Why I Just Deleted Something From the Comment Section

During the night, someone posted a comment to Slashdot: 'How Were You Fired?' that recounted an interesting personal story about a law firm that lied to its associates as it did economically motivated layoffs, telling the survivors that the departed were cut for quality rather than financial reasons. Eventually the poster him/herself got the chop.

It was a good read, but the poster had second thoughts after hitting the Post button and e-mailed me, asking me please to remove the item. And I just did.

I don't as yet have carefully worked-out policies for how I will deal with issues that may arise in the comments section. But I do know this:

  1. I was satisfied in this case that the request to delete came from the actual original poster.
  2. I don't consider myself bound by journalistic ethics here, just basic ethics. I am in any case somewhat suspicious of claims of role morality, which I intuit usually do more harm than good. But that is another, deeper pool.
  3. I intend that my actions here be guided by considerations of fundamental decency. In this case the poster was worried (incorrectly I think, but that's easy for me to say) that the post might cause harmful consequences if the workplace was ever identified. No particular interest other than saving a readable and interesting item was served by keeping it. The balance seems clear.
  4. I think I should disclose when I cut something, and I did so in what's left of the comment.

Similarly, were someone to post a commercial message, or something really vile, I would have little compunction about chopping it. Other than that, I don't have policies yet.

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