Yukon News

Reveal yourselves, trolls

Friday March 3, 2017

After reading Kyle Carruthers’ excellent article about M-103 in the Feb. 22 edition of the Yukon News, I went online to see just how hateful the comments were.

Yikes! There is opinion and there is rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth hate mongering. The bigoted anti-Muslim comments I read fell into the latter category.

Here is a suggestion. Why not make it a requirement of those wishing to comment to disclose their full name and area of residence? (Ed. note: We’re working on this.)

Many trolls are cowards. It would discourage hate mongering and make the onerous the task of editing comment sections a little less like living in a toilet.

I appreciate having two excellent newspapers in my community. Keep up the good work.

Linda Leon,

Whitehorse

26 Comments

Werner Rhein wrote:
10:15am Tuesday March 21, 2017

PROScience Greenie, this is one of the big problems we have in the Yukon; “if you don’t like how we do things here go outside”. As if the Yukon would be the centre of the world.
I’m not outside and yes I’m retired but I voice my opinion not only since I’m retired. I run my own business here quite successful. Yes probably I didn’t get business from people who did not agree with my opinion but that is life and in a lot of cases they knew me and I knew them.
But this anonymous reteric mostly out of fear of repression is not healthy and it reflects the atmosphere in the government here. It is always someone else fault and nobody is ever responsible for anything.
This is the result of anonymity and it is happening here. Anonymous can change his mind or opinion with the flick of his wrist and no one will ever know.
And when push comes to shove at the end every body just followed orders, like in good ol Germany, iff you can remember

ProScience Greenie wrote:
5:23pm Monday March 20, 2017

Maybe Outside or for a person retired Werner Rhein but those consequences can be nasty in our small territory, especially for those with a family trying to make ends meet while paying a mortgage and putting food on the table.

Village Idiot wrote:
1:11pm Monday March 20, 2017

Don’t sweat it Mr. Greennie, it goes with the anonymous Territory. Is this your first time?

Try to remember to keep your head up going over the blue line.

Werner Rhein wrote:
2:22pm Friday March 17, 2017

Free speech is only “Free” if one can reveal his name and will suffer the consequences of other “Free” answers.
Hiding behind “Anonymous” has nothing to do do with democracy.

N W wrote:
12:42am Friday March 17, 2017

Just to be sure here, my previous post is in regards to the greater scope of worldwide online commentary. It’s an exceedingly complicated issue. Thanks to the contributors as well.

Name Withheld wrote:
10:25pm Thursday March 16, 2017

Look, I haven’t posted anywhere online for many years and only occasionally scroll through the commentary. Naturally this issue caught my eye. And no, “they’ll never make a saint of me”. Nor have I ever met anyone who is a saint, although there’s certainly no shortage of delusional idiots in this regard.

Generally speaking, I find those who’s identity can be verified to be the most interesting, intelligent and respectful as well as the least hypocritical, smug, condescending and contradictory. Most of all they understand economy - fewer words to say the same thing and fewer posts.

If that somehow offends any of you conceited anonymous “free” speech repetitive wind-bags who selfishly post ad nauseum, then I suggest you “reexamine” your entitlement attitude, because sifting through piles and piles of rubble in search of gems is getting increasingly tedious and time consuming.  Not many interesting people have that amount of time to spare and won’t participate if it isn’t worthwhile.  And ya, the stench of mendacity is a mighty powerful odor.

I for one find this whole business of fully supporting and encouraging someone’s right to make a complete fool of themselves has gotten old. Unfortunately, as it stands, there isn’t a level playing field. Kudos to Yukon News to have the integrity to at least consider ways in bringing the commentary closer to the standards of their journalism, which I agree is quite good.

And thanks to Ms. Leon for bringing this issue to light.

Mark wrote:
5:34pm Thursday March 16, 2017

Calls people village idiots yet name withheld. Hypocrite much? More like coward hypocrite.

ProScience Greenie wrote:
9:41am Thursday March 16, 2017

The Yukon News already is an exceptional community news service. We are lucky to have it and the Star. Both these organs are the only place where we can any find real reporting in our Yukon as they employ quality journalists rather than activists with journalism degrees like we see with over at our state broadcaster. Bravo to both papers.

Deeply saddened to see the use of the very offensive and and in this case smugly condescending term ‘village idiot’ in what should be an adult conversation on anonymous online story commenting.

