Journalist: I'm obsessed with reading the awful comments on Philly.com

Philadelphia Weekly

Not all Philly.com commenters are racist, "but most are," says Tara Murtha. "Calling black people animals, references to monkeys, phrases like 'welcome to the jungle, baby' and 'That’s how it go in da hood' are all standard comments beneath crime stories on Philly.com when the perp is black." But Murtha can't stop reading the atrocious remarks. "Averting my eyes is not my style. I read grand jury reports and listen to police radio."

Philly.com editor Wendy Warren tells Murtha that the anonymous comments problem is enough to drive her “completely insane,” and that she's working on it. A new moderation system will require commenters to sign in through Facebook. Murtha's reaction: "I have to admit part of me is disappointed, even though this is probably a great step for the 99 percent -- the would-be commenters scared off by the elite 1 percent hogging up the bandwidth." | Earlier: News sites using Facebook Comments see higher quality discussions.

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.

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