What’s the point of comment moderation if racial vilification is approved?
Yesterday I wrote a piece for the Crikey email (available to subscribers only) that said…
Broadly speaking, bloggers on non-commercial sites (like Tim Blair in his pre-News Ltd. days and me in my non-Crikey hat) can let a lot of comments through that probably fall into the questionable category, while bloggers who work for large media organisations (like Andrew Bolt, Tim Blair in his current iteration, and me in my Crikey hat) have to be a lot more careful because of the higher legal risk involved for the parent organisations.
Unfortunately, managing this risk requires the curtailing of one of the key features that makes blogging so valuable and so much fun: the free-flowing conversation that is possible due to instant commenting. News Ltd. blogs have adopted a strict moderation model where every single comment has to be approved by a human before appearing on the site…
The News Ltd. newspapers’ websites have also enabled (moderated) comments on most of their published stories, allowing readers to have their say or have a conversation of sorts with other readers. I think that it’s an admirable attempt to embrace social media, but it carries the same risks for the company that I was talking about in my article about blog comments — hence the moderation.
However, you’ve gotta wonder what the point of moderation is if comments such as these ones noticed by Club Wah are routinely published by the Herald Sun. Those comments represent blatant racial vilification and the highest-circulation newspaper in the country doesn’t seem to care.
UPDATE: Reader Shabadoo points out similar comments getting published at Fairfax’s The Age website.