Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

Curated knowledge, trenchant insights & witty bon mots

CBC temporarily suspends comments for online indigenous stories

They’ve got to find a way to squeeze the racists out. Good luck to them.

From the Globe and Mail (“CBC suspends online comments on indigenous stories“):

In an online note to readers, the CBC’s acting director of digital news said that comments on those stories will be barred until editors can review moderation procedures.

“While there are a number of subjects and groups of people who seem to bring out higher-than-average numbers of worrisome comments, we find ourselves with a unique situation when it comes to indigenous-related stories,” wrote Brodie Fenlon.

“We’ve noticed over many months that these stories draw a disproportionate number of comments that cross the line and violate our guidelines. Some of the violations are obvious, some not so obvious; some comments are clearly hateful and vitriolic, some are simply ignorant. And some appear to be hate disguised as ignorance (i.e., racist sentiments expressed in benign language).”

CBC uses third-party moderators to monitor comments. Still, Mr. Fenlon said in an interview, “We do see people who use language that, on the surface, if you’re a moderator and you’re not familiar with the story, it might not stand out to you as a racist comment, but in the context of the story it becomes obvious what it is, even though it’s almost disguised.”

As part of the review, Mr. Fenlon said, “indigenous and non-indigenous staff are going to look at the comments that … have caused concern, and say: ‘What are the common things we’re seeing? Could we provide some guidance for the moderators?’”

He added that the review, which he expects will wrap up early in the new year, may result in new practices such as moderators reading the stories or other background material.

Comments on CBC.ca are moderated by ICUC, a Manitoba-based company. It also moderates comments for the Globe and Mail.

The Sun chain of papers has temporarily given up on comments on their websites until they can finally figure out a way to improve the signal-to-noise ratio.

Mon, November 30 2015 » * Big Picture Stuff, Main Page