The small town of Hanford, Calif., has a tiny newspaper with a big beef.
Per a post on JimRomenesko.com, The Hanford Sentinel doesn’t like its readers leaving nasty comments on its Facebook page. So, the paper’s executive editor, Jackie Kaczmarek, has done what any completely irrational human would do.
“This is Jackie Kaczmarek, executive editor of The Sentinel, as well as Facebook/Twitter/HanfordSentinel.com admin… and occasional dishwasher and coffee maker. I am posting to those of you who feel the need to slam us on our own page. Yes, you will be deleted. If someone posted a derogatory comment on your personal, or business, page, wouldn’t you? Would you call that ‘censorship?’ Just because we’re a news media outlet, doesn’t mean we can be insulted on our own page. The best way to communicate with us is via email, or post a request on this page. I can be reached at editor@HanfordSentinel.com if you have questions or concerns. We provide a Facebook page to share stories, content and converse with you, our readers and online users.”
Oh, Jackie. Jackie, Jackie, Jackie.
The first rule of digital media is that commenters are often irrational, but those who take commenter’s comments to heart are even more irrational. (But please, feel free to leave a comment on this article.)
This goes for any business or entity that wants to venture into social media: If you don’t want to hear what people have to say about you, don’t have a Facebook page, don’t start a Twitter feed, don’t post to Tumblr, and certainly don’t tell people what they can and cannot say about you in public.
The Hanford Sentinel hasn’t upped the discourse here. It hasn’t righted a wrong. All the paper has done has shown that it’s a small-town outfit with small-town sensibilities and leaders who just don’t understand social media.