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Blog and story comments

Posted Tuesday, February 17, 2009, at 9:34 AM

We have gotten a flurry of complaints in the past few days about various blog and story comments, and I've probably killed more comments in the past week than in all the previous months we've had story comments. I don't know what has brought some of this on, but there are a few things we need to make clear.

There have been far, far too many personal attacks in recent weeks. Much of this can be attributed to two or three specific commenters, at least two of whom have been warned that they are in danger of having their accounts terminated. This forum is for discussion of issues, not for personal attacks. If you have to call someone a name to make your point, then you either don't have a very good point or you don't have the skills to defend it logically. Come back when you can debate and discuss like an adult.

Many of you are familiar with the term "troll," but some of you may not be. It refers to someone who deliberately starts arguments on an Internet message board or forum, not because they actually want or expect to change anyone's mind, but just because they like doing so. If you believe someone to be a troll, ignore them. Period. Any other response is just going to encourage them.

Enforcement of our Terms of Service ( http://www.t-g.com/help/legal/ ) is, at least in part, complaint-driven. There is no possible way we could read every comment as soon as it's posted, which would be a 24-hour-a-day job. The fact that we haven't deleted a comment doesn't automatically mean we agree with it, approve it or want it to remain. It may just mean that we haven't seen it and that no one has called it to our attention. We've had several people take us to task for not having removed this comment or that one, when in fact we hadn't even seen the commment in question.

By the same token, we sometimes have people ask us to remove comments that aren't out-of-bounds. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean their message should be deleted.

It goes without saying that any time we delete a comment or warn someone about their comments, they immediately assume that it's because we're biased towards the other side of whatever argument is taking place. It's not.

Use of the T-G's comment forums is dependent on compliance with our Terms of Service. We welcome a vigorous discussion, but we ask our commenters to behave as if they were adults.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I guess my info on how to receive the Tennessean was offensive to some. (smile)

-- Posted by titansfan on Tue, Feb 17, 2009, at 9:46 AM

Go to McDonald's and ask them to hand out Burger King coupons and see how far you get. (smile)

-- Posted by Jicarney on Tue, Feb 17, 2009, at 10:24 AM

titansfan, please e-mail me.

mcgees@rcs.k12.tn.us

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Tue, Feb 17, 2009, at 10:30 AM

Just had to rib you about that one, no biggie. I didn't even give it a thought when I posted anything on here. Guess I just never really looked at it as a competition or anything, I always read the TG cause it is my local paper.

-- Posted by titansfan on Tue, Feb 17, 2009, at 11:15 AM

Hear you loud and clear. I have been throughly scorned. Respectfully yours, Troll

-- Posted by truckindaddy on Tue, Feb 17, 2009, at 3:32 PM

When we volunteer to do these blogs or to comment on them, we probably should expect some negative feedback.

-- Posted by michaelbell on Tue, Feb 17, 2009, at 4:15 PM

We all should use some courtesy and common sense.

Anything less hurts everyone who enjoys a vigorous exchange of ideas.

All it would take is a few rude people (ork or not) to deprive everyone of knowledge,stimulating interaction and the chance to make a difference by speaking their mind.

Some places refuse to let folks speak when they have legitimate points to make.

Should we reward the TG for taking a chance on us by convincing them that we're more surly than savvy?

-- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Feb 17, 2009, at 6:25 PM

"you're going to be sure to have more things reported so long as Brian Mosely uses the Times Gazette as a Republican talking point's bulletin instead of something informational and legitimate.

-- Posted by in the garden on Tue, Feb 17, 2009, at 3:53 PM"

I figured that was your purpose here, to spout off the "Liberal talking points".

Seriously though, there are plenty of blatantly liberal publications out there masquerading as "newspapers" with "journalists". It is a refreshing change to have a newspaper with both liberal and conservative journalists rather than one that is totally slanted.

-- Posted by Thom on Tue, Feb 17, 2009, at 6:57 PM

It would be nice to see you put a different journalist on this topic of immigrants John.

Why let one person single-handedly discredit your newspaper by reporting biased and factually inaccurate garbage? He should AT LEAST mention that Tyson employs 1,300 people in Bedford County and a majority of those are BEDFORD County natives... Accurate reporting seems to escape your staff.

-- Posted by nascarfanatic on Tue, Feb 17, 2009, at 9:49 PM

in the garden - Actually, the content of some comments that you've left on the T-G site mean you're a liberal in my opinion...pro-abortion=liberal, voted for Obama=liberal. I've got no problem with liberals. I've got several friends that are and we have some very in-depth conversations. The difference is that they're not the type of liberals that get offended by being called what they are. That would be as stupid as me being offended by being called a conservative. If that offends you, then I am sorry that you are so easily offended.

As for Brian's "open bias" goes, objective journalism is an extremely rare thing anymore, or have you never read any of the major newspapers around the world?

