Friday, April 30, 2010

After abuse, newspaper cuts comments

To hear social media "experts" talk about their area, the future belongs to "open journalism" from "citizen journalists," with no clouds in sight. One cloud, noticed by anyone who reads comments on blogs, comes from ignorant offensive posters. They were so offensive to the Lancaster newspapers chief Harold E. Miller Jr. that he cut off comments.

The Pennsylvania publisher said strict user guidelines and the installation of software to screen objectionable language was unable to stop misuse that "can no longer be tolerated," saying it included comments that were racist, "hateful, abusive and unacceptable comments about their neighbors, area residents and the Lancaster community at large."

My biggest concerns about New Media revolve not only around profitability for all but the few biggest operations, but about privacy and problems with civil discourse. Unfortunately, in Lancaster, civil discourse failed.