Serraglio is correct, to a point. The ADS comments section was for the most part part poorly moderated; and for those prone to swooning with the vapors after reading intemperate diatribes from those on the extremes, a swamp of excess and incivility. It was also a good place to argue substance and fill in the enormous holes in the reporting of a suspect pool of journalists. But to claim as Patrick O'Neill would have it, the Comments section is hugely improved, is strange. It is like suggesting a bowl of lukewarm pablum is an improvement over a bowl of well prepared chili. The few comments seeping in from Facebook, are colorless and insubstantial; this was to be expected.
I posted with some regularity. In the end my challenge to the the liberal/progressives who rightly took issue with the theatrics and idiocy in the state legislature was simple enough. I will as the lawyers would have it, stipulate the Republicans running the state are bizarre and childish. But, in self-proclaimed Baja, AZ we witness with mind-numbing regularity, the abject failure of the liberal/progressive Democrats in the City of Tucson and the County of Pima, to spend hundreds of millions of tax dollars and have, at the end, something to show for it; a return on the promises. Rio Nuevo, of course, is just one example among many where these folks have distinguished themselves as, at best, incompetent and at worst corrupt, venal criminals.
So maybe here, a local liberal or progressive will take the challenge and offer why it is a given that the Republicans running the state are troglodytes but the local Democrat machine in the Baja continues on a path of destruction without comment. I've issued this challenge a dozen times on the ADS boards without a response and would be happy to hear from someone here who believes the local Democrats are worthy of praise or even forbearance.
Maybe they can remove this article to, this guy hates the truth plain and simple.
I participated in many meaningful comment exchanges about ADS articles in the past; however, I have no intention of joining "facebook", "twitter", or other unsecure way for hackers and criminals to cause undue harm.
The newspaper published in our sister city to the north went to this requirement some time ago. Certainly it ended the vitriol, but it also ended any meaningful comments. Now there are only a few, either advertising work-at-home schemes, or saying, "Well, I don't know. I sort of agree, but then I sort of disagree, too." That, coupled with only 'like' to click makes the comments completely uninteresting.
PLEASE, TW, do NOT go the same way!
Count me as one who was 86ed from The Star for unknown reasons. Some of the most vitriolic racist anti-muslim comments were being posted about the story of the Phoenix muslim father who "honor killed" his daughter. I simply pointed out the facts of christian mothers who have killed their offspring, and christian web sites devoted to christian men abusing their families.
My comments were NOT removed but my account was frozen. After an email exchange with John Bolton, he directed me to call him to determine if I would be allowed back on. Screw that! No way I'd kiss his wrinkly old ass just to make comments in The Star cesspool that didn't violate their rules to begin with. That was the last time I posted there and never looked back.
Gee, finally, a good reason to join Facebook.
The Star can't tombstone you from Facebook, can they? They can only delete your comment, right?
It appears that the most egregious form of comment, the one that will get deleted quickly is any that appears to diss Frank Antenori or any right-wing, bat-crap crazy republican politician.
Or, as this article shows, any reasonable attempt to calmly call out one of the execrable right-wing trolls dog paddling in the ADS comment cesspool...
The 2nd (and final) time that I was censored and tombstoned from the ADS comments (ironically, soon after one of my LTOEs was published) was when I called Frank a neanderthal -- even though I DID include an apology to Neanderthals everywhere...
Having witnessed Frank's irrational, racist, bigoted, war-mongering act, I was being kind...
I still have the astounding email thread from when I protested the Star's discriminatory policies from the corporate level on down. That was a previous "editor". It sounds like Kornmiller's has taken up where the last one left it...
Aw, on 2nd thought, the ADS is a lost cause and their comment threads are a huge waste of time. The Star sucks on the teats of the developers, university and the ugly, expensive, wasteful war machine just like most of the rest of the "power" in this town. Trying to get any other point of view in that rag other than the letters to the editor is a lost enterprise...
I discovered the Facebook only requirement on the Star recently and it will probably result in the cancellation of my paid subscription.
Why? I don't have a Facebook account. I don't need or want one. And before folks start calling me a Luddite, I happen to teach computer classes and recognize that data mining and security issues are rampant on many of the social networks.
I was the sole admin for an international car club forum for 16 years. In that time I had to keep folks focused on the topic and put out the fires when they occurred. It takes a firm hand and is almost a 24 hour job to do something like that.
If the local print media doesn't want to pay local people to manage the responses in an intelligent way, then perhaps they should just give up and not allow any responses at all or in the case of the local daily, just "get out of town" to borrow a phrase.
I don't like every article or column in the TW either, but at least it appears to be researched and written by real people who have a passion for Tucson.
The Star's commenting section was a disgrace ( I wrote 2 articles on it on Tucson Citizen) that gave the entire city a black eye to any outsider reading it.
However the switch to Facebook commenting HAS made a huge improvement - at least for the moment most of the trolls have taken their marbles and gone home.
I agree with Randy Serraglio:
"But the Star has no one but itself to blame, since it failed to moderate the comments in a meaningful or effective way."
And perhaps this is why the Star gave up and outsourced the job. But, instead of finding a path to more civil comments, it succeeded in reducing the number of comments by, What? 90%?
