Thursday, 28th February 2013
SHOULD WEBSITES CURB READER COMMENTS? – I have never yet to come across a website that does not have lengthy ‘Terms of Service’ agreement. Most of never get read, in fact when looking at the Meebal.com page view statistics, ‘TOS’ has been viewed just once and for a period of less than 30 seconds.
While websites deal in a multitude of subjects, from home improvement to the news, there are always going to be cases where some people like to leave rather unsettling, and in many cases, unnecessary derogatory comments.
At Meebal.com with use the DISQUS system for reader comments and this does allow us to carefully monitor what is being said.
When it comes to reporting the news, and other subjects, there appears to be a very fine line as to what is deemed a legitimate comment or view point to those which are racist, sexist, and discriminatory and so forth.
I was reading an article on the Daily Mail the other day and notice at the bottom that the comments board was closed. It merely stated; ‘We are unable to take comments due to legal reasons.’ I’m a bit confused here – what possible legal reasons could there be? Surely publishing an article that carries possible breaches in the law should not have been published in the first place.
I am sometimes extremely frustrated when I spend time reading an article only to find that I cannot comment on it. What happened to my democratic right to Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Expression?
Just 15 minutes ago I was reading a piece of news on how a Thai was ripped off by a foreigner. Now for those of you who are unfamiliar with the Thais or Thailand let me enlighten you a little. It is well known, to any tourist, that has been to Thailand that the Thais like to rip-off tourists and this is often achieved through a number of scams, some of which, such as the Taxis, are openly supported by the local authorities. There is of course a lot more, but the bones of this matter is that Thais, in general, will take pretty much any opportunity available to rip a tourist off – it’s the reason tourism is dying in places such as Phuket.
Below the article were a number of comments; however the Editor is known for berating readers who step over the line or produce comments that he doesn’t agree with. Today was a classic example where he openly berated a long time reader and commenter for his views, although he wouldn’t publish those views for everyone else to see if the Editor was either right or wrong to exclude the comment.
I did leave the Editor a comment asking him why and also asking him if he feels he has the right to suppress a comment simply on the basis that he disagrees with it.
One thing I am sure of and that is there are always going to be those people who simply want to be derogatory towards others, we term these individuals as ‘trolls’. However when a comment is legitimate, whether you agree with it or not, should it be allowed to be published?
I started meebal.com with the express intend of allowing myself and others to write about the news and give their personal opinions on what is published. To date, I am thankful to say, I have never once removed nor restricted any comment, unless it has been an obvious case of ‘spam’ or ‘trolling’.
I believe and always will do, that we should have the right to freely voice our opinions and whether I like those opinions or not, as a purveyor of news, I must respect the opinions of others and uphold the rights of others to freely express themselves.
You views may differ and you are, as always, welcome to leave your opinions below or indeed register and write about news that you want to be known.