Name Withheld wrote:
8:52pm Wednesday March 15, 2017

Time for Yukon News to decide if they want to stand out as an exceptional community news service, or just another one of the many stinky sandboxes out there for village idiots to crap in.

my real name wrote:
2:42pm Wednesday March 15, 2017

I never realized that teens were feeling cyber-bullied and driven to suicide because they were forced to read comments to on-line letters and articles that were ‘signed’ by someone who didn’t appear to use a ‘real name’.  Some people believe this is a big problem, so I will use my real name when making comments to on-line letters and articles.  If it saves one life, eh?

Name Withheld wrote:
12:09am Wednesday March 15, 2017

Try telling shattered families who have lost a child to teenage suicide that the “problem” is they disagree with the “free” speech of their dead child’s malicious cyber-bullies. Or are they merely collateral damage of an idealistic world without consequences for the “most protected”?

How about those whom have been maligned by the kangaroo court of public opinion? Is that just tough luck for them? But I’ll agree a lot of people seem to be ok with it . . . until they are the ones who are targeted.

“Words of the prophets” indeed.

Fred Norris wrote:
8:26pm Monday March 13, 2017

Anonymous expressions of free speech have occurred for thousands of years, one example being graffiti.
“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls…”
The comment section of has become the new subway wall. The comments on Kyle’s piece did not violate the terms the Yukon News dictates for posting. I highly recommend the News leave their terms the way they are.
See, the “problem” with free speech is that the most protected speech is that of which you disagree with.

Illegitimi Non Carborundum! wrote:
2:22pm Monday March 13, 2017

The socialist fifth columnists are hard at work in Yukon doing their best to suppress any voices other than their own. In this Yukon hate is wrong unless its the left doing the hating, Yukoners labeled ‘Trolls’ have to be quieted unless they’re Liberal ‘Trolls’, bigotry is unacceptable unless its Liberal bigotry. You may speak up and be heard only if you espouse mainstream socialist views, if not you are to be shouted down, shut out, and demonstrated against. Welcome to the new Yukon, Illegitimi Non Carborundum!

Name Withheld wrote:
2:41am Monday March 13, 2017

Anonymous “free” speech, the last bastion of the duplicitous scoundrel.

(name withheld to protect my malignant false-self)

Wilbur wrote:
10:19pm Sunday March 12, 2017

    Everything is wrong when the right has no power. Suffer!

PCPORTERCREEKER wrote:
12:19am Sunday March 12, 2017

Anonymous comments online are the only reason is still reading the Yukon News. The paper will be bankrupt in five years. Mark my words, Sonny.

JimmyBorisenko wrote:
1:04pm Saturday March 11, 2017

I am surprised at some of the comments below. What is wrong with standing up and owning our opinions? I am relatively new to the internet, and I can now well understand the concern I had previously heard of—anonymity giving a platform to bigotry and hatred that would not be heard in normal constructive conversation.  Dave (and others) are you honestly saying that to point out that bigoted comments stated under the guise of anonymity is cowardice, is cowardice in and of itself? How then do we even begin to confront bigotry? To my mind, bigotry is based in fear and ignorance, and thus thrives better in anonymity. We are all entitled to our opinions, but if you feel your opinion precludes that you identify yourself, then I suggest you reexamine your opinion.

ProScience Greenie wrote:
12:19pm Saturday March 11, 2017

Some time ago I parted ways with the Left. Being an agnostic egalitarian secular humanist all of the sudden the criticism of non-Christian religions became off limits. One could still rant away about far right fundamentalist Christians pushing for such things as prayer in school, pro-life policy, the teaching of creationism or the erosion of the firewall between religion and state but dare not include other religions in the conversation, especially Islam. Why that happened I do not know but it is very real in the progressive world and is to a degree demonstrated in Leon’s letter above by the phrase ‘anti-Muslim’.

I fully support and will fight for the right of anybody to practice any religion or spirituality they want but I also fully support the right to reject, criticize, satirize, outright laugh at and at times even being honestly fearful of them. That means having the right to state that their deities do not exist, that their holy people were mere mortals, that some of their teachings are archaic or even barbaric. It includes the right to draw cartoons, sing songs or any other form of expression. It goes without saying that it does not include the right to promote violence, oppression or violate human rights and freedoms.

That said I recognize that there is real racism and bigotry out there and that it is ugly and born of ignorance and comes from all ideological and political direction and every reasonable effort needs to be taken to reduce it to as close to zero as possible. However the selective limiting of the freedom of expression will do nothing to end it and will only strengthen and embolden those all about intolerance and bigotry.

