Thursday, September 14, 2006

Corral Changes Blog's Comments Policy

It has come to my attention that Miami Herald reporter Oscar Corral is now employing comment moderation on his blog. That means that comments made by readers must be approved by the blog administrator before they appear. This practice is pretty common in the blogosphere, and I use it here and on my other blog, but Corral was not using it and thus his comments section had become a flame war full of insults and threats. I wrote about the Herald and its seeming lack of guidelines for its bloggers,for, and even interviewed the Herald's Rick Hirsch about it. You can read that post here. I guess he got tired of the insults and the spam. I know I did.

Hat tip to Manuel.


Manuel A. Tellechea said...

As far as I know, there haven't been any real threats on Miami's Cuban Connection directed at Oscar Corral, although I am sure that such will be the rationale used to explain the implementation of so-called comment moderation. Someone did say that he was going to superimpose Oscar's mug on a picture of a pig's face in a corral, but that can hardly be taken as a serious threat.

Although personally I do not personally approve of the practice of comment moderation (whosoever be the practitioner), there is an important distinction between a private individual (such as yourself) adopting it and a newspaper blog instituting it. The Herald initiated blogging (indeed, required it) in order to solicit feedback from readers, to open, rather than restrict, the lines of communication. No other Herald blogger requires the pre-approval of comments before posting them. I doubt very much whether any other newspaper blog does, either.

Oscar's blogging policy appears to be: if it gets too hot in the kitchen turn off the pilots.

Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

I don't know what a newpaper's policy should be regarding comment moderation on blogs. That's why I investigated it in the first place. A blog is a different vehicle than a paper. In the paper they don't print every letter that comes in. They moderate the discussion on the opinions page. and I think blogs are closer to opinion pages than anything else. But Oscar was not operating his blog as a traditional blog. It was more to promote his columns in the paper. He offers no opinion on his blog.

I use comment moderation on my blogs to keep spam off as well as inappropriate comments. I have different standards on this blog than on my other blogs. Just as I write differently for this one than for the other ones.

Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Another important thing to consider is that Oscar never ever attended to his blog. Even when pandemonium broke out there, he was nowhere to be found to restore order or civility. Recently, he even gave up posting articles and the blog literally ran itself (that is, ran itself into the ground). For Oscar, Miami's Cuban Connection was never anything put an unwanted imposition foisted on him by the Herald's management. Until now. That is, until he became the focus of his own blog. Now he does pay attention. Right now, he's the one fighting for his survival at the Herald and using every weapon at his command, including censorship.

Manuel A. Tellechea said...

Well, there have been no approved posts on Miami's Cuban Connection today, by which we may assume that no one has commented favorably on Oscar's conduct so far. If that is the new criteria for admission to his blog, it is a fair assumption that soon it will be as deserted as an Old West town.