Sometimes websites malfunction. Most of the time, this only results in a little bit of stress for those involved: the page takes forever to load, a picture isn’t showing up or the right article won’t pop up.
But other times, it’s to the point that other people start freaking out, as was the case this weekend.
On Saturday, we began getting comments online accusing Mustang Daily of censoring other comments for the “Why Race Matters” conservative column. These comments ranged from curious to furious, accusing the paper of eliminating comments with no explanation because they were too conservative or too liberal. We were even accused of being a “mouthpiece” for the “pigs” in administration.
And the worst part was nobody had a clue what had happened to those comments. Mustang Daily policy when removing a comment is to put in our own comment alerting readers to the fact that something was deleted and why, along with a note to contact us with any questions. No such comments appeared beneath the article in question, and there was no record of any comments even being deleted on the website. So what happened to these comments?
After several frantic texts between me, the managing editor and the web editor, we were stumped. Why would these comments have just vanished, with no record?
Then this morning, one of our reporters pointed out what we’d been missing — we had switched hosts over the weekend. Prior to this, our adviser made sure we were aware that some information posted between Thursday and Monday could accidentally be deleted. And there was the answer to our problems. Because we were switching servers, it seems like some comments (and some articles actually) were lost in the transition. Luckily, everything is sorted out now, and the website is running smoothly with our new host.
In short though, I’d like to apologize for any confusion that may have arisen from missing comments this weekend, and I encourage anybody who notices their comment is missing to re-post them at their convenience. The Mustang Daily doesn’t make a policy of removing comments with no explanation, and I encourage you to let us know if you ever notice this problem again. Without readers alerting us, we would never have known there was a problem, so thank you for being the watchdogs on the watchdogs.