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A friend called yesterday to draw attention to objectionable comments attached to a story on The Sun’s website. This is a perennial problem.

The openness so prized on the Internet does give a voice to everyone with access to a computer, but the comfort of anonymity means that we are regularly affronted with the sorts of remarks that used to be restricted to the stalls of public toilets.

Policing the comments is a task that few organizations can staff adequately, though editors at The Sun do scan the comments periodically. If you would like to assist in maintaining a semblance of civility on the site, a method is available to you.

When you next go to baltimoresun.com, notice that there is an option to register for the site. Once you are a registered member, you can flag offensive comments, and that will draw an editor’s attention immediately.

And while you are there, there is a recent feature of the website I’d like to draw to your attention. You can also sign up for news alerts to your mobile phone. There are several options: breaking news, sports, Ravens, Orioles, weather, business, entertainment, deals—and horoscopes.

Because I signed up for the weather alert, among others, I got word of the approaching thunderstorm yesterday afternoon and was able to warn my wife so that she didn’t get caught in it. I commend this feature to your attention.

This concludes a brief commercial announcement, and You Don’t say will be returning to your regular programming.

 

 

Posted by John McIntyre at 1:13 PM | | Comments (2)
        

Comments

John, is there a similar place where one can register for life in general in order to flag others' behavior as offensive, and thereby draw the attention of an editor? :-)

No "comment" should appear without having been reviewed by an editor. If that's too manpower-intensive, and it probably is, "comments" should be dropped.
Wait. Have I said this before?

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at john.mcintyre@baltsun.com.
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