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Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Wally Walnuts, May 27, 2010.
Website Editors Strive To Rein In Nasty Comments : NPR
the article corroborated what I suspected about some of the more churlish postings one comes across
and I agree freedom of expression is indeed of value, if there is a valid point being made -- the question, and the caveat is: who is to decide?
The thing is there are some posts on some sites that are only meant to incite anger. I think the mods of those sites could keep those kinds of comments to a minimum.
On my hometown nespaper's (San Diego Union-Tribune) site, whenever there's an article about Obama or gays, it's Katie bar the door, and all the crazy kooks come out and play.
I have had to moderate comments on my blog only once, and that was after someone had posted personal information (name and where he went to HS) about another commenter. The only other reasons why I'd delete anything is either because it provided a link to underage porn or were spam.
Otherwise, everything else stays. If you're gonna talk the talk regarding free speech, you've gotta be prepared to walk the walk.
I'm not saying they should be locked up, but I do think it's a good thing to make sure the comments stay on topic.
Obviously the owner, or the owner's designated agents decide.
On sites I run, we make a point reminding people that 'free speech' only applies to the public domain (like parks, public ROW, govt meetings, etc). A privately owned, members only website is NOT considered to be in the public sphere.
Think of it like this... if you went over to your neighbor's house and started calling him names, and drew nasty messages on his walls, does he have to listen to your diatribe because you are protected by 'free speech'? Or can he kick you off his property, paint over the messages you left and never speak to you again?... A members only website (such as LPSG) isn't much different.
My blog typically attracts three types of commenter:
1) Long-time readers and other friends who acknowledge having read something;
2) New readers who find it via Google;
3) One of several trolls to stalk me from place to place.
While obviously preferring the first two, I have never deleted a nasty or inflammatory comment. Except during that brief time mentioned above, I've never moderated the comments. The Spin Cycle is supposed to be provocative; I really can't worry overmuch about whom I provoke negatively or why. It's really their problem, not mine.