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Original post made
on Feb 19, 2010
Wow! "Plethora".....that's a big word for this "newspaper".... Also, I believe mail theft is a federal crime.....
Would you say I have a plethora of pinatas?
Oh yes. You have a plethora.
Jefe, what is a plethora?
Forgive me El Guapo, I know that I do not have your superior intellect and education but could it be that once again you are angry at something else and are looking to take it out on me.....
Good work by the MVPD!
Most of what I've heard about Liz Wylie indicates she is proficient in English; what's with "But when we search the car we find a backpack that's basically filled with mail."??
I thought their was a editorial policy about printing names of people who commit crimes? Something about "shaming them" for life on the internet? So which is it? I'm sooo confused.
Careful Joe, posting a comment like that to the Beijing Voice .... uhhh, I mean Mountain View Voice ... can get you deleted by comrade Don Frances. While he is at it he might just lock the topic entirely.
Mountain View Voice is a great way for us to get local news. May I suggest if you don't agree with the content that you stop reading it. I appreciate the coverage because it allows me to stay in tuch with what's going on in the city I live in. And attacking other posters is not contributing to the issue we are allowed to post comments on.
I'm free to read whatever I like whether I agree with it or not. Thom, I think your NY Times quote may be going to your head ;)
Some are shamed, others are given a pass. We're just asking why?
Joe Pulitzer: Confusion comes easily to you. There is not an "editorial policy" and I never said there was. There is a judgment call to be made, every time we write a crime story (or really any story). A $500 embezzler or a drunk driver might strike us as someone undeserving of having their name imprinted in the online memory banks forever, while a person who stole $10,000 worth of checks out of people's mailboxes might not.
Sound too messy and imperfect for you? Too bad.
I'll say this as many times as necessary: Controlling the comments made on a privately owned and operated site like this one is not censorship. It is our right to do it, as surely as you can kick someone out of your house for -- well, for anything at all.
My job is to keep a level of decorum here, and I'm happy to make comment threads registered-only (which, for those of you whose bravery relies on anonymity, is the same as "locking"), or to remove or redact comments, or whatever else is needed to get that done.
You're full of it Don. I have seen you delete way too many legitimate comments to buy that line of BS you are selling. You have your own agenda and anyone who disagrees with you gets censored.
Anyway, why are you posting your own comments? We don't need you in these conversations. You have so much anger inside you ... I think you need help, I'm not even kidding.
You are so simple. You are like a toy I play with. I press the buttons and I get you to do exactly what I want.
How about an editor who applies personal policy subjectively? Or how about just printing everyone's name who commits a crime and let the readership and public decide how much shame they deserve?
This is actually a legitimate thread of discussion anyway. And, again, before seeking the moral high ground, level the playing field and charge all posters for hiding behind their anonymity, not just the ones you apparently disagree with.
Not at all. I welcome opposing points of view. In fact I'm happier when comment threads aren't reflecting just one opinion.
And obviously, people are welcome to post anonymous comments here. You can tell by the fact that 99% of our commenters chose not to provide their identity.
I'm saying that taking pot shots at other people or making crude attempts to goad them behind the veil of anonymity (see Newton's comments above) makes it hard to take your moral outrage very seriously. And anyway they violate the rules of this web site.
I know that this is a legitimate topic of discussion, Joe Dimagio. I have it all the time. This is not about who I disagree with politically. It's about conducting yourself here like a person rather than a troll.
Don, I think you do a great job! And I really like the Voice's website. When well-moderated, the comments add a lot to the experience. (There are a lot of insecure people here. Maybe the less vitriolic just decide to stay mum? One can hope.)
It's funny that speaking two languages is taken as a sign of educational privilege or even "elitism", unless one of those languages is Spanish. And if English were someone's second language, then their total vocabulary would likely be larger than yours.
You know what else is funny? If you're Hispanic/Latino your name if more likely to be posted on MV Voice if you commit a crime. Am I wrong? How would I even know since you decide which names are worthy of posting?
