EDITORIAL: Web trolls aren’t wanted

We encourage comments on our website but we won't tolerate insults or hate

Some newspapers in this country have ended the opportunity for readers to provide online comments to their stories.

The commenting system at Black Press, which owns The Morning Star, is set up differently than some others. You must have a Facebook account to express your views publicly at www.vernonmorningstar.com or on other Black Press websites.

We understand the sentiment expressed by organizations that have suspended commenting on their websites.

Some people don’t seem to understand their hurtful, racist or hateful barbs are just as bad, and legally actionable, online as they are in print.

For some reason, so-called web trolls think that there are different standards about what they can say online as opposed to hard-copy newspapers or, goodness forbid, face-to-face.

Using Facebook to allow comments on stories is far from bulletproof.

It’s more difficult to hide your identity on Facebook, but still possible.

Even if it’s clear who is writing a hurtful comment, it could potentially remain for a time until it is caught and deleted by editorial staff.

Most of the time, it’s because of foul language or personally focused vitriol, among a variety of reasons.

Please, comment on the story or the issue that has appeared in The Morning Star or any other Black Press publication. Don’t insult, denigrate or incite hate.

As some media outlets across the country have recently demonstrated, commenting on their websites and/or social media is not a free speech “right.”

It is an opportunity that can be withdrawn.

– Black Press