Editor’s note: Newsday disabled the reader comment function on its website on Sunday. Newsday found that its comment boards were overwhelmed by personal attacks, racist slurs and a tone inconsistent with our goal of productive discourse.
Newsday Media Group is committed to providing a space for Long Islanders to discuss critical issues in our community. We are working on building a commenting platform that draws on new technology, industry research and conversations with readers to create a space that is vibrant, respectful and open to all.
That new commenting system will be in place later this year. Until then, we encourage our readers to respond to our journalism by submitting letters to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org, so they can be considered for publication in print and online.
Below is a selection of letters sent to Newsday about the temporary suspension of comments.
It is truly sad that Newsday, without prior notice, eliminated its comment facilities. Right, maybe one of these decades — perhaps after East Side Access is finished — you might start something new. Now we have had hints — comments closing hours or even minutes after an article got posted. But this is sad. Yes, I know we had piles of bigots and racists. It used to be easy to flag them. I know there was a lot of hate, but a lot of good things got said, too.
Shame on you Newsday!
Ron Troy, East Northport
I am glad you are reviewing and reworking your comments section. I would say that 75 percent of the comments posted fit into the category of hate speech or people just venting their anger and frustration.
I hope that you will allow only constructive comments that lead to civil dialogues about specific articles.
It is difficult to moderate free speech, but it becomes necessary with the amount of hateful and destructive dialogue that occurs in that type of a forum.
Jeff Korn, East Patchogue
Finally. It is more than super high time that you took a jaundiced look at what you were permitting on your site, given the tacit approval that such publication conveyed.
Now perhaps some intelligent, rational discussion, without name-calling, invective and downright disrespect, will be the Newsday comments standard.
Richard M. Frauenglass, Huntington
Censored comments are exactly what is wrong with modern journalism.
The most important improvement and dimension that have been added to this tilted publication is, in fact, the electronic comments.
This censorship in itself is most offensive. Let the comments — with all the stains and ugliness — stay.
James E. Nolan, Copiague
Let me get this straight, you are censoring people again?
First, you made it more difficult for people to comment by requiring people to use a Facebook account, and now this.
I don’t condone hateful speech, even though it is protected under the Constitution, but it sounds as if Newsday is trying to control people’s speech and opinions.
I don’t know, Newsday, this looks pretty bad on your part.
Chris Mangi, Huntington
Finally! Thank you for putting the comments on hold! Please, please do not bring them back until there is some kind of oversight that only allows insightful, intelligent, well-thought-out comments akin to the comments on The New York Times’ website.
If commenters from Long Island can’t elevate their comments beyond ridiculous bickering and idiocy, then someone has to do it for them. I resent the fact that Long Islanders make themselves look like low-class morons in these comments.
We have so many intelligent students and professional people on Long Island; don’t give the lowest common denominator a forum. Isn’t that what social media is for?
Laura A. Hargreaves, Coram
It is very disappointing that you are removing the comment section from your website.
The comment section allows the normal reader to have immediate access to the publisher of the newspaper and comment either pro or con about an article or editorial.
In addition, your timing of this temporary suspension is questionable, especially in light of current events.
Dan Blanck, Bellmore