10,000 Comments on Unnecessary Pap Smears Deleted

forwomenseyesonly:

So many comments – nine years worth of comments – gone. They were an important piece of women’s history.

*Update: The comments have been retrieved and can be found on this site:http://unnecessarypapsmears.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/over-10000-lost-comments-on-unnecessary-pap-smears-find-a-home/
*Updated August 19, 2013

Originally posted on Unnecessary Pap Smears:

*Update: The lost comments have been found and are being republished on Unnecessary Pap Smears WordPress (linked below)

In 2004 a woman who called herself “Bookofjoe”  wrote an article titled “Unnecessary Pap Smears” and published it on Blogcritics.  The article highlights a number of interesting points, but the main focus of the article is on the questionable practice of screening for cervical cancer on women who have no cervix.  The author states that in the United States “almost 10 million women – almost half of all women who have undergone hysterectomy – are being screened unnecessarily, as they are not at risk of cervical cancer” (the full article can be read here http://blogcritics.org/unnecessary-pap-smears/)

The article is interesting but it is what happened after the article was published that is most remarkable.  Women began to comment on the article and to share their experiences with pap smears.  Women – many for…

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About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
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46 Responses to 10,000 Comments on Unnecessary Pap Smears Deleted

  1. Anonymous says:

    Note from mod: Anonymous updated this comment to let us know that the “banner” at the bottom of the comments on blogcritics (old comments) might pose risks to your computer:
    I found the comments! I decided to do some conclusive and final research on the benefits/risks of these exams yesterday and I googled “blogcritics unnecessary pap comments” just to see if there was any way to get all of the information from the comments and this link showed up: /blogcritics.mcercado.mtv-dev03.technorati.com/culture/article/unnecessary-pap-smears/

    There’s an annoying banner at the bottom, but if you click the double arrows on the right, it disappears. So they are still there, they’ve just been taken off of the new blogcritics site. You can still comment as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, scratch that. It’s no good. Thankfully I have good virus protection software, but the banner is some kind of virus. Which is really frustrating because all of the comments are there.

      • Thanks for the update Anonymous. I will put a warning on your previous comment and de-link the link.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you! I’m sorry that it ended up being a bad link. I’m curious though, if all of the comments were posted on another site (even though it ended up being some sort of hacking virus site), shouldn’t that mean that they are in fact archived somewhere else? If they were in fact archived, do you think that blogcritics would give public access to them?

      • Alex says:

        If you can get to them, just write them down. You might be able to repost them or, at least, type in “these are things people have said.” I’m a little bit suprised that different things don’t occur to people. Your body, your rules, for one. A situation is what it consists of, for another.

  2. Anonymous that is a good thought. If they are archived somewhere then they might still be re-posted on Blogcritics at some point, or yes, maybe we could have access to them a different way.

    BTW the new site is ready – just need to click the link to “Unnecessary Pap Smears” (the name of the new site) underneath the title of the post above. Those of you (women of Blogcritics) who would like to become co-moderators of the new site just let me know (here or on the new site) and I will add you in. I need your email to do that, but if you have ever logged into this site to leave a comment with your email then I will be able to retrieve it here (it’s not visible to the public).

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      I view those posts as a rare account of the real impact of this testing. The hidden truth, the ugly truth. The slash and burn approach adopted in many countries means huge numbers are harmed in an attempt to help a few. Yet evidence based testing would have achieved the same result, or better, without the awful carnage. (Finland, The Netherlands) These women have had no voice, no one wanted to hear from them and posting to a women’s forum was usually met with, “you should be grateful you didn’t have cancer”.
      BlogCritics was probably the first safe place for women to share, vent…you could feel the pain in many of the posts, and the relief to be finally surrounded by people who understood and cared.
      Thankfully, there are now a couple of other safe houses. I know many of those posts have stayed with me. Remember Megan? Her life and health destroyed by an unnecessary cone biopsy…she lives with spotting, cramping, odour, pain, embarrassment…her relationship ended, sex was no longer a pleasant or easy experience…and the future, she was facing more surgery to re-open the cervix. To get pregnant….she’d probably need medical assistance to conceive, and deliver by c-section.
      The fact is…it was avoidable, all of it…an early pap test sealed her fate. This is the very reason we shouldn’t be testing women under 30…to protect them from this fate.
      Ignore the evidence….and we harm many women, we destroy lives.
      Now it’s even easier, for those who wish to test, offer HPV primary testing or HPV self-testing at age 30 and offer a pap test every 5 years to the small number of women who test HPV+
      (until they clear the virus) BUT,
      No one cares about harming women and no one cares about saving as many lives as possible…evidence based testing would save more lives.
      It says to me our health and lives have never been the highest priority with this testing, not by miles.

