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Responding to a reader about our comments on NewsOK

by Alan Herzberger Modified: April 18, 2013 at 1:31 pm •  Published: May 28, 2010

I wrote a post last week that pointed out some changes to the way we display comments on NewsOK.

I was pointing out that the tone of the public conversation on NewsOK has grown more and more hateful and destructive. My post garnered this response from a reader:

Yes I’ve been noticing how ya wont let me write down certain things for a comment and what i have wrote down hasnt been out of taste or ordinary, but that seems like y’all are going against what y’all live by? Your so called motto “freedom of speech” But your paper? so do what u want, but you let the comments that people want to here like obama haters, mexican haters, just haters period !! I from what I read its about 99% pure white people. Is that the intention is to get the white people all riled up? heck I got enough racism coming my way everyday just to let you know and I aint even mexican. Why dont u rename the paper The Oklahoma White News !!! For the paper motto you can say [White news is always the right news] being native american well thats what they want to call us now well I guess thats a big step from blanket a.. or wagon burner and my best one just plain ol’ chief anyhow I’am just one voice of many that probably feels the same way about what you let get commented so just letting u know how the small guy feels.

I responded to some of the reader’s point, and I thought it would be useful to post our conversation as a brand new post.

My response:

We do have a word filter and don’t allow comments containing certain characters.

As for the comments we take action on … our online editors on duty evaluate every comment that is flagged as inappropriate by our users. We decide at that time whether or not to remove the comment. Our intention is to maintain productive dialogue along with our articles.

And finally, we do believe in freedom of speech. However, NewsOK.com is not required under the first amendment to offer a platform for all language and all points of view. We definitely want a wide variety of voices. But we also want a civil, productive and on-topic discussion, so sometimes we are forced to remove comments as they are brought to our attention.

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by Alan Herzberger
Digital Managing Editor
Alan Herzberger is the Digital Managing Editor for NewsOK.com and The Oklahoman. He focuses on content within OPUBCO Communications Group’s variety of digital products. He’s been with The Oklahoman since 1997, when he joined the sports...
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