I would urge those further to left to take a long look in the mirror and think about whether their ways are causing significant collateral damage to the cause of making the world a better and more tolerant place and then make changes to help rather than hinder the cause. 

The Trump snowflakes should do the same.

ProScience Greenie wrote:
10:48am Saturday March 11, 2017

It would be fine to use one’s real name to post comments on various issues in our very fine newspapers but it could come with a potentially high price for many. Our territory is small and one must be very careful when and where to express an opinion. There is the very real possibility that those disagreeing with your opinion can turn nasty resulting anything from being denied a job or contract to harassment, vandalism or even worse. This is the sad reality of our times so I would advise those pushing for ending anonymous postings to think deep about it.

As well, allowing anonymous posts allows for a few whistleblowing gems to be put out there from people that would otherwise not feel comfortable or safe doing so. That is worth putting up with nonsense comments that can easily be deleted by the editor / moderator.

One also has to conclude that Leon’s demand to end anonymous postings has little to do with promoting decency and is more about limiting the voices of those she disagrees with. Ironically one of Leon’s online homes, rabble dot ca allows anonymous commenting. And speaking of decency, that site, the far left equivalent of Ezra Levant’s Rebel Media is often lacking in it and has no shortage of “rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth hate mongering”. We need less of that but sadly activists on both political fringes are equally guilty. Shame on both sides for their growing divisive, ugly and irresponsible words and actions. That said, I support the freedom of expression of both sides so the general public can see just how foul and dangerous they can be.

Carbon neutral wrote:
9:01pm Friday March 10, 2017

I have to agree that this seems an over-reaction to what I read. Although I tend to skip over the worst stuff, anyway. What’s an over-reaction is to attempt to stifle comment by taking away the anonymous option. I’m concerned with the editor’s note saying he was working on this.

I believe the comments are moderated, as it is. In a place where so many people are government employees, there’s lots of incentive to not speak up. I’m not a government employee, but I like to be able to speculate or make the odd comment from backstage. We don’t need more disincentives for people to keep their views to themselves.

Is this the same letter writer who wrote tons of letters to the paper when Stephen Harper was in power? It’s remarkable to me that someone who takes full advantage of a forum to speak her opinion reaches immediately for some solution to discourage comments she doesn’t like. I know online comments can get ugly, but I don’t think either newspaper has let it get out of hand. I’d rather put up with a small percentage of nasty ones that I don’t have to read than lose many lucid ones. That’s the price you pay for free speech. As someone else pointed out, the letter writer’s own turgid word choices are a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. It doesn’t dilute the effect to have a name signed to it, and clearly she wasn’t inspired to tone it down.

north_of_60 wrote:
8:36pm Friday March 10, 2017

The ctrl-left label “troll” for anyone who disagrees with their opinion.  They love labeling people so they can self-righteously hate them, and call for them to be censored.  Haters gotta hate; it defines who they are.  Can anyone document an example of the alt-right calling for censorship or muzzling of comments on news and opinion articles?  It seems to be a ctrl-left thing.

Dave wrote:
5:29pm Friday March 10, 2017

I beg to differ, I think many people don’t want to expose their full identity to the bullying that would come fom not agreeing with the PC Liberal crowd. Take for instance this letter from Linda, she didn’t agree with viewpoints in previous letters submitted in another forum so uses hateful words for people she didn’t agree with, hate mongering, bigotted, coward, frothing at the mouth, and troll. In several short paragraphs she uses so many hateful words she entirely invalidates her point and in my opinion could be considered a hate mongering troll for saying those things. Where do you draw a line? Are People who use thier full name allowed to post mean things online but no one else is?

Alan wrote:
5:28pm Friday March 10, 2017

Linda, I re-read the comments and did not find anything there offensive. If it was, surely the YN would censor it. I suspect if you search hard enough for racism, today’s worst possible sin, you will find it.

BnR wrote:
3:37pm Friday March 10, 2017

Life would get boring without yanking the collective chains of the alt right nut bars..
It’s petty but watching them froth at the mouth over us Progressive LIEberals is satisfying in a silly sort of way.

Mike Grieco wrote:
11:17pm Thursday March 9, 2017

Bravo! Thanks for writing….

Jonathan Colby wrote:
5:57pm Thursday March 9, 2017

Hear hear!

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