April 21, 2012

Editing Speakout is challenging


---- — Speakout is overwhelmingly popular, emphasis on overwhelming.

On any given day, we have about 200 Speakouts backed up, waiting either review or publication.

We recently reduced the length limit for Speakout entries from 100 words to 50, hoping that if they are shorter, we can get more in faster.

Because this comment forum is anonymous, it is heavily edited, and many are deleted. We want Speakout to be constructive and to further community discussion.

We get complaints sometimes from people whose Speakouts we didn't use. I thought I would share some examples of those.

We usually clean up the spelling, but these are shown as submitted, just so you can see what we are up against.


We don't allow people to criticize specific businesses or people in Speakout. How do we know you aren't from a competing business? Or are a fired employee? Or someone with a grudge against the person?

We have deleted the names from these examples of Speakouts we didn't use:

"We ordered (name deleted) pizza and then it got here and we found hair in it and my boyfriend/son wasnt even drunk or nothing and now he is very sick now from it and i dont like the rudeness that came from there"

"(Teacher's name) treats her students disrespectfully, grades unfairly and speaks rudely to her pupils. She thinks that she can treat students in anyway that she pleases, yet wont even allow them to express their opinions when they are treated wrongly."

"to the person who thinks that (restaurant name) is good food, you are more than welcome to come over to my house and eat out of my garbage it taste the same!!"

"(Name deleted) Don't go there. You bye a car you get it fixed from them they mess up and charge you for it and you turn them in they will repo you. Leave you with nothing. Then they blame you!!!!"


Sometimes people seem as if they are addressing a friend, family member or co-worker. We aren't your message board:

"How about you condemn yourself before you decide to talk down about others? You have no idea what goes on in my house with my children. If you have a clue, then I know who you've been talking to. How dare you lay judgement on me with all the antics you've pulled throughout the years. Maybe you need a wake-up call ... ring ring, "Hello, are you so-and-so's husband? Boy do I have a story for you." Keep pushing me, I'd love to squeal what I know."


"if your going to hire someone and after 3 weeks dont bother tellin them different then jipp them on the paycheck and say we arent hiring you because you dress to cleanly well i didnt know you ran a BROTHEL!!!"

"Where is your Family? Nobody talks with you anymore? Nobody comes to see you anymore? Is it because they finally figured out you Lied all those years ago?! It's a New Year, a New Start why don't you have a change of Heart? Say you are sorry for all you did wrong, allow them back into your life. You can't be Happy being without them, they've known you since you, they were little. Common!!! Mend a Fence, repay a Debt! Don't grow old and die alone!"


This is a tricky one. We want you to be able to share compliments, but sometimes the entries look like they might be written by marketing people:

"Local USPS clerks have been a great help as I have developed my online business. Buy local doesn't really apply to collectibles, and most of the resulting income is spent locally. Hundreds of items I have sold were delivered quickly and in good shape. Many thanks to the USPS."


Someone wrote this: "I think its time to stop printing Speakout as most of it is garbage and obviously the Press Republican doesn't even bother to check the validity of most of the posts on here."

This person is absolutely right as far as we don't check the facts of every Speakout; we would never have time for that.

We do kill dozens every week that give facts that we suspect might be incorrect. Shaky information is a major reason Speakouts get cut.


Apparently, some people think we are a dating service. This one didn't run:

"to the beautiful blond that drives (car description) i see you at (store) and would like to know you better maybe next time we can exchange phone numbers im single and hope you are you are a fresh breath of air."


Then, there are pressing issues like this one:

"why is it that when i go to the bathroom and no one is in the bathroom but me the next person has to come set right next to me...there are like 5 other stalls and you have to come set next to me? why?"