…[T]he organization “will more aggressively” moderate subscriber responses on the site. New registrants who wish to post comments on the radio service’s webpages will go through a vetting process, conducted by a team of community managers.
I will admit I am not a big fan of NPR. Though research shows that they and PBS are highly trusted operations, I do not feel they give “conservative” and marketplace issues a fair airing. Moreover, as I have commented on before, I think the marketplace provides many rich alternatives for entertainment and news, and it is about time to turn off the publicly-funded spigot from which they drink.
That said, I am torn on this particular issue.
Is their effort at “civilizing” their comments section so that “not-so-good” speech and “trolls” go away simply a branding exercise (which I think is entirely valid to do)? Or, is it yet more of the double standard many suspect they harbor – that is, in working to excise “bad speech,” are they really just working to shape opinion (or, more nefariously, censoring speech) more to their liking?
I don’t have an answer to this. Those that trust the organization would likely side with the former – i.e., it’s OK because it makes the site better, more useful and, of course, more “civil. Those that don’t would likely take the opposite position – i.e., is “civility” just an excuse to leave conservative viewpoints on the cutting room floor (not to suggest that conservatives are uncivil)?
For my own website, I pretty much let everything in. Unlawful or hateful stuff, no. But, for stuff I don’t agree with – I feel those comments are important to post. They further the debate. Now, does NPR and its team of community managers do this? I hope.
Do I trust that they do it…Let me ask Juan Williams.