In a recent post on Tobacco Truth, Dr. Brad Rodu relays his experience with trying to post a comment on an overtly anti-tobacco harm reduction Huffington Post blog. The original post he was commenting on is filled with misleading information – well, outright lies – on smokeless tobacco.
Rodu indicates he posted a comment rebutting the claims in the blog only to have it disappear shortly after. While misleading claims on smokeless tobacco (ST) are commonplace, and censorship by those in tobacco control is unsurprising, this experience was made more interesting in that it now stands as a published (and easily accessed) record of censorship by the tobacco control folks. Of course, the obviously great thing about new media is that it makes it incredibly easy to keep and publish a record of things like this, even if the original content gets deleted. (Too bad there is no PDF of the original posting with the comment intact – mental note to our readers that PDF’ing your comment on a post is a useful thing to do, if you find yourself in a situation where you believe your comment may get deleted.)
In light of these observations, we thought it might be useful to make a collection of similar experiences. Specifically, we are interested in any examples that are either first-person reports or references to where someone has reported their experience (like Rodu’s). In the interest of bounding this, we are looking for cases where statements that support THR (including statements explaining the low risks of smokeless tobacco or e-cigarettes, or just correcting attacks on them) were censored. We know that there are many examples of censorship involving related topics (smokers’ rights, second-hand smoke) but we need to define the bounds somewhere.
Feel free to post them in the comments section of this post, or send them to us directly. Also, if you have a large Facebook, Twitter, etc. following who might have examples and you want to help our collection, please post a message. Suggested text (twitter length):
Have/know story of pro- Tobacco Harm Reduction comment being censored by journal/blog/newspaper/etc? THR.o is collecting http://bit.ly/jmOM4S