Home Opinion Editorial: Status of EastCountyToday and Comment Section

Editorial: Status of EastCountyToday and Comment Section

by ECT

I do not know about you, but I cannot wait until this arbitrary June 15th date gets here so that California Governor Gavin Newsom may reopen California and we all regain a more normal lifestyle.

The past few weeks have been nice being able to visit local establishments to better support them while seeing faces I’ve not seen in a very long time and meeting many new people who I’ve only seen on a computer. I hope you all get to experience that soon.

This comes on the heels of the past year where we all were living within the stay-at-home economy, toilet paper shortages, more take-out food than normal to seeing a national debate on law enforcement to shout down society rear its ugly face.

It’s as if we are now in a country where we are not allowed to have a difference of opinion, share a thought or debate a topic without an honest discussion for fear of being cancelled, intimidated or embarrassed.

It’s a shame we cannot simply agree to disagree and then go out for a beer.

This has been one heck of a year where I think many people figured out that everything they do on social media or in life is now under a microscope as we are in full blown cancel culture mode—remember, this started with the term “Karen” as a way to bring attention to people or to people some do not agree with in order to shame them. At one point, it seemed as if everyone was a “Karen”.

This website is no different and is now under attack along with the businesses or anyone who supports it.

This editorial is meant to serve as an update to happenings with this site, its future plans and addressing some of the craziness people are putting out there.

Since launching in 2012, the intent has always been to provide the community with information that is helpful and create a community dialogue—the good, the bad and the ugly.

Ironically, those shouting down right now are doing the exact thing they claim to oppose. There are erroneous accusations and lies—in fact, a local paper picked up on a press conference and did a story so should I ever look for a job or seek employment doing something else, it would be damn near impossible to move on from EastCountyToday.net.

So… what is left to do is fight cancel culture and stick up for what is right.

Society is at a point where no one is apparently allowed to disagree, have a difference of opinion or see different perspectives without being attacked. This is wrong.

Thought Police

Some say the comments should be a free for all and opinions should not be suppressed. Others say allow no comments at all. Many say allow comments within filters of moderation.

To be honest, this is one area where I have struggled internally as when I launched eastcountytoday.net the goal was always to allow people to share opinions and ideas—basically a free market of water cooler chatter.

People forget that social media is a microcosm of society—people are revealing themselves by what is posted online. This isn’t anything new, commenting on the internet has dated back to old school message boards and has evolved into social media.

Remember, with a stay-at-home society, the water cooler is now social media and where conversions are happening.

I cannot control what 73,000 people may or may not say nor when they may or may not say something just as every other media company or anyone with a Facebook page has dealt with since the dawn of the internet and message boards.

That said, I do agree some comments should never show up and the 5% of idiots out there on both sides really should consider toning it down because 90% of us can have a conversation and not be offended or shout one another down.

So what has been done?

  1. All comments on the website now have to be approved.  If this continues to be an issue, comments on articles may be turned off, but I wish to leave them on as I work through the process.
  2. Facebook Filters have been increased. Certain words trigger the filter and they hopefully do not show up—phrases such as “go back to Oakland” or “go back to Richmond” should no longer show up in comments.  The list is much longer, however, I wish to not repeat the phrases. I am always open to more words and phrases to be added to the list.
  3. Banning People: Some people have simply been banned from posting comments both on the website (through IP Address/Email/etc) and on Facebook.
  4. Community Advisors: I’ve reached out to members of the community to seek feedback on content and comments and what should be done. I am working to create a more formal advisory group that could meet at least once a quarter to have a round-table discussion and feedback.

In true transparency, and I will own this, the website and Facebook was not moderated as well as it should have been and I apologize for that. I cannot change the past, but I will do my best to prevent and delete verbal abuse, hate speech or comments that are simply inappropriate.

Haters

Always going to have them. The end!

I am willing to say at this point as of May 6, the group calling for the boycott has never once called me, texted me, emailed me to meet or offer up any type of recommendation for me to consider.  Instead, they have tried to shout me down, slander/libel me all while intimidating and threatening those advertisers who support ECT which is a shame since they are some great businesses and community assets.

You can’t come to a compromise if one doesn’t reach out and you don’t do that by playing “gotcha” with open letters and press conferences.

Furthermore, one doesn’t get to come at me with false innuendos, fake rhetoric and change the story multiple times just to fit a narrative. Remember, at first it was that I said all those comments. Then it was I supported the comments. To finally other people were making comments. Let’s at least be honest here instead of making things up as one goes.

So yes, haters always going to hate but I will own the fact the site should have had more moderation in the past. But the good thing about the present, that can and has been happening since my January 11 editorial.

