Backspin FrontPage
Backspin FrontPage
HonestReporting.com
Media Backspin
About Media Backspin Contact Media Backspin Media Backspin
  Media Backspin
Backspin FrontPage
 
 
 
Media Backspin RSS Feed   [ About RSS ]
 
Subscribe with Bloglines
 
Add to My AOL
 
Subscribe in Bloglines
 
Subscribe to MyMSN
 
 
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
 
Add to Google Reader or Homepage
 
ARCHIVES January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010
 
 
Media Backspin
« Passover Pause Button | Main | Book Reviewer's Background, Biases Need To Be Declared »

Tuesday, April 6 2010

Cleaning Up Comment is Free

Katharine Viner is slated to take over The Guardian's Comment is Free section. CiF Watch is disturbed for a number of reasons, including the fact that Viner co-wrote the controversial paean, "My Name is Rachel Corrie."

Shortly before I took off for Passover, Haaretz interviewed Matt Seaton, the editor of The Guardian's Comment is Free section. It was a disappointing puff piece that didn't touch on the cess-pool of anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing freely posted at CiF.

Newspapers have to take responsibility for incitement and hatred posted on their web sites. Balancing free speech with responsibility with what's practical for moderating thousands of comments is no mean feat.

Don't overlook this, but better newspapers are mulling how to rake out the muck from reader comments.

Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn made some buzz in recent days by proposing what he calls "pseudonymity" (a consistent screen name linked to a profile including limited background info).

And Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander raises a tiered system that would group comments posted by trusted readers separately from off-topic, anonymous or invective comments. Both suggestions have their appeal.

Strictly speaking, comment isn't really free. Every day, I invest varying degrees of time moderating comments on Backspin. This means screening out comment spam, trolls, inappropriate language, anything that, if posted, could lead to legal trouble. On occasion, I also get messages clearly not intended for publication.

Bottom line: Web technology means talk is cheap. As Zorn and Alexander point out, comments don't have to be a free-for-all. Will Viner clean up CiF, or make it even more polarizing? Stay tuned . . .

 

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d834515b7869e20133ec7dc68c970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Cleaning Up Comment is Free:



 

Comments

HR Links


HR Social Media


Featured Blogs


Featured Links

 
Media Backspin