Friday, November 21, 2014

Toodles for Matt Owen?

Our very own Matt Owen got "toodled" by the Lost Coast Outpost yesterday. That's LoCO's term for suspending the comment privileges of those who make inappropriate ones. Probably no biggie since, as someone pointed out, Matt doesn't comment on the LoCO. He does write an occasional oped/ commentary which is what got him in trouble.

His Matt In The Middle commentary from yesterday dealt with Eureka's homeless situation where he included suggestions for dealing with it. Among his suggestions was an emotional reference to taking certain people out behind the courthouse and shooting them. That naturally brought out some hostile comments as well as some of those in support. 

Did he deserve toodles for that? I don't think so. It might have been a tacky comment and maybe something most would try to avoid writing, but it did reflect the emotional response a lot of people have probably directed towards bad guys that keep getting away with things. 

That reference seems to have been removed. Just as well as I'm not sure it added anything constructive to his commentary, aside from perhaps providing an avenue for some to vent over a difficult situation.

I've been much more bothered by comments I've read in the LoCO and other news web sites calling for the hanging, or worse, of people simply accused of crimes. The "oak tree, rope..." type comments often seen when someone is accused of something, especially sex related crimes, I've found appalling. Especially so since those making the comments are likely more serious about it than Matt was in making his. 

I'm appalled, but I don't suggest those comments be removed. There must be some value in reading people's feelings even if they're only venting.

Just a couple other observations on Matt's commentary: 

He criticized Prop 47 (the recent ballot initiative that reduced some felonies to misdemeanors) suggesting it lets even more people out of jail. That might seem the case but as I commented on the LoCO, it seems the vast majority of those people were already being released anyway because there isn't enough room in jail. I'm not sure Prop 47 really changed much.

He also made the suggestion of having a legal place for the homeless to camp and perhaps even providing housing of some sort for homeless folks, if I read him right. I might agree with a legal camping place, with reservations. I'm not so sure about providing actual lodging. 

Seems to me we've already done both. Years ago we let the homeless turn the South Jetty and Clam Beach campgrounds into their own camping spot. We've also turned a number of hotels and motels on Eureka's Broadway into "temporary" housing for homeless. Some would argue both those efforts only made things worse. 

So what is the answer to Eureka's homeless situation, consistent with human rights? I don't know.


At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lost coast outpost is terrible journalism. Whats worse is the comments have gotten so out of hand and un-classy, the obvious solution would be to stop the comment section altogether. The popularity of the site is not their sloppy journalism but rather the outrageous comment section, so banning comments would be detrimental to their banner ad revenue. The same goes for them exploiting the Marianna industry around here to reap the profits from the banner ads.
And it is totally agreed that they have no set guidelines for what gets censored and for what reasons they decide to use censorship; or how they decide who and why someone should be banned and for how long they are "toodled" for.
I myself was banned for commenting on how shoddy and hypocritical their site was managed.

At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you Fred, remarking on the nasty rope/tree type comments..the 'shoot, shovel, and shutup' is another that gets is 'snitches get stitches'.

Always an issue: ban/delete or point and shun?


At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever censored a comment on this blog, Fred? If so, when and why?

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

The only comments I've deleted here are generally gratuitous insults towards myself or anyone else. For example; If someone says of another commentator, "You're just a shithead", and that's all they write, it gets deleted. If they include something pertinent to a point like, "You're just a shithead, BUT, studies show you're totally wrong...". That might be fine.Usually.

Spam gets deleted, obviously, but most spam comes on older posts which get moderated anyway, so it never makes it here.

Probably some other criteria for which I'll delete but nothing on the top of my head right now. This blog gets few comments nowadays so it's usually not an issue.


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