That 'etc...', it'll get you every time
December 5, 2015 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Because of ongoing problems with racism, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has temporarily closed comments on all articles about indigenous peoples.

The CBC's explanation:
While there are a number of subjects and groups of people who seem to bring out higher-than-average numbers of worrisome comments, we find ourselves with a unique situation when it comes to indigenous-related stories.

We've noticed over many months that these stories draw a disproportionate number of comments that cross the line and violate our guidelines. Some of the violations are obvious, some not so obvious; some comments are clearly hateful and vitriolic, some are simply ignorant. And some appear to be hate disguised as ignorance (i.e., racist sentiments expressed in benign language).
Closing comment sections previously: 1 2 3
posted by frimble (58 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
I haven't seen the specific comments that led to this action, but I'm constantly astonished (and really, I shouldn't be, given how long we've known NEVER READ THE COMMENTS) at how bad the comments are on CBC stories. I'm not singling out CBC, it's just the only new website I look at with any consistency and where I might happen to see comments.

Also, not called out here, but the first link includes a video of indigenous staff reading some of these comments.
posted by stevil at 8:16 AM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


And while I understand the need to moderate comments that are hateful, bigoted, hurtful, etc. The sad irony is that by doing this, there is a kind of symbolic silencing of subjects about and by indigenous peoples. Another tick mark against a group of people and a culture that has long suffered similar abuses.

So ashamed that this has to even be a thing that exists in my country.
posted by Fizz at 8:20 AM on December 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


Just close all comments.
posted by FallowKing at 8:23 AM on December 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


Just charge $5 for comments, and donate the money to anti-racist orgs.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:23 AM on December 5, 2015 [31 favorites]


The article at the second link quotes a person as saying:
“Why shut [the comments] down because [of] a handful of ignorant, racial stereotypes?” he said in an interview with the CBC. “If you’re bold enough to make such statements, then you should be bold enough to own them with your real name and face.”

At one point I thought that people would say horrible things while anonymous but that forcing commenters to use their real identification would result in more civilized conversation. The idea being that social pressure would encourage civility.

I've come to realize that view is wrong. Many, many people are racists, bigots, or whatever, and feel zero guilt about being identified with those views. Arguably, stating outrageously bigoted things probably raises their standing within the social group they care about (fellow bigots).

The only thing I've seen work is strong moderation best combined with having to pay to create a posting account. If you're not prepared to do that it's probably best to not have comments at all.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 8:24 AM on December 5, 2015 [23 favorites]


The sad irony is that by doing this, there is a kind of symbolic silencing of subjects about and by indigenous peoples. Another tick mark against a group of people and a culture that has long suffered similar abuses.

Which, in a sad, twisted way, is "mission accomplished" on the part of the haters.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:24 AM on December 5, 2015


Metafilter is one of the very few sites where comments are intelligent, useful, and within the bounds of decency.
posted by Postroad at 8:25 AM on December 5, 2015 [19 favorites]


You know, I really, really like the idea of charging to comment, and then donating the money to a group that would make the hateful commenting person grind their teeth.
posted by maxwelton at 8:28 AM on December 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


I haven't seen the specific comments that led to this action, but I'm constantly astonished (and really, I shouldn't be, given how long we've known NEVER READ THE COMMENTS) at how bad the comments are on CBC stories. I'm not singling out CBC, it's just the only new website I look at with any consistency and where I might happen to see comments.

That's no exaggeration - the ones the staff were reading were some of the tamest I've seen on CBC. I've read a lot of stuff on white supremacist sites over the years and, to be perfectly honest, the tone and content of a lot of CBC comment threads is often not far off that, and even when flagged will stand for ages. This is not hyperbole.

And yeah, I think because of where the comments appear on CBC news pages, I tend to see them readily, rather than have to scroll down or open them up. Ugh. It makes NRTC hard to practice, so I'm glad they've shut them down. As for "free speech hurf durf" arguments, since when have news website comment sections ever been some wellspring of a healthy public discourse? I mean, look (or don't) at this comment thread from this CBC story: Toronto LGBT groups offer counselling, housing services for Syrian refugees.

Unless they're willing to implement some robustly moderated paid model, just shut the goddamn comments off and let the trolls go elsewhere.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:29 AM on December 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


just shut the goddamn comments off and let the trolls go elsewhere.

