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Censorship of No On Parcel Tax Postings

Original post made by John on Apr 2, 2009

Wow, it's getting more and more difficult to use the Town Square Forum to share information and offer opinions because the Pleasanton Weekly Staff closes off open discussion by limiting postings to registered users.
I don't understand why they are doing this. If someone has a problem with a particular posting, they need only click on the "report objectionable content" button and PW staff can review the posting.
I have seen threads on this forum which were extremely vicious (e.g. those related to the death of Laurel Williams who was a passenger in a vehicle driven by her friend who was drunk at the time) and were allowed to continue for weeks.
But postings critical of the way PUSD has managed taxpayers' money or asking readers to contact their school board with questions or requests for records seem to very quickly get closed off.

The parcel tax measure is of vital interest to the Pleasanton community and ALL discussion should be permitted regardless of whether the poster is for or against the tax.

Placing barriers to open communication, and particularly placing them very specifically is hardly in keeping with a basic American tenet - freedom of speech.

Please join me in asking the Pleasanton Weekly Staff to allow discussions on this issue to be easily accessible for the entire community.

Comments (5)

Posted by Pete Alves, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 2, 2009 at 8:02 pm

John,

You make an excellent point - we should always know with whom we are communicating. I am at the point of avoiding the Weekly blog altogether because of the total disregard for respect or accountability. In fact, I would prefer for all users to use their name and name should be the registration requirement - as required with letters to the editor.

Pete


Posted by Kathleen, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 2, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Kathleen is a registered user.

I don't mind the anonymity. The parcel tax is particularly emotional and people worry about the potential impact to their children. I think the PW is inconsistent in how it is applying this new rule. I have emailed Jeb directly including posting my objections on two of the threads in question.


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Pete,
I have found many of the postings to be very informative and I'm particularly fond of the ones where links are provided to information given in the post.
Until recently, I had no idea there were so many stores selling dog related products in Pleasanton!
I also enjoy Cholo's posts - sometimes they are a bit extreme, but often s/he is just incredibly entertaining.
I think it's great that there is an online forum available; I'd just prefer that the Pleasanton Weekly would allow the forum to be the open discussion it's intended to be and only restrict posts when they contain obscenities or are so objectionable no one has any reason to disagree when the PW gives the topic a rest.
I don't have any problem with anyone choosing to be anonymous - or not. Certainly when it comes to discussions about the parcel tax, I understand why people on both sides of the issue choose to be anonymous. If posters were required to provide their full names, there wouldn't be much discussion - and that would be a shame.
But I am curious Pete....after reading all the posts, what are your thoughts on the parcel tax?
J


Posted by Jeb Bing, editor of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Apr 3, 2009 at 7:44 am

Jeb Bing is a registered user.

Just a reminder that we are restricting all posts related to the June 2 parcel tax measure to registered users of the Pleasanton Weekly Town Square forum. We have found that this keeps the conversations more civil and focused without any restriction on what posters say or the opinions they express.


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 4, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

Huh.

This post doesn't seem to be about the parcel tax at all - it's about policy that the Weekly has implemented on its Town Square.

I wonder why comments on this topic are being restricted to registered users?

Perhaps it's because John posted this under the "schools and kids" topic.

I'm not saying I disagree with the Weekly's policy, but I don't think it applies in this case. In general, like Pete Alves, I believe we should know each others' names, even in online forums like these.


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