First of all, there seems to be an excessive amount of censorship going on. Some of us were having a little fun on a thread that was barely sexually suggestive, had to do with Penn and Teller, and the chat is now gone. I just can’t imagine in any way shape or form anyone getting offended enough to sue anybody on any basis whatsoever. I’d say a judge would laugh the lawyers out of court if they even tried. Surely there must be a lot of leeway to mention celebrity’s names in different contexts, including as the butt of harmless jokes. Why were Roseanne Barr and Sylvester Stallone born, otherwise?

Second, if you’re going to censor jokes out of some fear of a celebrity suing you, then leave up racist threads, eleven that went up last night alone, because you aren’t scared of someone suing you in the interest of protecting the rights of a certain minority group, then, without hearing your side of the story, I’d say there’s something wrong there. I mean I get there’s a difference, I’m just saying what are the priorities here.

Third, please fix the blog issue. If you aren’t going to make it so that posts bump the popular threads to the top of the page, then at least on the blog home page, keep the new threads on the left, and the updated threads on the right, or on the neighborhood blog page, note when each thread was last updated so that readers can know by looking what blogs are current. For example, if I look at the neighborhood blog page, I have no way of knowing when the last time a blog was updated. It may not have been updated for years.

The problem is that some threads that are popular drop off the home page and then if I want to keep up with them I have to first of all remember which neighborhood, which thread, etc., to hunt it down and open it. If someone posts a comment to an old thread, no one has any way of knowing, and therefore, responding. Also new threads drop off the Reader home page as soon as another newer posted thread bumps it, so some threads may never see the light of day again, or be read.

Also, I think HTML tags should be available for the posts, maybe you should have a menu above the message box to add italics, bold, underline, bullets.

Thanks for reading!

Comments

CuddleFish Oct. 1, 2009 @ 6:20 p.m.

Watch it, they may censor you again, nan!!! :)) xxxxx

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nan shartel Oct. 1, 2009 @ 6:22 p.m.

ur gettin that lady boxer right now fishcakes!!!!!!

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nan shartel Oct. 1, 2009 @ 6:23 p.m.

it's dame huh...i can't say dame...hahahahahahahahaha

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CuddleFish Oct. 1, 2009 @ 6:24 p.m.

Ooooh, can't wait, I love presents! LOL

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nan shartel Oct. 1, 2009 @ 6:41 p.m.

GO BACK TO MY BLOG....THE PICTURE OF YOU AS A BOXER IS UP NOW LIL CUDDLEFISH!!!

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CuddleFish Oct. 1, 2009 @ 6:48 p.m.

Love it, love it, love it!!! xxxxxxx Thanks, nan!!!

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SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 7 p.m.

Fishcakes and Fishcuddles--now those'r cute ones, too! Thanks to nan for the new pet names AND a succinct, polite request to the Reader for not only clarification of content rules, but a more convenient way to manage blog threads. :)

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SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 7:01 p.m.

Yikes, I SHOULD be censored. Thanks to FISH, fishikins, fishcakes, fishcuddles.

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magicsfive Oct. 1, 2009 @ 7:01 p.m.

what about (and i know i have said it before) the censorship bias? apparently the blogger (or at least the STAFF bloggers) are allowed to swear (not dissing barbarella at all because i love her spicy sentence enhancers) but we as commentators are not allowed to use these words??? wtf? come on, reader admin....please explain this to me!!!!!! kudos, fish :)

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magicsfive Oct. 1, 2009 @ 7:03 p.m.

um lol yes it is SD...what about it? now it's 7 03 lolol

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SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 7:05 p.m.

Well, there was a 1 there, and we both posted, so that makes--ELEVEN, dollll :)

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magicsfive Oct. 1, 2009 @ 7:08 p.m.

aww you remembered. that's sweet. sorry i didn't make the connection :) xoxo

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Jay Allen Sanford Oct. 1, 2009 @ 7:22 p.m.

