OUR VIEW: We all need to check our facts

Online commenting should be held to the same standard readers hold the media

Media stories generate a lot of commentary online and Black Press welcomes the opinions of our readers.

In fact, we encourage it. Healthy debate of the issues in the community is a cornerstone of democracy.

But healthy debate also needs to be civil debate and accurate debate. To the first point: we remind everybody that profanity is one of the first and most common reasons for removing comments.

Yes, there are some words that are not so bad and we’re not so picky about them but there are others that, no matter how valid or insightful your point, they’ll get your comment removed from our website and Facebook account.

You know the words.

On the second point, we understand that people can be genuinely misinformed but we do encourage you to research your point before you make it because quite often comments are made that are just plain not true.

Just because you heard someone make that claim does not make it so. The media, rightly, is required to get its facts straight and we also have an obligation try and not disseminate inaccurate information, even though we didn’t write it.

That’s not always possible. That’s why we require you to put your name to your comment and ask that you check its validity before making it. If we do catch it, we’ll change it or remove it but the volume inhibits our ability to do that.

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