  3. Alice says:

    If only I knew that BlogCritics were going to delete all those comments, I’d saved them all somewhere and we would be able to re-post them on the new site :-(
    I have checked web archive and Google cache – no old comments there. So sad. BlogCritics did promise to put the comments back, but their “soon” has been there for a while now.

    • Anonymous says:

      I found out that the virus page with the comments is somehow linked to http://technorati.com, which is a virus free website that posts articles about current affairs, much like blogcritics. So perhaps their mods would be able to secure the comments and e-mail them or post them on a secure site. Surely, since the virus site is being hacked through theirs, they’d be able to access it somehow.

  4. ChasUK says:

    Ok I just went into that site /blogcritics.mcercado.mtv-dev03.technorati.com/culture/article/unnecessary-pap-smears/
    and could see the old comments and at the top of the page it says 10061 comments and it shows them all from 28/10/2005 number 1 lonnie – so far all good with my computer, there was a strange greyed box that appeared but i clicked and there were the comments 10061 so I got there? Here’s hoping it does not affect my PC?

    • Chas, I went there as well and just stayed away from the scary grey box. My virus protection did not go off so it might be okay, here’s hoping.

      • ChasUK says:

        That scary grey box had extended slightly to the right and I clicked it making the box clear and I got all the comments, right from page one. I am currently copying and pasting into a word document…..in fear of losing it all again, but there is such a lot it will take me time. So far my PC is all fine. I will carry on this week to make sure they are saved somewhere.

      • That is awesome Chas! Those comments are worth so much. You are kind of like a secret agent Ninja or something . . . very cool :)

      • ChasUK says:

        Thank you, secret ninja LOL I like it! Up to page 147 and continue on. My PC is absolutlely fine and IT have not reported anything to me so all good so if anyone wants to get into all those comments, just click on the bottom right extended part of that grey box, a little arrow it puts it hidden to the left so you can see all comments! I hope that everyone makes it over to this site. The new blog page has last entry from Elizabeth and guessing no-one else will make it back there to comment? Thanks again for your nice comment.

  5. ChasUK says:

    Okay now I have saved every single comment 10061 of them all on word documents. And this is where I got the original blog pages:
    /blogcritics.mcercado.mtv-dev03.technorati.com/culture/article/unnecessary-pap-smears/ The grey box once clicking on the extended box bottom right hides itself and my PC is absolutley fine……honest! Obviously whilst copying them I read a few that I had not got to and eneded up going to the mamamia site, I think Elizabeth has commented (eeb & Eel names) It will not allow me to rate those comments up, what a surprise, all the others that are on the “Happy Pappy Train” it will allow me but of course did not rate them. From the original blog critics I hope all the regulars make their way here, they all had/have so much to say. Has anyone heard from Jaqui………….such a long time! The last comment was 9613 – Jacqui (Australia) Feb 21, 2013 at 2:36 am, it is a really long time, I think Mary had contact at some point? We wish you all the very best Jaqui x

  6. Chrissy (UK) says:

    Chas, well done you! I really thought all those comments had been lost. What on earth has happened to Blogcritics? – the whole feel of the site has changed, such a shame. Sue, thanks once again to you and your amazing work on this website, there are so few places where we can feel safe to air our views without ridicule or coercion.

    • Yay Chas – yes secret Ninja heroin you are! That is awesome. “Blogger” has pasted the last, most recent, page from the old Blogcritics comments into the the new site (Unnecessary Pap Smears on WP). I’m not sure if it is “legal” to copy and paste the whole works onto the new WP site?

