Many of you will no doubt have noticed that we are not currently allowing comments on articles relating to Saturday’s Stockholm bombings.
We’re really sorry we had to do this – The Local always strives to encourage a reasoned discussion about events in the news. Yet we know from experience that articles like this attract comments which offend other readers.
When comment threads start to attract a large number of offensive comments, they place unreasonable burdens on our team, whose priority is to bring readers the latest news about the bombings, not to firefight in the comment threads.
Many people, quite understandably, will argue that by removing comments The Local is preventing an open discussion about immigration, integration, terrorism and religion. We have two reponses to this: first, it is not strictly true – any member who is signed in can comment about events in our Discuss section, whether on the Stockholm bombings via The official Stockholm explosion thread or on other articles published on The Local.
Moreover, we will not accept that a small minority of readers (and it really is a tiny but vocal minority) use The Local to spread innuendo and make unsubstantiated allegations about entire groups of citizens, thus offending a large majority of our readers.
It’s worth at this point reminding ourselves what we actually know: so far, only one man has so far been implicated in the bombings. Others may also have been involved; there are certainly plenty of unsavoury people out there who support his actions. But as a news organization, it’s our job to stick to the facts – and we rely on our readers to help us with this in the comment threads. When people fail to stick to this basic requirement, we will no longer allow comments.
When it comes to the bombing, we will report the facts of the case as they are revealed. We will also solicit the opinions of people in Sweden and abroad and we will allow moderated discussion in our Discuss section. Meanwhile, if you have any feedback about our coverage, please contact us directly at: email@example.com