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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Idiots ruined your right to comment on Saratoga Springs fatal hit-and-run

On Friday, The Saratogian removed all the comments on the story about the fatal St. Patrick's night hit-and-run and blocked any more comments from being entered.
Why?
A few heartless jerks whose repeated comments were over the line of civil discourse. Freedom of speech is a Constitutional guarantee from government intervention in the working of the press. It does not require that every monkey who can type be given a soapbox through their local media company. (Not sure why I'm picking on monkeys.)
We do our best at The Saratogian to keep up with the reported abuse, which come as e-mail alerts. But it was too much to keep up with the unreasonable, abusive nastiness that had to be removed, one stupid comment at a time.
So the privilege is gone.
I appreciate the frustration of those of you who have something constructive to say. Not so much for people like ah6912@yahoo.com who responded to the removal of the comments with the admonition to "open up you d-bags" and "you suck." Thanks. Your opinion means a lot to me. Not.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way I see it is, you gotta do what you gotta do. I agree with your decision. I wrote the editorial Blogging Without Thinking because of such disregard for others. Decision OK with me.

Norm Boyea

March 29, 2010 at 12:40 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rules 2 and 3:
2) Be polite.
3) Don't hate.

Seams like the managing editor does not understand her own rules. Where is the report abuse button?

April 1, 2010 at 8:00 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Barb, you know whose opinion we don't want to hear? Yours. How do the managing hacks at the company still employ you? That paper has been sinking for 30 years and the once constant is you. There is plenty of blame to go around at that rag, but you are problem number one and that paper will be considered a joke in the community as long as you are in a position to do damage.

April 2, 2010 at 11:16 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you read the comments that are entered after stories in the newspaper you can come to the conclusion that the end of civilization has come. People like the person before me hide behind their anonymity and just spew poison. It is just depressing. You made the right call. I think the option to comment should just be removed.

April 2, 2010 at 5:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah its fine that the comments were shut down. But why call people 'idiots, monkeys, and heartless jerks.' Those words are not used in civil discourse. Maybe this monkey doesn't need a soap box (i.e. this stupid blog).

So tired of hipocrisy from people who think they are righteous.

April 3, 2010 at 2:50 AM 
Blogger Fresh Ink said...

You are right, if I am trying to promote civil discourse, I should set a better example by not calling people idiots, monkeys and heartless jerks -- even if they are anonymous contributors who are, as one commentor apty noted, spewing poison.

April 9, 2010 at 3:18 PM 

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