Earlier this year, the NOW moved to a new platform for posting our stories online.
This platform has some really cool features and offered an easier way to allow readers to comment underneath stories.
We lasted about a month before we started blocked the commenting for some of our main news stories, especially those involving COVID-19.
Why, you ask? Well, we didn’t want to start blocking the comments but some trolls didn’t leave us much choice. A small group started spamming our stories with racist, sexist and downright violent comments under every story. And for COVID-19 stories, it was blatant misinformation being added.
The situation got out of control really fast and so the blocking began on most of our main Burnaby stories (you can still comment in our Facebook page, which is far easier to monitor).
Some readers have gotten really angry about this. Nearly all of them are dudes upset that they can’t comment under COVID-19 stories.
One of them wrote to say we weren’t a “real newspaper” because he comment under a story involving the Delta variant that is spreading around B.C., Canada and the world.
Of course this guy, Gill, doesn’t agree.
“The Delta variant is a big lie concocted by a secret cabal who want to continue to keep us scared,” Gill said. “They want masks and fear and lockdowns so they came up with this.”
Gill even offered to send me “plenty of videos” of “real doctors” speaking the truth.
But thanks for the offer. Instead, I’ll stick with the world’s top doctors and scientists who are conducting research and trying to warn the world’s leaders to take this seriously.
The Delta variant is the most contagious coronavirus mutant so far in the pandemic, but COVID-19 vaccines still provide strong protection against it. Nearly all hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated.
It’s not yet clear if the delta variant makes people sicker. But experts say it spreads more easily because of mutations that make it better at latching onto cells in our bodies.
The delta, first detected in India, has quickly become dominant wherever it has landed.
Viruses constantly mutate, and most changes aren’t concerning. But the worry is that unchecked spread could fuel mutations and produce a variant that's even more contagious, causes more severe illness or evades the protection that vaccines provide.
That is the real truth so please, take off the tinfoil hat and get vaccinated.
- With files from the Canadian Press
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44