Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » Questions keep coming up about moderating online forums


I doubt we'll ever be able to moderate an online forum to everyone's satisfaction. A blogger today raised questions about comments being deleted. Another asked about how we decide what to delete and why we don't explain more about those deletions.

For that blog, I pulled together a list of previous posts about online moderation. I figured I'd say that list on this post, too:

- How should we moderate our online forums and blogs

- Here's looking back at you, Toni Anne

- Please use your online freedom responsibly

- Digital world creates new situations for newspapers

- When should we release a user's IP address?

- What is a personal attack?

I expect I'll be adding to this list in the coming year. Journalists continue to learn and grow with the digital age. Life was a lot simpler about 10 years ago before the Internet blew up, but was it better or worse? I hope we can engage people constructively in a community conversation. That's the goal anyway with both our Web site and our printed newspaper.

We seem to deal with a lot more online personal attacks today than we did last year. Perhaps that's because we've dealt with a highly controversial ongoing local story (the DA and the city officials) and a hotly contested local election. Nonetheless, I'd like to think our online community will cut back on the personal attacks.

That certainly would make our moderating job much easier. We don't really want to delete posts.