Greever-Rice’s Trib Comments

*This post has been amended to more accurately reflect attempts to reach Jim Robertson.

Fourth Ward City Council Candidate Tracy Greever-Rice made headlines in the Columbia Daily Tribune for requesting her neighbor remove her past comments from the Tribune’s website.

Chris Allen, the neighbor and Tribune employee who was not identified in the article, was given “a clearer understanding of the policy,” according to Tribune reporter Janese Heavin in a comment below the story. Allen removed Greever-Rice’s entire profile from the Web site before Greever-Rice declared her candidacy for the Fourth Ward seat.

Attempts to reach Allen at his home were met with operator messages saying all circuits were busy.

In an interview with Greever-Rice on Wednesday afternoon, Greever-Rice said that prior to her conversation with Heavin on Tuesday, she was unaware of any policy restricting whether comments or whole accounts could be deleted.

“In our conversation yesterday, (Heavin) gave me the distinct impression that my request started the process of them creating a policy,” Greever-Rice said.

To sign-up for a username on the Tribune website, folks are not required to read any policies but are advised to read the “Terms of Use” for further “rules regarding accounts.”

Here is what the “Terms of Use” say about deleting content:

  • “…we reserve the right to remove or delete your content at any time.”
  • “The Tribune reserves the right to decline requests for removal of content from the Web site based on maintaining the historical and archival nature of the site.”

A voicemail was left with Jim Robertson, managing editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune, seeking further comment on the Tribune’s policies.*

Greever-Rice does not believe it is much of an issue.

“Asking to un-enroll yourself from somebody else’s website isn’t a particularly weird thing to do,” Greever-Rice said. “Chris is about as nice of a guy as you can meet. I never would have asked him a question that would have gotten him in trouble.”

Greever-Rice said she asked Allen because she knew that he was the IT person that would deal with her request.

“My husband does something similar for a living, and I know that when you have an IT problem, you call the IT guy,” Greever-Rice said.

Greever-Rice believes that her past comments criticizing the Tribune’s editorial staff sparked the investigation into her account.

“There have been times when I’ve been frank in public, criticizing the editorial staff at the Tribune,” Greever-Rice said. “I guess I should have expected that the Tribune would be ugly with me.”

Tribune editors were searching for Greever-Rice’s comments when they “discovered the policy breach last week,” according to the article.

The Tribune questioned how having the comments deleted reflect Greever-Rice’s campaign platform where she calls for government transparency. Greever-Rice said she “didn’t see the connection between government transparency and what (she says) as a private citizen,” according to the article.

“I have a personal life too. The world is not welcome to every single bit of it,” Greever-Rice added Wednesday afternoon. “If it has to do with public policy, I’m more than happy to talk about it.”

Greever-Rice is running against Sarah Read, Rick Buford and Daryl Dudley for the Fourth Ward seat. The election is April 6. The last day to register to vote in the election is March 10.

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5 Responses

  1. Since you did not call me to clarify what was said at the interview Tuesday, I thought I’d clear some things up here.

    I did not give Greever-Rice the distinct impression that her request started the process of the Trib creating a policy. What I said was the policy apparently wasn’t well understood by our IT folks. Had she gone through the normal procedure of asking our Web editor, she would have been told she could not delete her account.

    I told Greever-Rice during a follow-up call Wednesday that the policy was spelled out on the Web site. The rule is and always has been painfully obvious in the newsroom; unfortunately it was not in our IT department.

    I assure you this was not any Tribune vendetta against Greever-Rice. We would have written the same story had any candidate for public office had his or her account deleted.

    While I realize I referred your questions about the incident to Robertson, I would have been happy to have clarified what was said/implied during my interview and follow-up call. Next time, don’t hesitate to ask.

    – Janese

    • Thanks for clearing that up, Janese.

      I tried calling your number listed on the Tribune website around 5 o’clock without success. I tried calling your general newsroom number without success either.

      I’d like to talk about this more if you’d like. I still haven’t been able to get any further comments from the Tribune on its policies.

      Best,
      Pat

      PatMSweet@gmail.com

  2. From the following web site:
    http://www.columbiatribune.com/help/terms/

    “Terms Of Use

    To register for the site you must create a user name. In addition, you may also provide your first name and last name. You are encouraged to post comments, blog entries or other content on the Web site under your real name, but you are not required to do so. However, it is not acceptable to provide a name or user name with the intent of impersonating someone.

    Only one user account is allowed per person.

    You agree not to post anything on the Web site that is abusive, defamatory, illegal, libelous or obscene.

    You are solely responsible for the content you submit to the Web site. We cannot review every comment, blog entry or other forms of reader contributions to the site, but we reserve the right to remove or delete your content at any time. Abusive, fraudulent or illegal activities may be reported to the appropriate authorities.

    The Tribune reserves the right to decline requests for removal of content from the Web site based on maintaining the historical and archival nature of the site.

    Your contributions to the site may be republished or displayed elsewhere on the Web site, in print or in other formats for editorial or promotional uses.

    The Tribune reserves the right to change this policy at any time. ”
    —————————————————————————-

    In the 5th paragraph this policy says “The Tribune reserves the right to decline requests for removal of content from the Web…”.
    Tracy contacted a Tribune employee. This employee contacted the web editor. Neither of these Tribune employees exercised the Tribunes “right to decline requests for removal of content…” This is an internal Tribune issue.

    Tracy Greever-Rice is running for City Council based on her long record of civic engagement which is all in the public record. It is a spurious argument to imply that her often brilliant blog posts are what she is running on. She is not running as a blogger. She is running for office as a former P&Z commissioner, as a former Environment and Energy Commissioner, as an Alternate Member of the Board of Adjustment, as the current Vice Chair of the Columbia Visioning Commission. She is running for City Council as the logical next step in a long history of public engagement.

    This might be a story if Tracy did not have a long and illustrious history of public engagement. It is interesting that the lack of history of public engagement of the other candidates doesn’t seem like a story for the Tribune (yet?).

    Or Mrs. Read going from being a consultant for the City Manager to running for office. Listen to Mrs. Read’s statements about how boards and commissions should be shut down. Think about who she is representing?
    (She was very emphatic about this at the chamber forum
    See: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/4647834
    go to time 27:50 to hear Sarah Read’s future goals for City Boards and Commissions!)

    Dan Goldstein

  3. @Dan Goldstein

    The employee contacted by Tracy Greever-Rice never contacted the web editor.

  4. Just to clarify, Ginger Lopez is the web editor of the Tribune.

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