Comcast Censors Aren't Sleeping On The Job

from the stay-awake-now dept

In the big debate over net neutrality, one of the things telco supporters always say is that no broadband provider would dare try to censor content or block certain critical websites. Of course, sometimes, it's just too tempting not to. A few weeks ago, the viral video of the week was about the Comcast technician who fell asleep on a customer's couch. It got passed around and blogged all over the place -- eventually leading Comcast to apologize and say they had fired the guy. This was actually a strange response, since part of the reason he fell asleep was because Comcast put him on hold for quite some time, rather than being able to help him complete his work. Perhaps a better response would have been to improve the process so the guy wouldn't have been left on hold for so long when calling in to the office. Last week, Nightline did a story about this and other viral ways that consumers are fighting back against companies that wrong them. Of course, it turns out that Comcast has a deal with ABC to stream Nightline over the web to subscribers -- and the Consumerist is now showing video that certainly suggests that, for Comcast customers watching Nightline online, the segment on the sleeping Comcast technician has been edited out. It's not a minor net hiccup either. From the video, it looks like a good five minutes of the segment (all the parts that mention Comcast) are completely missing. There could be other explanations for this, but either way, it seems pretty questionable. For all the talk of how broadband providers would never censor content... it seems like there will be times when it will just be too tempting. Update: Comcast is now claiming that they did not censor the video, and that it was an "inadvertent" mistake by someone at ABC. It's certainly possible that ABC thought it might be wise to edit out that part for their partner, but it seems like a pretty big coincidence that the one segment that "inadvertently" was edited out just happened to be about Comcast looking bad.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 11:36am

    Censoring a clip in terms of an agreement you have with the source is a bit different than censoring stuff out on the Internet to suit your needs.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    a;skdhf, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 12:00pm

    Very true, Anonymous coward
    Blocking competitors sites or blocking people that don't pay you is NOT the same as editing out a clip that makes you look bad

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Danno, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 12:10pm

    Sorry, but how doesn't it suit their needs and why isn't it similar (if not identical) to censoring competitors?

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 12:13pm

    Re:

    It certainly suits their desire as a company to not look bad, but the big difference is that in this case, it's content that they're a part of providing, instead of content you're just using their network to access. Slimy? Yup. The same as net neutrality issues? Not really.

     

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  5.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jul 18th, 2006 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re:

    but the big difference is that in this case, it's content that they're a part of providing, instead of content you're just using their network to access.

    Ah, but welcome to the slippery slope. The telcos are trying to get it to the point that everything is part of the content *they* are providing...

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    AC, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Indeed. The telcos don't provide content, and don't seem to get that particular point.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Adam, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 12:26pm

    it feels like we're a few minutes (technologically speaking) away from network operators declaring ANYTHING sent over their wires is owned by them

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    CyberCop, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 12:26pm

    Cencorship is a bad thing all around

    At least when it is done by some entity that is too far up the food chain. For instance, I subscribe to Comcast Broadband services, My Wife and I like to veiw porn online together, however, our kids have no need to see that stuff so we use webfilters on the PC that they use and we do not let them use our PC, just in case we are not careful and for get to delete stuff, or one of them become too smart :-). That is fine, but when Comcast decides to block porn for all of it subscribers, then that is wrong.
    In the case of the edited video clip, it does not matter who did it, they were wrong in doing so and should be called out for it.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Adam, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 12:28pm

    Re:

    kindof like how myspace says that any content you post on their website is automatically owned by them (artists beware) while on their site..


    read the terms of use.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 12:29pm

    Re:

    Then they should all be shut down as somewhere at some time they had kiddy porn going over the wire.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    hobot, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re:

    I am no fan of myspace, but that was fixed ages ago
    keep up or shut up

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    aghast, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re:

    yeah, ok.

    Throw away the kitchen knives. (Somewhere, someone used one to commit murder.)

    Throw away the TV's. (TV's can show porn.)

    Throw away the knitting needles. (Deadly weapons you know?)

    Throw away the cars, bicycles, motorcycles, roller blades, roller skates, running shoes, dress shoes, etc. because somewhere, someone used them to get to the scene of a crime.

