South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Election time approaching; local blogs start to heat up

Election time must be nearing, as we’ve noticed an increase in activity in some local weblogs, or blogs as they’re more commonly called.

Board of Education races in Lindbergh Schools and the Mehlville School District are contested in the April 8 election.

Other contested races in April include Crestwood’s mayoral post and the Ward 1 aldermanic seat in Sunset Hills.

So with election time approaching, blogs and other social-media sites are starting to heat up with activity about the candidates — some of the information is accurate, some falls in a gray area and some is just downright false.

Quite frankly, a lot of what is written on these sites provides much more entertainment value than actual information you can use.

Though blogs often can be more entertaining than a good TV show, they can contain a dark side — anonymity, either by the author concealing his or her identity or allowing anonymous comments.

Longtime readers will recall our disdain for anonymity, which we believe has no place in public discourse.

As we’ve said before, freedom of speech carries a tremendous responsibility.

We don’t believe it’s a shield you can hide behind and say anything about anybody — no matter how personally damaging, demeaning, disgusting, false or perhaps even libelous the comments are.

Public officials — whether elected or appointed — are fair game for criticism.

We’ve never hesitated to write a news story that a public official might prefer that we not publish nor have we been reluctant to call out an official in an opinions column.

But at this newspaper, we take full responsibility for the news articles we publish. We also take responsibility for the opinion columns that appear on this page.

The same can’t be said of blogs and social-media sites. If the author of a blog refuses to reveal his or her identity, what else is that author concealing or misrepresenting?

We believe an inherent requirement of the First Amendment is that people should be held accountable for the statements they make.

It’s easy to hide behind the cloak of anonymity and spew venom without regard for the truth, but we believe it takes intestinal fortitude to stand behind your opinions and conclusions by signing your name to them.

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