Despicable Enemy of Healthiness and Right Living

I had an email last night from Dmitri Kossyrev asking me if my blog was down. He’d been trying repeatedly to see it, without success. I replied that my blog was alive and well. There was no problem at this end. Perhaps, I suggested, I’d been designated as a Despicable Enemy of Healthiness and Right Living by the Russian branch of Tobacco Control?

He came back a bit later to say that he’d now gone about it a different way. He’d googled me, and found a bad Russian translation of my blog, and then opted to view the original English. And bingo, there it was.

Bit of a roundabout way to reach a blog, but it worked.

It reminded me that Scott Adams has been complaining that his tweets were being blocked:

As many others have documented, Twitter throttles back the tweets of people who hold political views they don’t like.

Most of you have freedom of speech. I have it too, in a Constitutional sense. But in terms of social media – the dominant form of political communication in our culture – I have about 5-10% as much freedom of speech as other people.

Alex Jones has been making similar complaints about Facebook blocking

It set me wondering whether my little blog might be being blocked or hampered. I am an enemy of Tobacco Control. So much so that they even have a webpage devoted to me. They’d probably like to shut me up, if they could. And also shut up anyone else who poses any resistance to the Tobacco Control imperium. They want, like Mika Brzezinski, “to control exactly what people think” about tobacco and smoking. And Tobacco Control is a global superpower. They probably have able and willing friends and contacts in the online world whom they can ask for assistance in fighting the “global epidemic” of smoking and smokers.

I have some reason to suspect that something along these lines just might be happening. In the first few years of blogging, my hit counts gradually rose year after year. But in recent years they’ve levelled off. And now they’re in slow decline:

Two years ago I was getting over 30,000 views per month, which was slightly over 1000 per day. But for the past year it’s been slowly tailing off. This past week or two (right) has been one of the worst for a long time.

It could all be perfectly natural. People’s interests are constantly changing. Last year I was deeply interested in the US presidential election, and was regularly visiting and other right wing US websites for the latest news and gossip. Since the election I’ve lost interest, and so don’t visit those sites so much. Same with Global Warming. Same with the EU. Same with lots of other things.

And writing a smoker’s blog, it could also be that quite a few of my readers have quit smoking, and lost interest in smoking and tobacco. After all, we’re regularly told that 70% of smokers want to stop smoking, aren’t we? And since we’re also regularly being told that Smoking Kills, it could be that my readers are gradually dying off. And indeed some have, like the late Lysistrata. Many of my readers belong to the older rather than younger generation.

But what’s puzzling me is that this: I get notified every time anyone signs up to be emailed whenever I post up something. In the past, I’d get such notifications maybe once a month. Now I get them about once a week. Sometimes I get several notifications on the same day. So more and more people are signing up to read me, but fewer and fewer actually are.

I hardly ever use email notifications to tell me when somebody’s written something. Nor do I keep a favourites list of people I read. I surf the web from memory. And type in characters: D will autofill to Dick Puddlecote’s blog, U will autofill to Legiron’s blog, V to Chris Snowdon’s, and so on. And when I’m not going to websites whose names I remember, I’ll pick them out from my blogroll, or from somebody else’s blogroll.

Anyway, I have powerful enemies out there, much like Scott Adams and Alex Jones. Perhaps they’re able to reduce my traffic? Perhaps I’ve been added to some obstruction list? So I’ll do a couple of polls:

and also

About the archivist

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35 Responses to Despicable Enemy of Healthiness and Right Living

  1. I don’t know nothing much about these things but if DK can reach you via a proxy/website gateway it does suggest there is shenanigans afoot. But it also might just mean his DNS Cache needs clearing? I’m sure one of your readers will know about these things.

  2. I thought your comments were being strangled as I used to read all the comments on your posts. Now there are only a few? But I wondered if YOU were controlling them…..?

    • Frank Davis says:

      First time new commenters are held for moderation. After that they can post whatever and whenever they like. I don’t edit comments (unless asked by the commenter in question). The big exception is antismokers like Dickie Doubleday. They’re not welcome. And very occasionally other people will become a bit too obnoxious to bear. e.g. Stewart Cowan or Carol (although I never actually blocked either of them, and their comments will be published if they’re not having a go at someone).

      There may be fewer comments because Harley isn’t posting so many these days. But I’ve always thought I was having a good day if I got 50 comments.

  3. PJH says:

    “Other”: I get the RSS feed.

  4. Bucko says:

    I had no idea Lysistrata had died. I only had a little contact with her when I used to blog, but it’s always sad when one of the community passes on

  5. Rose says:

    I just type FR

  6. Lollylulubes says:

    For the first time in ages, I tried to access Tobacco Tactics website the other day. Like the last time I visited them, I got a message saying the website I was trying to access was unsafe and may try and steal my financial stuff and passwords. I ignored the warnings and of course, had no problems. I seem to remember it happening with someone else’s blog once, but can’t remember who it was. I believe people in high places could use/are using their influence.

  7. gimper30 says:

    Still read and enjoy your blog every day.