    Throw away sexy clothes and underwear, since they lead to fornication.

    Throw away ALL books, because porn is in books too, not to mention sex and violence.

    Gimme a friggin break.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 2:13pm

    Do cable companies refuse to take advertising from some competitors? Yes, I believe they do. This is no different.

    Get real people, do you think ABC runs a whole lot of stories that makes ABC look bad? (course, you could say that due to the lack of creativity of the networks, anything they run makes them look bad.)

    You think whitehouse.org has a clip of GWB telling the world they need to cut that shit out? I don't think so. Thats not censorship, thats just common sense.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 2:16pm

    Mike's Credibility in Freefall

    So much for "honest" debate. You pick up a lousy rumor about edited Web content and stretch that over net neutrality? How is that contributing to "honest" debate? Puhlease.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Administrator, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 3:17pm

    The debate-

    This debate is based on Comcast and ONLY Comcast.

    Funny how it's gotten off track. Might be employees of Comcast defending that greatly monopolizing company?

    (I used to work for them. They are Nazi's.)

    Comcast when they went IPO lost all respect by myself. Now it's just a micromanged numbers game in which only from the Manager UP levels does it benefit ANYONE within the company.

    They SUCK as an employer. They should seriously consider looking @ Cox Cable networks.

    Dish/DirectTv adds still play on those networks. They allow the users to make the choice. Not some Nazi movement in which you only have 1 choice.

    Common sense or not, Comcast is out for 1 thing only. Money. They don't care about customers or anything else that does not raise a dollar for them.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Bob, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 3:27pm

    Slopes

    Slippery slopes are the norm these days. In fact everything is sloped these days, but it's not always apparent. If you place your camera on a tripod and let that tripod stand on the slope without tilting the camera so that it is vertical, the resulting image will not show any slope (unless there is some horizon in it or something). This is the trick, analogically speaking, that the media uses to prevent people from realizing that the ground they're standing on is not flat, but tilting more and more each week. Most people won't recognize the slope until they're sliding down it head first towards the rocky coastline at the bottom, where the tide is rising from global warming.

    Global warming is a slope that is tilted in the opposite direction. The Gov't doesn't want people to know that the PLANET is sliding sliding sliding sliding into the meteorological equivalent of hell. 50 to 100 years from now, all coastal areas will look much different and we'll need SCUBA to see it up close.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Robert, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 3:36pm

    Re:

    it feels like we're a few minutes (technologically speaking) away from network operators declaring ANYTHING sent over their wires is owned by them

    I don't have a direct link or anything, but ATT just revamped their privacy policy to say exactly that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jul 18th, 2006 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Mike's Credibility in Freefall

    So much for "honest" debate. You pick up a lousy rumor about edited Web content and stretch that over net neutrality? How is that contributing to "honest" debate? Puhlease.

    As opposed to posting anonymously?

    I wasn't "stretching it" to be about net neutrality, but pointing out, honestly, that it's always going to be tempting to block certain types of content.

    This isn't a net neutrality issue directly, but simply pointing out that it's going to be tough for some providers not to block out content when the opportunity presents itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Fake Democracy, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 5:12pm

    I see that noone's getting it

    I see that most people fail to see how US companies do whatever it takes if they have interest. US TV stations are also censored or auto-censhored and that's what's sad in the American "democracy". Too bad they don't understand it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 11:22pm

    "The telcos don't provide content, and don't seem to get that particular point"

    1 - Comcast isn't a telco. 2 -They do own and provide content. 3 - The snoozing tech has my sympathies, Comcast phone support doesn't. 4 - Don't get me started on Comcast... 5 - But try dealing with actual facts.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Comcast SUCKS ARSE!, Jul 25th, 2006 @ 3:46pm

    Once again...

    Once again, they get attention for a day, let it alllll blow over then it's just yesterdays news.

    I think it should be addressed on a network like CoX or Charter and rubbed in the face of Comcasters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2006 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Thanks for the update.

    Educate people.

    Now as far as your pointless loser insult is concerned...

    Being elitist makes you look like an unintelligent idiot if you need to talk shit to someone simply for being uninformed. Grow up script-kiddie children and contribute intelligence instead of adding to the idiocy on the net.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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