We hear you. Thanks for chiming in.
Our website and Facebook comments reached a new level of activity this year as people have chimed in on COVID-19 and all the issues surrounding it, local budget matters, roadwork and local incidents with national implications.
We support this free flow of thoughts and opinions – with some caveats – and we hope you do, too.
The process for comments to be seen differs on our two main online platforms.
On Facebook, comments are automatically shown unless they include certain derogatory language your parents probably told you not to say.
On the website, no comment is automatically seen, but instead goes to our site as a comment pending approval. Our editorial leadership then reviews them as often as we can and we approve comments so long as they meet our guidelines of no foul language and no personal attacks.
While there is a way to mark a comment as abusive, multiple people have to flag a post for us to be able to review the post and determine whether or not to deny it.
So, if you post a comment and don’t see it within a few hours, it’s either because it has not yet been approved by us – most likely – has been denied by us, or has been reported as abusive by enough other commenters.
We understand tempers flare on controversial stories (COVID-19 mask mandates) and it’s your right to strongly disagree with someone else’s opinion, but we urge you to keep it civil. However, in the interest of a key tenet of the First Amendment which gives us the protection to do our job, we also refrain from denying most comments unless they have nothing to do with the story – scams often fall into this category – or level personal attacks, especially those we cannot verify as being truthful. Personal attacks are specific claims, such as saying a member of the community is engaging in criminal activity, not simply saying someone is lying or stupid.
By the way, we don’t see comments disparaging us as abusive either. We’ve approved the term “Emptyprise” so many times it often elicits a chuckle.
And above all else, we believe the best way to make comments at least a bit more civil and credible is to post under your actual name. It’s the standard we hold ourselves and our sources to.
So thanks for being a part of the conversation.