I'm sure they'll feel right at home over at the Toronto Sun.
posted by Fizz at 8:33 AM on December 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm sure they'll feel right at home over at the Toronto Sun.

At that point you might as well be reading Stormfront. Speaking of which, I dare you to read the comments to stories on Ezra Levant's site.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:36 AM on December 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Postroad, and the irony of the Metafilter comments is that I'm calling you Postroad instead of your real name.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:37 AM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I dare you to read the comments to stories on Ezra Levant's site.

I like my brain and my soul too much to do that. Thanks but NO THANKS.
posted by Fizz at 8:37 AM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks but NO THANKS.

I did look once. Pro tip: you have chosen wisely.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:39 AM on December 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Many, many people are racists, bigots, or whatever, and feel zero guilt about being identified with those views.

They feel zero guilt because they don't self identify as racists and bigots. They identify with "white pride" and "the facts" and "they're not racist".
posted by Talez at 8:40 AM on December 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


Given that the CBC is a government funded broadcaster I am not sure they can moderate speech as much or as effectively as a private entity could.
posted by srboisvert at 8:44 AM on December 5, 2015


Comment sections on news sites serve no purpose other than providing a megaphone to people who shouldn't have one.
But they probably provide clicks to the web sites and eyes to the ads, so they aren't going to go away.
posted by rocket88 at 8:47 AM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


CBC comments are absolutely horrible, and though I rarely clicked to see them (I have to deliberately turn them on), when I did it was amazing. I never tried on CBC Aboriginal stories, but I can barely imagine how much worse they would be.

I follow a bunch of Indigenous twitterers, it brought up a lot of discussion.
posted by jeather at 8:49 AM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


But they probably provide clicks to the web sites and eyes to the ads

Yeah, but since the CBC's mandate differs from that of a for-profit/privately owned media outlet, maybe it's better just to switch them off outright and call it a day.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:52 AM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]




I've noticed that my local paper closes comments for any story likely to be bombarded with racist comments.
posted by octothorpe at 9:07 AM on December 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


maybe it's better just to switch them off outright and call it a day.

*cough*

And by this I mean comments on CBC stories, not the CBC itself, lest you think I've been reading too much Ezra Levant.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:14 AM on December 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Given that the CBC is a government funded broadcaster I am not sure they can moderate speech as much or as effectively as a private entity could.

Hate speech laws in Canada are a thing, and our free speech protections are more nuanced than those in the USA.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:23 AM on December 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


As a NRTC practitioner on just about all news sites I read, I wasn't aware of this issue, so thanks for the FPP about it. (I got soo much free time back by not getting enmeshed in pointless debates)

I thought the video of CBC staffers reading some of the comments struck the right balance. But I don't really know if the CBC can do anything more effective than just turning comments off when warranted. As a government funded entity, they are perpetually in the crosshairs, and it would be hard to give special handling, moderation or banning to a subset of comments without raising cries of bias or selective censorship.

Here's what I'd like to see: maybe continue to apply moderation, try a form of flagging where an offending comment is deliberately obscured or hidden with a note saying it was deemed inappropriate, but let the viewer click through to see it if they choose.

I'd like to see about a year's worth of comments curated into a feature story, to provide an overview of the spectrum of comments, patterns of participation, and to shine a spotlight on the worst. Something to challenge the naive notion that Canada doesn't have its share of bigots, racists and wingnuts.
posted by Artful Codger at 9:24 AM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just close all comments.

Or, you know, accept that to have a vibrant and inclusive site requires paid moderators willing to do the work to help the conversation develop and weed out hate, spam, and derailing idiocy. 20 years of pretending that malicious idiots on the internet don't exist has not helped anyone (well, except the malicious idiots).
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:29 AM on December 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh no, not cries of bias or selective censorship!

I'm sure they could have more effective moderation, but that takes planning, effort, and money.

Something to challenge the naive notion that Canada doesn't have its share of bigots, racists and wingnuts.

