The CBC has disabled commenting on Indigenous people’s stories due to rampant racism.
Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor in chief of the CBC says in a blog posting, stories on Indigenous peoples attract a disproportianate number of racist comments, which violates their guidelines on hate speech and personal attacks.
It goes to state:
Some of the violations are obvious, some not so obvious; some comments are clearly hateful and vitriolic, some are simply ignorant. And some appear to be hate disguised as ignorance (i.e., racist sentiments expressed in benign language).
McGuire says comments from the CBC’s audience is an important part of the broadcaster’s mandate, and that it’s important to have a open forum to debate.
Kiefer Collison of CFNR’s Journeys, an Aboriginal culture and current affairs program, agrees having a dialogue is important, especially if it can be used to educate.
Collison himself is Haida, and he says the anonymity of the Internet allows people to comment without any accountability for what they say.
He adds that everybody has an opinion, and anyone can be a keyboard warrior, especially as Indigenous peoples become more vocal.
The CBC says it’ll be reviewing how comments are moderated, and will re-enable commenting mid-January.