The staff of The Richmond Register was recently encouraged by our corporate leadership to add a disclaimer to our Facebook page.
Just a simple statement about expectations we had for people who wished to use this platform to voice their opinions.
It turns out, that advice couldn't have come at a better time.
After our coverage of the Berea Backs the Blue rally on Saturday evening, our Facebook page immediately began to fill up with comments.
Many of those posts contained words and images we simply can't repeat/print in this publication.
It was disturbing.
Things quickly devolved into a wasteland of curse words, vulgar images, horrible personal attacks and hateful partisan rhetoric from all sides of the political spectrum.
Our staff spent the better part of next 36 hours removing tons of questionable content and banning users.
One post on our Facebook page reached more than 490,000 people, received more than 2,400 comments and also had more than 2,100 reactions.
That's the kind of interaction we want.
Our Facebook should be a forum for the people of Madison County to interact and share their thoughts.
We want to know what you think!
However, we need to make one thing absolutely clear.
Our staff simply will not tolerate anyone using our social media sites as platforms to attack other people.
It's that simple.
Post something hateful and it will be removed.
Continuing to post hateful things will ultimately result in a ban.
This is not a threat.
This is our policy:
"The Richmond Register encourages robust discussion of topics in stories posted on our Facebook page. With that in mind, we ask readers to be civil and respectful in their discussions. Readers will be best served if comments keep to the topic of the story or post. We’re interested in your feedback and ideas.
We reserve the right to remove comments that are false or include information that has not been vetted by officials or appropriate sources. We also will remove hateful and libelous comments, threats, vulgarities or comments that are racist, sexist, mean-spirited or demean individuals in other ways.
We reserve the right to ban users who do not follow the rules."