An internet challenge

The internet daily offers challenges to people in the business of information.

More and more, the public is demanding instantaneous reporting of the news and asserting its right to comment immediately on those stories.

In general, that is a good thing. But a real problem with allowing instantaneous comment on the content of a website is that some folks think it is their right to abuse it.

More specifically, some believe it is a right to express hateful views. Such hate speech is usually directed at a specific race or religion. It can also be directed against people because of sexual orientation or a disability.

We have had a couple of instances where an individual attacked members of a specific religion on our website, mauinews.com.

The vitriolic comments were taken down as soon as we discovered them and their author has since been banned from our site.

But damage was done and feelings were hurt — and, for that, we are sorry. No race, religion or people have a monopoly on righteousness. It can also be said that no race, religion or people are free of boors or would-be tyrants.

The best any of us can do is to try to rid ourselves of prejudice and treat everyone as a worthwhile individual unless proven otherwise.

Preaching hatred of — or advocating violence against — a group of people because of creed, orientation or skin color is not protected speech. At least not on our website.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

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