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Why are no comments allowed in $250,000 Narcotics Bust Story?

Original post made by Alex, Midtown, on Jun 9, 2012

And lots of comments were removed. I suspect those comments were complaining about the wastefulness, immorality, and uselessness of the drug war and how it should be stopped immediately.

I suspect these comments were censored by Palo Alto Online. STAFF: Please explain yourself publicly, instead of employing sneaky tactics like eliminating comments you consider politically incorrect.

Comments (9)

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Posted by lawyers
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 9, 2012 at 11:45 am

I'm guessing that the lawyers for some of the businesses that were raided by the cops have been pressuring the newspaper to sanitize the news.

Here is the latest official press release from the Menlo Park Police: Web Link

You can compare that to what the newspaper is reporting. Why is the newspaper reporting fewer details than what the police have released?

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 9, 2012 at 11:48 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The removed comments had to do with references in the news report to a business that was inaccurately named as the place of business of the suspect. This was a result of poor police reporting and poor newspaper fact checking.

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Posted by svatoid
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm

But positive comments about the business were allowed,.while negative comments were removed. If the business had nothing to do with the story then all comments about it should have been deleted.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Just consider the positive comments as compensatory justice since the damage to the incorrectly identified business had already been done.

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Posted by Bill Johnson
publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Jun 9, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Bill Johnson is a registered user.

No lawyers, no demands, no threats. The initial story contained details provided by the Menlo Park police that the police then corrected, so we corrected the story. Since some people saw the original report, we left a few comments that attested to the legitimacy of the business mentioned. We generally remove anonymous criticisms of any non-public figures or businesses since we have no way of knowing whether they are being posted by competitors or individuals with some kind of an axe to grind.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Yeah, my ax to grind has to do w/the terrible past behavior of one of the business owners, but not the subject of the story himself. Just imagine - all of this could've been avoided if MP police hadn't been sloppy w/their news release. I'm glad that the editors here have swiftly corrected the info & stayed on top of the comments - even my negative ones. Sometimes it's just sooo tempting to vent one's unflattering memories...

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Posted by lawyers
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm

The official police press release still lists the location of the bust as "Peak Performance in Menlo Park". The police report also says the perp is an "independent contractor" of Peak Performance. Deleting this information from the newspaper article sounds very suspicious. Police press release: Web Link

When that SAP guy got busted for stealing Legos from Target, the newspaper had no qualms about listing his job, even though there were never any police raids of his job location.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is what the press release actually says - no need for any innuendo:

"As a point of clarification to the original press release, the suspect arrested in this case, Perry Mosdromos, is the owner of “1 2 1 Personal Training.” Although Mosdromos’ offices are located at Peak Performance in Menlo Park and the personal training services are offered there, he is not an employee of the chiropractic offices and in fact is an independent contractor."

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Posted by lawyers
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm

P.S. If there is no evidence that anyone else in his office was participating in his drug dealing, all you have to do is say that. There is no need to redact truthful information.

Those of us that work in Silicon Valley know there is a very fine line between "independent contractor" and "full time employee". Some newspaper reporters may be independent contractors, but the general public does not treat their articles any differently from articles written by newspaper employees.

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