Recently, I published a news article regarding the Panama City News Herald imposing restrictions on comments left by readers. You can read that article and comments left here.
The Panama City News Herald is not the sole publication to restrict comments, there are thousand others. Some provide reader comment guidelines. Most go out of their way to encourage opposing viewpoints.
Is restricting comments to those within guidelines considered infringing on the rights of readers? If so, there are larger media avenues, some as large as the New York Times and Huffington Post and larger, following the same path. Some have been the tool directing or engineering this path.
News media has the responsibility also to assure their paper or websites are guarded and responsible in what they print. If they allow those who mean to use their paper or websites as avenues to incite violence or propagate others to action, then can they be held libel in the instance of serious actions inflicted upon others?
Some of those reading the article had serious, interesting and thought provoking questions regarding the right of any publication to restrict comments. Others felt they simply did not want to be reading the slanderous, racist, demeaning comments of others. Then some readers questioned the right of anyone to control reader words. Then there were those who felt the action of the News Herald was responsible information practices and should be a guide followed by other proponents providing the news.
The argument can go either way. The Panama City News Herald has every right to restrict, remove, or deny others preventing the imposition of views on reader audiences if those views are placed in the publics eye for the purpose of provoking actions other than those intended.
When an attorney argues his case, he has the right to present any position he feels necessary to win that case. However, the legalities of those arguments must be based on the laws as set down in our nation’s judicial system.
The comments left on this article have led to other questions. Many of which can lead to interesting debates. In general, there are pros and cons to each argument or comment.
While this nation is in an uproar regarding government rights and those rights as imposed on the moral majority, are those same arguments now being directed at anyone and everyone?
A good debate with everyone remaining civil can be quite enlightening in addition to energizing. Toss your arguments, opinions, comments or viewpoints this way and lets see where we end up.