I don't know that people really have this notion. The one they do have though is that bigots, racists, and wingnuts is somehow a separate category far removed from them and their peer group. "I'm not racist, I just sometimes talk shit about natives with my friends at the bar when I don't see any." "I don't care about their race, I just think it's unreasonable to want money for sitting around all day."
posted by ODiV at 9:31 AM on December 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I remember reading this political news/blog site and people were complaining about how difficult it was to use their comment system (I think it was LiveFyre or something like that). Their response was interesting. They really didn't want any comments at all, but were told that they had to implement them. So hey picked the software precisely because it was buggy and difficult to use, and were pleased that it resulted in very few comments.
posted by eye of newt at 9:34 AM on December 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't know that people really have this notion.

Oh I'm certain it's still out there in the world, especially when smugly comparing ourselves to the US. The whole "Americans sewing Canadian patches on their knapsacks" to get better treatment abroad, though Harper worked so hard to change that.

I hope that in the midst of our new government's "sunny ways", we will remain mindful of the pockets of deep-rooted ignorance and intolerance that still exist, especially that towards our indigenous populations.
posted by Artful Codger at 9:41 AM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, we definitely agree in general. I think I was just trying to explain a nuance in the racism here I've noticed.

I was watching You Laugh, But It's True, a documentary about Trevor Noah putting on his first one man show in South Africa. It was a bit eerie how familiar some of the "Okay, apartheid is long past, get over it." sentiment expressed by some whites in it sounded to me as a Canadian.
posted by ODiV at 9:49 AM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Something to challenge the naive notion that Canada doesn't have its share of bigots, racists and wingnuts.

I don't know that people really have this notion. The one they do have though is that bigots, racists, and wingnuts is somehow a separate category far removed from them and their peer group. "I'm not racist, I just sometimes talk shit about natives with my friends at the bar when I don't see any." "I don't care about their race, I just think it's unreasonable to want money for sitting around all day."


I've often viewed the difference between Canada and the United States as one of individual racism with a little structural racism versus individual racism plus a lot of structural racism. The one area where this distinction breaks down is with First Nations people where Canada even outstrips the United States in structural racism and continued outright criminal activity by the government to this very day..
posted by srboisvert at 9:50 AM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've noticed that my local paper closes comments for any story likely to be bombarded with racist comments.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has begun doing this as well, although not consistently.

Meanwhile, Tablet Magazine went to a pay-to-comment model several months back, which seems to have had the desired effect.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:51 AM on December 5, 2015


When you talk about how all the comments at the CBC are terrible, you erase that they are only so bad on stories about Indigenous people that the CBC turned them off. This may be the part of the story that you feel comfortable commenting on, or maybe it's what you can say without reading the links. But it's the same vein of racism as #AllLivesMatter.

Don't erase that there is an enormous and incredibly violent problem in Canada against the First Nations. Taking away comments where people egg each other on to think worse than they already do? I'm calling it a complicated win. I'd rather read no comments than most of the comments in this thread, which all serve to remind me that the erasure and ongoing genocide against indigenous peoples is something people are happily complicit with. Do not lose focus on the Real Live People who are being systematically killed in Canada because you are so busy crowing about how bad comment sections are. You should be embarrassed.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:14 AM on December 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


... most of the comments in this thread, which all serve to remind me that the erasure and ongoing genocide against indigenous peoples is something people are happily complicit with.

How so (in this thread)?
posted by Artful Codger at 10:39 AM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've got to admit, ignoring the whole issue by suppressing discussion of it is a very Canadian way of dealing with this kind of racism. Any discussion of aboriginal or First Nations issues is going to explode with hatred going in every direction, because these kind of issues have been ignored so long the anger and resentment has been allowed to fester and fossilize.

Opening that wound and trying to have a real discussion about the place of aboriginal people in Canada or government policies regarding the same is going to be difficult because we've never had these kind of discussions before, and nobody particularly want to start now.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:55 AM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


When people talk about anything but that this is specific racism against indigenous peoples, that's erasure. When people talk about generalized "oh comments are just horrible" instead of acknowledging the horrific situation right now in Canada, that is complicit with what's happening. Imagine transposing this to Germany while the Holocaust was happening (or even the allied countries, which did the same thing). We have no trouble labeling it as anti-semitism that people would say things like "Oh sure bad things are happening" but be unwilling to talk about the fact that they are happening specifically to Jews. (Because it is pertinent, I will note that I am both Native American and Jewish.)

Talking in generalities is a way of eliding who this is happening to. It's a way of not addressing how horrific things are in Canada right now.

