Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Moderation Is Coming

Rob Granatstein, the Toronto Sun's editor, Twittered this on Friday:

"Heading to an Ontario Press Council meeting. Should the press council have rules about online commenting on stories?"

Having viewed a wide variety of racist, libelous and downright guttural comments on media articles and, in YouTube's case, videos, host moderation is much needed across the board.Who is accountable for libel, slander and hate messages in the online abyss?

Well, if you're the website for a major newspaper the answer to this last question is "You are!", so I wouldn't be at all surprised if enhanced policing of comments doesn't come into effect within the next year or so, whether the mechanism is a press council or something else. At the very least, a paper's comments section should be swept every couple of hours for libellous material.


Ti-Guy said...

The racist, libellous, guttural commentary is bad enough, but the sheer imbecility is demoralising. I don't really see any journalistic value to much of that commentary; the writers don't even seem to read them.

Adam Curtis (the BBC documentary producer) has been decrying all the user-generated content that's infecting the news media and I tend to agree.

bigcitylib said...

That's probably why they don't get cleared. Reading the comments to just about any story on the Middle East (for example) causes you to lose your faith in human intelligence pretty quickly.

Ti-Guy said...

The CBC's the worst. And it actually outsources its comment moderation; it's probably being handled in some hovel in Bangalore.