Posting comes with responsibilities

August 10, 2013

On our website there is a section for comments and we welcome the public to give us their reactions to our coverage.

That social media component of our site is useful in many ways including providing a forum for healthy debate of issues, by giving the public another way to reach our staff writers and editor with ideas for stories, by providing opportunity to ask questions and by supplying a place people can leave compliments — or complaints — when warranted.

Recent posts about an article concerning school test scores contained profanity and were removed. In fact, the comment thread in question deteriorated into name calling and threats being made against one of the people posting.

The Herald Independent appreciates and encourages your participation, but derogatory comments containing foul language or threatening remarks will be edited, and in some cases, removed.

As a newspaper, The Herald Independent respects freedom of speech. Freedoms come with responsibility, though, and we will police our website for offensive content and, if necessary, block habitual offenders. Posting comments on stories is a privilege for our readers. We simply ask that you provide comments in a manner that respects the point you are making and the media outlet that you are using as a public forum.

A good rule of thumb is this: if you wouldn’t want a young child or your grandmother reading or hearing the language you are using, don’t hit that submit button. We encourage debate and commentary, but request that you express your views and opinions without using insults, threats or profanity.