Da Legal Stuff...

All commentaries published on Web Talk are the opinions of the contributor(s) only and do not necessarily represent the position of any other individuals, groups or organizations.

Now, with that out of the way...Let's Web Talk.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Moderation of Comments Now in Effect at Web Talk

Hi folks,

Like the rest of you, I am all for open and spirited debate. Unfortunately some visitors to this site lately have been less than respectable to others and have been using language and comments in an effort to attack others.

Due to this I have decided to moderate all comments for the time being. As always, you are free to comment on any subject however before they are posted they will be reviewd for content. I can assure you that this is not an attempt to censor anyone and all comments that do not contain off colour language or racist slurs will continue to be posted regardless of the writer's stance on the issue.

This process may involve delays in the comment being posted on occasion and for this I apologize however I feel it is ultimately in the best interest of open discussion that we do not become the target of hate based comments.

Myles Higgins
Web Talk - Newfoundland and Labrador


ISDABY said...

thank you. It unfortunate that it comes to this, but it seems necessary. Sometimes I feel as if I am contributing to the problem by continueing to repsond, and I find myself getting steamed and responding in that manner, so its probably contributing to the cycle. That said however, there is no excuse for the trollish, hatefilled behaviour of some people. I only wish 'other' boards would have moderated this character (whom I 'suspect' is the same...) previously. The only reason he wasn't moderated at 'another' site was because overall he was on 'their' side of the issue. Behaviour not considered. IMHO.

Anyway, thanks for taking control of the situation.

BNB said...

Not only is this justified but from my point of view it is also appreciated.

funkypretty said...

Thank you! There's nothing worse than coming here and having to weed out the curses and the blatant insults. Makes for tedious reading. This should be much better, although I suspect there will still be complaints.

crazy american said...

Steve here,

Miles, I respect your opinions and views both because I believe they have been both reasonable, and well intentioned. While your decision to moderate the blog retains both ingredients, I must respectfully disagree with your decision.

Just as a city park in the spring has the beauty of life returning, and the glorious green of new grass growing, there are still clumps of dirty snow, and mud from the tracks of children trying to use the last snow for that rare last short sleeve snowfight of the season.

As an adult, I've learned to walk around the clumps of mud and ignore the canine droppings while still admiring the return of life and growth which requires both sun and wind to be successful.

I think there is a parallel to the exchange of ideas. As reasoned people we do need to recognize the slivers of thought and ideas which peak up from the white screen before us as we read. If that requires that we discount the literary equivalents of mudpies and Rover's droppings to appreciate those thoughts, I believe most people can tolerate the excess. And for those who cannot, I apologize for the miscreants in the midst of the growth of ideas.

I've looked back over the sight not just at the lack of postings for the last two days, but for the frequency of issues which I think are best discussed when they are newly exposed on the page and where the interest is high. By applying moderator limitations however well intentioned is to dampen and close the window of opportunity which I think overall has been the chief benefit of your site.

If I can make a suggestion which while not working perfectly will work almost as well. On the main page, place in distinct and obvious text that hateful postings and profanity will not be tolerated. In instances where in the opinion of the moderator the entirety of the posting is either hate, profane or solely derogatory to other posters the entire posting will be removed. In instances where the contents of the posting contain portions which are content of this kind of dribble, the offending posting will be replaced with by xxxxxx.

While I am sure that some posters will occuse you of using this to suppress conflicting views, I do not believe that is the case. Most of the longer term posters on this site, potentially even including your Labadorian nemesis already know this to be the case. And for those who think you would, I suspect that no amount of reassurance would suffice to make them believe you are not already removing postings anyway

Basically, to go back to my analogy, as the head groundskeeper, sometimes you just have to be building a new idea, and you don't have time to clean up all of the effluvium before letting people use the park's facilities.

And for those of us who do use the park, I for one believe it's OK.

One last request,, can you make those random words we need to type to post the bloggings be just a little less curvey... trifocals make it a $%*#$%#^%#^$%#^$% to get it right to post :):):)

I went ahead and self censored the above

BNB said...

Hi Myles: Post if you want - this is just an FYI. An article from CBC referencing some of PW's racist remarks and resulting voilence:


Patriot said...

Hi C-American,

Good to hear from you again. As ususal, you make some very good points. In an effort to ensure that ideas do not get left along the road I have every intention of being very open with what I allow to be posted. This can be seen in one of the posts I let through already which contained an off colour word. In the case of this particular comment the context of its usage was valid and as such had meaning. It wasn't simply used to "bash" someone.