As far as I know, our staff blogs have the same built-in block against certain words - ARTICLES however do not have to go thru that software, so perhaps you're mistaking Barbarella's articles for "blogs". For the Rock Around the Town blog, I just insert a star in place of a vowel in a word the software doesn't want me uploading - works fine. For my Blurt and Musician Interview articles on the site, tho, no expletive block is in place -

As I understand the policy RE removing posts, only posts that are potentially libelous, slanderous, or filled with "purposeful malfeasance" (ie a pack of lies) get pulled down. Don't quote me as claiming those are "the rules" - that's just been my understanding after two years of daily blog posts on the Reader site.

If there really are racist blog posts or comments on the Reader site (and not just somebody's opinion about immigration or the like), please direct me to where they can be found ---

The suggestion to separate new threads from updates seems solid - I'm sure we WANT the more popular blogs to have the most showtime on the homepage, but there also has to be a constant cycling of "top" posts, in order to give the widest variety of posts (and topics and POVS) the chance to catch fire from the mainpage.

Look at the way Storyteller's blog posts went from very few views (and few comments) to most-read status for a couple of days, for her first two "Memories of Michael Jackson" posts.

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David Dodd Oct. 1, 2009 @ 7:42 p.m.

jay: Excellent explanation.

One issues: Everyone may want to rethink wishing that the most "popular" blogs get listed on the splash page. Some people (don't want to be libelous) obviously create multiple users and "create" comments. Plus, the most-read status can be deceiving, especially if it is the same two or three static IP address looking at the page.

Also, if you list by popularity, a lot of really good writing where the author doesn't care anything about popularity could get missed. One possible way to accomplish this is to have a similar link as the story comments has, where you can simply list the last fifty story comments in chronological order. This would be an easy way to access the blogs getting the most numerous recent comments, thereby making it easier to access popular threads.

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CuddleFish Oct. 1, 2009 @ 7:48 p.m.

As to the racist threads, keepinitreal posted eleven yesterday, in a matter of minutes. The first one is a video by the KKK, the rest are just as bad, including his commentary. Golly, don't you even read the titles of the threads???

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CuddleFish Oct. 1, 2009 @ 7:43 p.m.

Thanks for your reply jayallen.

Yesterday, one of the bloggers, won't mention her name, said kiddingly that if she were going to write a piece of romantic fiction it would include Penn and Teller, another blogger replied that she thought Penn would be a bit noisy, Teller not so much. That was the extent of the convo! It was a joke! A bit sexually suggestive, but in no way slanderous, libelous, or anything else anybody in their right minds could have sued you for! That is way overkill!!!

I visit a lot of magazine and ezine sites, where you can use the f word as long as you are making a point, such as "the fing fer's f***ed," to quote a sailor's description of a broken down jeep. You can make fun of celebrities till the cows come home. Just visit the FoxSports site, as an example, and see what they say about athletes, and even athletes families. I forget which athlete had a tragedy in his family and there were all kinds of remarks made that would have made your toes curl. I regularly visit Slate, and their view of profanity and celebrities is pretty loosey goosey too, although I must say I made a comment about Ted Kennedy when he died that they deleted. Why is this site any different???

As to the thread issue, I would suggest keeping the Reader home page as is, with new threads bumping the old, that's fine, well not fine, but acceptable. But on the Blog home page, show the new threads as you do now, on the left, and the threads that are getting posts, that is popular threads, on the right. Posts should automatically bump a thread up that list, the list on the left obviously called New, and the one on the right Most Popular. The way you have it set up now is simply horrible.

Thanks!

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CuddleFish Oct. 1, 2009 @ 8:48 p.m.

No actually, we can't use HTML tags in posts. In threads, yes, but adds to the threads, nope. Or at least that's as I understood, because I tried to add to an add and it didn't work.

Thanks for working on the blog situation, I look forward to the day I can keep up with this crowd, they add posts and I don't know where or how to find them easily if they are bumped off the home page.

Okay, so what's the deal with the Penn and Teller situation? I think it was on one of my threads, if I'm not mistaken.

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Reader Staff Oct. 1, 2009 @ 8:44 p.m.

