Home Opinion New Policy: All Website Comments Will Now Be Approved

New Policy: All Website Comments Will Now Be Approved

by ECT

Dear EastCountyToday Readers:

Based on everything going on in this world, the time to become better has arrived. Going forward, as of January 11, 2021, ALL comments on this website will be approved before they appear under articles.

I would like to be clear; this is not about censorship nor limiting ideas. In fact, many comments will still be approved regardless of political ideology.  In fact, many comments may be approved that you may or may not agree with or like. Heck, I personally may not agree with them. However, people are entitled to their opinions and own reality.

Other comments, for various reasons, may not get approved when they resort to simply attack, appear raciest, incite violence or just not appropriate. The goal with comments is to further discuss issues and ideas, not resort to fighting.

This morning, I have asked our audience on Facebook to tone down the rhetoric across the board and to raise the bar on discussion versus resorting to attacks. In the past, I admit there has been little to no moderating in an attempt to promote an open discussion and exchange ideas. Sometimes there has been great dialogue, others times its been a complete disaster.

I do not like babysitting comments and would like to think people on both sides of the aisle can be adults in their discussions and believes—that obviously is not occurring and I have to own how the site was handled previously but I believe we can and will be better going forward.

The Process:

  • Read an article
  • Make a comment (if you choose)
  • Comment sits until approved/rejected (will try to do this quickly)
  • If approved, comment will be posted

I realize after last week; the world has become very polarized on both sides of the political aisle and there really is no winning. Being a local publication, however, I can at least control what comments appear on this website—social media is a bit more challenging.

I know some of you will roll your eyes with this policy, find it ironic and too little to late, but this is a start to hopefully greater community discussion and sharing of ideas. I ask that you at least give this policy a chance to work itself out.

Finally, I want to make it clear that I do not support nor encourage ANYONE to show up to councilmembers or any elected persons homes to intimidate them so I would hope that stops. Stick to comments at council meetings or do it politically through a recall/requesting censure or ask for resignations. A difference of opinion does not give you the right to intimidate. Just as free speech does not give you the right to intimidate or threaten.

Let today be the start of all of us being better. Yes, we will disagree at times, but lets agree to disagree on items and move onto the next for the good of the community, not political preferences.

I can be reached at anytime if you have questions,

Thank you

Mike Burkholder
[email protected]

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22 comments

Bill Moon Jan 11, 2021 - 9:38 am

Good move. I like it. Now get control over Facebook

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owen Jan 11, 2021 - 9:59 am

You are going to pick and choose what comments get posted. That is censorship.

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Karen Jan 11, 2021 - 9:59 am

Thank you, about time for this move. I hope we can all have conversations without the attacks and crazy people on both sides.

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Donna Jan 11, 2021 - 10:22 am

Bravo. If somone doesn’t understand the difference between making constructive comments and inciting what amounts to verbal violence, then maybe they need to be censored.

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Robert C. Jan 11, 2021 - 10:47 am

I would only suggest that you develop and post some basic criteria that comments must meet, i.e., no calls for violence, no obscenity, no racial/religious remarks, personal insults, etc. That way, the rules are known to everyone.

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ECT Jan 11, 2021 - 10:53 am Reply
Robert C. Jan 11, 2021 - 11:04 am

My bad! I didn’t see it!

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Eddy Jan 11, 2021 - 11:53 am

I hope you this also includes misinformation and conspiracy theories.

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WIV Jan 11, 2021 - 1:23 pm

Interesting, one I just left was not approved and seems to have been deleted on warning about mRNA vaccines.

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ECT Jan 11, 2021 - 2:12 pm

Both of your comments have been approved.

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WIV Jan 11, 2021 - 3:45 pm

They I apologize publicly. After I posted it, it vanished. I came back 5 minutes later and still didn’t show. I knee jerked and apologize and thank you for standing behind your work. This site has my full support and I will be sharing your article across MANY platforms. Thank you again.

