Monday, July 16, 2012

On Cam, Ralph Lauren and my new comments policy

Hi, everyone. A couple of quick "Scott Says" updates:

1) My Cam Newton autograph column sparked quite an outcry last week, with mail, online polls and the comments that I read running about 50-50 as to whether Newton should have done a for-profit, $125-and-up autograph signing at SouthPark Mall. (Other NFL QBs do similar things and have for years, although usually not in their home market -- the issue was discussed following my column on a couple of ESPN talking-head shows and NFL radio).

Cam's signing went on as scheduled -- Joseph Person's story on the signing is here. As for the Panthers, the rookies report for camp on Monday, July 23rd, with the rest of the team following on July 27.

2) Ralph Lauren has done an about-face and will now start manufacturing U.S. Olympic uniforms in America -- but not until 2014. The company came under heavy criticism (check my blog item just below this one if you want to know more) from both political parties and many other pundits (including me) for having this year's uniforms made in China.

3) I have changed the "comments" policy for "Scott Says" so that I now will individually moderate and approve comments from readers, which is the way a number of Observer blogs already work.

I will still publish every negative comment I receive as long as it doesn't contain excessive profanity or things like that. This isn't to make every comment read "Oh, I totally agree with you, Scott" -- far from it.

However, in recent months self-policing hasn't worked -- I keep getting a few folks who post vicious, expletive-filled attacks that I just can't let get into the comments. Kids read these pages, too. The offensive comments kept irritating many regular readers who visit the blog for intelligent discussion and disagreement.

We're not going to be anonymous flame-throwers here; that's not what this blog is about. I do appreciate the 99 percent of you who never do that, and of course your comments (positive or negative) will still be approved by me at all times (although sometimes it will take me a few hours to get to a computer to do that, and I'm sorry in advance for any such delay). You can also email me directly at sfowler@charlotteobserver.com and I always answer those.

40 comments:

Wiley Coyote said...

..we wouldn't expect anything less from the liberal Observer, an entity that only self-polices the comments it doesn't like.

Take it from a Coyote that's been burned by many flame throwers, run off countless cliffs, hit by a gazillion anvils and blown up more times with dynamite than Kanye West at awards shows.

...double-checks to make sure there are no "n, c, s, v, d, f, g, h, etc, etc words.

About 25 years ago or so, I heard Robert D. Raiford say once on JB&B that "we have become the United States of the Offended".

Little did he know.

Robert said...

George Orwell will be proud of you Scott for proofreading every comment, its like 1984 all over again....

Anonymous said...

As long as you don't go the route of your colleague Jim Utter and make it nearly impossible to comment on his ridiculous blogs/articles. But I'm thinking that's not a coincidence with him and his set up.
And please don't go down the road Joe Person has which involves censoring any type of negative (but G rated) comment about Marty Hurney. Not sure why Joe is so protective of him. Thanks Scott keep up the good work!

The Joker said...

Curses, foiled again..

Clay said...

Now that you have implemented a new comments policy, and that is what is going on in your life at this very moment, will you change one of your kids names to Comment?

JDM said...

Scott, I agree that profanity has no place in your bolg. I appreciate you letting it remain open. I do not agree with lot's you say, but I try to disagree without taking the low road.

Anonymous said...

Scott, you stupid sonofa....

Just kidding. Sorry you gotta deal with all the jerks!

DMorrisPE said...

Great move, Scott. And can we keep comments pertinent to the topic at hand?

Nathan Forrest said...

I need your job if you don't get to a computer but every couple of hours. It would however do my 53 year old heart some good to think that some reportersstill chase down thestories with pad & pencil, then rush back to their desk at the end of the day.

Anonymous said...

Scott Says..... "Watch Your Mouth Fool"

Vladimir Putin said...

Filtered comments, thanks comrade.

Anonymous said...

Head bone head Scott! Its probably the "kids" that are posting the vicious profanity laced posts that you mentioned above!
Nonetheless, police on brother!

Anonymous said...

About Ralph Lauren, the USA does NOT have apparel manufacturers that can produce clothing for ANY current or future USA team. Congress forced closure of our US plants. Congress forced off shore production. The US was built on the APPAREL INDUSTRY, not the Auto industry. The Apparel industry was not 'bailed' out as the Auto industry was.

I wonder if that stupid idiot in congress has been comatose for many years. Where does he think previous Olympian apparel was produced? On shore? NO! We, The USA, no longer have the facilities or expertise on shore.

I was privileged to see computerization of the Apparel Industry. I was responsible for implementing CAD (Computer Aided Design) for three US industries. I was also 'privileged' to see all three industries DIE. The APPAREL INDUSTRY IN THE US NO LONGER EXISTS !! People, wake up!

