June 21, 2005


People power backfires for LA Times (Claire Cozens, June 21, 2005, LA Times)

It was, as the LA Times itself admitted, always a bit of a nutty idea. When the highly respected US newspaper announced last Friday that it was allowing readers to add their thoughts to online editorials, many in the media predicted disaster.

Sure enough, the paper has abandoned the experiment - dubbed "wikitorial" - within days of its launch after readers flooded the site with obscene language and pictures.

The trouble began on Friday, when the LA Times posted an editorial on its website urging a better-defined plan to withdraw troops from Iraq and invited readers to add their thoughts.

Within hours one user had managed to change the headline on several pages to read "F*** USA". Editors scrambled to remove the offensive headline, but lost some readers' comments at the same time.

But the number of "inappropriate" posts soon began to overwhelm the editors' ability to monitor the site and on Sunday they decided to remove the feature.

Yesterday the paper thanked readers who had logged on "in the right spirit" but said the feature would stay offline indefinitely while it looked at what happened and how to fix it.

That's a problem that we've managed -- for the most part -- to avoid here, for which the commenters themselves deserve the credit. We thank you all for trying to maintain a reasonably respectful dialogue, free of profanity and name calling.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 21, 2005 4:08 PM

Brown noser.

Posted by: John Resnick at June 21, 2005 4:33 PM

"...highly respected US newspaper ...?

I think not! And that's why they had so much trouble and the BrosJudd don't.

Posted by: Bartman at June 21, 2005 4:46 PM

Right back at ya, you cryptofascist Christer.

Posted by: joe shropshire at June 21, 2005 4:53 PM

F*** brothersjudd.com

Posted by: Julia Roberts at June 21, 2005 5:09 PM

And there I thought it was the MT anti-spam filters.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 21, 2005 5:47 PM

You're welcome. We like it here.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 22, 2005 12:21 AM

You're perfectly f[iretr]ucking welcome.

Posted by: Amos at June 22, 2005 1:07 AM

I'm delighted to know that all you crypto-Nazis on this site refrain from name-calling.

Posted by: Gore Vidal at June 22, 2005 8:58 AM

Senor Vidal, you resemble that remark, you flaming traitorous homosexual!

Posted by: Bill Buckley at June 22, 2005 11:06 AM

Home, home, on this blog,
Where the words and emotioons do play,
Where ne'er is heard, an inappropriate **##@^# word,
and we all log on in the right spirit.

Posted by: Dave W. at June 22, 2005 11:19 AM