Quotation of the month from Padraig Colman within a subsection entitled ‘Moderation in All Things”
However, most reputable websites have a moderation policy which forbids author abuse, obscene or offensive language and off-topic discussions. Only extreme libertarians would object to a website policing itself to eliminate hate speech that stirs up racial animosities. Whether a comment falls into any of those categories is determined by editorial judgement. Where do you draw the line between moderating and censorship?
The price paid for freedom of speech is that gangs of thugs, whose malevolence towards their fellow human beings is pathological, pseudonymously prowl the precincts of the internet. The people who moderate do not always know the difference and are, allegedly, sometimes part of the gangs. Someone has privately suggested to me that many of the pseudonymous trolls are actually fakes manufactured by the editors to drum up interest. An analysis of the UK Guardian’s on-line community by digital consultant Martin Belam suggests that debate is dominated by a tiny minority. (He estimated that a fifth of comments were left by just 0.0037% of the paper’s declared monthly audience.)
Freedom and Licence
I do not know Kath Noble well, but I would judge from her writing style that her skin must be at least as thick as mine although my head would be the thicker of the two of us. Those of us who spend a lot of time blogging get used to stupid attacks by people hiding behind a pseudonym. Such attacks are more damaging to the forum than to the writer….
This SEGMENT is taken from his “Citizen Journalism and the Numbers Game” in http://groundviews.org/2013/07/15/citizen-journalism-and-the-numbers-game.