The Scottish Daily Record announced Oct. 12 “we are suspending comments on football stories” because of “an unacceptable level of behaviour that breaches our terms and conditions.”
According to Mondo Times, the Daily Record is a Glasgow-based Trinity Mirror-owned newspaper with a circulation of about 305,000 copies. Mondo Times lists it as “one of the highest circulation dailies in Scotland.”
The Record explained:
“This is a decision which has not been taken lightly. We value the opinions of our readers but, despite the introduction of a Facebook registration system, we continue to see an unacceptable level of behaviour that breaches our terms and conditions.”
For example, comments have included “personal abuse,” “foul language, hate speech, sectarianism and systematic, tit-for-tat deletion of posts.”
The Record added that moving forward it is “enforcing a zero tolerance policy” on “unrelated” comments and fake commenting IDs.
The Daily Record’s “Terms & Conditions” dictate that readers must not post comments that are “in any way, threatening, abusive, offensive, defamatory, invasive of another’s privacy, in breach of confidence, embarrassing to any person or likely to deceive any person, hateful, blasphemous, pornographic, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable.”
Journalism.co.uk reported that the Record’s digital editorial director Evan Watt explained the Record is trying to “find a solution to the problem” with commenting. Watt added: “I don’t see it being short-term, as in a couple of weeks, this might take a product development.”
iMediaEthics has written twice this year about Daily Record apologies prompted by complaints to the Press Complaints Commission. In one case, the Record apologized after inadvertently publishing a photo of a man killed in a car accident.
In another case this year, the Record apologized to a woman after inaccurately reporting she “denied being a Gypsy” when she is “extremely proud of her heritage.”
iMediaEthics has written to the Record for more information and will update with any response.