Comment is free (but please don’t abuse the privilege)

Your Say / Tue 12th Oct 2021 at 04:37pm

JUST a quick request. We do appreciate the debates and comments that are underneath many of our stories.

Some people write just one line and some write the odd essay (Hello Ed!).

It is an important part of the interaction in a digital newspaper.

We have commentators across all our platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube (they are still talking about the Zafira that caught fire over there)

You don’t have to use your name. Some do and some use their pseudonyms

That’s fine. A bit like letters with “name and address supplied”

For your guidance, we post moderate. If someone isn’t happy, then we listen to complaint and take necessary action. A typical example is making reference to where a councillor lives.

Comments are disabled for some stories (active crime cases).

Are there times comments are removed as the editor’s rattle has gone out of the pram and he should really suck it up? Yes.

We don’t allow racism, misogyny etc, oh and the tin foil hate brigade. (see 1300 stores on Covid for details).

However, we would ask people not to use multiple identities and if you are, please don’t do it from the Harlow Council IP address.

We did try the word in the ear but it doesn’t seem to have worked.

It isn’t appropriate that a councillor like Tony Durcan, who comments as Tony Durcan , may be (and I stress may be) interacting via the comments section with one person commenting under 23 different names.

We are not saying it is a councillor but if it is, the words Nolan and Principles may be worth googling.

We could be way out of line but we thought we would have a quiet word here and then move along.

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10 Comments for Comment is free (but please don’t abuse the privilege):

2021-10-12 19:36:55

So what are the comments emanating from the council ip, Positive/Negative and towards what party or people. No need to name names or particular piece just a breakdown of what way the bias is will be good.

Abigail Enderson
2021-10-12 21:38:08

I would actually say it's unlikely to be a Councillor due to it being a HDC IP. Wouldn't their IP be more likely to be their home Internet? If councillors are posting not great stuff, or even if it's just a HDC employee I would report to the council and they may be able to figure it out.

2021-10-13 04:39:58

Since it’s not made clear. Allow me to elaborate a little there for you Editor. The reason this IP address has over 20+ names posting from it - is because it belongs to a small to medium sized Subreddit. It is private and is populated with people from Harlow, these individuals reply to articles that are posted to the sub. I then forward their comments on their behalf. I have little to no desire to debate with Tony regarding his political views, nor do I have any interest in the Afghanistan stories. I am a messenger. It is my role to ensure their comments are posted. If they are removed, that is also not my interest. Our group has been active on our subreddit for over 12 years. We have over 4,000 residents who have signed up. Of that, a portion of about 300 per week is active. With our sub we discuss issues about the town, what’s happening and of course - YourHarlow is a common theme. We are frustrated from time to time when it appears the council does not do its most basic tasks (See the bin situation, empty properties, false promises etc). We don’t ask people their names on the subreddit, they only provide a pseudonym for us to post their comments for them. If you do wish for this interaction between our community and YourHarlow to cease, then I will respectfully do so. I appreciate the paper for what it is, since the shut down of The Harlow Star - a gap was needed to be filled. And YourHarlow didn’t just fill that gap - it pushed the limits. I and our community thank you for the work you do, journalism should only be about posting the news and what matters - not babysitting. From this point onward, the comments expressed from this IP address will be mine and mine alone. Unless otherwise stated with consent from the editor. Sincerely, P.

2021-10-13 07:12:37

Your Harlow does have a massively pro conservative editorial lean. Try being a little more impartial and not show so much tory bias.

Tony Durcan
2021-10-13 08:45:36

In reply to P so why is the address Harlow council address. This could indicate a breach of the Nolan principles set out for councillors or a significant concern about staff at the council. I hope the new Tory leader will make a strong statement about this issue and remind all councillors about their duty. if your making the choice of which response do you promote will you accept that many are nothing more than personal and at time offensive comments. Therefore your accepting responsibility for these hurtful and deliberate actions. Why don’t you simple put your real name at the very least and indicated posted on behalf of others. Let’s wait and see if the attitude/style changes as a result of this intervention

2021-10-13 08:57:11

Tony, I am not posting from a Harlow Council IP. There is obviously someone else who was - but not me. If mark wishes to clarify, he’ll see clearly which IP is mine. I do not work for the council and have no involvement with them in anyway shape or form. I have used many aliases here - but never from a Harlow IP address. I am sure the editor can clarify this.

2021-10-13 09:00:50

I would also like to state that - the editor did it specify that the identity of one person posting from Harlow council IP is the same as the one with numerous identities. I, as I’ve stated - posted on behalf of concerned residents and avid readers. I am not the same individual who works for Harlow council. If you’d wish to see solid evidence of this, please have the editor forward my email address from this comment and I’ll gladly share my proof. Until then, I will only comment under the initial of my first name.

2021-10-13 09:02:36

Also, the comments I posted from this - were never intended to be hurtful. I never permitted offensive content to be shared. That is a 100% given. If there are others using anonymity as a shield to spread hate and whatever else, that will be on their own shoulders - not mine.

2021-10-13 12:03:08

Do they not even have the sense to use a vpn, Staggering.

2021-10-13 12:24:39

Why would I use a VPN when I’ve nothing to hide? The only anonymity I wish for is from the other commenters. I don’t mind if the editor knows my IP range. Besides, I do use a VPN when I need to but for the most part there is no legitimate need to having one.

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