Policy and a Pint: Uncivil Discourse - Comment Sections in the Digital Age

by

Steve Seel and the Policy and a Pint panel
Host Steve Seel introduces the Policy and a Pint: Uncivil Discourse panel. August 12, 2013. (MPR / Nate Ryan)
Play/Pause
Listen:
Policy and a Pint: Uncivil Discourse -- Comments Sections in the Digital Age
Download MP3
| 01:24:36

If you're a reader of comments sections on websites, you know they can be places where all kinds of speech flies freely: balanced comments, nasty comments, and -- some would say -- irresponsible comments. We tout the Web as the great democratizer, but are comments sections curated op-ed spaces or totally open free-for-alls?

Some call comments sections the new public square, but others say that the act of "trolling" actually stifles the ability for healthy public discourse. And how does a comments section reflect -- poorly or positively -- on the mission or brand of the company hosting the comments page? It's a question that has implications for free speech, and it's the topic of our next Policy and a Pint.

Host Steve Seel was joined by MPR News' News Cut blogger Bob Collins, University of Minnesota journalism professor Shayla Thiel-Stern, Julio Ojeda-Zapata from the Pioneer Press, and City Pages' Aaron Rupar for "Policy and a Pint: Uncivil Discourse - Comment Sections in the Digital Age" at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis.

(And we've enabled comments, so feel free to practice exchanging in civil discourse below.)

Policy and a Pint is a co-presentation by Citizens League and The Current.

Related Stories

  • Policy and a Pint: Entrepreneurship During this election season, you hear candidates talk a lot about "small business" -- and so for our Policy and a Pint, we thought we'd talk to some Twin Cities entrepreneurs about the rewards, and struggles, of striking out on your own in these tough economic times.
  • Policy and a Pint: The Looming Intergenerational War If we're to believe the wave of recent articles in magazines and newspapers, there's a new inter-generational conflict brewing. Hear the conversation among Steve Seel, economist Chris Farrell from MPR News and Diane Tran from the young professionals group Minnesota Rising and, of course,the audience at the event.
  • Policy and a Pint: I Have A Degree, Why Don't I Have A Job? Join Steve Seel and special guests Chris Farrell, MPR personal finance and economics expert, along with Kathy Tunheim, one of Governor Dayton's job creation advisers. We'll look at the job market that new grads are entering.

6 Photos

  • Policy and a Pint: Uncivil Discourse audience
    Policy and a Pint: Uncivil Discourse audience at the Varsity Theater. August 12, 2013. (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Current staffers
    MPR staffers at the Varsity Theater for Policy and a Pint: Uncivil Discourse. August 12, 2013. (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Policy and a Pint: Uncivil Discourse
    Audience members and the panel look onto Shayla Thiel-Stern as she gives a short history of online comments. August 12, 2013. (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Policy and a Pint: Uncivil Discourse
    Policy and a Pint: Uncivil Discourse audience members at the Varsity Theater. August 12, 2013. (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Host Steve Steel and Griff Wigley
    Griff Wigley of Locally Grown Northfield asks a question. August 12, 2013. (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Local Current blogger Andrea Swensson
    Blogger Andrea Swensson explains her approach to encourage conversation about Low after their controversial Rock the Garden performance. August 12, 2013. (MPR / Nate Ryan)

comments powered by Disqus