Your View: When to censor viewer comments

3 years 6 months 5 days ago Friday, November 14 2014 Nov 14, 2014 Friday, November 14, 2014 3:19:13 PM CST November 14, 2014 in News
By: Shannon O'Brien and Michael Doudna, KOMU 8 Reporters

COLUMBIA -Two stories KOMU 8 News posted recently involving same-sex marriage got comments on Facebook that raised questions about how the station moderates viewer reaction on social media.

One story involved a federal judge in Kansas City ruling Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Another featured a couple who was getting married after the ban was lifted.

Some of the reaction on social media contained sexually explicit content, which KOMU 8 News deleted.

While KOMU 8 tries to keep social media open to all discussion, it occasionally must censor comments. 

"What we want to do is to make sure they are not offensive, they don't use bad language, and they don't attack someone personally, that's where we draw the line," Randy Reeves KOMU 8's news director said. 

Interactive Director Annie Hammock said, "We let a lot of comments stay in place, even though they may be offensive to some. It's good to have robust debate, as long as it doesn't cross the line. Often we decide where that line is on a case-by-case basis."

The following comments are among those which stayed up:

Ashley Griswold commented " U know I love Missouri but this is morally wrong and it is against God mostly. What next, legalize all drugs because some people think they are alright? Ah no be straight or be single. Gay marriage is wrong!!!!! And u are to if u agree with the judge. I pray for our country and its people that we have a change of heart because it is seems like all wrongs are becoming right. It talks about it in revelations check it out!!!"

William Emil Lee Meyer commented on one Facebook story, "Why don't we take aways blacks and womens right to vote, drive or even live as well," Meyer said. "If gays are so bad why does it show up over 1500 species around the world. We always have to have someone to hate. women, Irish, blacks, gays, catholics."

Both comments are still up on our Facebook page, but others were deleted. 

KOMU 8 tries to to promote open discussion on controversial issues, and it realizes people can have strong opinions.

However, according to Reeves, people can make their point "without crossing that line of being aggressively hostile to the other people involved in the discussion."

On most stories, KOMU 8 does not have any issues and does not have to censor viewer comments.

"For the most part the KOMU facebook community is a very open kind of community where people have very different opinions. And people can largely express those opinions without being hostile," Reeves said.

What do you think? Does KOMU 8 censor too much, or would you like to see us censor more?

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter, or email us at news@komu.com. Then watch KOMU 8 News at six on Friday to see your view of the news.

 

 

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