Unmoderated anonymous comments unethical, mean


John Hatcher had one thing right: the old anonymous posting service was not ethical. But it sure was a lot of fun!

People will always judge newspaper articles, and make up their minds without knowing all the facts. It's the gossip that sells countless magazines and is quite frankly fun, that's why US Weekly and People are so popular, right?

Newspapers have long been a source for local gossip: the paper reports the facts and the people interpret them how they will. However, newspapers should be the source for facts, not the breading ground for slander. The difference is that the local people, who are not celebrities, have some pretty awful comments associated with their name because of these comments.

The problem with the postings was that they weren't moderated at all as far as I could tell. I saw some very offensive comments and yet someone from the paper had to approve them hence the time delay between posting and seeing your post published.

In an attempt to distance itself from the comments, the Duluth News Tribune stopped allowing comments directly below their story and moved them to a third party site still linked to the paper. This site is completely unmoderated except for that viewers can vote down offensive posts, well that's how it ought to work at least. The uneducated cruelty continues, except it's one click away now.

Bullying has been in the spot light lately with the recent highly publicized depression and suicide cases caused by it. Bullying is when someone tries to harm some one who is weaker or who they think is weaker. And bullying doesn't just exist on the playground, it exists in the Duluth News Tribune's comments, published on the internet for all to see.

Bottom line is that unmoderated anonymous public comments are not ethical. They're hurtful. They're mean. They should not continue.

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This page contains a single entry by Jour 2101 published on November 28, 2010 2:29 PM.

We must take responsibility for our words was the previous entry in this blog.

Registration would make comment writers accountable is the next entry in this blog.

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