Truth is answer to hate speech

More than 110 readers have commented on an online news story that also ran in print Thursday about the Muslim call to prayer being played from the Richter clock tower this month.

The story received more than 1,000 page views after only one day, many of which came after the page was linked by outside Web sites. Along with the hits came reader comments, which we always strongly encourage.

But in this case, a number of the comments have been hateful.

Nevertheless, The Miami Hurricane’s policy is not to censor online comments unless they are defamatory, obscene or threaten violence.

I have been closely monitoring all of the posts on the article and, at the time of publication, have removed three that threatened violence. All others remain in place, and I have added our policy on censorship to the bottom of this story.

We understand the reactions to the some of the comments and acknowledge how bigoted some of them are, but it would set a bad precedent to remove comments solely for being offensive.

Deleting a personal opinion goes against The Hurricane’s mission as a forum for ideas and would amount to censorship. It would also be irresponsible on our part to say whether an opinion is correct or incorrect.

There have been a lot of recent responses rejecting the early posts, and we believe that having the community change the course of the conversation is a much more desirable and effective solution than censoring or removing the comments section completely.

As the saying goes: The best answer to hate speech is truth speech.

Greg Linch is the editor in chief and may be contacted at gregl@miami.edu.

March 31, 2008


Greg Linch

Former editor in chief (2007-2008)

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.