We don’t have a posted or concrete comment policy at Page One or The ‘Ville Voice, really, as it’s not necessary. We only remove comments when they’re unwarranted personal attacks, spam or are just beyond ridiculous.
But we have to address something.
I have recently been deleting comments that refer to the perceived sexual orientation of a U.S. Senator and other elected officials and at least one person leaving the comments took deep personal offense with the deletion. Joke or not, it’s inappropriate and we’re within our rights to delete that sort of comment. This site isn’t the place to make jokes about someone’s sexual orientation unless you have evidence to back up your claims. And even if you do have evidence to back up those claims? We still get to decide whether or not it’s appropriate. And in this case it’s not.
I took time out of my day to send a message to the person leaving one of the comments (just to let him know why it was removed) and he advised me that the deletion was immature, that my points were moot, that it’s not healthy for political discussion to delete it and that I’d run the site into the ground with this sort of attitude. And to that I have to say: Come on. We’re not the comment police, otherwise we’d be deleting every nasty thing that’s said about our personal lives in the comments. And we’re not stifling political discussion and the free flow of thoughts. We just happen to own this site and if we don’t want to discuss something on the site– guess what? We get to avoid it. It’s nothing personal.
There’s a time and a place for everything. Unfortunately, making jokes (no matter how innocent) about someone’s sexual orientation (unless you’re making one about ME and it happens to be hilarious), making disparaging comments about someone who isn’t in the public eye or just plain hurting someone or their character isn’t welcome here. That’s not to say you can’t be mean, spiteful or downright disgusting. That’s welcome here. Just please don’t get all personal about you-know-who’s you-know-what. It’s not cool.
And to the commenter who got upset: Yes, we do receive hundreds of thousands of unique visitors each year. Millions, even. That’s why we get paid.
We love you all for commenting and reading the site. So keep it up. Just wanted to clarify a few things in case there was concern about censorship.
UPDATE on the following day:
So one of the people leaving the comments about Senator Mitch McConnell’s sexual orientation is really taking offense. Have a look:
I just removed Page One, as the site owner has been engaging in a lot of censorship, which shouldn’t be happening on a political discussion site. On top of that, the site has essentially become a politically disoriented “pot-stirrer for pay” site that really isn’t doing much to enhance discussion of Kentucky politics. It’s nice for them that they may be making money off their silliness, but it’s not getting LouHI’s moral support any longer.
While true that we deleted a comment alleging that Mitch McConnell is gay, let’s get real. Censorship? We stated our case. And pot-stirrer for pay? Who, exactly, is paying us to stir the pot? Bruce Lunsford? We haven’t seen one red cent from him or anyone else who has influence over what we say. This is a ridiculous and outlandish accusation. To suggest that it is immoral for us to delete the comment in question is crossing the line because– guess what– we own the site.
This site is indeed ad-supported but long-time readers are fully aware that advertisements do not influence editorial content. Chris Thieneman has advertised his business and we’ve been less than kind to him on many occasions. The Bluegrass Freedom Fund advertised with us and you’ll recall that we took that 527 organization to task when no one else was willing to do so– and it was operated by someone we consider a friend! CW Louisville advertises with us on a regular basis and low and behold we criticized the station for its potential campaign finance violations during the most recent primary election. But maybe the biggest example is WHAS11. We almost got into a legal battle with that station yet you still see their programming advertised right here on this very site by the CW.
There’s no skin off our back. But this is just silly.