The following comment was posted on Tuesday, October 9, by reader James in a daily police log article on Benicia Patch yesterday:
ALMOST GOT RAN OVER WITH MY KIDS THIS MORNING AT MARY FARMER
IN THE CROSS WALK !! WHEN ARE WE GOING TO PUT THE CELL PHONES
DOWN!!!!!!! EVERY TIME I COME TO A LIGHT AND STOP I LOOK AT EVERYBODY AND EVERY BODYS LOOKING DOWN AT THERE CELL OR THERE TALKING ON IT LIKE ITS OK I CANT BELEVE IT!!!!!!!!!!! PUT IT DOWN
The sentiment is understandable but the all caps is a problem. In the world of the internet, using all capital letters is akin to yelling and as editor of Benicia Patch I prefer my readers not yell at each other. Also, it should be known I’ve removed comments written in all caps on other occasions.
In this case I let the comment stay for two reasons. First, the commenter wasn’t yelling directly at another reader and secondly the comment isn’t a harsh personal attack but rather a comment on the actions of many in this day and age.
It is decisions like this one that keep local Patch editors awake at night. Is it the comment I don't like or the tone of the comment? Is it the right decision to leasve this comment or the wrong one? I’m sure there are good arguments on both sides of those questions and I would be happy to read what readers think. You are an integral part of what makes Benicia Patch a source for local news and a platform for conversation.
I should also note that even Patch's Terms of Service has a section that is in all caps.
Should comments in all caps be removed and the commenter asked to resubmit?
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If there’s something in this article you think should be corrected, or if something else is amiss, call editor JB Davis at 707-628-0051 or email him at email@example.com