Would people prefer it if we turned off commenting on reports of fatalities?

by Tony Farrelly   December 13, 2013  

 

We don't have commenting on reports of court cases for legal reasons, but we could turn them off on reports of fatalities and witness appeals too - and then if people want to discuss aspects of what was reported they can do so by starting a forum thread instead rather than having arguments develop in the comments on the story about aspects of the report.

Let me know what you think…

69 user comments

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I've read a large number of the comments here, and I also think turning it off would be most suitable.

People don't need to chat about a road-death, let alone bicker, and least of all use it as a tasteless platform for point-scoring, which then only kicks up a storm and detracts from the issue itself. A comments box invited invites argument, and argument invites personal pride.

The only suitable reaction to a death on the roads is reflection, not a knee-jerk voicing of opinion. Reflection is best done served by solitude, not other people's opinions.

As has been said, if someone has something they genuinely want to raise with others, there are plenty of outlets for that on the website. But turning the comments off would give a bit of a breather between internal reaction and external.

As for comments expressing remorse to the bereaved, if people genuinely wish to express their feelings to the loved ones of the deceased, then I feel it is too indirect to hope they stumble across the comments posted somewhere in a comments section on the internet under an anonymous username. It's like writing a letter without sending it.

That's what I think anyway; there are still many places on this website where people are free to speak, but I think it would be tasteful to move the conversation on issues of death a little further away from the source.

posted by Quince [106 posts]
11th April 2014 - 2:39

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Keep them on, they are a good way of documenting (and people's natural reactions) what is really happening every single day on our public highways, i'm sure you can delete comments if they go too far.

posted by northstar [1084 posts]
11th April 2014 - 7:39

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Turn them off please, and save the forum from getting clogged up with wild speculation and conspiracy theories.

posted by Nick T [763 posts]
11th April 2014 - 9:09

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See above.

posted by northstar [1084 posts]
11th April 2014 - 9:11

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Leave them on - it allows people to ask questions about the road from people who might know it.

Step on trolls though. A comment box does not "invite argument" except from silly people.

posted by a.jumper [681 posts]
11th April 2014 - 9:31

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I come on here to read about bikes, riding bikes etc, i don't come here to read obituaries of people who may have been riding a bike when they died.

Maybe the solution is to not report these all too frequently occurring sad deaths?

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posted by SteveAustin [34 posts]
11th April 2014 - 10:05

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SteveAustin wrote:
I come on here to read about bikes, riding bikes etc, i don't come here to read obituaries of people who may have been riding a bike when they died.

Maybe the solution is to not report these all too frequently occurring sad deaths?

So don't read them then. They're quite easy to avoid should you wish to do so....

posted by VeloPeo [214 posts]
11th April 2014 - 10:13

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VeloPeo wrote:
SteveAustin wrote:
I come on here to read about bikes, riding bikes etc, i don't come here to read obituaries of people who may have been riding a bike when they died.

Maybe the solution is to not report these all too frequently occurring sad deaths?

So don't read them then. They're quite easy to avoid should you wish to do so....

you must be real bored....

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posted by SteveAustin [34 posts]
11th April 2014 - 10:26

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Where do you draw the line?
What about cases involving injuries that turn into fatalities later? What about obituaries of famous cyclists? What about any general post that digresses into discussion about a fatality? If berieved friends and family are going to look at this site, they're probably going to come across other sites too, so they're bound to see a wide range of opinion, regardless of what road.cc do.

My suggestion, and something that has been brought up time and time again, is to add a "dislike" button and a "report this post" button. It's the commonest method used by forums to handle sensitive issues. It's certainly the way the BBC handles their on-line forums.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

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posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
11th April 2014 - 11:01

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Discussions on theories etc should be kept to the forum as they have been recently, comments on the originating article should be turned off. (I thought they had been anyway, this threads from last year?!)

The likelihood of a friend or family member stumbling across the article and seeing the comments is actually pretty high, and judging from some of the bickering that goes on that's not going to have any kind of positive effect on anyone trying to grieve.

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [542 posts]
11th April 2014 - 11:05

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If there's a need for reporting dangerous areas, perhaps a new forum area could be created for reporting these?

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [542 posts]
11th April 2014 - 11:06

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It's news, it belongs in news.

posted by northstar [1084 posts]
11th April 2014 - 11:24

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Turn them off for fatalities? Yes please.

posted by drmatthewhardy [299 posts]
11th April 2014 - 11:25

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Again, i refer you to my post earlier today.

posted by northstar [1084 posts]
11th April 2014 - 11:26

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No matter which news channel you switch on there is always stories of death, destruction and killings.

We dont need to discuss it at length on a cycling forum

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2675 posts]
11th April 2014 - 11:41

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On reflection, On.

Serious "accidents" often highlight things which are important. the "cycling community" needs to be able to express its side of things when faced with a motorist lobby that doesn't think we should be on the roads, and that magic hats are a sign of responsibility.

But we do need to self-moderate, and be sensitive, and if we can't, you perhaps need to moderate comments for us.

