Monday, December 12, 2011

Comment Violation Test: Would you block or allow these comments?

To delete, or not to delete. That is the question.

The New Haven Register recently changed its comment policy in November so that every comment would be held for review by the newsroom before being posted to its website.

The comments our editors have been blocking from the website are ones they find violate the following rules of our newly established guidelines:

The Register does not permit:
  • Hate speech
  • Personal attacks
  • Profanities
  • Irrelevant sexual references
  • Libel
  • Spam
Going into this new process, we knew there would be challenging comments that aren't an easy "okay" or "foul." Especially, when the comment is on a heated topic or sensitive story, like the Joshua Komisarjevsky trial.

And that means we can't ever close the book on our comments policy. Like the United States Constitution, we need to continue exploring, evolving and addressing these guidelines with our readers in a democratic way, amending it as necessary.

So, lets take what we already started a bit further now.

What do you think about the following comments from this recent story about Komisarjevsky's jury recommending him for the death penalty?

The comments appear exactly as they were submitted to us, and some were kept from posting - but I won't tell you which ones. I'm not interested in whether you agree or disagree with what each comment says, but am curious on what you would allow as a comment moderator of this story.

There isn't anything spelled out in our guidelines which forbids the celebration of the death of another person. Should there be? Should it be different for people convicted of murder in court, such as Komisarjevsky? Your responses in this survey can help us determine how our moderators should approach these tough-to-call comments. You can also view how others responded after you complete the survey.

1 comment:

  1. I screened the comments and let all but two go; I'm probably a more liberal moderator than most.