Daily Pilot To Tighten-up Comment Screening
In case you've not already read the commentary by Daily Pilot Editor John Canalis titled, "We're going to screen online comments", HERE, our local newspaper of record has decided to follow the Orange County Register's recent announcement about changing the way comments on their articles are handled. I wrote about the Register decision HERE.
REGISTER COMMENTS NOW MORE TAME - AND CIVIL
Regarding that Register move - requiring Facebook registration prior to posting a comment - the reaction was as predicted. The last time I looked at the comment thread on that article there were nearly 700 comments posted - and almost none were favorable. Apparently there eventually were just over 800 comments posted before the editors at the Register hit the "flush" lever and they disappeared down the tubes. There now appear a couple dozen fairly tame comments - which is probably a sign of things to come. And that's not bad, in my view.
Regarding the Daily Pilot decision to clamp down on comments - I do understand their problem. I've never understood why they exercised tight control over what appeared in print as a "letter to the editor" and virtually threw the door open for almost any kind of a comment online.
A NECESSARY STEP
I do know it takes a lot of time to review and approve comments before publication. I go through that process with this blog and the Daily Pilot deals with much, much greater numbers. However, this step was clearly necessary. The comment threads had gotten out of hand in recent months, to the point where many were almost unreadable.
STARTING NOW, AND "OOPS!"
So, beginning now, the editors will actually "edit" the comments. Writers can still use their old screen names and Canalis tells us they will not edit out stupidity (my phrase, not his), but will screen out other offensive stuff. As I type this really early Saturday morning I notice that, among the offensive things they will screen for is "cheap shorts". I'm sure he meant "cheap shots", but it made me smile.
PILOT COMMENTS WILL TAKE LONGER TO APPEAR
It will take longer for comments to appear now - I posted one on Canalis' article this evening and I don't expect to see it until sometime Saturday - if then. That's one of the problems with editing - it can break the flow of the discussion when editors just don't have time to review every comment quickly. It's a manpower issue.
WILL BE INTERESTING TO WATCH PLAY OUT
It's going to be very interesting to see how this, and the Register decision, plays out. I'm hoping for the best in both cases. And, as always, when you post comments on my blog they are subject to my review and approval before being published. Almost all comments submitted here get published. You know I will publish criticisms - I have since the beginning - but won't publish profanity and will view every comment carefully before publishing defamatory innuendo about anyone. That's the way it is, folks.