      Chrissy thank you. There are very few places where it feels safe I agree. I am still hoping the new Blogcritics site will put the old comments back up.

      Chas I miss Jacqui too :(

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        Great job Chas! Thank you for saving a decade worth of knowledge!

        Sue, perhaps we should leave a comment on the “new” BlogCritics with a link to here or your new site? So that people know where to go now. I don’t think anyone of the “old army” wants to comment there anymore after the comments have been removed, and the new visitors just don’t see much information at all (they have no idea that all those comments ever been there).

        I’m no lawyer, but my guess is that it could be legal to copy the old BlogCritics comments to the new site if the names of the authors are copied together with the comments. You may need to check with Canadian or US laws, but here in Australia the law says the following:

        Can I quote from a work without permission?

        You will usually need permission to quote from a work if the quote forms a “substantial” part of the source work. A part will generally be “substantial” if it is an important, distinctive or recognisable part. The quality of the part is more important than the quantity or proportion. The part may be a small proportion of the whole work, particularly if it has resulted from a high degree of skill and labour. The purpose of the use may also be relevant; if you are using the part for a commercial purpose or to include in a competing work, it is more likely you will need permission.

        It is permissible to quote for the purposes of research or study and criticism or review without permission, provided the use of the work is “fair” in the circumstances.

        I believe that the copying (restoration) of those comments is classified as quotation for the purposes of criticism, and, because they are not used for commercial purposes, the permission to quote them is not mandatory.

      • Alice that’s a good idea. It’s sad how many women looking for information will no longer be able to find it on Blogcritics. I searched for information related to the legalities of copying and pasting but couldn’t find anything conclusive, so I’m impressed with what you found. From reading between the lines though it looks like whoever had the better lawyer (or the most money) would win, if it were to come to that.

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        Alternatively, to be on the safe side, you can ask the people who used to comment on Blogcritics for their permission to copy their comments to your new website. For example, create a new topic here, and the people can leave their permissions in the comments for that topic.

        Of course, it will be impossible to reach every person who has commented on Blogcritis for the past 9 years, but the permissions of at least some of them will make a lot of difference in how much information will become available to the world again.

        I’m sure that the most prolific Blogcritics contributors will be more than happy if you restore their efforts and resurrect the lost comments.

        You definitely have my permission to copy all my comments. Since 2012, everything that has been written on Blogcritics under the name “Alice (Australia)” has been written by me, and you can copy all those comments anywhere you like.

      • Thank you Alice. Frankly, when I saw all the comments were gone from Blogcritics I was shocked, and then I got worried about this site too. I imagine we were all pretty upset. Then I kind of went into a “must-prepare-for disaster” mode and was in a panic to pull another site together, just in case. I also copied and pasted all the contents of this site into a word document. I would love to have all the comments from the old Blogcritics on the new site and your idea of getting permission from commenters is a plan, but are the commenters the “owners” of the comments or are the owners of Blogcritics the owners? Just who does “own” the comments now and are they free for the copying and pasting?

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        Sue, from my knowledge of Australian copyright law, the copyright (and the following right to reproduce the content elsewhere) by default always belongs to the author of that content, unless a special agreement of copyright transfer has been signed between the author and the new copyright owner. Therefore, BlogCritics do not “own” the content of the comments (I don’t recall signing any copyright transfer with them), the ownership of the comments contents is still with the authors, and if they permit their comments to be copied elsewhere, it has nothing to do with BlogCritics at all. I believe, US/Canadian laws are quite similar.

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        I have just had a look at Blogcritics’ Terms of Service, and in paragraph 3 (“Site Content”) it clearly says:


        Content produced by Blogcritics is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license enabling users to copy, distribute, and perform the works on this site as well as create derivative works with proper attribution for non-commercial use.

        The Site is protected by copyright as a collective work and/or compilation, pursuant to U.S. copyright laws, international conventions, and other copyright laws. Blogcritics grants to User a limited nonexclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable right under Blogcritics’ intellectual property rights to copy, distribute, display, perform and create derivative works of the Content with proper attribution solely for non-commercial use. If User wishes to use Content for commercial purposes, User must submit a business inquiry. Copying, using or storing any Content for other than noncommercial use is expressly prohibited without prior written permission from Blogcritics or from the copyright holder identified in such Content’s copyright notice.