And the idea that we need to let commenters be racist and bigoted in order to "have the conversation" puts unpaid work onto indigenous people. And, it doesn't even work. It's a fairy tale about free speech, which people bring up without a single example of it ever having been the solution. Or a path forward to it being a solution. Or any acknowledgement of the brutal hate speech they're asking people to expose themselves to with no pay, no help and no change.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:01 AM on December 5, 2015 [12 favorites]


When people talk about anything but that this is specific racism against indigenous peoples, that's erasure. When people talk about generalized "oh comments are just horrible" instead of acknowledging the horrific situation right now in Canada, that is complicit with what's happening.

So, just to be clear, when I point out that unmoderated forums, especially anonymous ones, fill up with hate from bigots I am being complicit with systemic racism? If that's what you're arguing I'm not even sure how to response because that is so completely at odds with my feelings on the matter.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 11:19 AM on December 5, 2015


When people talk about anything but that this is specific racism against indigenous peoples, that's erasure.

This thread touches on more than one component, and some of those components are hate speech, censorship and the nature of internet commentary... which are independent of the specific issue of racism against indigenous peoples in Canada. Discussing those is hardly erasure, any more than discussing the weather.

Nonetheless, the issue of racism against indigenous peoples is being explored here too... I don't see anything in the thread which denies or downplays this important issue. If anything, one of the big takeaways for me is that, as you state, there remains alot of ignorance, denial and indifference to the plight of indigenous peoples in Canada, as clearly manifested in the sorts of comments the CBC has been receiving on aboriginal-related news stories.
posted by Artful Codger at 11:31 AM on December 5, 2015


It's happening both ways, stoneweaver. That's what I was trying to get at in the previous comment. "White" Canadians hate aboriginal Canadians, and aboriginal Canadians hate white Canadians. Not everybody feels this way, by any means, but a lot of people on both sides have lived with that hate for generations, and pass it on to their children. We pretend it doesn't exist, but it comes out in lots of ways - perhaps expressed most strongly in the complete disinterest most Canadians have in First Nations affairs.

Canada segmented off a single department of the government, gave it the job of dealing exclusively with the affairs of an entire population group, then ignored anything that happened thereafter. When the budget gets cut that translates down to increased poverty on reservations, but we don't care because we're not paying attention. We notice the crimes committed by First Nations people and the hatred they express towards us, and we respond with quiet resentment (or in the case of the CBC comments section not so quiet resentment) but never connect that back to the way we've almost completely cut them out of our society. Nobody talks about it, and the problem grows.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:41 AM on December 5, 2015


The hate may go both ways but only one is justified. White treatment of First Nations is an atrocity.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:47 AM on December 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


The hate may go both ways but only one is justified. White treatment of First Nations is an atrocity.

This is 100% accurate but then you get people saying things like "I thought we were all equal? Why do they think they can hate us?"
posted by Talez at 12:58 PM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


At one point I thought that people would say horrible things while anonymous but that forcing commenters to use their real identification would result in more civilized conversation. The idea being that social pressure would encourage civility.

I've come to realize that view is wrong. Many, many people are racists, bigots, or whatever, and feel zero guilt about being identified with those views. Arguably, stating outrageously bigoted things probably raises their standing within the social group they care about (fellow bigots).


Not only do they not care, but it ends up being a net negative action because not a whole lot of but seeming most assholes are happy to attach their real name and/or face to things, but they'll then turn it around to harass women/minorities/etc now that they have their name and can doxx them.

"I don't give a FUCK if you know my name" is the howl of the asshole heard at the full moon.
posted by emptythought at 1:14 PM on December 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Nobody talks about it, and the problem grows.

I have never met a single Aboriginal/First Nations person who has not been aware of and able to speak to at length about the brutal history and modern legacy of colonism by white people, profiling in the criminal justice system, systematic barriers against them in everywhere from housing to politics to education, casual bigotry and racism thrown around at them by white people, poverty impacting their communities, and constant erasure of their culture in all white institutions.

On the other hand, the majority of white people I have met do not have the faintest inkling of awareness of any of these issues.

