Wednesday, September 05, 2007

the Bee needs to block comments, obvs

Some in our fair-going party remarked on how dangerous the bungee cord ride thingy appeared to be and they were right...and look at the unsurprisingly racist comments on this article. Why oh why oh why will the Bee not block these comments?

Here are some other comments from hateful "tungsten". He's quite skilled at saying racist, homophobic things without using words that will get him flagged.

Renowned Yale singing group attacked in San Francisco
Tungsten at 3:47 PM PST Wednesday, January 10, 2007 wrote:
Gay Tolerance? Not for Straights!
There's the Gay militants for you. The same ones who continually call for Gay marriage and attempt to trump the will of the people. San Francisco values, you can have 'em

oh, and sexist, too

Equally gifted at gab?
Tungsten at 1:57 PM PST Friday, July 6, 2007 wrote:
It must be...............
Due to the feminization of the American male. Women finally henpecked the men enough that they too constantly and senselessly jabber. Let's all shaaaare!!!! And, by the way, your hair looks soooo cute!!! And those shoes!!! What about dancing with the stars?


deeann said...

I've been thinking that for a while for news sites, especially if there is a violent incident or death or accident. News sites are not blogs though the line has been getting blurrier.

I'm generally pretty critical of news overall (a different topic) but as far as comments go, while the news reporting agencies *may* think they are being more "open" with the public weighing in on an incident/issue and it's more of a two-way street it also tends to bring out those with armchair detective speculation before all the facts come in, "blame the victim mentality" and yes, a lot of racism, sexism and class-ism.

And when there is a death or severe injury there always seem to be some people responding in the comments writing hurtful things that just *don't seem to care* that the relatives and/or friends of the person(s) involved are reading what they wrote.

Anonymous said...

while tungsten (and many others) are ridiculous and annoying, they still have the right to have and express their opinions, same as you (and i) have the right to disagree with them and call them assholes and pricks.
but i'd be pissed and sad if the bee started editing their comments for just the content one person wants to see.

Anonymous said...

newspapers shouldn't remove comments that offend people, however, they should reserve the right to remove ALL anonymous comments and aggressively prune them.

If you want to be a douchebag, fine, but do it under your real name.

deeann said...

It pretty easy to hide under an anonymous user name while asserting rights to free speech. And when some jerk passes an accident, shooting or funeral why do they not yell out some of the lame-assed crap that gets posted in the comment sections of the news sites? Oh wait- someone might find out who they actually are.

And yes, everyone has a right to say anything they want, that's what personal blogs, social networking sites and message boards are for. Not the news "paper".

And there is a difference between being ridiculous and annoying and deliberately hurtful to a family or friends in pain.

As far as editing feedback- when "Letters to the Editor" is used, they *do* edit. I had one fairly mangled several years back (not that I was happy about it), but that still doesn't make a valid case of pretty much "anything goes" when it comes to the peanut gallery comments on news sites.

Anonymous said...

There's always the idiots that think freedom of speech means all entities should be forced to "publish" (print, post, whatever) absolutely everything, which is absurd. Newspapers, blogs, etc., get to choose what to publish, period. As deeann points out, there are lots of other outlets for people to say/write whatever the heck they want. Freedom of speech does not mean unfettered access to everyone else's publications, it just means you are free to publish it yourself or speak it in public (with the usual "yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater" exceptions). Especially nowadays with the internet (including video sites), desktop publishing, etc., it's incredibly easy for anyone to get their speech out to the public. I would have problems with the government or the internet gatekeepers preventing access to certain speech/speakers, but the Bee can make whatever choices they want for their site. They choose to publish hate speech, which reflects very poorly on them.

Anonymous said...

The Bee shouldn't edit the comments, they should just get rid of them. They didn't have them before & I doubt there was some giant demand to start them up. I'm guessing the only reason they're there is to make the articles seem more blog-like. It makes the articles seem more a living breathing thing that you check back on. But seeeing as 99% of the time they devolve in to personal attacks, arguments & racist crap, I think maybe it can be retired as a failed experiment. And it's not just The Bede's comments - it's newspapers around the world.


Jeff M. said...

I disagree.

I don't think Tungsten's speech is so inflammatory or reprehensible that it ought to be stifled.

I'm very wary of calls for the stifling of speech because some may find it offensive. Look how well Bush, Cheney, et al. have used this same tactic to keep the media from questioning its war mongering. The Democrats can't even tell the American people that the situation in Iraq is a hopeless clusterfuck, because it might hurt the troop's feelings.

beckler said...

nonononononononononnononon-you're not getting what we're saying. stupid ol' tungsten can start a blog and say whatever the fuck he wants and i'll never care. i'm just lamenting the lowering of the journalistic standards of the bee to blog levels. and the fact that the bee DOES censor some of the comments obviously, due to profanity, or even in my case on the ridic whale thing, they censored it because it was off topic. so the fact that they are blocking some content, but are allowing lightly veiled racist, sexist, and homophobic comments on is a tacit endorsement by the Bee. that's what I can't stand. I would never say that for instance, craigslist, should take rants and raves down, because that's the appropriate forum for anonymous jerks to flame each other, the towns only newspaper is not the appropriate forum!

Jeff M. said...

I hear what you are saying, beckler, and I'm not arguing that tung has an inalienable right to comment on the Bee's thread. I'm arguing that the idea that someone's speech should be stifled merely because it is offensive is wrongheaded in and of itself.

I don't think the Bee should take down the threads. Print media is dying; online is where the future lies, and comment threads are a part of online culture.

werenotdeep said...

"I don't think the Bee should take down the threads. Print media is dying; online is where the future lies, and comment threads are a part of online culture."

So basically, you think the information superhighway should be a constant, incomprehensible traffic jam.

archbishop said...

I completely do not understand how the Bee moderates comments. All my wise and witty comments never get posted.

For a while, I thought it was because I use to fake register since it's an annoyance to have to sign up to read news. They kicked off the account I registered for real (probably because I used their address as my address).

Now I have another account with another fake address. Comments I make never get posted although it's usually, "Hey you people, didn't your mother teach you any manners?"

I thought it was the comments that make Sacramento look bad, but now I think it's Sacramentans making Sacramento look bad.

Liv Moe said...

Whenever you enable anonymous posts you're gonna get a bunch of wack jobs who want to use it as a chance to voice a bunch of ridiculous BS. My guess is that The Bee uses it to help drive readership. Sadly, pandering to the lowest common denominator is nothing new.

Anonymous said...

"while tungsten (and many others) are ridiculous and annoying, they still have the right to have and express their opinions, same as you (and i) have the right to disagree with them and call them assholes and pricks.
but i'd be pissed and sad if the bee started editing their comments for just the content one person wants to see."
that was me, just for all you jackasses flipping out because i forgot to sign my name.
-i don't think that people should be forced to publish everything others have to say, hence the newspapers, magazines, etc choosing which letters to print in 'letter to the editor' (just as an example before all you reactionaries freak the fuck out). but if you're going to have a comments section open to anyone online (in a news media that is essentially in blog format), they should be left as they are. if they don't want these comments, then comments should be nonexistent.
-i didn't use the words 'free speech' anywhere; at this point this nation those words are essentially meaningless.

Anonymous said...

the bee is choosing which comments to display, so they deserve to be criticized for the choices they make. either let them all through, preferably not allowing any to post anonymously, or remove the comments altogether.

Anonymous said...

hey jackass, that was my point from the start.

typographica said...

I think they either need to block all comments or none. I have no problem with banning ALL feedback - if people have something constructive to say they can send a letter to the editor.

It's un-American, though, to censor particular views that we don't like, no matter how virulent.