Why does YAHOO censor comments posted on news stories?

It is becoming painfully obvious that YAHOO is censoring the comments posted on its news stories. The most egregious example was a recent story about the NAVY SEALS who were acquitted for allegedly beating an Iraqi detainee. Most commentators agreed with the verdict, but there were a few dissenters. Since... show more It is becoming painfully obvious that YAHOO is censoring the comments posted on its news stories.

The most egregious example was a recent story about the NAVY SEALS who were acquitted for allegedly beating an Iraqi detainee. Most commentators agreed with the verdict, but there were a few dissenters. Since YAHOO lists the comments on a first-come-first-post basis, the page 1 comments can be easily followed. Page 1 comments on this story were about 8:1 in favor of the verdict vs. questioning it. Then something strange happened. After a few days, all comments on page 1 questioning the decision were removed. Now only comments applauding the verdict and calling the SEALS heroes remain.

Regardless of how I feel about this particular case, I find it disheartening to discover that YAHOO is stifling debate. Is this a business decision (if so, it is a bad one as people are not stupid and will defect to sites where both sides of issues can be argued) or is it individual employees doing it out of some false sense of patriotism?

This is happening with virtually every YAHOO news story. Go check out page 1 of the comments and see how many people are replying to comments that are no longer posted. Someone suggested that if enough people vote "thumbs down" for a comment, it will be removed. However, this does not seem to be the case, as these comments become "hidden" rather than completely erased.

So what gives?
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