Website Editors Strive To Rein In Nasty Comments

May 28, 2010  |  

(NPR) — It’s easy to lose your temper on the Internet. Anyone who reads — or writes — comments on blogs and news sites knows that the conversation can quickly stray from civil discourse to scathing personal attacks. For years, many websites just let users go at it, and free speech reigned. But now editors are rethinking just how open their sites should be. Many people who want to participate in online discussions are quickly turned off by the nastiness. Miki Hsu Leavey, a resident of Napa, Calif., wrote a heartfelt, thankful letter to her local paper, The Napa Valley Register, after the health care bill passed. In the letter, she described her own struggle with lupus, her son’s difficulties getting insurance owing to his pre-existing heart condition, and her husband’s liver cancer diagnosis.

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