The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday April 14th

Letter: ​DTH should disable online comments


As a writer, I know that criticism is a key part of the writing process, and I embrace all efforts to get me to think of my writings in a different way, or improve the clarity of my work. However, I also know what it feels like to have hours of work met with ridicule and harassment that in no way attempts to create a meaningful discussion about the issue I am writing about.

That is why I am insisting that The Daily Tar Heel should disable commenting on its articles. Far from creating a “great discussion,” the comments section is filled with ridicule, trolling and outright harassment from users that are oftentimes anonymous.

If you don’t believe me, just look at the opinion section.

For those of you whose knee-jerk reaction to this letter is “First Amendment,” I would like to quickly remind you what the first amendment says. The first amendment prevents the state from infringing upon your right to free speech.

In other words, the government cannot prosecute you for what you say.

Since I am not advocating for the prosecution of anyone, the First Amendment does not apply. The DTH is just like any other newspaper; it reserves the right to control how its readers interact with its content.

Nothing good is coming from the DTH comments section. Therefore, the DTH should strongly consider disabling comments on its articles, and if it cannot come to a decision, the issue should be voted on by the student body.

Jack Walsh


Environmental Science and History

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