The unmodded 3rd party comments defence has long been established in the online world of news publishing. It does mean that comment threads can sometimes be shocking places marked 'here be dragons' - but the idea of pre-moderating views is something no typically-staffed newsroom could or would consider. Hence Trinity Mirror's Facebook login approach, Most people tend to think before they post, when their actual FB identity is attached (although that has slashed the number of comments posted on the Daily Post site, for example).
Anyway, this ruling by the European Court of Human Rights should give us pause for thought... "The judgment in the case Delfi AS v Estonia suggests that online portals are fully responsible for comments posted under stories, in apparent contradiction of the principle that portals are “mere conduits” for comment and cannot be held liable.
Further, the unanimous ruling suggests that if a commercial site allows anonymous comments, it is both “practical” and “reasonable” to hold the site responsible for content of the comments."
Amid the jokey angst and photos of teens falling downstairs is a very serious point about crediting sources, and the fine line between curation and plagiarism.
"Last week I wrote an article about a new trend involving people tweeting photos of themselves and others falling down stairs. Roughly two hours later, BuzzFeed posted essentially the same article with a few new photos and some dad jokes. So I’m going to screengrab their entire article and steal it back. Aggregate their aggregation; aggrega-ception.
But don’t worry, I’ll hide the citation to their piece somewhere below to give them the appropriate amount of credit."