I want so badly want to meet your Congress (not mine, I won't claim them. They are an embarrassment), to set this discussion straight. It makes my blood boil. I want to personally say to this stupid idiot congressman (no cap C) that WE, THE USA cannot PRODUCE THE APPAREL ON SHORE. WE NO LONGER HAVE THE EXPERTISE HERE!!! and WE CANNOT HAVE THE CAPABILITY IN TWO YEARS.

This is the LAST thing our Olympians need headed to London. Geeesssss DROP IT, educate yourself. Why can't you people praise those supporting the USA. Be proud of them.

I think every congress member should be FORCED to wear Made In The USA off the rack apparel for one week! That would be more nudity than we, those who lost our Apparel Industry could handle.

Anonymous said...

Good for you on the policing - profanity is unnecessary, a miserable example to children, and adds NO value to the conversation.

Anonymous said...

Scott, I agree with your policing the blog. There's plenty of room for people to voice their opinions without being nasty.

Skippy said...

Pravda couldn't be prouder... Oh and Lauren is still a Democrat and a huge Democrat donor, Romney turned around the Olympics here in Salt Lake and our Nobel Peace Prize "winning" President failed to even come close to getting the Olympics in Chicago.. Russian national athem playing in the backgroud..

Jean Tate said...

While you are right that much of the apparel industry has moved overseas, there is adequate manufacturing to make the US Olympic team uniforms. This "faux-pas" may actually turn out to be a benefit as it does raise awareness of the lack of domestice apparel firms. However, a report from early 2011 indicated that apparel manufacturing was increasing in the US due to demands for shorter turnaround time and dissatisfaction with poor workmanship. One can hope.

cltindependent said...

Charlotte apparently is filled with mean spirited, cowardly bigots who revel in writing things they would never say to your face. I'm glad you have taken control of your comments section. I actually read the Observer online less frequently or with comments disabled because of some of the things I've read.

Anonymous said...

We have apparel manufactures in the USA? Crazy, never knew!

BW said...

I think there is a very interesting parallel between the rise of the internet, the increasing ability to act anonymously and the lack of civility that plagues our national discourse. It's quite reminiscent of Lord of the Flies. Good for you and the Observer for keeping that in check.

Anonymous said...

2:15,
Hickey-Freeman (remember men's high end suits?) last week volunteered to make the suits here in the U.S.
Unfortunately the Ralph had all the ends tied up. To complete your "discussion" I sat in a talk by the head of the Textiles Dept. at NC State a few years ago. After saying the textiles industry was alive in the U.S., he said humans just weren't necessary for much of the production. He also mentioned that a group his graduates had just been hired by Ralph Lauren to work at his suppliers in ..........China. They all had minors in Mandarin.

D.R.Universal said...

cltindependent said
---------------------------------

Couldnt agree with you MORE. I call those people "keyboard cowards" bc they wouldnt have the __ to say half of the racist, hate filled things they post on this site.

Our country embraces bad behavior so its foolish to think kids are not seeing whats going on. I love how everything says "be mindful of the kids" as if we didnt cuss, get into trouble, etc when our parents werent around.

If this country is truly concerned with our kids then tramps like the Kardashians, Snookie, etc wouldnt be so famous would they?? Our country places those who display bad behavior (Lindsey Lohan, Robert Downer Jr, etc) on a pedastal and usually the more ignorant they act, the more pub they get.

We live in a giant contradiction...everything is so PC until you turn on ur TV and see/hear some of the most disgusting things ever. Back in the 80s we thought just saying the word "boob" was a big deal....at 35 I feel like an old man outta touch. Or maybe its bc I still value decency

Anonymous said...

Cam Newton is the only person I consider to be a role model for my son. He is an outstanding human being. BTW, I'm white. I told watch MTV and play football and he will grow up to be successful like Cam. He's a fine American.

Johnnie said...

Quick question:
How long will it take for your posts to appear?

Also,
I don't mind moderation. A blog is the property of the blogger. Many Americans do not really understand the 1st Amendment.

Greg said...

I love how Wiley Coyote and extremist conservatives find every form of media to be liberal if it doesn't kiss the feet of the GOP.

Bill Roden said...

Thanks for trying to take control of your comments section Scott. I wish there would be more moderation in the comments sections on general news stories. They invariably get contaminated by the vitriol of that segment of our society that has lost it's civility to the current political climate.

