EDITOR'S CHAIR: The inhuman racists who defiled Nida's memory
THE saddest story of the last week was the discovery of Nida Naseer's body.
Regular readers will know teenager Nida disappeared from her home in Newport on December 28. She had apparently gone to put out the bins but was never seen again.
Her body was discovered a week ago today at the Newport Wetlands.
Police have confirmed they are not looking for anyone in connection with Nida's death.
The loss of the 19-year-old is a tragedy, the reasons for which we will know more about as the inquest which opened briefly yesterday progresses.
My thoughts and prayers remain with Nida's heartbroken family.
I have very different thoughts towards a few racist morons who used the Argus website to defile Nida's memory in the days following the discovery of her body.
Many people wanted to leave tributes to Nida on our website.
Unfortunately - and this makes me both angry and ashamed - we had to close comments on all stories relating to Nida on our website because of the inhumanity of a few posters.
These people cared nothing for Nida. Their only interest was to use the failed asylum seeker status of her family to make outrageous claims that fitted their own twisted view of the world.
They made sickening, unfounded claims about her family. They made outrageous allegations about the circumstances of Nida's death.
Each of these posters - there were only four of them - were banned from our website.
But I could not risk others using our site to spew out their filth, so I took the decision to close all comments on the articles.
The awful nature of some of the comments posted made me incredibly angry.
But I also felt ashamed that we had to deny the vast majority of decent Argus readers the opportunity to express their sympathies. I felt - and still feel - as if doing so in some way handed a victory to the racists.
Our society is in a sad state when newspapers like the Argus fear allowing people to leave comments on tragic stories.
What kind of country do we live in when that fear becomes greater than the desire to allow good people to have their say.
The people who posted their racism on our website are nasty little individuals. They are bullies who are driven by spite, brutality and a lack of basic intelligence.
And they are cowards.
Like many who use the internet to spit out their hateful views, they hide behind pseudonyms and false email accounts. They are not brave enough to defend themselves using their own names. And the second they are challenged they run away with their tails between their legs.
They are the kind of people who are worthy of nothing but contempt. I detest them.
Some will criticise us and other newspapers for allowing people to post comments using pseudonyms. I understand the point and I don't necessarily disagree with it.
I still think there are arguments in favour of anonymity, particularly when people are using the internet as whistleblowers.
But the time may be fast approaching when we insist that everyone who posts on our website uses their real name to do so.
I am undecided whether that is the best course of action.
But we have to stop the trolls somehow.
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