WTF? CBS bans comments on Obama stories

Are the people running CBSNews.com out of their minds? Or are they just letting panic drive their decisions?

According to CBS blog Public Eye, the CBS website will no longer permit readers to post comments on stories about presidential candidate Barack Obama, but WILL continue to permit comments on stories about other candidates.

Public Eye says:

The reason for the new policy … is that stories about Obama have been attracting too many racist comments.

“It’s very simple,” Mike Sims, director of News and Operations for CBSNews.com, told me. “We have our Rules of Engagement. They prohibit personal attacks, especially racist attacks. Stories about Obama have been problematic, and we won’t tolerate it.”

CBSNews.com says it doesn’t have the resources to pre-screen comments.

Well for goodness sakes, there are a number of ways they could tackle that problem, including filtering technology, community moderators, and requiring commenters to register and earn the right to post without pre-screening.

In the meantime, if CBS can’t handle the commenting system it has created, then it should turn off automatic commenting on ALL candidate stories. To do otherwise, is to risk skewing the political debate. Not to mention the likelihood that those racist comments against Obama will simply be posted on other stories.