Saturday, May 05, 2018

Why I deleted 30+ comments this week, latest Turner Report/Inside Joplin news and top posts for the week

I hate deleting comments.

That being said, I have had to delete quite a few recently. At one time, I did not use comment moderation on the Turner Report and I got burned a few times because of it.

The biggest problem in those early days was the spam. That is still a problem, but for the most part Blogger, the platform I use, has done a good job of reducing the junk comments.

After that, the biggest problem I had was with people who wrote things that I knew could not possibly true about the subjects I was writing about, people who used profanity and people with a clear dislike for me who, for some reason, thought I was going to let them post lies.

You would not believe how many reasons were provided for why I was fired at the Carthage Press in 1999. That is something I have written about in detail, but I will admit the actual reason is not as colorful as the stories the commenters, all anonymous, of course, created.

Eventually, I enabled comment moderating, meaning that I have to approve any comments before they are posted. Even doing that, some comments slip through, but most of them that have no business being posted never see the light of day.

Recently, I have deleted many comments, some of them bordering on lunacy, concerning the Jayda Kyle murder.

Perhaps there is one more comment I should have deleted. It was in response to the post concerning the federal grand jury indictment of a Joplin man on child pornography charges. The probable cause statement revealed the man told investigators he could not even put a number on how many children he had sexually abused.

It was a frightening statement, matched by one of the first commenters, who indicated that perhaps children should be able to consent to sexual activity with adults since we value their opinions in other areas, such as on guns.

It was a horrible comment and it brought a torrential downpour of responses.

I agreed with nearly every one of those and many of them made it into print, but others did not.

I made it clear several weeks ago that I was not going to allow profanity to appear in the comments and I have stuck to that decision In this case, nearly every other comment used the F word. So I ended up removing many comments that were nowhere near as deplorable as the one I allowed to remain.

It made me think twice about my decision to print that comment. As some commenters noted, it was clearly a troll getting his jollies by watching as his comment angered Turner Report readers.

At the same time, the original comment also indicated there are a lot of sick people in the world, but then again, we already knew that. Should I have printed the original comment?

Another comment that drew some attention came on the column I wrote about the two-year anniversary of my open heart surgery.

One commenter said he wish I had died.

While I definitely disagreed with that sentiment, another comment suggested that the only reason I published it was to gain sympathy.

That reader would probably change his or her mind if I printed all of the horrible comments about me that have not made it to the blog.

Should I have printed that comment?

There are many times I have to put considerable thought into whether a comment should be posted. Often, the decision is not easy.

The comments are important to this blog, though. I have always made it open to those who disagree with me and have allowed much criticism of me and my writing. That is not going to change.

At the same time, it is important that a welcoming atmosphere be encouraged and sadly, there are many people out there who either no longer have the ability or never had the ability to discuss an issue without name calling and bullying.

Let me know what you think.

The sale on my books continues through May

My books are on sale this month at Always Buying Books and Changing Hands Book Shoppe in Joplin and Pat's Books in Carthage.

-Buy a copy of 5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado, Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado, or Silver Lining in a Funnel Cloud for $15 and you can get a free copy of Scars from the Tornado: One Year at Joplin East Middle School.

-Buy two of the three books at $15 apiece, and you can get a free copy of Scars and a copy of any of my other books for $5.

Great time at Crowder Local Authors Symposium

I enjoyed returning to my alma mater (at least one of my alma maters) Crowder College Wednesday for the Local Authors Symposium.

I had the opportunity to network with my fellow authors, get a good look at a campus that has changed greatly since the last time I visited, and read selections from Let Teachers Teach and Classroom Confidential.

Nancy Hughes, whose devotional columns run each week on the Turner Report, took the photo accompanying this post as I read from Let Teachers Teach.

I look forward to returning next year.

No Sales Pitch This Week

I have spent a portion of this weekly update each week providing a pitch on why you should subscribe to the Turner Report/Inside Joplin. While this has brought a small amount of money, I am concerned that those who have been contributing have done more than their share to help this news operation survive and grow and that, sadly, there is probably going to be little that can be done to convince people who have not contributed to consider doing so.

So, there are no PayPal buttons under the links this week. If you want to subscribe or contribute, there are buttons on the top right hand side of this page. Those who would prefer to send their contributions through the mail can also find my address on the right hand side of this page.

I guess that was a sales pitch. Sorry about that. I will try to do better.

