(Stock photo)

EDITORIAL: When hate shows in comments

Disturbing ideologies can flourish, in part because their messages can spread in online environments

Online comments posted on several recent news stories have brought out the worst in some of our readers.

Over the past few days, our moderators were left with no choice but to delete some of the comments on our sites and our Facebook pages because of racist and homophobic content.

Other online dialogues were becoming extremely heated, with some commenters exchanging barbs and personal insults rather than discussing the issue.

We have a responsibility to moderate the content on our sites and social media pages. This includes comments posted by readers.

While the recent hate-filled comments were deeply disturbing, they were hardly surprising.

While some social media platforms have been taking measures to address the rise of hate speech online, it is a growing problem.

READ ALSO: ‘Valuable life lesson’: Woman arrested for anti-Indigenous comments apologizes

READ ALSO: COLUMN: Safer Internet Day focuses on respectful communication

Some extremely disturbing ideologies can flourish, in part because their messages can spread in online environments. When hate speech goes unchecked, supremacist groups can gain a foothold.

The rise of online hate is happening at the same time as online commenting is taking on an increasingly angry tone. Too often, dialogue and tones that would be unthinkable in face-to-face conversations are becoming commonplace in online settings.

We have a responsibility to block or delete hateful comments, including racism, homophobia and character attacks.

The decision to hide or delete a comment is not one we make lightly.

We value free speech and we encourage our readers to comment on the stories they read in the paper and online — as long as the views address an issue and do not become inflammatory statements about individuals or specific groups.

Some topics, including the recent rail blockades and the spread of coronavirus, will elicit some strong opinions. Others will have strong views on decisions made by local, provincial or federal governments.

That’s fine. Your opinions are welcome as online comments or letters to the editor.

However, hate and intolerance cannot and will not be tolerated.

— Black Press

Signature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: What summer 2020 is like in Revelstoke

Contributors submit their favourite photos from this summer

Celebrate wildflowers next week in Revelstoke

Tourism Revelstoke is hosting a wildflower festival with various activities Aug. 9-16

Body of 21-year-old man found in Okanagan Lake

BC Coroners Service is investigating the circumstances of the man’s death

LETTER: Revelstoke does not need proposed Hay Rd. development

The development calls for 60 housing units

Which streets in Revelstoke have the most crashes?

The data was recently released by ICBC

Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Air Canada, WestJet say they provide names and contact information

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Alberta man’s body recovered from Okanagan Lake after five-day search

‘The depth of the water, as well as the topography of the lake, made the recovery of the deceased very challenging’ - RCMP

Masks urged for some students returning to Vernon schools

Phase two sees students return full-time Sept. 8

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

West Kelowna wildfire ‘under control’

B.C. Wildfire anticipates no further growth from the three-hectare fire

Abbotsford mom worried about her two kids in Beirut following explosion

Shelley Beyak’s children were abducted by their dad in 2018

Young Canadians, hospitality workers bear the brunt of mental strain in 2020: report

A study by Morneau Shepell points to economic uncertainty in the pandemic as the cause for angst

Most Read