ST. PAUL - There seems to be a bit of a disconnect between people’s brains and their fingertips when it comes to comments they make on social media. We continue to be amazed in our newsroom on a regular basis by the comments that appear on our own Facebook page in response to story links we post to our website LakelandToday.ca.
We are increasingly seeing a no holds barred approach to what people will post on this public site with little regard to the fact that, yes, other people see what they’ve written. While we certainly welcome public comment and like to see people weigh in on our news stories with their thoughts on the subject, we suggest a little restraint might be in order, or perhaps at least a sober second thought before offering up some bizarre rant that has nothing to do with the news story being commented on.
Hello, we are a public site after all.
Offering a place for public debate is as essential to digital news spaces, as it is to our newspaper. Letters to the editor in the St. Paul Journal is an excellent way for readers to have their say on stories we’ve covered, or not covered. We welcome letters, but they are reviewed for publication beforehand for clarity and fair comment and edited in respect to offensive language and any potentially inappropriate or defamatory statements.
Comments made on our social media page are basically a free for all. Facebook allows us to set the restrictions high on profanity, so there is that to be thankful for. However, there’s no block for stupid comments until we see them and hide them ourselves. We don’t want to have to hide a comment or block specific people from posting to our site, but rest assured we will do so if it becomes hateful or threatening in nature or is just plain stupid.
We can put up with a lot but we can’t put up with stupid.