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8 Reviews
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September 16, 2014

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September 16, 2014

I agree with the various commenters that CD censors a lot of people. But CD censors a lot less people than other liberal sites like Alternet or the Guardian. While I understand the frustration of some commenters about banning because of criticizing Sioux Rose, I find many of her posts very informative. I do agree she quickly criticizes others without giving it a lot of thought. But I disagree with complaints about her relationship to Trudeau and Ickes.

Trudeau may have had run ins with the law over his diet book, but most of his problems with the book came from attacking big corporate food companies, who reacted. The FTC banned Trudeau's Mega Memory tapes, although no doubt exists as to their effectiveness and their use of memory techniques known for centuries. The many time world memory champion, Dominic O'Brien, has a set of CDs on memory that use many of the same techniques. Try them.

My larger complaints with CD come from its insistence of publishing articles by democratic party hacks on a regular basis, despite the consistent comments from the readers complaining about this. In 2016 they will support the democratic candidate.

I enjoy reading the comments on CD, invariably more interesting and observant than the articles.

CD does a good job of reprinting some less radical articles, but avoids publishing articles by effective critics of the democratic party.

Unfortunately, CD refuses to publish articles by any really trenchant thinkers, except very occasionally.
September 13, 2014
4 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
September 13, 2014
4 people found this review helpful

Common Dreams routinely blocks independent progressives too critical of the Dem establishment and CD article-selection practices that support it. By "blocks" I mean suspends their accounts to delete their comments and so that they can no longer comment.

Its primary source of donations is
from wealthy funders of foundations who made a killing as corporation owners and execs, and may help explain the AIPAC corruption of the Dem establishment.
Its new website uses a Madison-Avenue-lie to claim "Common Dreams is funded by the pooling together of thousands of small donations from our readers" and "We are...100% reader supported."

Further, as is well known among experienced commenters using the site, CD has long refused to enforce commenting policy routinely violated by a commercial astrologist who aggressively attacks independent progressive commenters and recklessly alleges they are paid right-wing trolls. The same commenter is a long-time friend and business-beneficiary of the infamous huckster and convicted felon Kevin Trudeau, the incontrovertible proof of which can yet be found in a recent-enough "Trudeau Channel" you-tube video of the two of them in commercial action.
In accord with Guidestar's community guidelines (ie policy) I have not entered that commenter's user name or other identifying information. Instead I would urge any foundation or individual contemplating a donation to Common Dreams to investigate this matter for themselves and consider the potential for publicized allegations of violation of 501c3 law in the conduct of CD vis-a-vis that commercial commenter. At issue is what explains CD's long failure to enforce policy. Is the commercial commenter "donating" to CD and helping it purge dissident commenters, quid pro quo for the commercial value of publicity on CD? Only an IRS investigation could determine that. As it is, there is clearly the appearance of potential for impropriety, which most 501c3's avoid like the plague. Thank you for making it possible to bring this to the attention of your users, who turn to these reviews for just such information as I have now provided.

There being a spate of CD commenting-blockings of outspoken independent progressives in recent days, including that of one who made mention of the business relationship between Trudeau and the aforementioned commercial commenter, you are apt to receive more such unfavorable reviews of Common Dreams.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

April 5, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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April 5, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

For over 30 years I have been directly involved with numerous social issues, including agriculture/food systems, environment, education and the health field. I have always tried to obtain the most honest diverse information regarding whats going on in our country/world. I have continually subscribed to at least 8-10 alternative press news sources (ie. Utne Reader, Mother Jones, Alternet, Grist, The Republic, etc.).

I have tremendous respect and trust in the sources of information found in Common Dreams, particularily via the openess of their sources and the author of the articles. Hopefully Common Dreams can continue way into the future to give authentic perspectives on what is really going on in our world, but also share the great visionaries and their inspiration.

I have two Ph. D.'s and yet i gladly chose to work for minimum wage in the public school system in order to hopefully create some positive change in paradigms. For me, Common Dreams is critical for our survival as humans- no exaggeration!

Hunter Lilly, Ph.D'

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

December 5, 2012
6 people found this review helpful

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December 5, 2012
6 people found this review helpful

This website censors posters that they do not agree with. I had used CD as a source for news and a format to exchange thoughts and commentary with fellow progressives. I have multiple sclerosis and require periodic rest throughout the workday, so I used this 'down time' to read and post. I had noticed that several frequent posters seemed to suddenly disappear, but I had no idea they were being censored for their opinions! Then the editors presented the results of a survey of on-line readership on their presidential preferences for the 2012 election. The results indicated an overwhelming vote for Obama. This just didn't jibe with the opinions expressed on-line at all, which were very overtly anti-Obama and in support of third party candidates. I am a social worker by profession, (MSW) and took a basic statistics class in grad school, and thought that the format of their 'survey' was ridiculously unscientific, easy to skew, and stated that I thought their methodology was unsound in a post. The post was censored. I re-posted it. Censored again. The third time, I was censored and precluded from further comment, and when I was bold enough to ask why, there was no response. The people managing this site are censors. They have no business being in a role promoting community interaction. The damage they have inflicted on the progressive community over the years is not insignificant. Please do not contribute to this injustice.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A little

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

October 30, 2012
5 people found this review helpful

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October 30, 2012
5 people found this review helpful

"We do not censor comments for their political opinion. Period." Craig Brown This is simply not true. I have been censored and had my IP blocked several times four years ago. When I inquired as to why, none of my emails were ever answered.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

September 17, 2012
10 people found this review helpful

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September 17, 2012
10 people found this review helpful

