Monday, November 26, 2007

Note To MSM: Stop Lying

I recently blogged about CNN's decision to label Democratic-Party activists "undecided voters." Now, via Instapundit, this little tidbit, claiming that the San Francisco Chronicle's online edition has a feature which allows moderators to delete comments in a particularly sneaky way. Lots of sites allow comment deletion -- blogger lets me delete comments, although I seldom do so, and certainly would never do so simply because somebody disagrees with me. (In fact, the only comments I have ever deleted thus far have been comment spam.)

But the Chronicle feature deletes the comment for everybody except the person who originally posted it. The person who made the original comment gets a cookie which identifies them, and they still see their own comment. (Of course the person can purge the cookie, or go to a different computer, in which case it won't be visible.) Apparently, the idea is to prevent people from getting up-in-arms about having their comments deleted.

If they want to delete comments, it's their site. There are no "equal time" rules requiring newspapers to allow comments. But if you delete comments, don't lie to the people who made them and pretend the comment has not been deleted.

Might I suggest that this willingness to lie is part of the reason why the "MSM" is in such trouble these days? Hint: if you want to get your credibility back, then, at a minimum, stop lying.


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