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This news media blog explores the nexus between the press, the public and technology with two missions. One, to engage citizens in an online conversation about the role of the news media in their lives, in the hope that they will use and critique the media more effectively. And secondly to explore how the press can remain relevant, essential and accountable to citizens and communities.

Mike Fancher is Editor at Large of The Seattle Times.

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April 18, 2008 11:30 AM

Technical fouls in the Sonics fan forum

Posted by Mike Fancher

The Seattle Times is more circumspect than most newspapers when it comes to letting readers turn its Internet site into a free-for-all. The most recent example was locking down the Sonics Fan Forum, after name-calling flame wars broke out between fans here and in Oklahoma City.

The Times doesn't allow inflammatory or objectionable comments, comments that are off-topic, personal attacks or obscene language. Some will deride the newspaper's desire to maintain civility, but so be it. They can work out their aggression elsewhere on the Internet, but not in our house.

At the request of readers who want a respectful dialogue, The Times has restored the forum with this request and warning:

But PLEASE, PLEASE try to keep the discussions civil. Do not attack or denigrate other posters - on the other hand, feel free to dispute their comments with your own informed and mature comments.

We understand that this is a stressful time in this team's history, and that passions run hot. But that doesn't mean this is the Wild West, where anything goes. Children read these boards too....

And we'll be operating on a zero tolerance policy. If you're posting solely to agitate people, you're gone. End of story.

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