Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Our Opinions Are "Awaiting Moderation" - Part 2

Last week I wrote a post concerning the GW Hatchet's blog commenting policy. The paramount concern: comments are subject to moderation when posted in response to stories appearing in the Hatchet's blog section. While I still believe that the moderation of comments hinder the integrity of a public forum, a recent email conversation with Eric Roper, the Editor in chief of the Hatchet, has settled some of my fears.

According to Roper, only editors and the Web Director have the authority to moderate comments. He added that in his tenure at the Hatchet he has never seen a comment edited in any way. In addition, as my reader Andrew pointed out, they did approve his comment rather quickly. Roper wrote that they accept criticism and even encourage it, which is the reason why they often post editorials and opinion pieces in the "blog" section.

For more justification as to why the Hatchet moderates their comments, Roper wrote the following:
Blogs are great because of their ability to foster discussion on a given issue. Occasionally, however, someone will post something profane or libelous about someone else, and we as an organization choose not to let those become part of our Web site. Just as we would not let anonymous and unchecked accusations into our paper, the same goes for our Web site. This also applies to mindless name calling -- which can reach critical mass during SA elections, for example.
I greatly appreciate Eric reading my post and replying with what I view as a thoughtful response. As I said before I still don't necessarily agree with their policy. Although admittedly some comment threads can get out of hand, each comment still contributes to the discussion, whether with merit or not.

Please express your opinions on this below! I promise they won't be moderated!


DC said...
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JanaB said...

Again typical. . . the Hatchet is scared. . . frankly that is why GW is truly in it's nice little wrapped up NW little bubble, where at any given time you can hear people in the bookstore saying things like "the money on my GWorld card is not REAL money. . . " Blogs in my opinion are just that. . opinions. When you have statistics and facts- site them. As far as comments go. . . fair game. The things I see on Youtube which maybe is a bad a example because it is not an elitist example, can be severely offensive, I think it is great! STOP TRYING TO BE SO POLITICALLY CORRECT HATCHET!