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Steve Jan 11, 2021 - 6:14 pm

In regards to Eddy’s comment, I would just say that “misinformation” and “conspiracy “ theories are not always easy to discern. Anyone can say a fact is true or untrue. So please do not overstep bounds on these. Fact checking is often wrong and is in essence “censorship”. I don’t suspect this will be an issue with you Mike though. Thanks.

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Sandra Jan 11, 2021 - 9:05 pm

Thank you. I have been so saddened to read the regular racist and ignorant comments posted on articles, with no regard for humanity OR reality. Those made me embarrassed to live here, and made me feel isolated in the area. I would love to see more positive and well-read opinions in the future.

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Mike Jan 11, 2021 - 10:10 pm

Interesting. What are your credentials to be appointed the arbiter of truth and justice?
Here’s something for you to ponder…

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”

[Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States, August 8, 1950]
Harry S. Truman

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Tamara Steiner Jan 12, 2021 - 1:09 am

Excellent, Mike.

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Dawn Jan 13, 2021 - 4:21 am

I don’t like censorship of any kid and what you’re saying that it will be applied. If you go back and research what the people who developed computing systems in the ate 1960’s and 1970’s, the whole objective was to away from “traditional” communications. They wanted this system to be one where people could post whatever they wanted and no one would “moderate” the information whether it was true or not. Unfortunately, tech firms started demanding that people sign up in order to use their system. This killed the whole intention of what personal computing was all about. Yes, there are racist (not raciest) people who are that way for a reason; mostly because of their personal experiences. There is no law prohibiting it. Same goes for political or religious preferences or lack of religious incumbrances. Deal with reality. I like to read about what people think and I might agree or disagree with it, but they should have the right to express themselves even if someone doesn’t like it.

Look at what’s happening now to Twitter (TWTR), FB, GOOGLE and others. Their stock is being shorted daily by people upset over them censuring President Trump. People are fighting censorship by hitting those tech giants in the pocketbook.

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Reina Martinez Jan 13, 2021 - 4:29 pm

I hate censorship of any kind. The appearance of the phrase “you comment is awaiting approval” is sheer BS. We should be able to post what we want with no one deciding what’s OK and what’s not. As DAWN put out so eloquently, that was the whole goal of the people who developed the entire computing system, namely, to change forever how people an communicate; to get away from the traditional and open new horizons. Too bad this has been bastardized by those who didn’t get it

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Ann Griffin Jan 13, 2021 - 10:35 pm

People are dropping Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others because they are being harassed and shut off from posting their thoughts I think they are sick of being censored I just saw how their stock has come down.

I bet my post will not see the light of day.

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Martin Jan 14, 2021 - 3:22 am

I thought this site would be the kind where people could post what they think. Obviously it’s not .. So, good luck to you . I’m not participating nor supporting censorship of any time.

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Renata Rossi Jan 14, 2021 - 2:14 pm

This is the very reason I am not on NEXTDOOR and YouTube along with other sites where some appointed person makes a decision whether my input is “approved” or not. Screw them! Basta! People are getting sick of this and dropping FB like crazy. Twitter as well and they are not buying what these people advertise. The revenue is markedly down for these yokels. Zuckerberg might now not have enough money to continue ruining Hawaii!

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Rhonda Sun Jan 14, 2021 - 2:25 pm

So, Burk? Who held your feet-to-the-fire?

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Richard Harris Jan 15, 2021 - 3:15 pm

Twitter and other social media have censored people for putting out posts they didn’t agree with. What a shame! Posters can play the same game. I shorted TWTR a second time today just for a few minutes and caused the price to dip some more.

If we get more investors to short sale that POS then we can drop the price so much it will trigger lawsuits against the CEO.

Made quite a bit of $$$$$ on that transaction, but the idea is not to get rich. The idea is to move the price of TWTR down to a capitulation sell off. We are breaking TWTR. The goal is to make TWTR into a penny stock.

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