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Another year, another push-back against the Interweb's free-for-all ethos: the Pantagraph
over in Bloomington, Illinois
just executed a weekend cooling-off period during which comments on local stories were suspended.
To justify the move, editor Mark Pickering wrote
that local stories had elicited far too many comments that were:
offensive and devoid of civility, the worst of which include personal attacks and/or assertions that have nothing to do with the story...This "cooling off" period is meant as a strong reminder to our online readers: that the reason comments are allowed in the first place is to foster a "spirit of community involvement and conversation."
He doesn't cite it, but we suspect he's talking about discussions such as this one
. Readers' reactions were mixed (see here
). Pickering was singled out a few times, but this was nothing like the Kurt-Greenbaum-inspired locust storm
By the way, in case you think that one's
totally over: just a couple weeks ago, David Nicklaus
of the Post-Dispatch
did a blog post
on November job losses that drew 39 comments. About thirty-four were about a certain job loss caused by Kurt Greenbaum