“Stop hitting yourself.”

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
11:15 am and is filed
under Old Media.

Hi everyone.

Well, after (almost) calling me a bully and publishing the bare minimum (One. Comment.) from a reported 60 submissions, the good people at the Daily Mail have completely failed to respond to my rebuttal and done nothing to clarify their recent statement about their comment moderation policy, so I guess they must really mean/believe what they’re saying.


So, as much as it pains me to do this….

Could you please – via email – forward the following to everyone you know?

It’s an important message that recipients will appreciate and remember you for.

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Dear Readers of the Daily Mail and Mail Online,


1. Please do not visit the Daily Mail website and submit comments until further notice, as they have issued a statement saying; “We get more comments than we can possibly deal with and our moderation side hasn’t been able to keep up.”

2. Please forward a copy of this email to your family, friends and work colleagues.


Martin Clarke, editorial director of Mail Online, Britain’s ‘most popular’ newspaper website, recently issued the following statement regarding comments submitted to online articles:

“If you want to complain about a story some days after it’s published you have to take a more traditional view of things and write to the editor, the same as you would as if it was in the paper. We don’t publish all the letters we get.”

So please, if you have any criticism regarding any online article that’s more than a few days old (e.g. objections to the inaccuracy of quotes, the omission of facts, the unreliability/distortion of figures, and/or the overall quality of reporting), do try to take a more traditional view of things and write to the editor privately. Perhaps in a letter.

There’s no need to go sounding off electronically (and publicly) under ‘comments’, as it is unseemly and needlessly modern.

Mr Clarke would also like those readers wishing to submit comments of agreement or praise to the website to know that;

“In an ideal world we’d get every [non-libellous and inoffensive] comment published, but it’s a hell of a job moderating 7,100 comments every day. We are reviewing our entire moderation policy. This is becoming more and more of an issue for us. We get more comments than we can possibly deal with and our moderation side hasn’t been able to keep up.”

So, until further notice, can EVERYBODY please STOP submitting ALL COMMENTS to the Daily Mail website? Staff simply cannot keep up with the current volume.

After all, there’s a lot of work to do. Presently, there are articles going back as far as December 2005 that still invite readers to submit comments (that will probably never be published) because staff simply have not had the time to work out a way to close comments on old articles yet.

You can imagine how this compounds the problem, further adding to the huge number of comments submitted.

The Daily Mail obviously does not want to give the impression that they are accepting comments when they know that they have no capacity or intention to publish them, so the only logical option is to call ‘time’ on the whole affair until the editorial team get their act together.

This cycle must be broken for the site to move forward, and you can help by:

a) not submitting positive comments until further notice
b) submitting any negative comments via a ‘more traditional’ letter to the editor

Your patience is appreciated.

Please remember to forward this message to family, friend and work colleagues.


Tim Ireland

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Go to it gang. Oh, and do keep a weather eye out for updates. The Daily Mail peeps might be a little quicker with their next response…. and there’s no telling how polite this one is going to be.

About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
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