ROLLING STONE REJECTED MY COMMENT! I received today’s copy of the Rolling Stone Daily newsletter (February 26, 2021) and there was an article titled “Hear the Beach Boys Reunite on Charity Re-Recording of ‘Add Some Music to Your Day’.” When I tried to leave a comment on that piece, it was rejected for “inappropriate language.”
The ensemble singing this lovely fifty-year-old song included Beach Boys Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, Mike Love, and David Marks along with family members and friends. As the video’s opening credits read “Omnivore Recordings and California Music™ Present Add Some Music To Your Day,” I assume that this gathering of the tribes for this project is under the guise of California Music rather than as the Beach Boys.
“This article is not about the Beach Boys but about the unpreditictability of some websites’ restrictions on language in submitting comments.
And—lo and behold—I was impressed with the recording, something that I can’t say about much of anything that the Beach Boys have done in decades! This includes almost everything the group has released since the KEEPIN’ THE SUMMER ALIVE album of 1980, which had some fine tracks on it. So I wrote a lengthy comment and tried to submit it to the Rolling Stone website.
Here is what I submitted:
The world could come together as one
“The Beach Boys’ 1970 album SUNFLOWER is one of my all-time faverave albums and Add Some Music To Your Day is one of the album’s many high points. It had been released as a single prior to the album but was ignored by virtually every AM and FM radio station in the country.
Back in the early ’70s, I used to plop this down on the stereo whenever I had friends over and had gotten them appropriately high. Of course, I never told them I was gonna play the Beach Boys as that would have turned them off as the group was in bad odor at the time. I just played the album and let them get into the music.
“The world could come together as one if everybody under the sun would add some music to your day.”
The album’s opener, Slip On Through, didn’t sound anything like any previous Beach Boys record and usually sucked my unexpecting listeners into the album’s warm embrace. I believe that everybody I played it for fell in love with it!
I also believe that my playing it led several friends to go out and buy a copy! This probably drove sales into the double digits in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1970 alone!
This new 2021 version by various Beach Boys along with family members and friends is a lovely recreation of the original, even though the video is meandering and kinda hokey.”
I ended the comment with three lines from the song’s lyrics: “The world could come together as one if everybody under the sun would add some music to your day.”
I received an automatic message: “Your comment has been rejected as it does not align with our Community Guidelines.” The rejection notice had a link that led me to those guidelines. Here are the Rolling Stone Community Guidelines for posting comments on their website:
Welcome to Rolling Stone Community!
Our community is about connecting people through open and thoughtful conversations. We want our readers to share their views and exchange ideas in a safe space.
In order to do so, we’ve created a simple set of rules that will improve your experience.
Simply put, keep it civil.
Your post will/might be rejected if it contains:
• Insults, profanity, incoherent, obscene or inflammatory language and threats of any kind
• Attacks on the identity of other commenters or the article’s author
User accounts will/might be blocked if we notice:
• Continuous attempts to re-post comments that have been previously moderated/rejected
• Racist, sexist, or homophobic comments
• Attempts or tactics that put the site security at risk
So, how can you be a power user?
• Stay on topic and share your passion. Feel free to elaborate to get your point across.
• ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’ when you are filled with emotions!
• Protect your community. Use the report tool to alert us when someone breaks the rules.
Thanks for reading our community guidelines. Don’t forget, freedom of speech is not the freedom of reach!
Needless to say, I was baffled as the words and sentences in my comment did not seem to breach any of the site’s rules.
Your comment has been rejected
Nothing in my comment could be construed by a reasonable person as being spam, insulting, profane, obscene, inflammatory, threatening, racist, sexist, homophobic, or an attack on another person. At least, that’s what I thought! So, I looked for what could be causing the rejection.
Could the ’60s slang term faverave be mistaken for my encouraging the use of an illegal drug and suggesting readers partake in raves? I changed it to favorite and submitted the comment a second time.
It was rejected again.
My statement that “I had friends over and had gotten them appropriately high” could certainly be read as my encouraging the use of marijuana, even if it was a “drug” now legal in many states? I deleted that whole line and submitted the comment a third time.
And it was rejected again.
My wife read it and said “Maybe it doesn’t like you calling the video ‘hokey’,” so I changed hokey to charming and submitted the comment a fourth time.
And it was rejected yet again!
After the fourth rejection, I received a second message, this one alerting me that continued submission of previously rejected comments could lead the website to believe I was maliciously trying to hack the site. (Unfortunately, I didn’t copy the message and so I cannot paste it here.)
The next day (February 27, 2021), and I again attempted to post my comment without any new changes. This time I received a new message: ““
I thought maybe “sucked my unexpecting listeners into the album’s warm embrace” may have been the offending line. So I changed that phrase to “my unexpecting listeners found themselves in the album’s warm embrace” and—Voila—I was in!
As I have always viewed sucking as a good thing—indeed, a very good thing!—I have never used it in the slang sense of it being insulting (“You suck!” “That sucks!” etc.). Hence it’s being “inappropriate” didn’t dawn on me at first.
As my Daddy always told me to look for the silver lining in every dark cloud, here the silver lining was to turn a rejected comment into a (hopefully) entertaining and educational article.
To read the article “Hear the Beach Boys Reunite on Charity Re-Recording of ‘Add Some Music to Your Day'” and see the comments section, click here.
The heart of the American dream
Finally, if these guidelines had been in effect for contributors to Rolling Stone magazine fifty years ago, Hunter Thompson would have had to find another publisher for “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
Hell, he might not have found another publisher willing to take a savage journey to the heart of the American Dream in 1971.
And that definitely would have sucked!
Getting a well-intentioned and seemingly innocuous comment past many websites' overly sensitive and possibly 'politically correct' automated barriers can be a baffling and frustrating experience. Click To Tweet
FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is from the opening frames of the video for the Calfornia Music version of Add Some Music To Your Day. The lead vocal lines are shared by four men with Mike Love as the first singer followed by Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and Matt Jardine. As the video was pieced together from individual videos shot in different locations, there is no photo where the four are singing together. As Love is the most visually appealing of the four singers—if only for the shirt—his image is at the top of this page.