Top Turner Report/Inside Joplin Posts

1. Joplin man: I have sexually abused so many children, I can't put a number on it

2. Probable cause statement: Carthage man told girlfriend if she opened the door "they'll find you dead in the hallway"

3. Federal grand jury indicts Joplin men on child pornography charges

4. Joplin man who admitted sexually abusing so many children he could not put an number on it" pleads guilty

5. Should I be offended by this?

6. Probable cause statement: Security cameras catch Joplin woman driving drunk in Mercy Hospital parking lot

7. So you want to be a Seneca superintendent

8. Jason Smith: President Trump responsible for the comeback of rural America

9. In jailhouse letter, accused Jayda Kyle killer says, "I've never been a part of anything so wrong and so corrupt

10. Lawyers for former East Middle School nurse to depose Tina Smith in age, disability discrimination lawsuit

Inside Joplin

1. Leggett and Platt official to serve as speaker for MSSU Commencement

2. Joplin Police arrest Webb City teen in connection with Charlie's Chicken armed robbery

3. Joplin Police Department makes six felony drug arrests over weekend

4. Jasper County Dissolution of Marriage Petitions

5. Joplin Police arrest man in stolen Newton County car with stolen Monett license plate reaching for stolen Carl Junction gun

6. Joplin Police Department Arrests May 2-3

7. Joplin Police Department Weekend Arrests

8. Jasper County Marriage Licenses

9. Funds being raised for gravestone for Neosho infant

10. Joplin Police Department Arrests May 3-4

Inside Joplin Obituaries

1. Dawn Burks

2. Tyler Land

3. Peggy Esch

4. Dorothy Faubion

5. Carl Bailey

6. Jerry Wells

7. Pamela Krtek

8. Janice Robertson

9. Carolyn Goodwin

10. Hunter Keeling


Anonymous said...

I'm happy to read that you've started deleting comments regarding Jayda Kyle's murder. Some of the things that have been said are down right ludicrous. There's certain individuals that wait like vultures for you to post a article , so they can bash, & ridicule Devyn. It's sad, & disgusting.
I would love to see you write a article pertaining to things Becky Kemble had recently exposed on her page. That page was used to taint a lot of minds , when it was based mainly off of lies. It's sad the backlash the family has had to endure during this tragic time in their lives.

Unknown said...

Good morning Randy,
And pretty good logic on your deletion policy. Personally I would Delta evey anonymous, and post only signed verified comments.

One more thing I’m having trouble with( this is more National): you mentioned the horror of the pornographers who were arrested in Newton County, I believe; why is everyone making a Saint out of Stormy Daniels and portraying her as Mother Theresa?

Harvey Hutchinson 303-523-6622 voice&text

Anonymous said...

There are several reasons I follow (and financially support) the Turner Report. One is the focus on our region. Another is the balance between reporting the news and opinion; it is clear which is which. I appreciate the interaction of reading and responding to the articles. Not being a native, it's enlightening to understand the politics, opinions, priorities and personalities of the region. Moreover, I sincerely appreciate not having to read swearing. There are comments I don't agree with, thinking I don't understand, and strong opinions on both sides of many issues. However, I believe your largely open policy provides balance and a forum for civil discussion. Last, but not least, is the ability to comment anonymously. Anonymity can be important because of employment. And although some consider it cowardice, I believe it's a way to be involved without becoming a target. There's always the post time to directly respond to specific comments. Bottom line: Keep up the good work! And to my fellow readers: If you are able, please continue to fund the Turner Report.

Unknown said...

Anonymous 7:35 AM,
You must be one who is concerned about his employment?
That is one scenario that might warrant anonymity; but the 100’s of opportunities for abuse and cowardice, and failure for the blogger to take responsibility for his actions far outweigh a few good examples as you cite.

On the Face Book I’ve even seen people lift an enemy’s picture and deface it for example.

I do whole heartedly agree with you that the Turner Report provides another voice, whether I agree with the theme and point of view or not.

Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text 24/7

Anonymous said...

Your blog has created a place for news and opinions to be shared. The anonymity allows safety for those who have been targets or who could be targets of others at work. It also allows some to feel they can say anything they wish and not be responsible for it. The latter is the down side of an open forum.
I do not always agree with your opinion (or others opinions) but that is how real conversations occur. And disagreement should not be a reason for vulgarity or name calling.
I especially enjoy the posts by Nancy Hughes. Thank you for including them.
I have read a few of your books and thoroughly enjoyed them.
When I read the "horrible comment" in response to the child molestation and porn arrest, I was also horrified. I thought about responding but didn't because 1) if this is someone's true opinion, the 'debate' would be both horrific and ridiculous and 2) I figured it could be someone trying to cause nothing but upset so I didn't want to play into that.
Have you had mistakes? Sure. You're human.
Have you been doing this to the best of your ability and also with the best of intentions? Absolutely.
Thank you! Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Have to disagree about the civil discussiin. Most topics end up being a forum of name calling and berating based on whether or not the person commenting shares the same opinion. There have been more hateful things stated on this blog than any other I can recall.
The reason I will not send financial report is because Turner has never been able to distinguish news, facts, and his opinion. This calls anything he blogs about into question.
Lastly, Turner seemingly supports anonymous comments until they are about him, then he berates the commenter.

Steve Holmes said...

I'm with Harvey. He and I are the only ones, to my knowledge, who use our real names. I understand the need for anonymity if, say, a person could face discipline at work for commenting on a controversy there. But hiding behind "anonymous" allows people to say outrageous and hateful things. That's not civil discourse. If people wouldn't say it to a person's face, it has no place being online. But I respect your right, Randy, to do as you wish. It's your virtual "private property."

