This, I must say, was a truly wonderous and pleasant surprise — The Charleston Gazette shared these words with the public yesterday:
So, to create a more constructive and civil setting for readers, we’re making a few changes. Comments will no longer appear immediately, but will show up after they have been reviewed and approved. Also, we will be more selective about comments that we approve.
We welcome wit and wisdom and, yes, dissent, but personal attacks, remarks in poor taste or those overly critical or irrational will not be published. We encourage you to keep posting. We just ask that you keep it civil.
When I checked the link just now there were 49 comments on the new policy already. As one might expect, there is a balance of “Hallelujah” and “I’m calling the ACLU!”
Esse Diem examined this issue earlier this month, and at the time it was one of the blog’s most-read posts. The newspaper should be commended for refusing to cave to online bullies and cowards, and for creating consistency between standards for its print and online comment policies. Those who cry censorship need to do some reading on what that actually is, and how the First Amendment is involved regarding freedom of the press.
I can’t even address how ludicrous it is to compare government censorship of journalists with a newspaper voluntarily setting civility standards for itself…….hopefully this sentence is sufficient to convey my thoughts.
It’s no small thing what the paper has done. On behalf of a society weary from being bashed about the head by angry, irrational people looking to validate their behavior, thank you.
(p.s. Today I updated the “Who” page on this blog as a way of meeting my own challenge to be more transparent online. It’s no longer a disclaimer of who I’m not, and lot more about who I am. I hope you enjoy!)