Edgeley

posted by Edgeley [158 posts]
11th April 2014 - 12:11

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stumps wrote:
No matter which news channel you switch on there is always stories of death, destruction and killings.

We dont need to discuss it at length on a cycling forum

Oh, it seems to be the denier of "free speech" again, despite what you may think, the comments here are read and responded too.

posted by northstar [1084 posts]
11th April 2014 - 12:14

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northstar wrote:
stumps wrote:
No matter which news channel you switch on there is always stories of death, destruction and killings.

We dont need to discuss it at length on a cycling forum

Oh, it seems to be the denier of "free speech" again, despite what you may think, the comments here are read and responded too.

I think that might be the concern: that the families of those who have been killed might read some of the more 'vitriolic' comments.

I think we should keep them on. The community on Road.cc is pretty good at policing itself.

posted by Dapper Giles [46 posts]
11th April 2014 - 12:23

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Edgeley wrote:
On reflection, On.

Serious "accidents" often highlight things which are important. the "cycling community" needs to be able to express its side of things when faced with a motorist lobby that doesn't think we should be on the roads, and that magic hats are a sign of responsibility.

But we do need to self-moderate, and be sensitive, and if we can't, you perhaps need to moderate comments for us.

I agree, though I think opening a separate forum post for this purpose might be better though, just to keep it in taste out of respect for their friends and relatives. Maybe...

I've lost a few good mates to RTA's and have found some facebook comments in light of those to be completely distasteful, my thick skin helps but those closer or more delicate might not feel the same. It's a tough old time to lose someone you love, I think we should keep that in mind.

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [542 posts]
11th April 2014 - 12:24

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Dapper Giles wrote:
northstar wrote:
stumps wrote:
No matter which news channel you switch on there is always stories of death, destruction and killings.

We dont need to discuss it at length on a cycling forum

Oh, it seems to be the denier of "free speech" again, despite what you may think, the comments here are read and responded too.

I think that might be the concern: that the families of those who have been killed might read some of the more 'vitriolic' comments.

I think we should keep them on. The community on Road.cc is pretty good at policing itself.

It is, I've yet to see the need to delete a comment on any of these sad reports here which says a lot, debate about this events has and will continue to put pressure on those that are trying to ignore it - we all know who they are.

posted by northstar [1084 posts]
11th April 2014 - 12:29

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SteveAustin wrote:
VeloPeo wrote:
SteveAustin wrote:
I come on here to read about bikes, riding bikes etc, i don't come here to read obituaries of people who may have been riding a bike when they died.

Maybe the solution is to not report these all too frequently occurring sad deaths?

So don't read them then. They're quite easy to avoid should you wish to do so....

you must be real bored....

I'm not the one whining about something it's very easy to avoid.

posted by VeloPeo [214 posts]
11th April 2014 - 14:34

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off

posted by Wesselwookie [110 posts]
11th April 2014 - 14:49

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on

posted by northstar [1084 posts]
11th April 2014 - 17:14

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northstar wrote:
stumps wrote:
No matter which news channel you switch on there is always stories of death, destruction and killings.

We dont need to discuss it at length on a cycling forum

Oh, it seems to be the denier of "free speech" again, despite what you may think, the comments here are read and responded too.

Yawn Yawn Yawn

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2675 posts]
11th April 2014 - 20:21

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Off

And I agree with Steve Austin, fewer headlines or shorter reports or something like that. Someone said it's news so should be the headline. I'm not so sure really. Certainly the stories of roadrage from Alabama are a bit borderline, I think, and don't make any of us happy in reading them.

posted by vbvb [221 posts]
11th April 2014 - 20:32

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No

posted by paulfg42 [372 posts]
11th April 2014 - 22:59

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I think its a sad indictment of society for people to be so eager to discuss the death of someone, pass their condolences by all means, but to discuss it indepth is not right.

So if you are going to keep the topic open make it so that its for condolences only and any other updates are removed asap.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2675 posts]
12th April 2014 - 13:20

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Oh please stop it stumps. If there's a death on roads I use, I'll want to know why and if there's anting were can do to reduce the risk... but I guess that's more for reports of inquests than the deaths themselves.

posted by a.jumper [681 posts]
12th April 2014 - 14:44

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a.jumper wrote:
Oh please stop it stumps. If there's a death on roads I use, I'll want to know why and if there's anting were can do to reduce the risk... but I guess that's more for reports of inquests than the deaths themselves.

I wont stop it, over the years i've dealt with more death than i can quite happily live with and i personally find it revolting that people end up arguing over whether the driver / rider / pedestrian or whatever was right or wrong as though it will make the slightest bit of difference.

The risk will always be there as our roads are getting busier and busier with the main reason why cyclists are killed and thats vehicles. You will always get idiots on the roads and you will always get people who make mistakes on the roads regardless of penalties or sentences.

If they, as in road.cc, publish inquest results so be it, argue over points then as you quite rightly pointed out.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2675 posts]
12th April 2014 - 15:28

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I think we've found the ultimate "must read the comments even if it offends me".

posted by northstar [1084 posts]
12th April 2014 - 15:31

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