You don't see this kind of thing on the online comment sections of other big city newspapers. The NY Times and Washington Post are models of civilized, thoughtful discussion and commentary. You can learn something from them. Here in Charlotte? You're more likely to learn you'd never want to come here and live if the majority of the commenters are actually representative of the community at large. Ugh.

The irony is that these people who ruin the comment sections spewing their never-ending venom are the same ones who are always blasting the paper as a biased, liberal rag. It's fair to say these people aren't actually paid subscribers, but the freeloaders they claim to loathe (except health care freeloaders - that's apparently okay with 'em).

Sometimes you just have to kick the troublemakers and bullies out of the classroom so the kids who want to learn can have a civilized discussion of the issues. Please - MORE moderation, in EVERY story. Don't let these people destroy every online conversation.

BolynMcClung said...

I AGREE WITH THE NEW POLICY.
Until the Observer starts making obscene profits, it needs to do everything possible to print and broadcast news that will keep flowing into American homes. If the paper ever reaches that point, then a few readers might have something to cuss about……but I doubt it will ever come to that.

However, every once in a while there will be a Bill Buckner moment which requires a special modification of the Queen’s language……Scott, just close your eyes, cover your ears and let the presses roll.

Bolyn McClung
Pineville.

Anonymous said...

I always find it amusing that people believe that the right to author online comments is enshrined in the constitution. :)

Sportsdon said...

Do kids really read sports articles and their comments? None of the ones I know. Being PC for the sake of the kids is the BS excuse everyone uses about thIngs no kids seem to care about anyway.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to you for policing comments. Shutting down the flamers is something that's way past due. It should be something the Observer does across the board. I'm sure lots of people get turned off by seeing some of the comments posted on Observer stories. The Observer should clean up its site or just shut down comments altogether.

John said...

Anonymous 2:15 PM.

Congress does a lot of stupid things but to blame them for textiles moving offshore is just plain silly! It was the consumers that did so.

If you shop at Wal-Mart... blame yourself, not Congress.

I'm always amused at those who blame other people for off-shoring but who moan and complain about the price of US made products.

I know this will come as a shock, but if you get a pay raise, then the price of whatever goods or services you produce will tend to go up as well. The same goes for everyone else. In return, you get to pay higher prices on the goods and services that others produce to cover THEIR pay raises. The only way you avoid that is to buy cheaper, foreign made goods and most people do exactly that. THEY are the ones driving jobs off shore.

John said...

BW,

I agree, if every comment had to contain a picture of the user along with their home phone... it would be amazing how fast the rhetoric would get cleaned up!

Anonymous said...

You will still post all negative comments....hahahaha.....yeah we believe you Scott.

Scott Fowler said...

So far, so good -- thanks for the feedback regarding my new blog policy. I've been able to publish about 90 percent of the comments that have come in so far -- the only ones that didn't make the cut had some vitriolic personal attacks (not on me, but on others) and that I'm not going to allow. As to one question asked by a commenter, I will approve your moderated comment within minutes if I am online. But if I am off-line, it could be a matter of hours (or even, rarely, a couple of days). I'll try to be as fast as I can so I don't halt the good discourse always found here. "Scott Says" is one of the most popular blogs at The Observer by hit count, and I hope the majority of you find this new "moderated comment" policy an improvement.

Sharryn said...

I am appalled by the comments, not the point of view, of some folks who troll here. Debate with a good argument is stimulating, where as arguing with stupid, makes you look...well, stupid.

Wiley Coyote said...

Greg,

I'm a registered Independent voter.

I wouldn't be caught dead supporting either party platform (although it would prove voter fraud if I were dead because Democrats wouldn't check).

Any other quaestions I can answer accurately for you?

Anonymous said...

Scott!! Tell all the naysayers......My blog,my rules!! Don't like 'em, start your own blog. Very simple,very easy!!

Keep on keeping on!!

NewMan said...

In a surprise development . . . I totally agree with you on this one, Scott. I don't like the Observer - they INSIST on making it an arm of the Democratic party and their views are heavily biased (was it Nixon the last time they endorsed a Republican for president?). Yet, they call weekly BEGGING for people to subscribe to their liberal rag. . . but filtering out the cursing from the sports section IS the right thing to do, IMO. I don't want to read the "G**D***it's" and the rest of the vulgar language. People can make their point without lowering themselves to that. So for that point, Scott - KUDOS!

Anonymous said...

I can understand why Mr. Fowler would want to filter the comments. Same thing with youtube....they're more like graffiti or vandalism than thoughtful discourse on the internet, if that makes sense. So I personally like the decision and see no problem with it whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Scott,

I suggest you also censor the ignorant comments. Then we will have so much less to read!