In my mind “stop the flagging” sounds more like “stop the madness” because that’s what it is – pure madness.
I’ve decided a few people need a lesson in web etiquette.
On KXLY.com we have a section under every story where readers can comment on the story and interact with each other. There’s also the option to “flag” any comment made. The flag is there for people to be able to notify us if a comment is a personal attack or uses offensive language, such as swear words or racial slurs.
Every time someone flags a comment I, and multiple other employees who work on the website, get an email notification. Each notification has a link to the flagged comment where we can read it. Then we can either leave the comment up, delete it, or delete it and ban the user from ever commenting under that username again.
When we have a particularly high-profile story, such as the officer involved shooting of local businessman Scott Creach, we’ll get 300+ comments – which then leads to about 100 flags. I want to say that out of the 100 flags I deleted maaaaayyyybe two comments because they were unfounded personal attacks against either Deputy Brian Hirzel or Creach.
The other 98 flagged comments brings me to this: Disagreeing with someone’s opinion is not grounds to flag a comment.
Most flagged comments I receive in my email inbox are of someone’s personal opinion that does not include a character attack or profanity. It kills me. It really kills me because each flagged comment takes time away from work that actually needs to get done.
I’m asking – nay – begging you to hold off on the flags unless it’s reeeaaallly necessary. If you disagree with someone’s opinion, reply to them. Have a conversation with them about why you disagree.
Wed etiquette #2 – keep that conversation civil. Hiding behind an anonymous username does not give you permission to be out-and-out mean to someone you don’t know.
I could go on and on, but today’s lesson is about flags. I hope you use your flags responsibly… please?
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