Can online comments be civil? Do comments reflect on the community or on the individual?

Filed in Gather News Channel by on October 31, 2007 0 Comments

MPR Reporter Tim Post just published this feature: Newspapers struggle with online comments. What jumped out at me:

But when the site carries a story that has anything to do with race, the comments pour in even faster, resulting in hundreds of postings in a few hours. Visitors, who aren’t required to offer their real names on screen, often trade messages littered with racial stereotypes.
Some worry those comments make the community look bad. In fact, it’s an issue that St. Cloud State University professor Malcom Nazareth brought up at a recent public hearing on racial profiling in St. Cloud.

==Sigh==. I feel like we’ve had this conversation on the Internet and I’m not convinced we’ll ever resolve the issue. Can online comments be civil? Do comments reflect on the community or on the individual?
________________
Julia Schrenkler
Interactive Producer
American Public Media
Minnesota Public Radio

For clarity/disclosure: At MPR we don’t currently have comments on our features. We host groups here on Gather.com

About the Author ()

Leave a Reply