Unknown said...

Amen Steve!!
Plus you never know they’re not pranksters, or the same guy putting up two opposing blogs with opposing view points.
And some these people just jump on each other mean spirited with no full knowledge of who they’re attacking.
I do have to admit some can be rather humorous.
But as Steve pointed out this is s fee capitalistic County, and Randy you hsvevghe rightbto do whatever you wish with your private property

Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text

Anonymous said...

You got to understand that teachers like Turner will get fired because nobody smart wants a teacher like Turner in their school.

Turner censors certain people on sight.

So yes, anonymous commenters will be what most of them at on this blog of Turner's.

I'm making sure that Turner remains in its own little ghetto.

Unknown said...

Anonymous 8:15pm

That’s all we’ll and Good regarding teachers and others in that type position;
But it does not excuse the voluminous abuse that comes wit it—- just creates a false excuse and cover.

I’m sorry for them, but you cannot have a civilization society if people don’t sign their name, identity themselves, and take responsibility.

Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text

Anonymous said...

10:58 AM - See 8:15 PM to rebut your point.
And, yes, Steve Holmes you are correct: "But hiding behind "anonymous" allows people to say outrageous and hateful things. That's not civil discourse. If people wouldn't say it to a person's face, it has no place being online."

Anonymous said...

6:21, I didn't say every time. He has done it for years so my point has quite a bit of validity.

Anonymous said...

Your problem Turner is that you are not nearly as smart as you think you are. So you get caught and kicked out eventually and everyone is warned off from having anything to do with you.

So pretty much everyone in the local area who knows about you and what you stand for pretty much despises you. "Let Teachers Teach"??? Teach them what??? Practically no one wants teachers like you anywhere near their children.

So all you have left is a free blog in an area where a huge majority despises you and everything you stand for. You have numerous literate enemies able to ridicule you unmercifully.

So OF COURSE you have "horrible" comments that you have no choice but to censor. You sure didn't let rejection, termination of your employment and blacklisting teach you how to behave. Why should you let ridicule keep you from espousing the same ridiculous viewpoints showing why normal people in this area shouldn't have anything to do with you whatsoever?

Even if you publish this comment it is doubtful that you will learn anything. In order to be learn from your mistakes which come from a bad character and move forward you shall have to repent and beg forgiveness. Tell whoever is willing to listen that you are sorry and why. But like all evildoers you are not sorry, have no tears other than for yourself that you got caught and are full of complaint as to your isolation.

You have made your own prison and personal hell. Enjoy !!!

Anonymous said...

Ho hum. Guess he told you Randy
Maybe now that he got that off his chest he can go get a life

Anonymous said...

9:08PM :

Other than that how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?

Randy had his chance to be a journalist -- and yes the owners ran him off.

And then Randy had his chance to be a teacher -- and they caught him out and after a hearing fired him and nobody else is stupid enough to hire him either.

So now Randy has a blog and gets to censor whomever he wants. He can't be fired. He can every so often be ridiculed and decide whether or not he wishes to allow such comments.

I pay attention to when Randy finds out that school or government officials are wasting our tax money. When Randy whines about Ed Emory or some St. Louis conservative women then I don't take it seriously. Whatever Randy is for I'm usually against.

I suppose it all depends upon the state of Randy's Depends.

Steve Holmes said...

Randy, are you an evildoer? Be honest with me now. Are you in league with Satan? Are you Facebook friends?

Anonymous said...

What possible satisfaction can you people get from spewing so much vitriol at someone who has obviously and quite literally never impacted your life aside from you stumbling on this blog, and deciding to stick around to be an asshole?

Couldn't you pursue other ventures in your life, like making you and your loved ones happy? What joy could it bring you to try to tear down a man you've never interacted with?

I feel pity for you.

Steve Holmes said...

Turner-bashers, help me understand. Why are you even here?

If I feel a website or broadcast is a lyin' piece of crap, I don't go there. Life is too short to spend getting stressed and angry over something that ultimately does not matter. There are commentators and columnists with whom I disagree most of the time, but they are civil and articulate, and I can learn something from the way they think, and maybe have my own views tweaked in the process -- without raising my blood pressure.

As to belittling Randy unmercifully, he's developed a thick skin by now. I don't think you'll hurt his feelings. You know why? Because he has a sense of humor. He can even poke fun at himself so how can anyone else possibly land a verbal blow. Humor is the ultimate Teflon.

Anonymous said...

My dad always told me simple minded people bully others because they have an inferiority complex.

Anonymous said...

Well so much for not publishing profanity! Case in Point right here. I see profanity on this blog that you choose to publish all the time. It just depends on whether it's leveled at you or one of the people making comments about you.

Anonymous said...

I think what Randy forgot to mention in this article is that some of the comments he deleted were removed because he's being bullied himself by our local judicial system.