This software, watchyourmouth, monitors the BBC News 'Have Your Say' section and reports any comments that get censored.

It can only detect comments that appear and then disappear.


UPDATE

I've rewritten this tool and added a nicer web front end using Ruby on Rails. The code is not yet available but I do intend to release it. You can see the new code in action here at http://newssniffer.newworldodour.co.uk


BBC News moderation

The BBC seem to have 2 modes of comment moderation - full and reactive.

In full moderation mode, comments do not appear until they have been read by a bbc employee.

In reative moderation mode, comments appear and are removed if complained about.

Most interesting talking points are fully moderated, but some comments seem to slip through and then disappear.

Additionally, due to a limitation in the bbc rss feed size, we can only detect recently censored comments on popular threads.

Code

It is written in Ruby, the code is available here and is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

You will need a few dependencies installed, such as the Ruby ERB html templating library and the Ruby Yaml marshalling library.

The script needs some simple configuration in haveyoursay-diff.rb to configure the HTML output path and the base URL. Look for the variables HTML_PATH and BASE_URL.

Run the script haveyoursay-diff.rb to do an update. The BBC rss feed updates every 15 minutes, so set a cron job to run then.

Example

I have been running a version of watchyourmouth for a few weeks now, updating every 15 minutes. The results are available here. Some of the censored comments are very interesting. Most are, unfortunately, just racist bigots.

bbcnews-watchyourmouth (last edited 2006-08-20 13:01:45 by JohnLeach)