies for a day out. I just know they are all going to get drunk and start throwing cake around. '

You only want to be reminded of Cif!

I too am taking time off Heresiarch will try to log on from Portree library - you get 30 mins with a librarian glaring at you with 'I-know-you-are-looking at porn-presbyterian eyes.
Waltz said…
I'm able to post to CiF again - my brother did a system restore on my laptop and it seems to have solved whatever the problem was.

Now I feel guilty about suspecting the CiF squad of summarily banning me. I'll have to send them some chocolate or something.

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