When you say "nobody" talks about these issues, you mean white people. It is white people who refuse to have these conversations. It is white people who refuse to educate themselves. It is white people who refuse to listen when First Nations/Aboriginal people generously lay everything out for them on a plate. It is white people who constantly trumpet their ignorance loudly until it entirely crowds out the voices of First Nations/Aboriginal people. And then it is white people who universalize their own context to everyone else by presumptuously believing that they somehow impartially speak for "both sides" from the limited things that they have bore witness to, until they believe can make a statement about "everyone" when they've only ever heard the voices of their fellow white people.
posted by Conspire at 2:03 PM on December 5, 2015 [23 favorites]


The day before this story was published, I had written to CBC regarding the current state of their comments section. I agree that the quality and the nature of comments about indigenous people has been particularly egregious, and that it is both reflective of and heightened by the specific forms of racism and bigotry perpetrated against Canadian indigenous people everywhere within our Canadian society. As a person who has lived in communities with high populations of Aboriginal people, I am willing to acknowledge and regret my part, as a white settler, in this systemic and genocidal oppression and to work against its further propagation.

However, my complaint was (admittedly) more general in nature and prompted by my own reaction to sexism in the comments of one particular story. The comments section of the CBC, in general, reflects all the worst aspects of bigotry, against almost all identifiable groups. This in no way mitigates or excuses the especially horrible views and policies that make Indigenous Peoples the target of a special brand of hatred, but it extends beyond that to include women, Muslims, ethnically Chinese people, refugees, the 'idle' poor, feminists, intellectuals, progressives, and other identifiable groups. It's disheartening to see it in our national broadcaster, because we (rightly or wrongly) feel that a national broadcaster should reflect the values that we'd like to see ourselves as having and these awful commentators feel that, too , and that it is their views are actually reflective of 'Canadian' values.

I've said my piece to the CBC and I will not be viewing the comments section from now on, let alone be commenting there. I think there are a lot of people who feel like I do, and that's sad in itself, because our abandonment of the forum means it is increasingly ONLY populated by bigots.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 2:56 PM on December 5, 2015


I'd rather read no comments than most of the comments in this thread, which all serve to remind me that the erasure and ongoing genocide against indigenous peoples is something people are happily complicit with

I understand your sentiment, and it's a real concern, but as one of the people who responded in this thread about comment sections in general I have to say you're off base in your assertion that we're happily complicit with the problems facing indigenous peoples in Canada.

There are different angles to this story and different issues to be discussed. Talking about one is not necessarily a dismissal of another.
posted by rocket88 at 3:05 PM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


The comments section of the CBC, in general, reflects all the worst aspects of bigotry, against almost all identifiable groups. It's disheartening to see it in our national broadcaster, because we (rightly or wrongly) feel that a national broadcaster should reflect the values that we'd like to see ourselves as having and these awful commentators feel that, too , and that it is their views are actually reflective of 'Canadian' values.

As you know, the comments are not created by the CBC. I'm mostly content that the CBC and the content it generates reflect what I think are "Canadian values". Moderating comments is a balancing act between giving all readers a platform to react and respond, and preventing illegal behaviour (eg hate speech) and other commentary "deemed inappropriate". And that's the rub - defining what's inappropriate.

Also bear in mind that those who choose to comment anywhere are a self-selecting subset of the whole population, and with several different motivations for wanting to read and/or comment to certain stories - not all of them noble. So, ya gotta wonder about many who make it a habit to comment there. All over the web, I see people who like stirring up shit in comments just as a way to pass the time...

I suggested one way the CBC could deal with inappropriate comments upthread. Another thing I'd like them to consider is sending warning emails when a post is moderated out, and banning the accounts of frequent offenders. This won't eliminate all the nuts but would deter the casual bigot.

Or the CBC could charge $5 for a comment account.

Re the problems currently faced by Canada's indigenous populations, it's certainly a topic worthy of being discussed on the blue. I hope that someone with a good grasp of this situation would get it started.
posted by Artful Codger at 3:42 PM on December 5, 2015


When you say "nobody" talks about these issues, you mean white people.

Yes, I do. I didn't mean to imply that native people are ignorant of these issues. Of course they can't be, since they're directly hurt by them.

It would be nice if we could have that conversation someday, but it looks like we're still a long way from being able to do it.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:13 PM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Given that the CBC is a government funded broadcaster I am not sure they can moderate speech as much or as effectively as a private entity could.

