One of the downsides of the internet is that any random nobody can make unsubstantiated accusations and they’re out there for everyone to see.
For example, over on Volunteer Voters an anonymous commenter left this stink bomb:
. . . [Mayoral candidate X] is now paying African Americans to put his signs in their yards.
Any proof of such allegation would surely be a most newsworthy event. My guess is that there is no such proof, and that this isn’t happening. I may be wrong, but absent a source, this is crap, and should be regarded as such.
I screen my comments. Sometimes, I even edit them. Kleinheider gets more commenters than I do–especially since I’ve been posting so infrequently of late, so screening might be too difficult a task. But this is the kind of explosive comment that, had I seen it on my website, I would have deleted the reference to the individual candidate in question and would have rewritten it as I did above until the commenter could provide substantiation.
In fact, I’d raise the stakes even higher. I would email the commenter and demand substantiation, and if he couldn’t provide it, I would publish his IP address and link to any previous comments the individual might have left on my site. That could be newsworthy too, if perhaps, said “anonymous” individual had connections to any of the other campaigns.
Also crap is the knee jerk reaction by a recently-arrived anonymous Nashville blogger that the unsourced accusation is the work of an individual whom he names. Where’s your source? (see comment #3)
The unsubstatiated comment accusing one of the mayoral candidates of paying black Nashvillians to put his signs in their yards has now been pulled. I truly hope that WKRN will now expose either that the accusation is true, or if it’s not, the identity of the accuser.