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Story Archives: Chat boards out of control
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|Chat boards out of control|
In 2001, Keith Rayborn of Natchez, Ms., came up with the great idea of starting a sports board called the MissLouSports.com.
At that time, there were about seven regulars who posted on the site's bulletin board. I was one of those seven and still remain a regular today, although things have certainly changed over the last couple of years.
When the board debuted, I would stay up until close to midnight at times chatting with others locally and a couple of natives who had moved off a ways.
We were like teen-agers talking on the phone for the first time, talking current sports while remembering the good ol' days. It became an addiction.
Six years later, sports boards abound and anyone can comment on anything at anytime without any accountability.
It's gotten so bad at times that Keith, who hardly ever lets anything bother him, has even considered shutting down the site because of a few people who take things too far, or use the board as a way to dealing with their envy, jealousy or just plain 'ol meanness.
There is nothing wrong with a people disagreeing, that's what makes the board interesting. But when names are brought in maliciously and accusations are made it crosses a line that really hasn't been drawn yet because truthfully people have figured out how to deal with the personal attacks that seem to creep up on the board way too much nowadays.
Keith is fortunate to have Glenn Carroll and a couple of others voluntarily monitor the board and wipe out some comments they deem inappropriate. That's becoming a full-time job.
I actually received a call not long ago from a coach in North Mississippi who knew I was a regular on the board and asked if I could find someone to erase some personal comments made against him. He told me he had been involved in some personal issues that folks were bringing up on the board and that his daughter reads the board and he would hate to see her have to read some of those hurtful comments, some with little truth.
And pity the poor high school coach who loses a game. His history, manhood, education and standing in the community all comes into question. Never mind all the good he does for the school and students. Never mind he's probably making half of what some of the goobers spewing vermin about him.
It's the old adage of a few folks can ruin something good for a lot of people. And the sad thing about it is that these folks are not held to any kind of accountability because they post under nicknames.
I still read the board and still post to it because the majority of the people who post appreciate what it is there for and make it an informative and entertaining site without getting into the "gossip" or attacking others without warrant. I still cringe at some of the comments made about good people.
While I would certainly miss the Web site, I certainly understand Keith's frustration. He's put a lot into this board and never intended for it to be used the way some people are using it.
But it's not just MissLouSports.com. Folks are abusing Web sites and newspapers all across the nation.
Not long ago I came across the web site Tigerdroppings.com which is a site about LSU sports. It includes a rant section where fans can post their opinions.
There have been some great links to neat trailors and highlights. But then as I scrolled down at some of the comments I came across some crude statements that included the F-bomb. Unbelievable!
There are teenagers who look at this site. Where are the Internet police? And watch out if a fan from another school posts something on the site. Wow, it's like somebody talked about somebody else's heritage and all the fans who give LSU fans a bad name come pouring out all at once.
I wonder how many recruits are lost because they happened upon the site and decided they didn't want to be a part of that. Do you realize the father of one of LSU's pitchers who played a big key in the Tigers' making it to the College World Series is a Baptist preacher.
Can you imagine if he would have scoped out Tigerdroppings.com rants before his son signed with LSU? Not that that should be an excuse for the vulgar and crude statements.
Sure, I know that goes on at a lot of sites, and unfortunately it's becoming the norm - even on television. It's certainly different times we are living in now.
So six years later I'm still checking out the sports board and enjoying most of the comments and tidbits being posted. Thanks, Keith. I'm just sorry some folks feel compelled to abuse it.
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