CBC Suspends Online Comments on Indigenous Stories

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by Simon Houpt, The Globe and Mail

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is temporarily suspending comments on its online stories about indigenous people, after its editors determined that too many comments were being posted that it deemed “off the mark” or “racist.”

In an online note to readers, the CBC’s acting director of digital news said that comments on those stories will be barred until editors can review moderation procedures.

“While there are a number of subjects and groups of people who seem to bring out higher-than-average numbers of worrisome comments, we find ourselves with a unique situation when it comes to indigenous-related stories,” wrote Brodie Fenlon.

“We’ve noticed over many months that these stories draw a disproportionate number of comments that cross the line and violate our guidelines. Some of the violations are obvious, some not so obvious; some comments are clearly hateful and vitriolic, some are simply ignorant. And some appear to be hate disguised as ignorance (i.e., racist sentiments expressed in benign language).”

CBC uses third-party moderators to monitor comments. Still, Mr. Fenlon said in an interview, “We do see people who use language that, on the surface, if you’re a moderator and you’re not familiar with the story, it might not stand out to you as a racist comment, but in the context of the story it becomes obvious what it is, even though it’s almost disguised.”

READ THE REST OF THE STORY  HERE  AT THE GLOBE & MAIL WEBSITE

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