Per our Terms of Use (www.sandiegoreader.com/terms_of_use), “We prohibit profanity, libel, spam, racial epithets, and the harassment and abuse of others.”

We use our best judgment, our Terms of Use, and feedback from our users to determine which content is inappropriate and needs to be removed.

Thanks for the valuable feedback on how we’re displaying blogs.

The problem with giving priority to “Most Popular” is that the most popular then get more attention, and tend to stay most popular. As jayallen correctly points out, we’ve chosen to display posts in a way that cycles them more frequently.

On the neighborhood blogs page, it certainly makes sense to display the date a blog was last updated. You can expect that to be added shortly.

We’ll also working on a page that displays the most recent blog comments -- which may be an indicator of most popular, and a way to see if someone has commented on an old thread.

You should have no problem using HTML tags in blog entries. You can find tags for all your various styling needs through a quick Google search.

Thanks for reaching out. We're listening.

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Reader Staff Oct. 1, 2009 @ 9:55 p.m.

Oh, you meant comment posts! To clarify: HTML in blog entries is totally allowed. In comments, 'tis not. Maybe in a future version.

The Penn and Teller situation is being investigated.

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PistolPete Oct. 2, 2009 @ 1:28 p.m.

I'd like to thank the admins for not banning me Like I'vebeen on so many other boards. I HATE censorship but I understand it if it's libelous or slanderous. Everyday ordinary swearing should be allowed. After all,isn't adulthood about choices? You can choose to stay up and eat doughnuts while drinking beer. You can choose what you eat,who you see and what you wear. Why can't these same adults choose to ignore certain words that they find objectionable. I thought we left England to escape the goody two shoes?.....

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David Dodd Oct. 2, 2009 @ 1:41 p.m.

Pete, there's one reason I like the idea of not permitting profanity in the public weblog sections. It isn't because it offends me, and it isn't that I'm for any sort of censorship. When I write for publication, I often use profanity if it fits the situation.

It's because there are a lot of people that would simply abuse it here for the sake of being able to abuse it.

I've seen it in other places on the internet, where there is no censorship, and while you have most of the people behaving there are always the select few that go completely out of their way to be offensive simply because they want to annoy the rest of us.

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nan shartel Oct. 2, 2009 @ 5:22 p.m.

i think it's really a shame that Penn and Teller are being investigated...i mean they don't even live in San Diego and they will never have a tryst here now

grumblegrumblegrumble

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CuddleFish Oct. 2, 2009 @ 6:07 p.m.

I've been on a number of sites, and I've seen very little abuse in terms of profanity. And when that does happen, a report to the site mods generally takes care of it. I mean, you can't avoid idiots in real life, why should you try and expect to avoid it here? Really, no one can watch every single thing we say every minute of the day. To some extent, we have to expect that we are going to experience some unpleasant things here, but if there's a mechanism to report abuse, then we ought to trust them to take care of the worst stuff and we ought not to cry over the people who can't think of a better way to say what they have to say. I don't mean the profanity used to make a point, of course, and that's what I dislike being censored. If you feel that strongly about something, then say it.

Hey nan, Penn and Teller are seriously subversive, you have to watch those guys every minute, you never know what might happen if you tell a joke about them. Calamity!!!!

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Jay Allen Sanford Oct. 2, 2009 @ 6:24 p.m.

25: People who abuse host websites are ALSO the main reason behind html being enabled for blog posts, but NOT for comments. You wouldn't believe the malicious and destructive code attacks some people try launch anonymously with comments - the kind of stuff that can shut down a whole website, or divert the url to porn sites and such.

Also meant to mention something about the claim that blog comments are frequently deleted by Reader webadmin. While this happens on occasion if a comment is slanderous,libelous, or a load of inciteful hooey, you should know that sometimes the bloggers themselves are deleting comment threads they don't like, for whatever reason.

Say someone posts their new blog entry, and a couple of negative comments appear below it ---- the blogger can switch that blog post to "draft," and then launch it again with a new page, with a blank comment field. The original page (and its comments) will still exist, but only to someone who has the url to seek it. Only the second comment-free post will remain visible on the website table ---

So it's possible that, if you see your comment to a blog suddenly vanish, the blogger did it, not website admin.