        Blogcritics requests that, according to standard academic practice, if a User uses the Service for any research that results in an article, a book, or other publication, the User lists Blogcritics as a resource in User’s bibliography.

        User acknowledges and agrees that if User uses any of the Services to contribute Content to the Site, Blogcritics is hereby granted a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, transferable right to fully exploit such Content (including all related intellectual property rights) and to allow others to do so.

        Which means, that for as long as you provide proper attribution (preserve the names/nicknames of the authors next to their comments), you have your rights to copy, distribute, display, perform and create derivative works of the Content solely for non-commercial use.

      • Great job Alice! I remember you were able to find the deleted article and comments from Kevin Md’s site related to the way female med students are treated in medical school – I was delighted. I should have known you would be able to track down the required information! So, I’ll put together a post on the new site and then start the process of copying and pasting . . . I’m thinking I’ll start with the oldest and work forward so the most recent comments are on the top.

        Plus it’s nice to know that if anything goes wrong that Chas has all the comments safeguarded in a word document.

      • Alice (Australia) says:

        Sue, I was so glad to hear that the comments have been backed-up and saved by you and Chas! And now it’s even better to know that they can be re-posted for non-commercial purpose. I think, once you start putting the comments on your new site and Google indexes them, people start finding the site through Google searches. Let’s hope that will be the first step in resurrecting that community feel, lively discussion and knowledge hub we had on BlogCritics (which, sadly, was so blatantly killed with the “new big improvements”).

  7. Well put Alice! I really miss the old site :( Chas actually is the only one I know who has the comments in a word doc. I haven’t saved them myself but am planning to retrieve them from their current resting place. Time to put them back into circulation soon.

  8. So, thanks to Chas and her Ninja-like retrieval of the comments, Blogger has been able to start the process of copying and pasting the 10,000 or so comments onto the new site. Five old comments per one new comment at 20 comments per page equals 100 old comments per page . . . so far there is only one and a bit worth of pages. This might take a while girls :)
    http://unnecessarypapsmears.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/over-10000-lost-comments-on-unnecessary-pap-smears-find-a-home/

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Sue, congratulations on the start of the grand comment-recovery process! :-) Surely, it will take a while, but it will return nearly a decade of life-saving knowledge the world has recently lost.

  9. Thank you Alice!
    I wanted to let everyone know that WP is experiencing technical issues with comments on some blogs. Not all comments are being posted, but are instead disappearing. If you have experienced this know that it is not you or your computer but an issue with the spam filter. WP is working to fix it.

    • Alex says:

      I’m not exactly clear on what happened with Blogcritics (did they delete them or make them inaccessible?- a de facto deletion). By-the-way: Will you be posting all those comments here when they’re ready? Maybe it would be a “site” on it’s own (don’t know the exact name for the blue words when you Google something)? Might be less of an “all the eggs in one basket” kind of thing.

      I’ve been meaning to propose an idea for a thread I had recently, let me know if you like it. It was something along the lines of a “Your Body, Your Rules” thread. It would have all kinds of things about bodily autonomy like pointing out the mind games & strategic tricks that doctors tend to use (social engineering, ambushing, “informing” someone that one thing is contingent on another), the illegalities of different things (holding birth control hostage as a coercive tactic- thus an imposed situation & an attack), unsung risks & inaccuracies or alternatives- whatever. It comes up in different threads, but maybe one for that topic on its own would be helpful.

      I’ve learned a lot of things from people here. There were a lot of things that I didn’t know or just didn’t understand & it’s been very helpful talking to people about these things Just wanted to say thanks. Hopefully, I’ve been helpful with my posts (I know they’re usually pretty long, I just always wind up thinking of another thing that might be useful- sorry if it comes off like I’m lecturing).

  10. The old Blogcritic’s comments – all 10,061 of them – have now been safely transferred and published on this site: http://unnecessarypapsmears.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/over-10000-lost-comments-on-unnecessary-pap-smears-find-a-home/
    Phew!!! Thank you again to Chas for retrieving them.

