The comment section on WRAL articles is the most heavily censored forum I’ve ever seen on the Internet. They actually hire censors, they call “moderators”, to read comments in real time and decide which are worthy of posting and which are not. The guidelines for their decision making are vague at best and often seem biased.
No public opinion forum should be “moderated”. It’s almost a violation of free speech. It could be argued that it is undeniably a first amendment violation except for the fact that users agree to be “moderated”, or censored, at the WRAL staff’s discretion when signing up for a GOLO account. That’s right, people sign up to have their freedom of speech suppressed.
I’ve decided that I don’t like using a forum where someone is paid to decide if my opinion, or how I chose to express it, is worthy of being posted in their pretentious little forum. “Moderation” = censorship. There’s no way to argue that it is not and there are very few arguments available to justify it. It would serve WRAL and GOLO well to save money on the staff, put in an automated profanity filter, and let people state their opinion in their own words without some low paid Net Nanny deciding which comments meet their unspecified criteria.