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A Talk With the Ban-Happy Head of the "We Survived Bush, You Will Survive Obama" Facebook Page

This interview was conducted via e-mail and Facebook after the author was banned from the We Survived Bush, You Will Survive Obama Facebook group for questioning the veracity of a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln.

Jef With One F: Thank you for lifting the comment ban.

Lou Colagiovanni: Apparently it took an article to get my attention. I would point out to you that the image in question originated at I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists. (They have dozens of such famous quotes. IE- they should already be vetted.)

It is labeled clearly on the image itself. They are a trusted partner, and advertising affiliate. The producer of the image also stands by the quote, and I am sure he would happily debate you on the matter.

Not that I expect a retraction, but you did miss key facts in your article. I, however, am grateful for any free publications.

If I had known you were a journalist, your ban would never have stood. There is a whole army of moderators here who silently remove people at their own discretion.

Welcome back.

Jef With One F: I've noticed people repost the story on the timeline and it keeps getting deleted.

Lou Colagiovanni: It is not my job to give your work free press. If you are in the pay for click business, seek advertisement elsewhere or ask me to work out an arrangement.

The "quote" in question
The "quote" in question

Jef With One F: Does the fact that I'm a journalist really make a difference in whether or not dissenting, but polite, comments should be removed and the poster banned?

Lou Colagiovanni: Indeed it does make a difference sir about your background, and to ask such a question....really makes me wonder if you have a grasp on how big of a platform I actually have. I receive literally 100s of emails a day, and thousands of comments. Someone with a legitimate column catches my attention. 100s of people a day are banned. Sometimes, the banning is not always correct and i work to fix those problems that my staff creates. They do a wonderful job, overall, but they are human and do make mistakes.

By the way, I did not find your initial post to be 'polite' at all. I will tell you why. I create anywhere from 30 to 100 posts a day. I have never heard from you before. You caught a minor error...and you tell me to 'vet' my posts? Clearly, I do. Just a single one slips through the cracks and you were more than happy to write a full page article about it. I ask, where are the articles about my raising money for a cancer patient last week, or my continual plugging of small businesses to my audience that is generating money for people who truly need it in the here and now? Not that I need your praise, or acclaim...but what can I tell you. Your writing has a bias to it, do not deny that. Which is odd coming from a man who starts about talking about unbiased sources. Writing about the good I do in the world.....isn't likely to make the front page. I don't begrudge you, but save the sanctimoniousness.

Jef With One F: Do you believe a website with your reach has an obligation to vet quotes like this one, or is it up to the reader since you're not an accredited news source?

Lou Colagiovanni: In any event, Jef, we aren't friends. I already explained to you that the image came from a trusted source. To answer your question specifically, as it relates to images from the source which you were given...I trust them completely. I will continue to repost their work, if you have questions about their processes I would suggest contacting the owner of the images. If you would like to contact them, please feel free to do so. I have notified them about your interest in their work.

Finally, as a writer I would hope you would know the difference between giving your own comments and work praise. Who are you to say that something was 'polite'? That judgment is to be made by others, sir, and you know that full well. In the future, let us not have such a cheap conversation. I am a busy man.

Jef With One F: You didn't just ban and delete me. You deleted someone that had just posted a link to the Snopes article debunking it without any other comment. What constitutes grounds for banishment? Is it just disagreement? Isn't allowing people to debate truth, nuance, and meaning sort of the purpose of your site? Isn't it necessary for an informed populace?

Lou Colagiovanni: The interview portion is over, and I have been generous enough I'd think. It is now time for you to lose your position of superiority in this context. Feel free to contact me for other reasons, however.

I will mention one last thing. You keep saying "you deleted", which I, Lou, did not remove you at all. I have an entire staff which takes care of such things, and I do sometimes, but rarely. Why did my staff remove you? Who knows. Perhaps they didn't like your name? I personally find it a bit pretentious.....but that's ok - I am a bit that way myself. I trust my staff fully, and I support their overall decisions. It is my job as the manager to smooth out any mistakes they may make.

With that, I will leave you.

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