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Not his real e-mail

Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2007, at 11:31 AM

We try to keep an eye on profanity and vulgarity in the blogs and the comments which people leave on news stories. There's a mechanism by which people can flag such posts to bring them to the attention of myself and / or David Melson.

Well, we had a situation this week where one of my co-workers had really set someone off. When I checked the "Users" file, on my way to looking at the latest story comments, I noticed that a new reader account had been created by a user whose (obviously fake) e-mail address, which I can't repeat here, compared my co-worker to a part of the male anatomy.

At this point, I pondered what to do. The e-mail address that you enter when you sign up for a reader account never shows up on our public web site. It's helpful if we ever need to contact you; for example, I had to delete a comment once because it contained a rather innocent vulgarity, and I e-mailed the commenter to explain what had happened so that he or she would not think that it had anything to do with the views being expressed (and could, if he or she chose, re-post similar remarks without the vulgarity). But the e-mail for a normal reader account is not shared with others.

So the fake e-mail address wasn't going to offend our readers, because they'd never get the chance to see it. Even so, it was a vulgarity, it was an obvious fake address, and it seemed to indicate that the user was more interested in personal attacks than in civilized conversation. I went ahead and banned the account. The user may well re-register under some other name, but I still feel good about my decision.

Showing comments in chronological order
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And you should feel good about that decision.

-- Posted by sambntn on Wed, Sep 5, 2007, at 11:41 AM

thank you from me as well... I am enjoying the blogs and would hate it if they were discontinued because of a few bad apples.

-- Posted by DannysGal on Wed, Sep 5, 2007, at 5:22 PM

Appreciate that.

-- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Wed, Sep 5, 2007, at 10:07 PM

Thanks from me as well for monitoring the blogs. I'm happy that the T-G has the section available for comments and stuff. I read the DNJ and Tennessean online everyday as well as the T-G, and they monitor readers comments, too. There are some people who cannot resist the urge to attack others who post and it's good to see those out-of-line comments taken off the boards.

Keep up the good work!

-- Posted by k_collins39 on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 10:17 AM

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John I. Carney is city editor of the Times-Gazette.
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