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CONTRIBUTION · 6th February 2013
Thompson Citizen
We won’t mince words here. We’re leaving because for some time commenters have been posting virulently racist anti-aboriginal comments on our page and tagging photos in a similar way, including our profile photo of the Thompson Citizen building this morning.

It ends here.


This newspaper is not going to stand by and let anti-aboriginal racists and haters spew their evil on a vehicle we’re facilitating them using.

We can’t control Facebook to any real extent, nor can we control what commenters think and say. Nor should we. But we can control where we have an online presence and where we don’t. Newspapers, needless to say, are about free speech and the exchange of ideas in a democracy, often hotly contested ones, so leaving Facebook is not an easy decision. But it is the right one.

If you want to know where we stand as a newspaper, read our editorial, “Thompson: ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’” You can read it online HERE

Another excerpt

Why online commenting on news stories seems so often to bring out the worst in some people is a puzzle that researchers continue to study and those of us in the media never cease to wonder about. Is it the anonymity afforded them by many commenting modules that don’t require real names, but only pseudonyms as usernames the problem? Perhaps. It seems likely much of what is said in online commenting would never be said face-to-face, person-to-person.

If you are interested in a broader discussion on some of these issues, you might check out these links:

“Robert Fisk: Anonymous comments and why it’s time we all stop drinking this digital poison” , or

Margaret Sullivan: Seeking a return to civility in online comments , or

Katie Roiphe’s Slate magazine article, “What’s wrong with angry commenters?”.
Comment by Pat#1 on 6th February 2013
I refuse to sign up to facebook...too much crap/gossip. Having your face "tagged", your personal info kept for god knows what...I do not want to "like" anything thanks. what a waste of my/our/your time.
I would rather rant and rave here on the Daily...;-)
the good old days
Comment by David on 6th February 2013
In the good old days, any person could climb on the soap-box and rant and rave to his heart's delight. However, unlike today, the person's speech carried some risks if overly inflammatory. Hateful, ignorant words would likely be met by a barrage of eggs, rotten fruit, and other garbage thrown at the bad-mouther.
We agree whole heartedly
Comment by Terrace Daily News on 6th February 2013
It is why the Terrace Daily has, almost since its beginning in 2007, began restricting anonymous comments. Like the Margaret Sullivan article linked in this story, we require name, city and phone number. At times we have let some slip by, (it is time consumming to check everyone) we still, even if we know the person, will not allow vile character attacks to be posted on our site.

There are entire teams of hackers who are paid to surf sites offering intelligent insightful debate for the public. They then engage in hateful angry comments to ruin the healthy discussion. It would be most interesting if we could track the primary source of those commentors as well as who pays them to destroy the civility of our society.

soapbox speech
Comment by billbraam on 6th February 2013
Some where in the past I heard that in London or thereabouts people were allowed to stand on a soapbox and clammer on about any topic they seemed worthy. The size of the persons audience reflected the interest anyone took in the persons point of view. That is somewhat similar to making comments and responces on news sites and facebook/twitter. Any person has a chance to voice their opinion. They may be totally right or totally wrong but they have their own personnal soapbox. Sadly some people do forget to be polite on their own soapbox .