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Cleveland paper nixes Tamir Rice comment section: ‘A small army’ couldn’t stop the ‘cesspool’ of racism

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The Cleveland Plain Dealer explained this week that it had disabled comments on all of its stories about a 12-year-old black child who was shot by police because “a small army” of administrators could not delete the racist comments fast enough.

In a column on Monday, Chris Quinn, the Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Vice President of Content, said that the paper had hoped that articles about the shooting of Tamir Rice would be “an ideal subject for us to meet one of our chief goals at cleveland.com, hosting community conversations on topics of widespread interest.”

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But he noted that comments had been disabled in October because “we don’t fancy our website as a place of hate, and the Tamir Rice story has been a magnet for haters.”

“We enlisted a small army on our staff to monitor the comments and delete any that violated our standards,” Quinn wrote. “The trouble was that we couldn’t keep up. Just about every piece we published about Tamir immediately became a cesspool of hateful, inflammatory or hostile comments.”

“Rather than discuss the facts of the case, many commenters debased the conversation with racist invective. Or they made absurd statements about the clothing and appearance of people involved in the story. Or they attacked each other for having contrasting viewpoints. In many cases, well over half of the comments on Tamir stories broke our rules and had to be deleted.”

Observing that the comments were “overrun as they were by wickedness,” the staff decided to shut down the comment section on stories about Rice.

Quinn pointed out that some had tried to move their “odious comments” to unrelated stories, and that those users’ accounts were deleted.

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At the time of publication, Quinn’s column had nearly 1,500 comments, and a number of them had already been removed for violating the paper’s commenting policy.


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Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan to give up royal titles — ‘the hardest #Megxit possible’

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Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy.

The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties.

It means Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Harry and his American TV actress wife Meghan will stop using the titles "royal highness" -- the same fate that befell his late mother Princess Diana after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.

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GOP senator tells home-state press that impeachment trial must be ‘viewed as fair’: report

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Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke to local reporters on Saturday about her role in the upcoming Donald Trump impeachment trial.

Murkowski explained she would likely vote with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on an initial vote on whether to allow witnesses. However, she left the door open to voting for witnesses after House impeachment managers make their opening case.

"I don't know what more we need until I have been given the base case," she said. "We will have that opportunity to say 'yes' or 'no' ... and if we say 'yes,' the floor is open."

Overall, Murkowski said it was important for the trial to been viewed as fair.

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White House press secretary urged to do her job: ‘We don’t pay you to be a Twitter troll’

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White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was blasted on Saturday over the confusion resulting from her refusal to hold daily press briefings.

CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy was alarmed that Grisham's assistant, Hogan Gidley, was forcing reporters to refer to his remarks as coming from a "sources close to the President's legal team."

Darcy noted that Trump had repeatedly questioned the veracity of unnamed sources, making it problematic for Gidley to demand to be quoted as such.

https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1218704788432572422

Grisham responded to the criticism and asked Darcy to "stop with the righteous indignation.

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