And I agree with Randy that a civil comment is often the best response to an uncivil comment and that the real issue is not so much the name we choose to use when commenting but the comment. The Star did lose control of its comment forum. Moderating must be a hard job; but the Tucson Weekly seems to be demonstrating that it can be done.
Just as a publication may print letters to the editor without necessarily agreeing with the content, it is responsible for filtering out inappropriate material and making sure the letters are appropriate for public consumption (meaning, in the first place, coherent). The same should hold true for policies regarding online comments, but for some reason online comments have been a virtually unmoderated free-for-all (virtually, not literally; obviously, the Star imposed some idiotic, indefensible standards that promoted personal attacks on public figures but eliminated valid criticism of maniac posters). Back in the early days of StarNet, trolls immediately started taking over the chat forums, which led the Star to abandon those within a couple of years. Right then they should have known that they would need to take a firmer hand with online comments. Has the problem been hypocrisy, or mere laziness? Either way, it's been inexcusable. (Also, I believe people should take responsibility for their comments, so good riddance to anonymity.)
What a great cause, thanks.
Charles, you need to become a columnist. There are actualy a few of us out here who are interested in truth and facts regarding immigration. But you're right - nice people don't talk about these things, nor do they win elections.
Israel successfully controls its borders with walls and fences considerably lower than fifty feet. Only the most foolish terrorist or illegal migrant thinks about a fifty-one foot ladder. Israeli politicians respond to their citizens' concerns about crime, loss of national identity, terrorism and other trivial things by enforcing the law. And how.
Had Romney won 100% of the Latino vote he would have still lost the election. By refusing to address concerns about immigration and affirmative action he failed to energize white voters. That's why he lost. Nice people don't talk about such things, nor win elections.
While it's true 40% of illegals are visa overstayers they are still in violation of U.S. law. They lied about their intentions when they signed documents applying for a visa. Pull a stunt like that in Japan and see what happens.
There are tax payers and tax eaters. See if you can tell which is which. 57% of legal immigrants from Mexico receive needs-based assistance (though mere pikers when compared to immigrants from the Dominican Republic, 82% of whom are on welfare). 6% of legal immigrants from Germany (well, of course they're legal) are on welfare. 'Huge contributions' indeed.
George Borjas, the leading labor economist in the U.S., has proven immigration, legal and illegal, drives down wages for all sectors of the U.S. labor force, even those with college degrees. But who cares about that? Who cares that U.S. wages, adjusted for inflation, have not improved since the 1970s? Everyone knows the economic law that increased supply results in lowered price is suspended when it comes to labor.
There are five billion people in the world poorer than the average Mexican. That's a threat. Allowing them, any of them, to come here only impoverishes us. If Mr. Serraglio actually cared as much about the environment and about the quality of life in Arizona as he pretends to he would support deportation and population restriction.
Meant to say foreign workers FOR JOBS that pay so little Americans won't do them.
And how would we manage foreign workers in an orderly fashion? Make them wear ankle bracelets? Ask them to line up for roll call every Monday morning? If we placed an order with Mexico for 4 million workers and 10 million want to come, how many do you think we'd get? (My guess is 10 million - 4 million through the front door legally and 6 million the same way we've been getting them all along.) And doesn't anyone see anything wrong with bringing in foreign workers that pay so little that Americans won't do them? Where's a Democrat when we need one? I thought Dems were looking out for the common people who lack the skills for high-paying jobs.
The last 2 paragraphs are probably good ideas. Probably. Sadly these will not gain traction where it matters. "They" will not pass sensible immigration reform without better border security, and "they" will not fund border security. And "they" seem scared to death of the drugs
Spoken as a true illegal supporter, we need border security to keep more illegals from coming in and drug runners/terrorists out and I'm sorry I cannot see any contribution they make to our society, other then sending what should be going to our national tax fund back to their home countries. This is not a political problem with the American citizen, this is their jobs, their pay and their quality of public education and if you value your peacefulness, then you must want border security because with out it we risk the violence of the drug cartels spilling into your neighborhood.
This is framed as the classic pistol held to the head of a kitten to signify how awful things will go for the innocents.
The real issue is the ridiculously Stagnant & Still City and County parks bureaucrats. Grey, Payon, whoever runs the failed stadium, Tom Moulton, the Pima Sports Authority- which we have neither of-are just a short list of bloated do-nothings that make 100-200k plus car, benefits, and pension.
That's a lot of Miss Aimees and a lot of pot holes.
Why; if pools are closed, golf courses closed, Pima County Attractions closed or subsidised, significantly fewer employees to supervise, would these blokes merit this kind of pay? How would that work in the free market for them?
Give it back. To Aimee.
Thanks. I know tons of kids, including my own, that went to Movers & Shakers.
Great column. I won't be getting vaccinated either, but it seems to make sense to use the hand-washing strategy for limiting risk. However, most of the patrons at LA Fitness think that's just a bunch of baloney. They move from one piece of equipment to the next without a moment's concern for themselves and others. Using the FREE wipes and sanitizer which are available throughout the facility is out of the question to the unwashed masses there.
I suspect they're the same folks who'll say we need to continue with completely unrestricted animal experimentation because "we need to find cures for duh-zeezes in yoomin beans."
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