You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘news comments’ tag.

Before you balk at the title of this post, hear me out. I have written in the past about the cloak of anonymity worn by trolls and how it allows them to run rampant on the internet with no real accountability or repercussions for their actions. I know firsthand the issues that can and often do arise as a result. Believe me.

I’ve  been dealing with this for some time working for traditional news organizations and being directly involved with user comments. User comments on news stories can be vicious and vile.  We happen to have moderators at my current company so our comments are a bit more tame. I oversee the team of moderators charged with approving and disapproving comments in real time and they do a great job.

There is some benefit to allowing screen names. Actually there is a need for anonymity in journalism. We need people to provide tips and leak information so corruption can be exposed.

We want the person who knows the bank robber or who saw the hit and run to step forward. Anonymity has often led to justice. It has brought down corporations, resulted in putting criminals behind bars and would-be serial rapists where they belong. Whistle blowers are very important in our society and anonymity allows a certain safety needed for many people to come forward.

The university or state employee  that can post an internal document on a news  site anonymously can make a big difference and be a great service to a community.

So as much as I hate what anonymity can produce online , let’s not forget about why it is still important. You can’t always put your face behind your message and that’s okay.

Transparency is the buzzword of the moment, but not everything belongs out in the open.

Remember, Deep Throat?

Share

I was one of three guests on WRAL’s new talk show, “On the Record” which aired on the CBS affiliate in Raleigh this week.

The topic: The Decline of Civility. I was asked about some of the comments posted on news stories and talked a bit about the dynamics of anonymous posting.
It’s a 30-minute show, longer than what most of us like to watch online, but it’s an interesting conversation and I wanted to share it with you here on my blog.

Oh, and don’t think for one minute that the members of the community I manage didn’t see it.  So far there have been two blogs posted about it.  One was all about how nervous I looked, and a comment in the second blog post indicated that I am living in a fantasy believing that things will get better without me putting forth any effort.  I’m going to have to let that one go for now….

At any rate, here’s the link to the video:

On the Record: The Decline of Civility

Let me know what you think, okay?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Subscribe in a reader

This is the question I wanted to ask the woman who called asking me to remove a comment, actually several comments, she’d posted on a news story.

Wait, let me be honest and tell you that after a ten minute conversation I did ask her that question. And her answer, though lame, is a common answer provided by those who experience commenter’s remorse and go to great lengths to find the person who can actually remove them –  ME.  First they email, then they call. The call comes first if the comment is particularly troublesome.

The woman I’m talking about in this instance said she was caught up in the moment and couldn’t help herself.  Yes, go back and read that sentence again. She couldn’t help herself from posting a comment that could possibly jeopardize her job. She’d posted some telling information on a crime story about the suspect, and guess what? She had that information because she works at the hospital where he was treated.

Some common sense in this situation would have gone a long way.

It would not have taken Nancy Drew to solve that case had it become an issue or if it leaked that the information was on the site.

Since this woman was nearly in tears, I removed all four of the comments, but not before encouraging her to be more careful and making her understand that it was a complete courtesy on my part because it is not our policy to remove comments  and we are not obligated to honor her request.

But in this economy, I don’t want to see anyone lose their job and if I could do my part by removing four comments, so be it.

But just when I thought she understood my message and would take heed, she asked me to ban her account completely because she couldn’t be sure she wouldn’t do it again.

I was floored.

Can we get a little self-control with  that common sense?

RELATED POSTS

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Subscribe in a reader

Get my Book

A must read - 18 rules of Community Engagement

My Twitter Updates

August 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Just so you know

This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.

del.icio.us

StatCounter

hits counter

Blog Stats

  • 107,357 hits
View Angela Connor's profile on LinkedIn Subscribe to me on FriendFeed
Clicky

Top Rated