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SDaniels Oct. 2, 2009 @ 6:50 p.m.

jayallen wrote in exemplum: "While this happens on occasion if a comment is slanderous,libelous, or a load of inciteful hooey, you should know that sometimes the bloggers themselves are deleting comment threads they don't like, for whatever reason."

Some recent censorship cases/examples and questions, in which the above does not apply:

  1. jayallen and Web admin, I can understand how, for example, the threads on Critical Mass, in which the author and other bloggers were inciting clear and direct violence against/upon cyclists, were removed. But it took a long time for that to happen--over a month? The Penn and Teller comments on Fish's blog were removed within a couple of hours. No one involved in that conversation would have reported these innocuous comments, so why the uneven treatment?

  2. Unbeknownst to me, another blogger suggested removal of Mindy/storyteller's comment on my 9/11 blog, simply because it was 'rude' to myself, and inappropriate for a memorial blog on 9/11. (I have never once suggested a posting removal, and likely never will). Instead, my retort to Mindy was removed, because it suggested that she made the close acquaintaince of car salesmen through ads on craigslist. I would not have made this kind of comment, except for the plain fact that storyteller has written two first person narrative blogs expressly about just that--sleeping in motels with married men met on craigslist hook-up ads.

--So how is this libelous, when the other party has directly admitted to and described in great detail the behavior I mentioned? I also modified the comment with the word "likely." I can understand that Web admin cannot keep in mind at all moments what people have written about themselves or others, or research all blog comments for meaning, as well as standard markers of libelous content--but I still have the questions about uneven application of the standard.

  1. There are people paid to blog daily on this site who submit misinformation about public figures, but modify statements/claims with "I'm not sure on all the details of this situation," and the misinformation stays, again and again.

How does Reader admin determine what is opinion from what is journalistic reportage?

Is "daily blog" a disclaimer of sorts, when paid staff write under this banner? With all due respect, I do not mean to stir up any trouble, and name no names--but truly would like these questions answered. Thanks for investigating Penn & Teller-Gate! :)

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CuddleFish Oct. 2, 2009 @ 11:22 p.m.

Okay, admin, I have found the reference to the Penn and Teller thing, it was on my There's No Cheating In Scrabble thread:


russl and Fish clearly asked about their rights:

"(#16) What happened, SD? Which thread -- this one? Whose comment? What changed? I missed it, whatever happened."

"What happened, did nan's comments get pulled? :("

Between comments 8 and 9, you'll notice a GIANT gap that makes no sense. Therein took place the most ridiculous conversation, in which nan proposed a fictional blog about a tryst with Penn and Teller. I made a joke that was quite tame, and spoke in terms of what I "IMAGINED" might happen in her fictional tryst. They even removed her posting that just gave an image of Penn running down the beach. No language, nothing a teen couldn't read.

Hic-Sob. PP was right! The Reader has been taken over by a large Chinese corporation!

By SDaniels 2:24 p.m., Oct 1, 2009


I'd still be interested in hearing what happened there. Thank you.

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CuddleFish Oct. 6, 2009 @ 1:05 a.m.

Thanks to Reader Admin for the new blog comments page!

Still would like you to consider a Most Popular Blogs link, with those threads that have most adds bumped up the list.

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SDaniels Oct. 6, 2009 @ 1:24 a.m.

and thanks to Fishcuddles for suggesting it!

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CuddleFish Oct. 6, 2009 @ 7:22 a.m.

Awww SD, twas frustration in not being able to keep up with everyone's adds that made me ask.

Admin: Could you add that same Last 50 comments link to the Comments page so you don't have to go back to the Home Page to click the Last comments link to get back to that page???

Also, could you add a link to the Last 50 comments link to the View Comment page, for the same reason? When you add a comment now, the only option you have is to return to the Home Page.

And again, thank you, that comments add page does help!

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nan shartel Oct. 6, 2009 @ 1:08 p.m.

cuddles!!!

u and ur school can control the briny deep...w00t!!!

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