My sole intention is, as you touched upon, to remove specific off colour words and racist comments, not to censor ideas.

If I believe there is even a glimmer of real opinion contained in a comment I will do everything possible to see that it gets through (minus the disturbing language).

Sometimes we may forget the fact that this site is available to children as well as adults and as such we all have a certain obligation to act in a dignified manner that will help enlighten and spark debate rather than spread hatred and violent behaviour.

Again, I apologize for the delays in getting posts up on the site, but I am only one person and naturally I am not monitoring the site 24/7.

Sometimes, like in the past couple of days, there will be delays. Please bare with them and hopefully over time we will be able to relax the rules a little and get more of a free flow of ideas going once again.

Bye the way, as to the issue of the verification word being hard to see, I don't set those unfortunately. They are randomly generated by the web site software and I have no control of them. Unfortunately I had to put this control in place a few months ago because the site was being hit on a regular basis with "spam" advertising. By forcing the entry of a validation word it blocks spammers from auto-sending comments to the site.

Myles Higgins
Web Talk - Newfoundland and Labrador

Anonymous said...

Brendan Hubbard (BH) here for bnb.

bnb, my copy of the Mina Wallace book arrived today and I started flipping through it. Thanks for putting me onto it as it looks very interesting (and I'm glad to see that this one was produced by people from Canada). Of course, relating the book to the topic of this thread, from the few pages I read in the book, it appears to me that Mina Wallace herself might have had her own words toward Dillon Wallace and Hubbard's entire family toned down a bit had the internet been around then. I'm glad they weren't because they gave her her character.

Already the book has solved two mysteries for me. First, it gave me the missing background on the controversy surrounding the 3 bronze markers nearby Hubbard's grave (there's no grave marker per se, just the memorial plaques). (But it didn't solve the latest puzzle for me as to what happened to Hubbard's grave since I first visited it on my return from N&L in 2002 and returned in April of this year. I swear I looked in the right place --- it's very easy to find once you know where it is --- and I swear that the three markers were gone. Mina had intended to move them and Hubbard's body to England but died before she had the chance. Perhaps someone carried out her wishes on the 100th anniversary of her great trip.)

The second mystery the book solved for me was where the Hubbards lived in Congers NY. None of the other four books told where they lived other than in Congers. This book not only gives the house's address, but says it is still there. (I can probably Google-Map it and see it precisely.) In 2002, I spent hours looking for the house and getting people to look up the records without success. Now I know where it is and I'll drop by to see it in a few weeks when I head north again. Who knows, since I'm thinking of moving back to that area, if it's for sale maybe I'll buy it (but knowing the prices of houses up that way, it's probably a million dollars, which knocks me way out.) I already found Dillon Wallace's house, and his grave, In Beacon, New York. His grave is a 3-meter-high obelisk with only his name and years and the words "Explorer, Author" on it. I could actually see where his house was from my bedroom window where I lived in NY, across the Hudson and upriver a few miles. He died, of course, before I was born. Apparently, he was one of the organizers of the Boy Scouts in the US.

Patriot said...

Hi folks,

Now that things have calmed down a little around here, I have decided to discontinue the practice of moderating comments, at least for the time being.

If the discussions / debates remain calm then they will remain open, if not, I will put the practice of moderation back in place.

Bye hte way, as a side note, I have not had to remove any comments since the practice went into effect, so nobody has missed anything.

Once again, sorry for the inconvenience, but as I stated before, we all have a responsibility to any younger readers that may visit. Please keep this in mind when posting comments.

Myles Higgins
Web Talk

BNB said...

Patriot: good to hear it.

BH: You've peeked my interest in the book for sure - looking forward to reading it. I guess most of that area looks pretty different since Churchill Falls was built.

Anonymous said...

bnb, I erred when I wrote that I was "glad to see that this one was produced by people from Canada," implying that the other four books were not. I learned later that Mina herself was Canadian (from Ontario) so her book too was written by a Canadian. I also learned later why I couldn't find Hubbard's home in the property transfer records when he moved there (in 1902) and when Mina left there (in 1904) --- they rented their house. So, from what I can tell by just my skimming a few topics, this one looks pretty good. I would say it might add to the lure of the Labrador wild but someone already said that and if they continue flooding Labrador for those Churchill Falls hydro projects, the wilds will no longer exist there.