President Obama’s campaign appears to be censoring viewer comments on the YouTube presentation of “The Road We’ve Traveled,” the 17-minute campaign documentary about the Obama presidency, with positive comments outnumbering negative by more than five to one.
Obama has staked a claim to conducting an “openness” presidency, with the White House frequently touting measures it says increase transparency. But not on his campaign’s YouTube channel.
As of 9 am ET this morning, 84 of the last 100 comments could be construed as supportive, while 16 were negative.
Many of the negative comments are benign. More than a third didn’t even directly criticize the president, arguing instead that General Motors should not have been bailed out by the government.
The positive comments were sometimes ecstatic in their support for Obama and the largely hagiographic video, which went up on YouTube March 15. Among the tributes are “My President is an amazing human being,” “Truly one of the greatest President’s ever,” “So majestic,” and “Thank God we have presidents like this.”
That the comments are being edited is clear because as of 9 am, the last one had been posted 12 hours before. Apparently, whoever is selecting comments took some time off to sleep.
In addition, several White House Dossier readers have complained that attempts to place negative comments about the video have failed.
By contrast, a nearly four-minute mini-documentary put up on YouTube by the Romney campaign March 3 – “A Love Story,” in which Ann Romney lavishly praises her husband – actually has more negative comments than positive by a balance 56-44 for the last 100 comments.
Another of 28 comments posted along with the last 100 were removed, with many flagged as “spam,” suggesting the Romney campaign is doing some editing too. But it clearly is allowing many more negative comments than Obama’s campaign, and some of the anti-Romney posts are quite vitriolic.
An effort by me to place a neutral comment about the Romney video immediately appeared, while an attempt to place the same comment about the Obama video was not – greeted instead with a message that the comment would have to await moderation.