Editorial: Our take on Web site comments
For months now, we at the Daily Globe have enabled visitors to our Web site, www.dglobe.com, to comment on articles they read there. On most occasions, commenters offer insightful points of views on our stories, and we believe many visitors to ou...
For months now, we at the Daily Globe have enabled visitors to our Web site, www.dglobe.com , to comment on articles they read there. On most occasions, commenters offer insightful points of views on our stories, and we believe many visitors to our Web site enjoy reading the comment threads (the streams of comments that have been posted for each article).
Unfortunately, there are some individuals who appear to use the commenting forum as a platform for spouting forth personal attacks, vulgarity and downright disrespect. This is one reason the Web site comments are monitored (not 24/7, but on frequent occasions throughout the day) -- so we can do our best to ensure that comments remain on topic to the stories themselves, don't degenerate into a flurry of personal attacks that stray from the article, and most importantly don't include libelous information.
We have a disclaimer with each comments thread that reads, in part: "... we reserve the right at all times to check this board and to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us in our sole discretion. ... We also reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions."
People have complained on occasion that these conditions are vague or ambiguous. We don't think there's anything unclear about asking for truth and civility.
We urge people to post their comments on stories, and to not fear that we will remove a comment because it may be controversial in nature. There's a difference, of course, between a controversial comment and a libelous one, just as there is a difference between criticizing, for example, a government official and calling him or her a name.
We feel a substantial majority of online readers understand all of the above. To those who for whatever reason may not, we have two words for you: Please behave.