Out-of-control reader comments

I was just on the NBC5 website because I wanted to post about a story they ran this morning. I skimmed the story before linking to it and then opened the comments section. That’s where I got totally sidetracked. The comments on NBC5’s web page are completely out of control and incredibly offensive even to someone like me who isn’t easily offended. I believe, and I think most of us here at the Advocate/ Back Talk concur, that the host is ultimately responsible for the content on their site, whether it’s staff or user generated. We probably lose some content/ commentary here by closely monitoring comments and making sure they aren’t offensive, threatening or too off topic — but then we mostly end up with higher quality, more intelligent reader generated discussion (not that we don’t our fair share of hurtful or dumb comments too). I understand NBC has a lot of site traffic, but they must have a staffer or intern available to chaperone the comments section. Point is, NBC5 needs to take more accountability and get the crazy story comments under control before I ever again link to one of their articles.

By |2009-04-15T12:01:00-05:00April 15th, 2009|Media Matters, News|2 Comments

About the Author:

Christina Hughes Babb is publisher and editor of Advocate Magazines. Email chughes@advocatemag.com or follow twitter.com/chughesbabb


  1. EAberg April 15, 2009 at 10:10 PM

    I came across a DMN blog about a city council woman’s opposition to a proposal that would allow police to tow cars of uninsured drivers at routine traffic violations. The blog listed out her points pretty clearly (pumping money from the patrol office to the traffic office, overcrowded impounds, increased traffic volume in neighborhoods with impounds, plus Texas still doesn’t have a database of insured drivers) which seem pretty sophisticated to me. Anybody could have come to those conclusions, or conceded their validity. But the comments section was full of comments about her race, challenged her doctor title, and it eventually devolved into an abstract screed about converatism vs. libralism and how we should throw out illegals and their supporters. For crying out loud, it’s a story about traffic law. Would anyone have been up in arms if some white guy with glasses made this proposal? And who’s the advocacy group organizing a petition to tow away uninsured drivers?

  2. Jake April 15, 2009 at 10:10 PM

    The Dallas Fort Worth public cannot be trusted to add intelligent commentary on any story. You should read the Dallas Morning News blogs if you don’t believe me. Read any Washington Post, New York Times, or other major newspaper blog and some people get off track but not to the extent that any DMN or NBC5 article does. Blogs are a sounding board for the racist, intolerant, and ignorant unless, of course, it’s the Advocate Oak Cliff Blog.

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