  8. Smoking Lamp says:

    I think there is a good chance that Tobacco Control is influencing subtle censorship on social media. After all, they actively seek to quell dissent by employing a cadre of astroturf commenters to shout down dissenting comments, publish false and misleading studies, and block dissenting opinion.

  9. Vlad says:

    I don’t remember ever having troubles accessing this blog…and just because one guy had a bit of difficulty is a weaker proof that TC is messing with your site than Doll’s hospital study was that smoking causes lung cancer. :)

  10. Subtle control? I highly doubt it is at all subtle.
    I know someone who was educated at the Bloomberg school of public health and after many years in tobacco control they left the mainstream thinking behind.
    Two things they told me have always stayed in my mind one of them was a memory of going to a tobacco control conference and afterwards the delegates going out to smoke hookah which always rang as hypocritical in their mind but the other which seems far more important is this : tobacco control despises other opinions and they will do anything to silence voices of dissent.
    I remember this person mentioning this after I once casually mentioned that anything I posted on a newspaper article was never approved.
    That person called it a conspiracy ,that person’s words not mine.

  11. smokingscot says:

    On my computer, using mobile dongles, I’ve never had any difficulty accessing your blog.

    Once on the bus from Edinburgh airport I used their wi-fi and my tablet and couldn’t access you or Dick because they had a block on anything related to tobacco.

    Same with the public computers they have in the little library in my part of Edinburgh. Nothing remotely related to tobacco could be accessed. (And yes anything to do with porn was blocked – I checked).

    Of themselves they were no big deal – I got you later that night (bus) and day (library).

    What I found is when I use my tablet and someone else’s wi-fi (pub, coffee shop, etc) my visit is not recorded. It’s just some public wi-fi setups, not all. As most of the visits to my site are coming in via mobile devices, I assume you’ll be the same, so that may be part of the reason for the gradual reduction in your visitor numbers.

    • Vlad says:

      Sounds like a messed up parental control setting if it has porn sites on the same level with blogs like Frank’s or Dick’s… I wonder if anti-smoking sites were working under that setting…

  12. Juliet 46 says:

    I visit you every day but rarely comment. Just hope that you are able to continue the fight.

  13. RdM says:

    I’ve noticed that I can’t visit Grandad’s headrambles site lately (Chrome, on Win XP)
    This site can’t provide a secure connection uses an unsupported protocol.
    Hide details
    The client and server don’t support a common SSL protocol version or cipher suite. This is likely to be caused when the server needs RC4, which is no longer considered secure.

    And sadly not only does your link to “Rose’s Garden” no longer work (you never needed the “&sid=9f36dd78f5c927a5271dd96c1a3f5737” part) but the whole is gone, it’s just a blank page (and has been for months, I think).

    I hope she has all that material archived… seems to be back though, after being down for a little while.

    As for access, I’m lazy and just keep tabs open, (110 right now!) if not all loaded, have the browser set to start up where it left off, and just hibernate the PC so it also starts where I was.


  14. jaxthefirst says:

    A few times lately (only, I’d say, over the last two or three weeks), I’ve had one of those little messages flash up – something about a “security certificate” or something like that – asking me if I “wish to continue.” I usually have to click on “yes” a couple of times and that gets me in, but sometimes the same message flashes up again when I go to the comments. Our IT people at work have explained this to me when I’ve had a similar problem accessing things for work, but I can’t for the life of me remember what the explanation was. Maybe someone more computer-minded than me will know what it means. Maybe something needs updating? And I guess if some people are using devices set up to be rather more twitchy than my computer is, then they might not be able to get past that.

    • margo says:

      Yes, I had a spell of getting that – really annoying. It seems to have stopped now.
      Also, Frank, I did sign up to get emails but they stopped appearing in my inbox. I have no idea why. That’s why I just type Frank Davis every day now.

  15. Lepercolonist says:

    Tobacco Control equates smokers with ISIS. Maybe more dangerous in their brainwashed minds.
    The globalists are getting antsy with Brexit and Trump. They will push harder to remain in control.
    Keep up the good fight, Frank. Noli me tangere (Don’t Tread on Me.)

  16. Mark Jarratt, Canberra, Australia says:

    I have been blocked from access to your excellent blog at work – prohibited – tobacco (well no, highly legal, and obscenely taxed, for a debased product plastered with shrill disease propaganda). Fair enough as my employer owns the network. I have also confronted petty intrusive Australian government website censorship, but that’s easy to bypass, probably because the censors have about as much skill and knowledge of reality as the puritan dictators behind controls over the lifestyle and recreational choices of other adults.

  17. Marvin says:

    I used to use Opera as my main browser and it worked fine until a few months ago. Then it suddenly stopped working, but only on WordPress blogs. Everything else worked OK, weird really, it said something like “The connection has timed out”. I think maybe WordPress has changed their coding and that has buggered up Opera, but I’m only guessing. Anyway I fired up Firefox and have had no problems with that at all, perhaps DK could try a different browser.

  18. Pingback: A Russian Defeat for Tobacco Control | Frank Davis

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