......and.....

Hate speech laws in Canada are a thing, and our free speech protections are more nuanced than those in the USA.

Except that CBC's comment moderation is done by a contractor in (I think) the Philippines. And there's little or no quality control. Don't like a comment? Just flag it and it goes away, never to be seen again. Those are bad enough in themselves, but together they attract a group of commenters who have abused those features long enough that many of the more mature commenters have given up. Free speech, etc!

Given that CBC's budgets have been under a lot of downward pressure over the last few years, maybe they should just turn off the comments. Their web presence is pretty strong in other ways, so I'm not sure it would be any great loss.
posted by sneebler at 5:09 PM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


“If you’re bold enough to make such statements, then you should be bold enough to own them with your real name and face.”

Yeah, google had high hopes that forcing accountability and real names would improve discourse. They've since changed course after it proved to not at all help. As others pointed out real name policies are enablers of harassers, and doesn't ensure civility

Metafilter is one of the very few sites where comments are intelligent, useful, and within the bounds of decency.

That's not because we are better people (although we obviously are), it's because this site has a good flagging system and strict moderation. In exactly two clicks you can mark a comment as being racist, and chances are it will go away very quickly. I imagine that if you make a handful of racist remarks you'll also get a note from a mod, and if you continue to make racist remarks your account will just be deleted (feel free to test out my hypothesis, someone other-than-me).

Or the CBC could charge $5 for a comment account.

And then the poor could just shut up?
posted by el io at 5:39 PM on December 5, 2015


Metafilter: one of the very few sites where comments are intelligent, useful, and within the bounds of decency
posted by bitteroldman at 6:11 PM on December 5, 2015


As an American, my main understanding of race relations in Canada, or at least Vancouver, is informed by this Peter Watts story: "Fractals".

It also informs my understanding of all human relations.
posted by Apocryphon at 7:17 PM on December 5, 2015


Could we not compare the closing of online comments sections to the systematic and state-run slaughter of millions of people via a system of both work and death camps? The hyperbole serves no one.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:54 PM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


As others pointed out real name policies are enablers of harassers, and doesn't ensure civility

I've never had any harassment problems, but I must admit, the fact that I've posted as myself since the beginnings of the Internet has resulted in a sense of accountability for my own words. I don't know if there's a cause and effect relationship, but there's an anecdotal data point.
posted by mikelieman at 7:59 PM on December 5, 2015


Or the CBC could charge $5 for a comment account.

And then the poor could just shut up?

My above point was just a small shout-out to the Metafilter policy of $5 on signup, and hey, look how we turned out. But seriously, how many of the genuinely poor do you think are regulars in the comments section of the CBC website?
posted by Artful Codger at 8:12 PM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


There has been a systematic and state-run slaughter of First Nations people in Canada since approximately the 16th cenury. The comparison is apt, even if the horror
is now through willful
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:21 PM on December 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


(sorry, phone)

.. neglect rather than outright murder. Look iup suicide rates on reservations, e.g.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:27 PM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Or residential schools, a much more insidious form of cultural genocide. Frankly, what white Canada needs to do is say to the First Nations, "okay. What do you want and need from us?" And then fucking do it, no matter the cost or inconvenience. The price of a few fighter planes nobody wanted would provide clean drinking water (!) And solid mental and physical care for every indigenous person a mare usque ad mare, and then some.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:39 PM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


It would be nice if we could have that conversation someday, but it looks like we're still a long way from being able to do it.

That is precisely why we need to have this conversation right fucking now. (Wanted to say this earlier, hard to c/p on my phone). Trudeau signaled in the Speech from the Throne that MMIW is a priority and he is striking an inquiry. Hopefully it has a very broad mandate. And teeth.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:16 PM on December 5, 2015


Kudos to CBC. I am the online manager for a small market TV news site, and moderating/deleting comments can be, at times, quite a burden - and sometimes very disheartening, to say the least.

I very much appreciate that people have strong opinions, etc, and providing a forum for them can be enjoyable, and they occasionally provide insight, or help us fill in details about certain articles.

But the primary purpose of news sites is to INFORM people -- not to allow a free-for-all cesspool of nasty, vile, racist, and/or sexist bullshit comments.
posted by davidmsc at 3:46 PM on December 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


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