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The Digital Desk


Another commenting discussion — a NewsOK reader weighs in

by Alan Herzberger Modified: April 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm •  Published: August 27, 2010

I spoke with a NewsOK user yesterday.

He called to express his concern about an article we had on the site the day before. He questioned our decision to allow comments on this story:

Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper wrecks motorcycle on I-40, flown to hospital

He knew our site well. He knew our commenting and posting policy, which states:

It is our intention to facilitate a conversation around news and information on It is not our intent to offer comments on local crime stories, local fatality stories or Letters to the Editor.

He felt that the story in question shouldn’t have had comments. He took offense to some of the comments our users had posted about the actions of the officer in his accident. And, he’s right — some of the comments were not really germane to the story and could have been flagged as inappropriate, mostly because they weren’t adding to a productive dialogue.

The caller was irritated at some of those commenting, but he generally seemed to be in favor of our approach in our policy.

After looking at the story, I wouldn’t have made any other decision. I would have let comments remain on the article. I wish we can properly watch every comment on every article, but it’s really impossible. So we rely on our users to help watch for inappropriate comments.

It’s a fine line that we’re always walking. But I love to discuss it with our NewsOK readers.

by Alan Herzberger
Digital Managing Editor
Alan Herzberger is the Digital Managing Editor for 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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