AOL's digital destination Politics Daily prides itself on polish, with proofread articles, original reporting, and some big names (Walter Shapiro, David Corn
) nabbed from the print world. But the site's buffed finish doesn't mix well with Internet trolls--those much-lamented Web denizens who specialize in scurrilous trashtalking in comments--and Politics Daily's editor-in-chief Melinda Henneberger has had enough. Responding to nasty (now-deleted) comments posted on an obituary
for a fellow journalist, she says:
To readers who think it is their God-given right to throw rocks on our
site, under the cowardly cover of anonymity, think again; this is a
business, and some modicum of civility is our version of "no shirt, no
shoes, no service.''
In a word, she tells baleful readers to take a hike:
To those who are constantly threatening to take their clicks and go
elsewhere when their more pungent, "Pls. die soon" comments are
deleted, I say: Promises, promises. This is really not the site for you.
With Politics Daily's huge audience, will her ultimatum provoke a backlash? Whether due to culling or reader receptiveness, the commenters are responding well so far to the call for better manners. "Melinda: Thank you for your efforts to establish an island of civility on this site."
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