Readers’ corner 6/22/07 |

Readers’ corner 6/22/07

The readers’ forum on allows readers to comment on all our local content: stories, letters to the editor, cartoons, etc.

What originally started out small has grown, with more than 1,000 readers registered with a “user name,” thus allowing them to comment freely on content in our print newspaper, as well as content on the Web, and engage in dialogue with one another.

This forum is not moderated; we have an abuse button that says “report this.” That generates an e-mail to some key employees, who look at the reported post and decide if it is offensive.

Now, obviously, what is offensive to some is not offensive to others. The “F” word is offensive; saying someone has their facts wrong is not.

We don’t have the time, or the inclination, to be Internet cops. In fact, the Supreme Court ruled that Internet forums are much like a coffee shop, where overheard conversations may be offensive to some but are protected as free speech. Part of that ruling is below:

“In a landmark 1997 decision, ( SC_appeal/decision.shtml) the Supreme Court ruled that the Internet is a unique medium entitled to the highest protection under the free speech protections of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This gives the Internet same free speech protection as print. The Internet is the first electronic media to achieve this because of low barriers to access, abundance, many speakers, no gatekeepers.

“The court struck down the Communications Decency Act (CDA), Congress’ first attempt to censor speech online. Writing for the court, Justice John Paul Stevens held that ‘the CDA places an unacceptably heavy burden on protected speech’ and found that all provisions of the CDA are unconstitutional as they apply to ‘indecent’ or ‘patently offensive’ speech. In a separate concurrence, Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor agreed that the provisions of the CDA are all unconstitutional except in their narrow application to “communications between an adult and one or more minors.”

Currently we have a small group of posters reporting on each other over every small thing. This was not the intent of providing this forum; rather, we hoped a civilized dialogue would ensue, perhaps even resulting in solutions to problems.

Please respect our position in providing this service to the community and when in doubt, remember The Golden Rule.


Dixie Redfearn can be reached at 477-4238 or by e-mail at, or by fax at 477-4292.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User