Comments online can get out of hand

Published 8:42 am Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I would like to express my extreme displeasure at what has been happening on the Albert Lea Tribune Web site following the story of an embezzlement of a local business. The forum/comment section that follows any Tribune story has gotten out of hand lately, but this one in particular. Webster’s dictionary defines the word forum as: any public meeting place for open discussion.

This is not what is happening on this site — a discussion. It has become a free-for-all chatroom with writers trying to out-do each other with their nasty comments and opinions. As soon as someone tries to write something positive or encouraging they are accused of being “touchy, feely” and labeled as relatives or best friends. What makes these people so hard-hearted and cruel? And as for stating facts, there are none. It’s always “I heard” or “Someone told me.” This isn’t productive discussion; it’s gossiping.

As far as I’m concerned this has become a lynch-mobbing site and I’m tired of it. May I remind everyone that there are always two sides to every story and so far we’ve only heard one. Until people on this site are required to sign their name and not hide behind a nickname and e-mail address, this sort of hurtful comment-writing will continue. I’m also disappointed that our local Tribune allows and encourages such behavior. I feel that if you’re not brave enough to put your name with your comments, so we all know who you are, than you can keep them to yourself.

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Oh, and one more thing. I work at the Albert Lea Medical Center side-by-side with the “thief of a husband” of the woman in the story — and I’ve never once been worried about my wallet.

Deb Toft

Albert Lea

Editor’s note: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Please see today’s editorial.