Common Dreams is one of the most dishonest non-profit organizations I have ever come across in my entire life. DO NOT contribute any money to this group -- unless you want to support censorship. Craig Brown, the Executive Director, runs Common Dreams to support his Democratic Party allies. To that end, his editors consistently (1) distort news stories to make them favorable to the Democratic Party and (2) delete comments that do not match his political views. He regularly banishes commenters who criticize the policies and actions of Democratic politicians, and then banishes anyone who dares mention his practice of censorship on the website. He gives no warning in advance of banishment, and offers no explanation about the banishments after the fact. Indeed, he does not respond in any way to inquiries about his banning of commenters. (It is abundantly clear that the banishments have to do with the content of the remarks, because those banished have not violated any of the written comment policies -- while many people who HAVE violated the comment policies by posting intentionally inflammatory or insulting or libelous or racist comments have not been banished. Tellingly, during Obama's campaign for president in 2008, many people were banished from Common Dreams for declaring that they did not support his candidacy; the same thing is happening on Common Dreams right now in 2012-- people who don't support Obama are getting banished.) Worst of all, Craig Brown erases the entire comment history of people he has banished, removing every trace of their existence from the site, including the responses of other people who replied to their comments. This behavior is straight out of George Orwell's novel, 1984, in which the workers in the Minstry of Truth destroy historical records and throw the true facts down the memory hole. In this way, Craig Brown is even WORSE than the editors of the mainstream media whom he criticizes for manipulating truth--at least they don't go back and change all of their past editions by deleting articles. Craig Brown also makes it impossible for readers to come together to organize by refusing to let people exchange email addresses or any other contact information. In fact, if you try to do this, you are certain to get banned. Craig Brown then has the audacity to announce publicly: "We do not censor comments." This is a blatant lie, and Craig Brown lies like this because he knows that if his donors knew the truth about his rampant and vengeful censorship practices, they would stop giving him money. That is exactly what should happen, though: people should stop giving Common Dreams any money at all until Common Dreams agrees to stop its politically-motivated censhorship practices and agrees to restore all of the deleted comments. This is particularly important to commenters like me, who posted over 400 comments during a two year period, and then had them all erased over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2011. Many of my comments were quite lengthy and involved hours of research and investigation -- as it was my goal to provide accurate and up-to-date information to the readers of Common Dreams. I frequently got positive feedback from other community members for my work. Several writers who publish regularly on Common Dreams even let me know how much they appreciated my comments. Regarding DONATIONS to Common Dreams: there seems to be something fishy going on. The income for 2011 for CD is about $600,000. But Common Dreams says in its donation appeal letters, "We rely on small contributions from our readers" and "Did you know that we survive entirely on the generosity of our readers? Thousands of small donors who keep our small staff churning out news & views for the progressive community, 365-days a year. Common Dreams is truly a grassroots community. " Well, let's do some calculations. Common Dreams runs fundraising drives four times a year, and raises $50,000 each time. That comes to a total of $200,000 from small contributions from its readers. CD also lists $50,000 in income from foundations. That leaves the majority of its income -- a whopping $350,000 to be exact -- unaccounted for. I would like to know who makes the sizeable donations to cover this amount. In summary, Common Dreams does not live up to its stated mission to bring the progressive community together to organize for change for the common good. In fact, its activities are often in direct contrast to those ideals, particularly when it behaves in clearly partisan ways to promote the election of Democratic Party candidates above all else. This overriding goal encouraagesCommon Dreams to lie to its community and to the general public and to its donors -- which ultimately serves to weaken the progressive cause and promote dishonesty in our society. PLEASE, if you have money you want to donate to progresive causes, don't waste it by giving it to Common Dreams.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen many people who are honest and sincere individuals -- with strong desires to play a positive role in the politics of their communities and the nation -- become thorougly disheartened by the dishonest and vengeful manipulation of the news and comments on Common Dreams. After I was banished and had all of my work deleted due to my progressive political views, several colleagues of mine wrote to Craig Brown and asked him for an expanation of his action. Not a single person received a reply.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I recommend that the editors of Common Dreams be fired for systematically distorting the news for purely partisan reasons, and for cooperating in the banishment of so many fine thinkers who used to comment on the site. I recommend that all donations to Common Dreams be returned to the donors -- because they were solicited under false pretenses. Finally, all comments that have been deleted for political reasons-- and there are thousands of these -- should be restored in their entirety.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What is unique about this organization?

This organization has the opportunity to be an authentic force for the common good and to promote progressive change. Indeed, it claims that is its intention. Unfortunately, it chooses to use its prominent position on the Internet to promote Democratic Party candidates above all else. It retains its positive reputation only because it repeatedly lies to the public about its real activities. I encourage anyone who wants more information about this to Google "common dreams, censorship" and read the stories.

July 3, 2012
5 people found this review helpful

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July 3, 2012
5 people found this review helpful

My experience is similar to the other commenter. Any comments, no matter how civil, within-policy, and on-topic, are deleted, always without explanation, if they cross a certian line to the left of US liberal orthodoxy. In particular, any comment mentioning that Commondreams will delete comments is rapidly deleted, even when on-topic. Commondreams never replies to e-mails requesting clarification on this hypocritical policy.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 18, 2012
7 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
June 18, 2012
7 people found this review helpful

CommonDreams is supposedly committed to transparency but engages in unwarranted censorship of commenters whom, without violating the site commenting policy, are censored and prevented from participating in the group discussion. They are NOT transparent about when they apply the censorship, and commenting on the censorship is a sure way of finding yourself banned. They are NOT responsive to enquiries by their readership nor do they practice journalistic integrity by stealing articles/resources off the internet without proper citation. Frankly, I find their unwritten editorial policy to be Orwellian in nature.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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