Posting Comments

I took a few days off last week and spent a lot of time thinking about this blog – namely, how comments should be approved.

This is clearly an imperfect science. But I want to give you a chance to chime in and have your say.

Some discussions have come up on a blog about Amber Alerts as to what gets posted – and what doesn’t.

And just how do we choose what goes up – and what can’t?


Ultimately, it is this newspaper’s discretion as to what gets posted. But I am willing to post most comments EXCEPT for things are libelous or slanderous against individuals.

Again, this is an imperfect science: what you’d approve and not approve were you in our shoes may be different. But understanding the above concept, we can follow two basic options here for commenters we feel have breached said concept:

1. Edit the comment and do our best to preserve the point the blog commenter is trying to make;

or

2. Delete the comment completely.

I have chosen to go the route of option 1 since this blog was launched in December 2005. But now that we’ve been up and running for awhile, I wanted to make sure that everyone who frequently comments here supports it.

I can assure you that what has been edited was done so because we felt it was too inflammatory. The purpose of the blog is to encourage insightful and fruitful discussion – not give people a place to say hateful things.

So, I pose the question to you: would you rather we edit comments in an attempt to preserve the comment’s general tone and point, or just not post it all together? Or, do you see another option?

I’d love to hear what all of you have to say.

7 thoughts on “Posting Comments

  1. I would say delete it. If someone will be hateful to another than it does not need to be said. Remember the children’s saying: “if you don’t have something nice to say then don’t say anything at all”.

  2. In my opinion …whoever pays the bills for the blog in terms of time to edit/toss/whatever it is you want to do – do it.

    What do you want to accomplish with this blog, Josh? If you allow posts you, personally find distasteful… it won’t be a fun or interesting blog to monitor. Life is sometimes too short to waste it…

    Sometimes posters have a point but don’t know how to get it across well. Edit or toss or leave it?

    Consider the blog a temporary employee … try out each option you have and see what happens …
    Best wishes…
    Sharon O’Hara

  3. Welcome back Josh. I believe that blogs should be a part of public awareness. Sometimes news comes from sources that are not readily available to even the best reporters. Editing is necessary for the the sake of keeping things under control and sometimes for the sake of keeping someone from a poor choice statement that could come back to poke them in the eye later. I have had a great time on this blog. Even catching flack for not writing in a way all could understand what my point really was. You are one of the most competent journalists I know of so I say use your discretion and edit the way you see best serves all involved

  4. I’m all for letting the postings stand, unless they contain words that would be considered obscene. (Good luck figuring that out!) If there is someone who posts something that is clearly wrong or objectionable, it gives the rest of us an opportunity to respond and possibly educate the individual, give them something else to be aware of, or at least invite a lot of comment that we will all benefit from.

  5. This is so funny. My last post was just edited as has happened many times before. I use our own experience sometimes to get a point across or to explain the way things work in the criminal justice system in regard to a particular crime. I never mention names or get nasty and call people names like we have seen others do and I don’t tell lies. Everything I write about my story is in a court document, police report etc. What was edited this time is all a matter of record and a matter of fact. I suppose that since our experience involves another person we must consider that persons feelings. After all Class A violent strike felony cons have feelings too. In the last year I have told our story to more than 5,000 audience members, KOMO, KIRO, KITZ, several senators and representatives and committees in Olympia. So its O.K. by me if you want to edit my posts Josh. By the way, I see on some of the blogs and comments people posting the superior court records of named individuals. While those records look to be the conviction history, they are not. They are a history of charges. My own record says that there is a dissolution, however we made up and stayed married. So is posting a persons superior court record slanderous or libelous?

  6. I appreciate where you are coming from Nora. However, I believe that Josh edits our posts because he is trying to be considerate of everyone’s feelings. For instance, he knows you and I have a history in reference to my son. I appreciate that. Because much of what I have tried to respond in reference to your posts is because you have not actually stated all facts. You have had many opportunities in expressing yourself. I myself have been shut down. So be it. It is not a case of where I am protecting my son, it is a case of stating ALL facts. I know for a fact that if I were to state certain facts, it would be edited and not shown.

    I don’t for one moment approve of what my son did. I in fact, would like it known that everyone involved in this situation was NOT innocent as you want it shown.

    However, I appreciate what you do, I don’t appreciate having it rubbed in my face all the time. That is not the way to heal and move on in life.

  7. Michelle – Actually I have in the past stated many of the facts of the case to have them edited out in this forum. I have in my possession all police reports and investigation reports, collision reports, hospital reports, (a stack of paper measuring 13 inches tall) including the statements of every person who was able to speak to give a statement. I have all victim impact statements as well as verbatim court records (that I paid for), photographs and a death certificate. I even went to see the car after it was pulled out of evidence. There have been many rumors with this case but I have all the
    documentation and that is what I go by including the good bad and the ugly of my own life which I choose to share when it is appropriate. So having said that (and please Josh do not edit this out). I think that this is what you want the world to know Michelle, my son had 2ngm of THC in his system the night he was riding as a passenger in a vehicle driven by a person who was under the influence of alcohol and THC. There was a crash and my son was killed and another
    passenger was critically injured. The State Of Washington prosecuted the driver for Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assault, not me. There are no laws that make it illegal for passengers to be under the influence of
    anything. If there were then we would not be constantly asking people to have a sober driver if they are going to drink. My son made a terrible choice to get into a car with an impaired driver. If he would have come
    home that night there would have been hell to pay and the unlicensed impaired driver would have been reported. But of course that opportunity was not to be. I speak at victim impact panels and other venues on just this
    subject and I do state the facts including who provided the pot, and its not who you think. I tell about my own past of alcoholism and recovery and my arrest for DUI 9 years
    ago and I tell about the troubles and trials that my own son faced in his short life. I do it because I feel that if just one person ‘gets it’ then maybe a life will be saved. Maybe someone who suffers from addiction will
    find strength and hope to recover. Maybe someone will make the choice to not
    get into a car with an impaired driver or make the choice to not drive impaired. I’m nobody special as there are approximately 17,000 victims killed because of impaired drivers every year in the U.S. I just don’t want
    there to be any more. Impaired driving is a choice – not a mistake, and so is getting in a car with an impaired driver. Sometimes people die for it.
    Activism is my way to heal. Every victim family is different and deals with their grief in their own way and in their own time. Forgiveness is between me and my maker. It is not my intention to rub anything in anyones face. But I’m not going to go away either. My son’s voice was silenced forever. I will continue to do what I can to prevent this tragedy from happening to another family and I will do it in honor of my son and all those who are killed and injured by impaired driving.
    Yesterday I was in Olymipia and testified to the Dept. of Corrections and the Committee on Work Release and Offender Re entry. It was a live telecast on TVW and can be viewed at TVW.org I use our story and what is happening now to bring awareness to our law makers in an effort to fix a broken system and to demand consideration of the victims of violent crime and their families. This subject goes way beyond drunk driving. Violent offenders including sex offenders are being released into our communities. They get their reduced sentences and then on top of that they go to work release for up to 6 months which is considered a part of their INCARCERATION OF PRISON or JAIL sentence. This is in some cases releasing violent offenders of all crimes into the community after serving less than half of their sentence. There are bills and efforts going on in Olympia to provide up to one year of a violent offenders sentence to be served in work release facilities. If this happens many will spend NO TIME in prison or jail despite what a judge may sentence according to the guidelines. And as much as I believe in rehabilitation there is also such a thing as punishment and accountability for violent crime offenders.

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