Letter from the Editor: Keeping the comments civil

Formula 1 fans

Dear Readers

Grand Prix 247 is a Formula 1 news site and will always be that.

It was never intended to be a discussion forum, however over the years a community has evolved around the site and the comments section is where our gang of readers congregate to shoot the breeze, vent themselves, discuss, criticise, praise, lament….

And as the editor of this site I really like the fact that the news we put out there gets enough reaction for readers to make comments. I wish this will continue and hope more people are inspired to share their thoughts going forward.

However I must say that some of the stuff that goes on in the comments section is unacceptable, offensive and makes me angry. Thus along the way I have had to ban people and mostly good riddance. Some come back, apologise and of course I lift the ban, but monitor their future comments until I am happy that they are not serial offenders.

To be honest I also find it extremely difficult to monitor what goes on in the comments section at the foot of each report because editing the site, writing and moderating it plus living normal daily life – means that there are simply not enough hours in each day.

I really do not want to go the way of many major news websites and kill the comments section, which they have done because of hate filled rants that proliferate. Without a way to control the cancer, they simply cut it off.

To keep our comments section alive for the majority of good people who use it for what it is meant to be, I am going to ask those who comment to consider my wishes:

  • I wish that GP247 comments section is treated like a coffee shop, a local bar or a tea room – where like minded people from the community gather to check the news and then chat/discuss/debate/elaborate or whatever about the matters making the headlines.
  • I wish that the patrons are cordial, as if chatting face-to-face (as opposed to scattered around the globe in cyberspace) and thus there is respect and decorum that one would show at such establishments.
  • I wish that when people discuss or even argue, that they remain civil and respectful as if they were doing so in the flesh.
  • I wish that when people make a comment they always ask of themselves: would I say what I have written if I were facing fellow commentators face-to-face?
  • On very rare occasions I have the right to delete any comment without notification or reason.

I believe that it is normally a few bad apples contaminate the basket, so with that in mind I am going to continue to have zero tolerance on racism and hate but going to add zero tolerance for insults and abuse among readers who make comments.

There are some people who make abusive comments, the kind that if made in a ‘live’ situation would end up with he or she being punched or beaten or smacked or lynched, but because they sit ‘hidden’ in cyberspace they feel braver than they ever would be spewing their abuse in the real ‘live’ world.

Although I am not privy to any survey, I am nevertheless pretty sure that the biggest verbal gunslingers on the web are also the first to go into hiding when things get heated in real life, simply because they are cowards.

I don’t want these people visiting GP247, let alone commenting…

Of course it will be tough to monitor every comment made, as this site has grown beyond my expectations, therefore I ask from the community of regular readers to please report offensive comments – many readers do this already and I am very grateful for their input.

Together we can keep the genuine F1 fans, who enjoy this website, protected from the rabble.

To report offensive or abusive comments:
email
I sincerely hope this sets the ground rules for the future, and together we keep this community civil and pleasant, while buzzing with excitement and passion, which is what Formula 1 is all about.

Cheers

Paul Velasco – Editor