User Flaming; Is censorship ever appropriate?

An interesting Talk topic has been overflowing recently, pointing out a trait of online communities that is to be both expected, and feared:  User Flaming.

It is pretty common; users trashing other user’s thoughts or opinions.  You see it in forums, comment threads, etc.  Well with Yelp’s growing popularity in Boston it was bound to happen sooner or later.

This is the talk thread in Boston, in reference to Sympathy for the Kettle, a business located in NYC.

When something like this happens, is censorship appropriate?  Obviously this type of thing should be discouraged, but when it does happen, and under circumstances making one suspicious of the flaming user’s account legitimacy (he may be associated with the business), should the offensive review be removed?  I’ve never been a fan of censorship, (one of the reasons I read reddit and not dig ;-)) but I don’t think uncalled for behavior like that can just go unchecked, either.

Posted in TEH INTARWEB!!1, The Rat Race

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