The Deets vs. minnesota.cbslocal.com’s Comment Policies

Here is an example of the difference between the comment policies on The Deets vs. minnesota.cbslocal.com’s site:

minnesota.cbslocal.com Comment

That is a comment from someone using KKK within their username threatening to kill a black man who’s a person of interest in two recent local robberies. Get it? Someone who is black is kind of, maybe, suspected of something so KKKevin is volunteering to kill him via electric chair in the comments of a story on minnesota.cbslocal.com.

I grabbed the screenshot of the comment four hours after it was posted. Another hour later, it’s still up.

While this may be considered an acceptible comment on minnesota.cbslocal.com’s site, it would not fly on The Deets. In fact, it never would have gone live in the first place. Why? Because first time commenter’s comments are automatically held in moderation. This helps prevent spam from showing up on this site, and prevents the kind of rubbish you see every every day on minnesota.cbslocal.com, TwinCities.com and the StarTribune.com’s comments. If someone commented here using the name KKKevin with a post like that, it wouldn’t see the light of day.

It would be nice to see mainstream media sites raise to the bar set by bloggers. MinnPost.com manages to do it. Their standards for comments are very high (you must post under real first and last name), so KKKevin either posts, civilly, under his real name, or only comments where his hate speech is lackadaisical reactionarily policed, if at all.

For another example, check out the comments minnesota.cbslocal.com has allowed on a story about a woman that threatened to kill herself.

Horrible commenting policies attract horrible comments. Minnesota.cbslocal.com probably makes some proactive filtering efforts such as looking for common profane terms and the IP addresses of hardcore spammers. Regardless, minnesota.cbslocal.com has hosted this comment for 5 hours and counting.

Minneapolis.cbslocal.com does offer a “report comment” feature, which I did click, yet received no assurance that it actually does anything. One thing that would be cool is to see sites create credibility systems where news consumers would be trusted to clean up comments like this. My guess is that my clicking of the alert triggered an alert to some intern who’s going to make eventually make a judgment call. Or, perhaps the comment will be auto-removed if enough people click the link?

Better yet, minnesota.cbslocal.com could be proactive in their comment moderation in an effort to create a respectful community on their site. I imagine some people at minnesota.cbslocal.com would agree with that concept, while others think that the money derived from increase page views from racists justifies hosting hate speech.

It does make me wonder whether Ace Hardware, UPS, and Lennar realize that their ads are being shown alongside such rubbish.

Update 12:22am: Within 10 minutes of publishing this post, KKKevin’s comment was removed.

7 thoughts on “The Deets vs. minnesota.cbslocal.com’s Comment Policies”

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Deets vs. minnesota.cbslocal.com’s Comment Policies | The Deets -- Topsy.com
  2. I think contacting advertisers and sending them the screenshots would be a brilliant idea. I’ve written about the local comments that accompany the Denver Post and KUSA here in Denver over the past few years.

    I’ve argued that comment moderation is NOT censoring anybody, just keeping things on topic and respectful. I’d rather have someone filter the 10-20 best comments from both sides than wade through 50 pages of garbage and nonsense, which unfortunately highlights the worst of my city’s residents for all to see.

    But the media folks don’t seem to care much, because those that most incendiary comments and baiting posts return, along with their responders, multiplying the sites visit numbers. Sadly at the expense of respect and dignity.

    Since I wrote the below 9News.com has disabled comments on some articles. In randomly looking it seems most are either articles that have incited heated disrespectful debate in the past – or articles that are of a basic factual nature. (I also wrote that I don’t understand why a fact based “Dog bites Man” story even needs comments.)

    I’ll be eagerly watching for a response or follow up… Below are my two analyses from a while back:

    http://www.futuregringo.com/index.php/2008/07/08/it-would-be-fun-to-run-a-newspaper/
    http://www.futuregringo.com/index.php/2008/09/24/9news-and-comments/

  3. I meant to say “those that POST” incendiary comments return for more”

    Also call me the cynic — but when I see 25 front page articles every spring about cyclists, rights, sharing the road and what not it makes me think the newspaper staff is trolling for drama by calling the extremists out of the woodwork and onto the comment boards.

    Are articles being written for their value alone, or more so to instigate “discussion” among readers? If the latter, then the writer is under the influence to coerce the style and manner in which the original article is written in fishing for return commenters.

    It’s just manufacturing hostility – when by and large most cyclists and drivers are quite respectful to each other. (Just one issue example among religion, gays, immigration, etc etc)

    rant over. happy 6 years of blogging too.

  4. James, I think you’re right about topic selections around comment baiting. It seems similar to what drive-time radio hosts do when they can’t think of anything else to discuss: Just open the phones on unlimited rant topics like bad drivers, firing professional sports coaches, or gun control. Nothing is gained, but people stay tuned through the commercial to hear the next caller’s opinion.

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