Letter from the editor: No tolerance for abusive comments

Hello everyone, I would like to formally introduce myself as the new Editor-in-Chief of the Oakland Post for the year.

I’m honored and excited about this position, but my first editorial is not about me.

Something happened last week that I feel is necessary to address because this type of behavior is intolerable.

We published a letter to the editor in the Sept. 9 issue titled, “Playing Eminem in public is offensive, inappropriate.”

An Oakland University student wrote about how he felt bothered after hearing offensive music played on campus. It was well-written and the writer explained why he felt the way he did in an appropriate manner.

The article received a large amount of attention from the public, raking up thousands of clicks and nearly 50 comments on our Facebook page – the most comments we’ve gotten on a post in the past several months.

This is where there was an issue: The context of a majority of the comments was extremely negative, rude and demeaning.

Although we don’t necessarily agree with the stance the article took, we do agree that the manner in which feedback was given was unacceptable.

Comments are a public forum and just like any other public place, respect is demanded. The Oakland Post will not tolerate anything that doesn’t follow our comment policy.

This does not mean that we discourage debate, but it does mean that we have a low tolerance level for negativity, ignorance and trolling. We encourage constructive, not destructive, discourse.

The primary purpose of the Oakland Post is to inform and entertain Oakland University students, faculty, alumni and members of the surrounding areas who might read our paper, but we also provide a platform for anybody on campus to use to have their voice heard.

We have thousands of likes on Facebook and we distribute thousands of copies of the paper every week. I’m not saying this to brag, I’m saying this to show that we do have a large audience.

That being said, please don’t let this mishap discourage or scare you from ever using the Post to get your voice heard. Whether it be about something you love or something you want to change, we want to hear you.

As Gloria Steinem, American journalist and political activist who led the feminist movement in the 1960s, said: “Whenever one person stands up and says, ‘wait a minute, this is wrong,’ it helps other people to do the same.”  

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