Support of Police, Firefighters and Military

Believe it or not, this still comes up. To clear the air for the billionth time. Yes, ECT supports police, firefighters, first responders and the military. Supporting them, however, does not give them a free pass, but we do support them and have said that since day 1.

A safe community should be priority number one for everybody. Reducing police budgets is just a terrible idea especially considering state laws of zero bail and catch and release. We should all be supporting the police and reform is happening and will happen.

Facebook Fan Subscriptions

This is something new launched last week in an effort to support the website/service. It is where our breaking news alerts are being posted which then pop up on your phone/facebook feed (similar to an App). For $2.99 a month, you gain access. (or click here)

Simply log into Facebook, hit the “become a supporter” button and sign up. You then gain access to the feed and a special group. When the group grows large enough, will have exclusive videos, interviews and content.

This was actually created based on readers wanting to support the site, but did not have a business to advertise and didn’t want to use our PayPal method.

Or, companies can continue to do traditional advertising.

 

Website

Will and always will be free for the content of eastcountytoday to be distributed. No changes other than all comments will be moderated before showing up. If you are interested in advertising, supporting or wanted to collaborate, feel free to reach out.

 

Open Dialogue

Should anyone have any opinions, concerns or suggestions, please feel free to reach out. I am not hard to find. I for one am glad people have spoken up on all sides of the aisle because that is what we should be doing–but not shouting down. I am glad people are demanding more accountability, that is how we all become better.

I realize cancel culture and shout down may be uncomfortable for many, but I think when we get through it, we will all be better for it on the other end.

I look forward to feed back and actual dialogue. Not grenades thrown from the cheap seats.

Shoot me an email. Lets talk

Thank you

Mike Burkholder
[email protected]

You may also like

21 comments

Back the Blue May 6, 2021 - 3:54 pm

Keep up the good work Mike. It’s difficult right now. I believe some people really have no idea what they want, which causes problems for many.

Tracy G May 6, 2021 - 4:01 pm

I will make it a priority to patronize the advertisers. Well maybe not the police..but you get my gist 🙂

“Who knows why we were taught to fear the witches and not the ones who burned them alive”.
Anon~

Street-Sweeper May 6, 2021 - 4:34 pm

We live in a soft society filled with hypocrisy and coddling. Its easier to blame others then to take ownership.

Keep doing what you’re doing, don’t let them get in your head.

Karen Livingston May 6, 2021 - 5:41 pm

My name is KAREN … YES! I’m a KAREN …..far worse than the original one ……. and no one intimidates me or shames me when I call them as I see them. If they try to do the “shaming” act, that just triple my effort.

Mike, I suggest you get out of Comrade Zuckerberg’s FACEBOOK entirely! Why would anyone even want to join that bunch and be dictated to as what they can or cannot post. Ridiculous! Same goes with Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and others of that ilk.

Leo Bronson May 10, 2021 - 2:39 pm

I’d add Redditt to the list! Mike should definitely drop FACEBOOK. Why support a POS like Zuckerberg?

Terri May 6, 2021 - 6:09 pm

100% behind you Mike! Keep doing what you do!

Dawn Marie May 6, 2021 - 7:02 pm

People should be able to post whatever they want on this site and not wait to be “approved.” If we want approval, then that’s what YouTube or Facebook are all about. Censorship of any kind is bad! I would also leave Facebook if I were you, Burk!

I patronize repeatedly all those businesses who advertise on this site and will continue to do so.

Lars Olsen May 6, 2021 - 9:48 pm

I support the advertisers and the police.

Donna Salazar May 6, 2021 - 11:00 pm

Standing Ovations and Pats On The Back, with a heart felt “That’a Boy” For all You do.
I for one am grateful to have a place to say what I think. “Antioch Rant and Rave fb page told me my comments were to political, even tho Politics is one of their Topic Choices. Thats actually found the comment section on this page. Since then Iam glad to hear I am not the only person that can not understand why TWT has been allowed to continue ilegally on the city council. But this Comment isn’t about that.
Its about Honor, Honestt Integrity and Intelligence
Qualities You have. And also come through on EastCountyNet.
Thank You

LoveableCurmudgeon May 7, 2021 - 5:42 am

Mike. ECT is the first site I log on to every morning. I love it that I can read local stories about local people and businesses. I also love that we can comment on what’s here. Unfortunately, and I admit to sometimes ( often?😀) crossing the lines of reasoned good taste debate, there are far too many comments from people who barely disguise their racism. And that disturbs me a lot. That said, the thought police running rampant these days need to dealt with, and they must learn that FREE SPEECH means just that. Perhaps ECT should go out of its way to solicit opinions from those folks. That would remove that arrow from their arsenal. Just keep up the good, hard, work

