By Scott Tibbs, June 7, 2013
Leftists on HeraldTimesOnline.com are furious when their posts get deleted and often whine about getting deleted. But an issue has come up regarding those of us who flag offensive content on HTO that raises serious questions about the newspaper. Specifically, who is the tattletale that is leaking abuse reports?
I have flagged posts that I believe violate the Terms of Service on HTO and I will continue to do so. Some of the posts I have flagged have been removed while others have not. One particular Leftist complained bitterly about a post that was deleted, but he is intelligent enough to know that posting crude and perverted fantasies about other posters' sex lives will likely result in his post getting deleted. Obviously the moderators thought it was over the line, as they removed it.
But there is an important question that the Herald-Times needs to answer.
Some posters have whined about specific posts I have flagged, especially posts that are a week or so old. Are reports to HTO moderators internal to H-T, or are they available to the public upon request? Are certain HTO moderators leaking abuse reports to sympathetic HTO subscribers to use against other HTO posters in the comments? If so, which HTO moderators are doing that? I sincerely hope that is not happening, but I see no other explanation for the knowledge certain HTO posters have about abuse reports.
One anonymous poster has twice referred to an e-mail that Bob Zaltsberg sent to me, copying Sarah Morin. Who has seen this e-mail beyond Herald-Times staff? Who is leaking these internal communications? Was it Zaltsberg, Morin, or someone else? Is this anonymous poster a Herald-Times employee? If so, does Zaltsberg understand how this kind of snitching creates extreme distrust of the Herald-Times by his customers? I wonder what Poynter would say about this from an ethical standpoint?