Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stltoday.com Censor Turns Tattletale, Costs Online Commenter His Job

Posted By on Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 7:23 AM

click to enlarge vulgarterm.jpg
Any of you catch the bizarre story yesterday at stltoday.com where online editor Kurt Greenbaum (whose job it is to monitor online comments to the website) wrote how he outed a commenter?

The incident went down like this: Last Friday Stltoday.com asked readers to tell them about the strangest food they've ever eaten. Within a few minutes a commenter responded with "a single word, a vulgar expression for a part of a woman's anatomy."

One of Greenbaum's colleagues immediately removed the word only for the commenter to once again leave the same lewd remark.

So what did Greenbaum do? In his words:

"I deleted it, but noticed in the WordPress e-mail alert that his comment had come from an IP address at a local school. So I called the school...About six hours later, I heard from the school's headmaster...The headmaster confronted the employee, who resigned on the spot."

Other commenters on Stltoday.com are now having a field day, calling Greenbaum a "Thought Nazi" and suggesting that he be fired for outing the commenter to his employer.

Greenbaum is holding his ground, firing back in the comment thread:
"Defend the guy who posted the vulgarity all you want. I'm not regulating someone's thought. He can think whatever he wants. I'm moderating our boards. Follow our guidelines and this won't be a problem for any of you. Remember, I said it was a school, right? It could have been a student. I didn't know who it was. I just thought the school might like to know about it. I sleep fine at night."

Meanwhile, here at Daily RFT we're lying awake wondering that exactly the guy wrote that was so insulting. Greenbaum never divulges that seemingly very important factoid.

So, dear readers, what do you think it was? Continue on to cast your vote in our poll, "Possible Vulgar Expressions for a Part of a Woman's Anatomy."

P.S. Good thing Greenbaum doesn't pull this stunt with the paper's notoriously racist commenters. That tactic could cost stltoday.com its entire readership!

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