Monday, May 11, 2009

Repository Drains the Pool: Water Park Comments Disappear

All Gatehouse newspapers publish pool rules. You can find them at the bottom of any article with enabled comments. We think they are good and reasonable rules. We don't mind obeying them, and actually appreciate the limits of behavior the rules lay out. The problem is (1) a small group of people believe pool rules are not for them and (2) the Rep doesn't enforce its own rules.


  • No personal attacks. Don't bash anyone based on their race, creed, heritage, or orientation.
  • Don't say anything here you wouldn't say in front of your mother at the dinner table.
Unfortunately, when things get too bad, instead of ejecting the vandals, (or sending them home to mom with a note) the Rep just pulls the plug on everybody.

The latest example is the shutdown of discussion on Canton's Water Park Plans Stalled. The discussion was going along swimmingly until "Italian by Injection" (aka Guess Who) started in with the inevitable reaction to follow. Instead of taking a few minutes to throw the intruder over the fence, the Rep drained the pool.

I Hate Canton dived in and rescued the post that set it off, but the rest slithered down the drain before they could be pulled out:

The city can't afford to maintane a pool right now. They can't even pay their bills, thanks to the do-nothings who can't get along with Mayor Healy. Besides, you know those people will just tear it up in about a month anyway.

Those people indeed!

I Hate Canton is sympathetic to the difficulties in guarding the integrity of public comments. We do not want the iron rule of Dave Kaminski to return. We, personally, also have a high tolerance for what passes for online debate, and find most moronic comments amusing in the same way that Truthers and The Weekly World News are amusing. We have no desire to see resident entertainers go away. We believe that "Comments" is a marketplace of ideas, not all good or decent. Though we doubt this is what Thomas Jefferson and George Mason had in mind, it's democracy in action, and that's OK with us.

We also believe that the Repository has a responsibility to its readers and advertisers (online and hard copy) to maintain a modicum of civility and control over its herd of cats. Unfortunately, trying to nanny one or two individuals (at least one with a multiple personality posting disorder) with a personal vendetta against other posters effectively is as impossible as growing a garden without a weeder. Pull out the pigweed and another pops up. Octopuppet, for instance, has posted under at least three new names in the last three days and drudged up a couple of old ones. We fear he/she/its head may explode soon with all those imaginary people banging around inside of it.

What happens when more than one needs to use the bathroom at the same time?

I Hate Canton really wants the Rep be a first class paper. To help Editor Gauger & Co we have assembled a long list of names we believe Octopuppet uses and we'll be posting that list soon. With so many unemployed in Canton, we're sure at least one or two dole collectors would be happy to sign on as official Canton Repository Life Guards. Their job would be simple: protect the swimmers from the octopuppet(s) and vendettaistas.

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