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Lamorinda Patch editor who tried to weed out spammers is fired

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

J. D. O’Connor, editor of Lamorinda Patch (that serves Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda) was fired by Patch Monday one day back from vacation after a column that began this way:

Never, ever take a vacation. Two reasons: one, it only takes about three days for the weeds to overrun your garden and, two, it only takes about three days for scammers, spammers, and political dirty tricksters to overrun your web site.

His sin? Having the temerity to moderate comments and weed out the spammers and political dirty tricksters, apparently. He tells blogger Jim Romenesko that a Patch assistant regional editor in Sacramento, who gave him his walking papers, didn’t take kindly to his efforts to weed out junk commenters from the site, presumably because—garbage or not, it’s traffic. An excerpt:

So editorial control reverted to the [assistant regional editor], who has no idea of what’s happening in my area, I was handcuffed and unable to moderate my own site, and I had the sword of Damocles hanging over my head if I took any action. Pretty much the Old Catch 22. The ARE said I “ignored his warning and defied his instructions” as he handed me my last check. I still haven’t the foggiest idea what he meant.

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