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Thread: Curtailing Comments

  1. #21
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    The difference in online and printed comment is masked anonymity. Certainly, anyone online can be identified given the need. The masked anonymity gives people the impression that they can comment without consequence. And the format of instantaneous call and response, inspires people to join in on a virtual game of one upmanship. When you read a letter, you read it with a depth of consideration that invites mature thinking. When you read an online comment, you are simultaneously trying to post a pithy response in time to have all participants in the “game” recognize your prowess with insult and the written word.

    Serious responses or comments come with the energy necessary to identify oneself, create and submit well thought out and edited material subject to a vetting or review, with a time gap.

    Online commentary is immature and poorly thought out and repetitive to the point of disgust.....it is rampant in YouTube. My favorite Youtuber disabled the comment section completely.

  2. #22
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    Iris Lilies If your husband gets the print newspaper isn't the internet one free, too?

  3. #23
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nswef View Post
    Iris Lilies If your husband gets the print newspaper isn't the internet one free, too?
    No more, but it used to be that way.

  4. #24
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    We do have online comment guidelines, too, and some people have gotten way out of line. We have someone who monitors the comments, and bans those who don't abide by the guidelines. But it is very hard to keep up with. This is what the guidelines say:

    We welcome and encourage lively and spirited discussion among (paper's website's name) members. But that doesnít quite mean that paper's website's name is the Wild West of the Internet. In that spirit, weíre establishing a few guidelines and asking that our users adhere to them while commenting.
    We donít moderate comments before they are posted, but offending comments will be removed and the responsible user accounts monitored. Users who repeatedly break these guidelines will lose posting privileges.
    This is the final (current) draft of our guidelines, but we are always open to feedback. If you have comments, questions or concerns about our guidelines, e-mail Web Editor xxxxx or leave a comment in the section below.
    As our editor emeritus Lou XXX might say Ö ďDonít do stupid stuff.Ē
    (What, you wanted more? Okay, here are our community guidelines.)


    • Stay on point. Keep your comments and questions focused on the topic, article or column at hand. Some might care about your thoughts on health care overhaul, but probably not in an article about the new Vancouver Community Library. Focus your points, arguments and assertions on positions, not personalities.


    • Donít attack back. Comment or lurk long enough, and youíll see a comment that riles you up. If you see a commenter who you think is attacking you or another user, donít engage or attack back. E-mail John with a link to the article in which the comment was found (or the articleís headline) and a brief description of the comment in question; weíll take care of the rest.


    • Keep it clean. Controversial topics occasionally prompt emotional responses, and we love to see energetic debate and vigorous discussion. But before you wade into those conversations, keep a few things in mind. Donít use profanity (including alternate characters to mask swear words), obscenities, personal attacks, libel, defamation or hate speech. Steer clear of name calling and posting anything that can be interpreted as threatening, harassing, obscene, pornographic, sexist or racist. Derogatory use of sexual orientation, race, age, gender, religion, nationality, disability and so on is not allowed.


    • Be original. You are welcome to link to relevant content and include limited excerpts from other peopleís work ó with attribution, of course. But donít copy and paste wholesale.


    • Respect privacy. Donít post personal contact information. You probably wouldnít appreciate it if that was plastered on paper's website's name, so donít do it yourself.


    • Donít post rumors. Along those lines, steer clear of posting allegations, unfounded accusations, innuendo and other information known to be false or unsubstantiated.


    • No political campaigning. While we encourage candidates to share their views, we do not allow campaigning. This means links back to campaign pages, political ads, pleas for donations, etc will be removed.


    • Keep it commercial-free. Comments that serve as recommendations or reviews of companies and services are allowed and even encouraged (on that note, can you help me find a good pizza spot on the west side of Vancouver?). But posting of ads, spam or other marketing-related material is not allowed, and those posts will be removed.


    • Using Facebook to comment on stories? Use your real name. If youíre using your Facebook account to comment on stories on paper's website's name, we ask that you use your real name. We feel that real names help improve the discourse and keeps posters accountable. Read more about the decision.


    Now that you know our expectations of commenters, join the discussion. Weíve even put together a helpful video on how to comment on paper's website's name with your Facebook account.
    We reserve the right to remove offending comments. Break any of these rules, and donít be surprised if your comment disappears from the site. Weíre not the government Ė we can and will remove comments that donít follow these guidelines. We donít like to remove comments, but it happens from time to time.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  5. #25
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KayLR View Post
    We do have online comment guidelines, too, and some people have gotten way out of line. We have someone who monitors the comments, and bans those who don't abide by the guidelines. But it is very hard to keep up with.
    The TOS (Terms of Service) Kay delineated are very similar to the TOS one needs to agree to before posting at any reputable on-line news organization. Again, not to denigrate what Kay's paper does; just stating that the rules are not different on-line; only the mechanism is. I'm sure if Kay's paper did not limit comment space arbitrarily and have someone (enough people, in fact) monitoring the comments, that section would look much like the comments sections that Williamsmith mentions. If an organization does not bother to impose such limitations, they're not a good source of information.

    Registration with something like Facebook or Disqus can help with on-line verification because the news organization does not have to do its own vetting. Registration limited to subscribers is more successful; depends on how much money the site makes from people seeing ads and clicking through.

    If the ability of people on-line to "be someone else" reduces the value of on-line commentary for you, then, by all means, downplay or outright ignore it. I just know that when I see a letter in our community newspaper from "Jean Olsen, Highland Park", that person is no more real or credible to me than wildfan4life is on the newspaper's Web site. Then again, I see technology different from almost everyone else here.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

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