Tammy Niven May 7, 2021 - 1:52 pm

LOVEABLE. Do you see what you’re doing? Take a look! With your comment, you come across like THE THOUGHT POLICE yourself. In one sentence, you are defending FREE SPEECH and in the next one, you want to SHUT PEOPLE UP! i never disguise mine because no one has the right to tell me what I think. We are not living in a dictatorship. Let it disturb you. You have that right! If you want censorship of what you post, then by all means, stick with FACEBOOK (our kids refer to it as FACEBUTT) , Instagram, YouTube, Google, Twitter and the like. What’s more, “good” taste and “poor” taste are SUBJECTIVE!

Elizabeth E. Parker May 8, 2021 - 1:36 am

Why is this a problem, LOVEABLECURMUDGEON? What if they are NOT trying to disguise anything? Why should this be YOUR concern? We have the freedom to express ourselves in this country. People have different feeling about a myriad subjects based on their personal experiences. Why would you feel the need to shut them up?

Martin Burton May 9, 2021 - 2:54 am

“Disguise their racism?” I don’t disguise anything, including my name. I don’t believe in anonymity! You “call ’em as you see ’em,:” is my motto. If someone doesn’t like that, then it’s THEIR problem, not mine.

LOVEABLECURMUDGEON, you will thank your lucky stars and hope the police “run rampant” when 76,000 violent criminals descend on our neighborhoods. I hope to hell the police “run rampant” and then some. As of now, the police are far too soft on the criminals we encounter here.

Roxanne Fox May 12, 2021 - 12:54 am

LOVAEABLE? So it disturbs yo “A LOT?” Good! It’s sad that you don’t seem to accept the fact that people have the right to think what they think and to express it. Everyone has their own experiences which they use to vent. You cannot stop people from having opinions from experiences you were not a part of. So, just let it go. People have that right, in case you didn’t know! Just expressing something doesn’t violate any laws. If it does, then please CITE THE LAW!

Robert C. May 7, 2021 - 6:32 am

Regarding posted comments on this (or any) website, we all know that the anonymity of the internet promotes bad behavior. People will “say” things online that they would never dare say face to face.

I notice a recurring form of behavior here that I suggest should be banned (if it isn’t already). When discussing an issue, it’s legitimate to say “I disagree with what you said and here’s why …”. What is not legitimate is to simply hurl insults at a poster rather than comment on the poster’s ideas. That behavior simply reduces the opportunity for constructive debate.

Lola Saavedra May 7, 2021 - 1:58 pm

ROBERT — I use my real name when I post anywhere! Free speech is just that, “free speech” … in any way a person cares to comment. What I post I also say to people I’m addressing. In other words, I say ONLINE exactly what I say to the person. It they don’t like it, too bad!

Banning unpopular speech is something they do in RUSSIA, CHINA, CUBA and VENEZUELA. Do you want that here? Nothing should be BANNED in a democracy. . and I mean, NOTHING! If you don’t like that, then you might be happier in the countries mentioned. Good luck!

Kim Shaw May 8, 2021 - 12:01 am

I use my real name, too. If I wanted for my post to be scrutinized for content, I’d post it on YouTube or Twitter. I think Burk should drop Facebook . LOL, I mean FACEBUTT (very accurate description). More and more people are leaving FB because they’re tired of that twit, Zuckerberg and is wife!

Constance Towers May 8, 2021 - 1:01 pm

Donna, that woman committed FRAUD! She should have been removed last November! Arsonists, even if they served their term, are NOT permitted to run for any public office EVER! There is no reason to use the RECALL system to get her out. She should just be removed by the police with the city attorney along to make sure this is done! What in hell is going on? Even many people in her district, once they found out about the felony, are angry!

Karen Douglas May 9, 2021 - 3:48 am

This “Karen” shames the criminals, scumbags and those “useful idiots” who are ruining this city with their anti-cop rhetoric. This also includes those “people of the cloth” who buy into this dangerous nonsense and even are dumb enough to appear with the useful idiots are rallies. Shame on them!

Marylin Maxwell May 10, 2021 - 2:42 pm

I use my real name and I don’t mince words! If someone doesn’t like it, then it’s obvious that “THE TRUTH HURTS”

Eleanor Welles May 12, 2021 - 1:50 pm

Mike, the best thing you should do is get rid of Facebook. People are leaving it in droves and we are working on shorting their stock.

Comments are closed.