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Published: Tuesday, July 16 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Yes, some commenters are quite obnoxious, but reading opinions that you disagrees with can open your mind to points of view you hadn't considered before.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

George, the Deseret News is *supposed* to be a news organization (hence the word "news" in the name), not a Mormon Testimonial meeting. If that's what you're looking for, perhaps you'd do better to read the Ensign.

FreedomFighter41
Orem, UT

In other words, you'd rather have your old opinion reinforced rather than have it challenged? Great. What a tremendous desire to learn. A huge problem today is that folks just aren't open to hear what the "other" side has to say. They're wrong you're always right and that's it.

Sounds to me like instead of "wading" through comments and disregarding them as sour grapes you should actually take time to read them and to understand the other points of view.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Freedom speech does not carry with it an exemption from criticism. It's value is in the free exchange of discordant ideas.

2in1year
Pleasant Grove, UT

I agree with you, George. While I am a proponent of free speech and have written many letters to the editor, what I do write I am not ashamed to attach my name to. Some of these argumentative rebuttals are people firing off their remarks while hiding under some psuedo name. They love to bash religions, ideas, and other beliefs without truly revealing themselves. This is a form of cyber-bullying, and that is shameless. I applaud those who disagree with respect and dignity and say what they would say if it were a face-to-face conversation. Chances are, a majority of those who disagree and say belittling remarks wouldn't say them if they had to show their face.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

"I wonder if we could divide online commentary on articles into sympathetic and unsympathetic sections."

========

In other words;
"Liberal" vs. "Conservative".

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

I'm sure it could be done. It appears the question being brought up by comments today is 'should it be done?'

RedShirtMIT
Cambridge, MA

I don't think that the usual band of commenters quite understood what he is asking for. LDS Liberal almost got it, but then had to inject politics into it.

He is not asking for only one side to be available or anything like that. He would like comments to be categorized into those that agree with the article, and those that don't. He didn't say he wouldn't read the opposing view, he just said that he would like to not hae to wade through the mire to be able to discuss the postive aspects of the articles and to further the ideas presented. Yes you can learn from opposing view, but quite often they are barely on topic and often have political agendas behind them.

What is wrong with that?

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Based on who is paying Mr Petersen, the last thing he can afford to be is objective.
Many comments simply point out that his "research" is hardly research at all, when he's reach his conclusions before he's even began his research.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

The Deseret News would have to categorize each post. I doubt the DN has any enthusiasm for dealing with that headache. It’s best to just skim or ignore posts from those whose posts you find irksome.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

The DN does have moderators. What goes on in discussion here is tame compared to other places that I wouldn't waste my time with.

FreedomFighter41
Orem, UT

It sounds to me like this letter writer wants freedom of their speech and those who they agree with while impeding the freedom of speech of those they disagree with.

Isn't that interesting? Isn't it interesting that those who worship the divinity of the Constitution seem to refuse to recognize what it stands up for?

I'm sorry, but in this country we have freedom of speech. The "inconvenience" of wading through these comments is part of living in a democracy. If you don't like this then move to Iran or N Korea. There, you won't have to "wade" through "inconvenient" opinions. Everything will all be the same.

Grundle
West Jordan, UT

George,

I appreciate the sentiment and understand your frustration.

However, in order for a discussion board to be really effective in promoting dialog, it must be open. DNews does a fair job of keeping the worst of the content out while still allowing the expression of ideas. In that I applaud the mods that control the boards.

That being said, I suggest you become familiar with the voices that are always here. You will come to know them. Some I really respect and read their posts. Others I have learned to completely ignore. In this way it is easy to get past the dross and move to the meat. There will always be those who will be detractors, those whose partisanship color every post, and those whose opinions are so predictable that you can easily dismiss them and move on.

RedShirtMIT
Cambridge, MA

To "FreedomFighter41" wow, you really are going for the full twist and distortion of what was presented.

Since when is it wrong to want to categorize comments on a private business' web site? It is also an inconvenience the way that you have to follow people comments. Replies are not placed directly below the original poster, but are organized by the time of submission. By your standards the current comment board system goes against free speech because it is inconvienient the way you have to follow a conversation.

Why do you want to infringe on the DN's free speech by forcing them to display comments in a way that they may consider and choose to do? In other words, why do your desires trump the free speech and expression of the DN?

Why are you so insistant on shouting down somebody who wants to make it easier to ignore your comments?

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

ATL134 notes: "What goes on in discussion here is tame compared to other places that I wouldn't waste my time with." This is true. I've looked at comments that follow stories on other news sites, and they're terrible bits of personal, foul vitriol that have nothing to do with the subject matter. As bad as it may seem here sometimes, it's actually fairly civil.

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

I enjoy Dr. Peterson's articles immensely. I like his books too.

I get a kick out of the bashers and pseudo-intellectuals (in my not so humble opinion) who banter, criticize and moan by way of comments.

While freedom of speech may have focused on political speech in the give and take of a republican democracy it also applies to each of us having 200 words to spout what we want, and that's OK too.

I actually think that the British Parliament's Questions sessions, or what ever they call the give and take on various subjects that the prime minister and leader of the opposition take part in on a regular basis would be fun for congress and the president as well as us local rubes to see if we really are as sharp and knowledgeable as we think we are.

Categorize us or not, I think it's great to be able to comment and laugh or sigh as the case may be.

terra nova
Park City, UT

The suggestion has merit. Amazon does something similar. They rate products with one to five stars. If you want to read reviews from people who think the product stinks, stick to three-stars and under.

Gradually a trend emerges. Perhaps the suggestion should be to rate general agreement with and kudos for the article quality and content.

ClarkHippo
Tooele, UT

I see the point of the letter writer, but unfortunately it would not be very practical.

If anything, I enjoy seeing all the ignorant, silly rants people spout off on this and other comment boards. It proves that Dan Peterson and others must be doing something right.

On YouTube, I frequently go to videos critical of the LDS Church and ask non-threatening, simple questions in rebuttal. 9 times out of 10 I get replies filled with four-letter words and vulgar remarks about LDS temple garments or LDS women and kids. That tells me all I need to know about many of those who attack the LDS faith.

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

George, I understand and share your frustration. However, I don’t think the answer is to create separate comment sections for sympathetic and unsympathetic, which might only separate people. I think the answer is to continue to encourage people to show respect in their comments. If we’re open-minded and a little less prideful, we all can learn something from those who disagree with us. I frequently am pleasantly surprised to learn things from opposing views on these posts.

But I learn very little from those who are snarky, disrespectful, and only seem to want to take potshots at the “other side.” There seems to be a small handful of such people who regularly post on these boards. They frequently contribute nothing to the discussion, and only get in the way of a lively-but-respectful adult dialog. I do wish these people would show more courtesy and respect, but other than that I often find these comment boards enlightening and educational.

Will Kane
Salt Lake City USA, UT

Mr. Robinson, judging from the comments here so far some of the more inflammatory posters are threatened by such an idea. Even though anybody who wanted to could still read their comments (their free speech would still be ensured), they wouldn't have the exposure they do now to bicker back and forth. That would take all the fun out of it for those people.

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