Comment Controversy at the OC Register

The Orange County Register’s website is not a bad source to go to for local news stories, show times, reviews, etc… but they did one thing that is causing some people to notice: They allowed open non-moderated comments on their articles.

In a recent story about a woman who gave birth, but didn’t know she was pregnant, commentors have been downright nasty and vicious towards her and her finance. Comment have been made concerning her weight, about how she “might eat the baby,””mmmm, ham,” and comments that are calling her a media “whore” have been left by anonymous posters.

Comments on the Register have been a self-generating newstory for the Register. This should have a serious looking too by the Register’s General Counsel as this might lead to a possible lawsuit for slander.

When a person is looking for help from the community, she doesn’t deserve to get slammed by others, no matter a person’s conservative viewpoints filled with vile comments. Show true compassion and care, not hatred.

5 Comments so far

  1. DanGarion (unregistered) on March 10th, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

    So answer this, why is the fact that she had a baby a news story? Maybe the OC Register should keep to actual news instead of crap like this, that can bring out the media whores (and no I’m not calling her one, I haven’t read the story).

  2. Jon (unregistered) on March 10th, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

    How can you call it crap if you haven’t read it? For the record, it seems like actual news to me. For whatever reason, and it’s not just The Register, newspaper comment boards like USA TODAY are (just as the article says) “a breeding ground for hatred, racism and bigotry”.

    I am not sure why. Maybe it’s the anonymity. Sorta makes me feel ill.

  3. DanGarion (unregistered) on March 10th, 2007 @ 5:50 pm

    I read it afterwards and I still feel it’s crap. This is a a no news story. I’m sure there are women every day that find out they are pregnant days before they give birth in the US, but somohow this one gains national attention, big deal out of nothing. She needs to take some responsibility for allowing them to write this story.

  4. Michael Doss (unregistered) on March 10th, 2007 @ 11:46 pm

    Mike, comments that constitute libel or slander can (and typically are) immediately removed from the respective stories. The print version of that story had a box with the various rules.

    I think the biggest problem is that many people who read news websites (like haven’t ever been to a bulletin board or site like fark, where you learn that people post comments as trolls, and some people are just mean and should be ignored.

    Dan, the story is news because it’s unique, local, and interesting. In addition to everything else, news agencies run human interest stories…the Register isn’t unusual for this. All media orgs do it.

  5. Dave Share (unregistered) on March 12th, 2007 @ 4:08 pm

    While I have to agree this isn’t news, I could find at least 5+ stories in the news everyday that I don’t consider news. Human interest peices are filler and that’s what this is. Dan’s also right that this actually happens quite often. Women come to the ER for stomach pain or some other problem, and pop out a kid! Unfortunately because this woman was VERY obese, the news agencies knew they could exploit her.

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