-- Posted by Thom on Tue, Feb 17, 2009, at 11:04 PM

When I was younger I always saw myself as Liberal I have always been pro-choice, pro-gay marriage always thought those who could not help themselves needed our help. I thought the elderly deserved more than they ever got out of life. I protested war and marched to protest the Vietnam war. But the definition of Liberal has changed over the years..I do not like to be classified as a Liberal any more it seems the Liberal does not look into the future of Americans or the American way of life. They do not see the harm in the things they push. They do not see we are losing our freedom by letting the government control our very lives. They seem to be the new age Robin Hoods..taking from one group to give to another. I can not condone anything that hurts my country so with that consideration I feel I am no longer a Liberal. When someone cares more about the mussels in the bottom of a lake than they do about families having water..I am not a Liberal. Although I do not consider myself a conservative either because I still hold some of those Liberal views from the past..maybe I just grew up and realized if we do stand beside our brother and sister Americans and our Country then who the heck will?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Feb 17, 2009, at 11:50 PM

Dianatn,

Liberals,fundamentalists,conservatives,etc. have been reduced to empty stereotypes.

In reality,people aren't limited to a pre-programmed" party line."

They have the wit and will to shape the groups they belong to as much as those affiliations influence them.

They can make sure there's no disconnect between their values and the labels they wear by changing to fit whatever definitions the world tries to impose on their lives or they can walk away from any thing that doesn't match their needs and perspectives.

"Liberals" who have common sense and morality and "conservatives" who are open-minded and open-hearted don't need to run off when they find themselves being recast as villains.

They can dig in and let the other guys run off.

Why should the negative crowd co-opt whatever they like and affect how those things are viewed?

If that's allowed,the rest of us might take over the KKK and Nazi party and turn them into the affirmative organizations they were before their corruption.

Maybe,some of us could infiltrate Satanic cults and introduce critical thinking and agape' the way the enemy has tainted so many do-gooders' groups with stridency,apathy,hypocracy and muddled thinking.

Whether we defect and turn to something that fits our beliefs or seek to restore former glory,we can't let disillusionment and cynicism cause us to abandon our ideals.

They're still valid and will remain so whether we work for them from the right side of the spectrum or the left.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Feb 18, 2009, at 4:20 AM

Excellent point quantumcat . . . I consider myself moderate because I see both the good and the bad in both liberal and conservative ideology. I do not believe in abortions but I have no problems with gay marriages. I prefer to take the facts at hand and make my own decisions and not float along on political party lines or rhetoric.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Wed, Feb 18, 2009, at 7:01 AM

You guys really crack me up...this blogs explains why some comments got cut and asks that you turn the other cheek and be adult and some of you turn it into a forum to continue to disagree about "liberal and conservative ideology" and "biased reporting" among other things.

Wow....We all have opinions and it's good that everyone has a place to voice them, but please don't allow your disagreements to grow so overwhelming that the commenting will have to be cut off completely.

For example recently, I am glad Dave Lodge became a citizen and it is nice to see people he doesn't know congratulating him. I like to read other peoples comments, even if I do not agree with them.

Make your opinions known, but please be respectful of what others think and say.

-- Posted by brown eyed girl on Thu, Feb 19, 2009, at 12:24 PM

There's a problem with your suggestion,in the garden.

If the paper stifles its reporters' less popular comments and won't print any of its readers' views,then how are we to know what dangerous ideas are festering in our community?

How do we find out about the level-headed folk and the knowledge they posess?

I despise the boring and distasteful bickering and absurdity that show up in our blogs sometimes but I'm willing to endure the heat rather than lose the light.

If we didn't have the comments here,how would folks know of you or the rest of us?

(Maybe Marilyn Ewing could give us a "Round Table" or "Capital Gang" but we'd lose our "secret identities" in the process.)

The breadth and depth of what the T-G offers may not suit everybody but it has managed to irk a few people of all mindsets.

(That has to mean they're doing something right.)

I hope the journalists do spend their time keeping us informed.

I hope we can continue to comment so they know we're paying attention and have our own ideas.

(We can keep one another honest.)

As for the advertisers,the ones with good products and services would want to approach customers with intelligence and high standards.

The ones who want gullible pawns won't appreciate a paper or its readers that might examine a product (or an idea) before they buy it.

If that kind of vendor boycotts the T-G for harboring thinking people,they deserve to fold due to lack of business.

The fact that some banal,unimpressive,disjointed and irritating statements appear shows that the Times-Gazette isn't doing too much censoring of what we post.

The fact that a number of especially foolish and hateful comments never see the light of day shows that the paper has no intention of letting a few troublemakers deny the majority of readers a voice.

We might wish that the paper would do more to keep us from being stupid in public but that might deny folks some important truths,as well.

If we show our support for fair and incisive reporting and are good stewards of our right to comment,then,perhaps,our paper won't devolve into a bland shopper or a tabloid based on bread-and-circuses.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Thu, Feb 19, 2009, at 1:03 PM

Noted! The Times-Gazette has done a wonderful thing giving the citizens of Bedford County a forum to discuss issues absolutely free. Let us not mess it up.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Sat, Mar 7, 2009, at 1:43 AM


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