I also find it ironic that the editor is waxing poetic about decency in posting while at the same time insulting the very posters he is lecturing.
Me: Confusion comes easily to you.
Anonymous posters: Comrade Don Frances ... You're full of it Don ... I think you need help ... You are so simple ... You are like a toy I play with ...
You see some big irony here Bruno?
Regarding this: "If you're Hispanic/Latino your name if more likely to be posted on MV Voice if you commit a crime. Am I wrong?" Yes, you are wrong. I've already stated the thinking process that goes into deciding whether a name runs or not. "Ethnicity of name" is not among the criteria. I can't help which sorts of names are connected to which crimes.
There are two issues being addressed in this conversation. One is the withholding-of-names issue, which gets some people too fired up. That leads to the other issue, which is controlling inflammatory comments. Both of these issues have to do with judgment calls made by the editor, which apparently galls some people but can't really be helped -- we all have to make judgment calls in our jobs.
Bruno, you've asked about the withholding-of-names part of this conversation, and your questions have been totally logical and legitimate -- which is what we like! Since you're always above-board in your comments, your posts have never been altered or removed, to my knowledge.
I guess I ask because I know someone who was arrested last year and their name was posted here. That person is local and they are pretty well known in the community. I felt really bad for them, and their family, due to the public shaming they endured over stolen soup and cigarettes (if I recall correctly).
Then you have this woman at the gym who committed felony embezzlement and the name is kept out of the Voice. It would seem more fair if there was a clear cut policy for releasing names and not a sometimes we do, sometimes we don't stance.
I agree it would be nice to have a clear-cut policy; unfortunately it's a daunting task to make one. If you think about the huge variety of circumstances from case to case, you realize that a one-size-fits-all editorial policy is going to be very hard to create.
Also, this is a relatively new issue for journalists, so it will probably take time to figure out all the eventualities. I myself was slow to realize that nearly anything that goes online gets cached forever -- so even if we delete a name from our direct server, the story with the full name still exists on some other server.
Regarding the story you refer to, here's the gist of it from our original report:
"Mountain View police arrested a Walgreens night manager last week for allegedly stealing around $1,200 worth of goods and cash from the store over the last two years.
"Police spokesperson Liz Wylie said [the suspect], a 56-year-old resident of Mountain View, was arrested on Friday, June 19 for allegedly taking goods such as cigarettes and soup, as well as cash, over the last two years..."
So it's more than just soup and cigarettes -- but I do agree that it's on par with the $500 embezzler story that sparked this whole conversation. If I had it to do over again, I probably would not have run her name.
Going forward, I am going to try to carve out a better-defined policy for Voice editors to work with. Even at its best, though, it probably won't eliminate the need for a case-by-case judgment call by the editors.
Keep waxing that slippery slope, Don. You can't have it both ways without eventually contradicting yourself.
Regarding anonymity, journalists rely on anonymous sources for many important stories. So why attack anonymity? This paper has even benefited from material leaked on this board by your own admission a few editions back.
Whatever dude. Your "slippery slope" comment makes no sense and could apply to anything. And I never did "attack anonymity."
I *would* recommend that you actually go back and read what I wrote, but it's clear you're more interested in being a pest than in contributing to this forum in an intelligent way. For you this an amusing diversion, I'm sure, but for me this is a job.
So let's make a deal: you keep trying in vain to antagonize me, and I'll just delete your posts as soon as I see them. (It only takes a click of a button.)
Or you could save us both the hassle and post your nonsense somewhere else.
Good job MVPD, this is why I have a PO bx, cheap insurance as I see it.
I just love it when this topic comes up between the editor and his detractors.
"Posted by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor, on Feb 21, 2010 at 7:18 pm
Don Frances is a member (registered user) of Mountain View Voice
Joe Pulitzer: Confusion comes easily to you"
Wow Don, aren't you a little bit aggressive to be representing the paper? Lighten up
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