Hate speech compels Obama comment embargo
The CBS website will no longer allow comments on stories about Barack Obama because the site gets deluged with hate speech whenever the Democratic candidate's name comes up:
Today CBSNews.com informed its staff via email that they should no longer enable comments on stories about presidential candidate Barack Obama. The reason for the new policy, according to the email, is that stories about Obama have been attracting too many racist comments.
âItâs very simple,â Mike Sims, director of News and Operations for CBSNews.com, told me. âWe have our Rules of Engagement. They prohibit personal attacks, especially racist attacks. Stories about Obama have been problematic, and we wonât tolerate it.â
â¦âIf youâre an African American and you read about someone being called a porch monkey, that overrides any positive thing that you would read in the comments,â he said.
As Pam Spaulding observes, CBS hasn't had to turn off comments about any other candidate. I wonder what they'll do if Obama wins the nomination. Will they shut down comments all together?
CBS execs are crazy if they think they can control the Obama trolls by closing comments on Obama stories. If they've already got a massive hate speech problem before the primary, and the network needs reassess its entire comment moderation strategy now. The trolls will just infiltrate and derail every other thread.
Unfortunately, as Pam Spaulding notes, CBS has only shut down comments on Obama stories.
This piecemeal solution is unacceptable. Just banning comments on Obama posts hurts the candidate and gives his online assailants a victory. The race zombies are probably gloating that hate speech forced CBS to close the threads.
Of course, racist threats aren't confined to CBS threads. Due to the sheer volume of abuse, Obama is now under the protection of the Secret Service, which has never been asked to step in on behalf of a challenger so early in the race.