Dear Reputable News Source…

To whom it may concern:

This morning, I commented on your Facebook article titled “Facebook has repeatedly trended fake news since firing its human editors.” Copy above the article image contained a grammatical error in the appropriate article being employed: “a anomaly.” I was not the the first to comment that your copy contained an error in the article used, but I was the first to have my commenting and liking privileges revoked by your news source. I am including two screenshots: 1. my comment on your post, and 2. a screenshot showing that my ability to comment has since been removed.

While my comment was not ill-intentioned, it appears to have been taken that way by the person who made the choice to revoke my commenting and liking privileges.

I am an English teacher, you see, and I teach my students to maintain professional decorum and etiquette when publishing final copy, which includes the editing process. I also teach my students that their opinion matters and that all opinions should be taken into account, regardless of whether or not they disagree with them, respecting the person, first and foremost, and the comment, second. I teach them to agree or disagree with the comment — not the person — because value lies within the person to whom the comment possesses value.

My question to you is this: Do you revoke commenting and liking privileges of all people who offer a correction or disagree with something a reporter has published? If so, I would ask the you reconsider this practice, as the mere foundation and basis for reporting is the ability to speak freely and to offer one’s opinion — therein lies the value.

Although my grammatical concern may seem insignificant in a world of global warming, national and global security, and public policy issues, what does the position you have taken of revoking a citizen’s ability to share personal opinion suggest about your news source? Furthermore, what does it suggest about the ability of the news source to take well-intentioned constructive criticism? I will leave that answer up to you.

I have followed the Washington Post for many years, utilizing your well-informed, well-researched articles within not only the walls of my English classroom but also within the walls of social media. This course of action has given me cause to question your objectivity in reporting and reconsider using your news source as an integral part of my curriculum. As an educator, I have a responsibility to my students to maintain an open mind in all things and the highest of educational standards. That is how we learn. That is how we grow.

A response is greatly appreciated in this matter.

Sincerely,

Amanda Lucas

English teacher and grammar enthusiast

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