(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

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

EDITORIAL: Revisiting alcohol consumption

A proposal to allow alcohol consumption in some public spaces in Penticton deserves consideration

Chute Lake Lodge opens June 1, offering glamping, yurt, and ebike rentals

Escape into the wilderness and #lovelocalpenticton when Chute Lake Lodge reopens for the season

Summerland businesses optimistic as reopening begins

Businesses make plans for restructuring as COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Grieving together, but apart: How funeral homes are handling the pandemic

‘Hugs are so important and right now hugs can’t happen’

Parts of the TCT through Princeton will open to motorized vehicles Monday

Parts of the KVR trail through Princeton will open for motorized vehicles… Continue reading

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

North Okanagan farmers’ markets excited to welcome artisans back amid COVID-19

Provincial health officer announced non-food items to return to markets this weekend

Most Read