I agree with the : leave everything, however profane, obscene, threats and spam should be ‘soft deleted’….as in made invisible to the general public but still there for audit purposes.
Sometimes it’s fun to see someone go off on a tangent about something and see the general public correct that person. I think that carries far more weight than any official response that just gives any ranter justification.
Not all crit is bad. Sometimes it’s good to know what people are feeling. Good to know what’s irking them. The key is that not every crit needs to be responded to. SOmetimes people just want to vent. And the hard part can be determining the venters from those with real issues.
Every site I’ve ever joined has a basic TOS that states what you can’/can’t do. Probably one thing that’s never been addressed in previous TOS that will likely show up more in the public sector is cyber bullying (I’m sure school social networks have such rules).
I manage a forum off hours, and it’s not government but for fun. We have a multinational membership and we deal with a lot of…immaturity 🙂
We have basic rules, but it boils down to ‘respect others’ and ‘keep your personal junk off of here’. DIsagree with someone to your heart’s content, you just express that disagreement in a respectful manner. Don’t call names, don’t cuss, don’t bully, don’t ‘yell’.
We do occasionally have members trotting out ‘freedom of speech’, largely when we tell them ‘no, you can’t call this person names and insult them’. One thing they don’t realize when they bring out those three words – the majority of them have never read the origin I’m sure – is that yes, you can say what you want, but you’re not guaranteed an audience.
Our forum is also privately owned, and when you’re on a privately owned site, you follow the owner’s rules.