|Photo: SolidState| (Not actual image but probably something very close)
Readers of the Northwest Florida Daily News weren’t so impressed with a recent non-story about students caught drawing “pictures of breasts and a penis on the wall of a 5th grade bathroom.” The article, with an equally absurd headline, cited an “incident report” filed with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s office, that included confessions by two of the boys responsible for the criminal doodles:
“One of the boys gave him a marker and he drew a picture of a woman’s breasts. He said he went back into the bathroom the next day and drew another picture of breasts, according to the report. Someone had also drawn a picture of a penis on the wall, which caused students to laugh, the report said.”
Scandalous. Well, commenters quickly leaped on this senseless bit of elementary school gossip and lambasted the paper for even wasting space on such an utterly ridiculous topic. Things got so heated, that it prompted a message from the editor who used the opportunity to outline the paper’s commenting policy and more importantly, to promote some of the website’s “new features”:
Many of you have expressed concerns about some of the harsh anonymous comments from readers. To remedy that, we are introducing new features. You can create your own blog, publish your news and share your photos with the community. Once you fill out a simple form and leave a verifiable e-mail address, you can set up your profile page. It will display all of your contributions and allow you to track issues and easily connect with others.
We want our site to be a place where people discuss and debate ideas that foster stronger communities. We built this for you. Please take care of it. Tolerate broad thinking, but take action against obscene or hateful material. Make it a credible and safe place worth preserving and sharing.
And “hateful” they were, but no necessarily towards each other, they saved their venom for the paper: