By David Newland - Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 0 Comments
How Canadians are failing a tolerance test
Canadians are a tolerant people, right? It’s certainly something we pride ourselves on. The Idle No More movement provides an ideal opportunity to test this notion, as Canadians turn to mass media outlets online to express their thoughts about the matter.
Let’s take, for example, the comments on articles about Idle No More from a variety of media outlets: Globeandmail.com, CBC.ca, NationalPost.com and CTV.ca, just as easy examples. By this I mean the comments that have not been removed for being blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, violent, vulgar, or hateful. The ordinary stuff, in other words. The ideas and opinions that are helping to form and reflect actual public opinion on this important issue.
Now, it would, at first blush, be easy to read some of the comments on those articles as intolerant. But let’s face it: people often misread online communication. So it’s only fair to give these folks the benefit of the doubt, and try to understand where they are coming from. It’s the Canadian way, eh? Continue…
By Philippe Gohier - Monday, May 9, 2011 at 12:11 PM - 247 Comments
An all-new commenting system is coming to Macleans.ca
We’re a restless bunch over here at Macleans.ca. To prove it, we’ve been working on some tweaks here and there, the most noticeable of which will go live today.
By Philippe Gohier - Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 12:31 PM - 266 Comments
First off, calm down. Don’t read that as “please calm down”—we’re not asking anymore….
First off, calm down. Don’t read that as “please calm down”—we’re not asking anymore.
For some reason I’ll generously assume to be a combination of cabin fever and excitement at the onset of spring, things have gotten way too heated and way too personal on the comment boards. It has to stop. You’re driving us nuts.
I understand us web editors may be partly to blame for the confusion over what’s allowed and what isn’t. The truth is there are no hard and fast rules (except, of course, those forbidding content that might get us sued). Sure, we expect civility and good humour and a modicum of intelligence from all of you, but even those rules can be bent a little here and there.
What it comes down to is this: if we think a comment is having a destructive influence on a discussion, we’ll delete it. That’s it, that’s all. This is, of course, an entirely arbitrary rule, and some individual bloggers are bound to have different tolerance thresholds than others. Don’t hold your breath expecting that to change. There’s a reason the overwhelming majority of the discussions here are smart and informative, and we think our (mostly) hands-off approach has a lot to do with it. For the most part, giving everyone the benefit of the doubt has worked well so far and we’re hoping this gentle kick in the behind will set everything straight again. (But don’t kid yourselves: there’s a Plan B if it doesn’t.)
Our other message goes out to those who’ve taken to baiting us into being more aggressive than we’d like to be by overusing the “Report” button every time their feelings get hurt. You know who you are and so do we. Quit it. It’s annoying and we’re not going to tolerate it much longer.
In short, think of the boards as an open-house party—everyone’s welcome and encouraged to mingle, but no one has a right to be there. We will always reserve the right to kick people out of our house when they get too bothersome. You’d do the same at your place.
I’ll be hanging around in the comments if you’ve got any questions.
By Paul Wells - Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 2:31 PM - 0 Comments
Some of you have figured out that when you hit “Report Abuse” on a comment, it goes away to a place where I have to decide whether the comment lives or dies. I’m finding way too many comments in that purgatory that are not offensive in any way, except that somebody apparently disagreed with them.
Stop it. You should know that unless I have a very good reason to kill a comment, it will go right back into the comment queue where it will go right back to upsetting you and probably some other readers too. That’s the price of your right to upset others with your opinions.
So far — and we’re two months into this experiment with comment boards — almost all the discussion has been substantive, polite, focussed on real subjects. Sometimes more party-line partisan than my colleagues and I would like, but partisan allegiance is legitimate too, and we don’t feel like suppressing that either. A time may come when raw abuse is getting tossed around. Lord knows we’ve all seen that on other blogs. If it happens here I will delete offending comments with gusto — and shut the comments down altogether without hesitation if necessary. But since that’s not what’s happening so far, let’s all enjoy the vigorous but generally cordial discussion here.
By Jaime Weinman - Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 11:17 AM - 0 Comments
I just thought I’d use a post as a sort of Open Thread™ to ask readers what they’d like to see at this blog. Now that we’ve got comments here, and this blog is therefore a real blog at last, I’d be interested to know if anyone has any thoughts on what kind of posts I should be doing more of. More links to TV news items? More inside-baseball stuff like the “Better Know a Writing Staff” posts? (Well, they’re not inside baseball, more like an outsider’s take on inside baseball… outside baseball?) More episode reviews? More DVD reviews? More pointers to great posts on other TV-related blogs? More insane arguments about how Hogan’s Heroes was better than M*A*S*H? No, wait, you’re going to get the insane arguments whether you ask for them or not. But any thoughts are appreciated.