Thursday, September 03, 2009

Free Speech Violation?

The local news paper here in Minneapolis is Called the Star Tribune.....Not my favorite paper mind you but one I usually look to for local news. With the exception of the Sunday Times and Weekend WSJ all of my news paper reading is done online.

One of my favorite features of the modern online news paper is the ability to comment instantly on any article that is published. I think it promotes healthy debate and allows for multiple takes on a given issue not only by the journalist but by all of the readers. I find myself often liking the comments more then the articles.

With that said I tend to have a problem with the comment moderation that the Star Tribune does. It removes the ability to comment on certain selective subject matter that it feels panders to bigotry.

For example Minneapolis has the 1st Muslim Congressman - Keith Ellison (DFL) (I voted for him btw) But you can not comment on any article that has his name in it.

You can not comment on any article that has the word muslim in it.

I have a problem with that.

He is an elected official.

It is a major world religion.

People should be able to voice opinion whether you agree with it or not.

Free Speech doesn't have to be tasteful, tactful, if you want to moderate for swear words I can live with that but you can't protect something that by its own definition is above reproach or protect a public official from scrutiny, a protection from scrutiny that is not extended to their rivals.

And trust me Keith can take it he did not get where he is by being shy or put off by opposition.

What do you think about selective comment moderation?

13 comments:

GingerMandy said...

biggest load of crap ever? i'd say so.


special rights are not equal rights.

Rocketstar said...

It's B.S. They could easily just moderate it and remove any hate speech etc...

Brian in Mpls said...

At least they are extending it to all religions now here is a christian church leader caught with his pants down where it has been turned off

http://www.startribune.com/local/south/56777157.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUZ

I would so love to comment on this one....since when did religion become a non-debateable topic?

This really pisses me off

Aunt Katherine said...

I agree it's a sorry excuse for a newspaper. Did you talk to anyone there, Brian?

Aunt Katherine said...

....or call Keith's office

BORGHY said...

I too enjoy reading the comments but sometimes I think I am stupider for doing so....The Star Tribune doesnt let you comment on anything that can create controversy. It's pathetic.

SS+1 said...

It's all too sad that the Trib is leary of "creating controversy" through limiting a constitutional right. I think they're financially struggling and can't afford to hire someone to moderate the actual comments...hence, not allowing all comments, etc.
It's a pathetic reason, but the best one I can come up with!

BTW, interesting observation on your behalf!

Narkissos said...

yeah they gave you freedom of speech alright, within the confines of government, law, society and so forth; like all the freedoms on this effin earth, a camouflage to control you! after all “a democracy is nothing more than mob rule”, Thomas Jefferson. at the end it all comes to monopolization, ain’t no secret eh..............

Sornie said...

The Strib comments draw out such a small portion of the overall readership and the loudest (dumbest) voices are those that get heard. From the outside it looks like 90% of the population are racists and bigots (based on those comments). I've commented a few times on the Strib but the conversations always turned to hate speech and downright idiocy. I now barely read their website solely because of their comments sections. The selective nature of commenting being available is fine with me because they could really face some heat if it was even more of a free for all.

Brian in Mpls said...

I guess i would say scratch them all and go back to the letter to the editor format

Stereos and Souffles said...

That's messed up!

Thomas said...

I believe that only those who are in the upper 20th percentile of intelligence should be allowed to post on newspaper websites.

Anonymous said...

Well, while I get your point, I also understand theirs. The comments sections of even the most benign of subject get turned into a rant. Some of the comments are scary, and I can just imagine what they would say in an Ellison article.