    • ChasUK says:

      My pleasure and a huge thanks to you for all your efforts with ensuring they are up and running, that was a lot of work, it’s fantastic news. I just hope everyone that posted over the years make it back as there were some regulars that we enjoyed hearing from. Anyway I look forward to any additional posts. Thank you so much.

  11. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Sue, a big thank you.
    I hope they make it over here too, we’re missing quite a few of our flock. I didn’t dare dream I’d ever be part of a flock of non-screeners.
    I might leave a post over there directing everyone here. It’s telling that posts have stopped over there, when there were sometimes 10 or more per day. We’ve been flamed so often for being frank about this testing, providing real information and sharing our feelings/experiences that women tend to lose trust in a site very quickly, if it “feels” unsafe…is someone reading? Have “they” shut us down? It’s the sort of nervousness you see when oppression and censorship are involved…we feel like we have to whisper and look over our shoulder.
    Honesty, the evidence and respect for our independence/bodily autonomy are viewed as the greatest threats to these programs. It has always been viewed as highly irresponsible to acknowledge that women have a say in what happens to their bodies and that we can reasonably decline any and all screening exams and tests.
    I think Dr Sherman has a great site, but women seem nervous of his site as well and I think it’s because he’s a doctor, one of them. Of course, Dr Sherman is one of a handful of doctors world wide who’s spoken out, he wrote a piece for the Kevin MD site (picked up by the Wall Street Journal)…his eyes were opened by posters to his forum. He was however, prepared to listen and to take a look at the references, many doctors are not…
    “Informed consent is missing from pap smears and cervical screening”…
    http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2009/11/informed-consent-missing-pap-smears-cervical-cancer-screening.html

  12. Chrissy (UK) says:

    Super Ninja Chas, great job retrieving those priceless comments. Thank you.
    Sue, without your website, we may most likely have completely lost contact with each other and other like-minded folks. Thanks once again for providing this safe haven for women who want to speak out against medical coercion and mis-treatment.
    Elizabeth, how right you are about needing to feel safe. Blogcritics no longer feels that way anymore. It is highly unlikely that I will ever post there again and I am sure many others feel the same. I also hope the others find their way here, like Kleigh, Alice and OIA have. It’s also nice to read the comments from Alex and Ro.

    • Alex says:

      Thank you, Chrissy! I’ve been wondering why there aren’t more sites like these- less of a “one basket” type situation. I’m not real knowledgeable on how to start a site- but I try to share information (which if it had been common knowledge, maybe some people that were close to me wouldn’t have had such bad lives- not to downplay the overall prevention of detriment, of course).

  13. Thank you Chas, Elizabeth and Chrissy (it’s nice to see you!). It’s a huge relief to have all the comments safely published as being one of the keepers of those comments had me worried about all kinds of things – worried my computer would crash, or get stolen, or I’d be hit by a bus or something. Although it was comforting to know that Chas had the original documents. The world feels a little less skewed now that those comments are up and readable.
    Elizabeth: “It’s the sort of nervousness you see when oppression and censorship are involved…we feel like we have to whisper and look over our shoulder.” Yes, exactly, I know I’ve felt that . . . but it does seem the oppression and censorship are continuing to lose their hold.

    Alice, thank you again for sorting out that it was actually legal to use the comments for noncommercial purposes . . . but I’ll let you know if “Blogger” gets into any trouble over this!

  14. F.L. says:

    A couple of things ….

    1. I guess the old Blogcritics site is never going to re-post the 10,000 comments. It is very upsetting that they never did so, that they kept promising to do so, and that they NEVER came back to explain why they didn’t re-post the comments. I’ve seen someone post something (on Women Against Stirrups) about the removal of the comments being part of a conspiracy to silence the discussion on this. Not saying I agree, but ….

    2. So, thank you, thank you, thank you to FWEO and to Super Ninja Chas who helped to rescue the comments and ensure that they were re-posted in a safe place.
    http://unnecessarypapsmears.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/over-10000-lost-comments-on-unnecessary-pap-smears-find-a-home/

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