Hot Take: COTH needs to stop posting Safe Sport articles on Facebook

Seriously. Go read the comments on the most recent one, not to mention the numerous articles posted in the past. The comments are disgusting.

I’d like to preface this by saying I do not know anyone involved in any of the Safesport violations COTH has written articles about.

How are we supposed to encourage victims of abuse to come forward when this is the reception by the community? The privilege and cluelessness of horse people disgusts me sometimes.


I agree that the comments are terrible and are not encouraging to victims, but I think it’s important to get the names of people banned/suspended out to the public. I think COTH could monitor the comments while still posting the article, or just disable the comments altogether.


I don’t disagree with you. However they don’t seem to be doing a good job of monitoring anything. I think it’s a bad look for them to have those comments on their Facebook.


I wish they’d just post the article and disable comments on it.


Lol, you think CoTh monitors bullying/ hate speech/ harassment? Good one.

But I agree, they should disable the comments. They won’t, but they should.


I think they should disable the comments, as 99% of it is just the same stuff, over and over and over and over. Sometimes someone chimes in with a bombshell “Yeah, I was one of those victims of (insert name of bad person here) and I knew I wasn’t the only one!”, but that would be better used as testimony to Safesport and not just thrown out there into the wild, where there’s not gonna be any real resulting consequences for said bad person.


just step into Current Events with a differing opinion then the long knives come out to do some slashing and do not stop until the blood stops running… really reminds me of middle school cliques

Once upon a time under the old management when current events was a forum open only during short periods of time was current events a forum that should be here.

There is nothing there that is related to a horse its sole purpose is discourse.

Just to check I placed about 120 of the posters who post in Current Events on Ignore just to see if they posted elsewhere on this board. In all the other forums it is a rare, and I mean really rare thread that I can not read completely though without seeing a post marked ignored and not viewable.

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I think removing comments that they do not agree with makes them look bad too. (I know it is fine until they remove something that upsets you (general), removing stuff you do not like is OK.) Think of the threads here about places that remove comments that they do not agree with.

I think there are only two options, first one is doing what they are doing. Putting the article out there and let people be a jerk or not be a jerk in the comments. The only other option is put the article out there and turn off the comments.

I can see why either option is wrong in lots of ways and this is a no win situation for COTH.

COTH of not responsible for the stupidity of others.


I concur.

Jerks will be jerks in any setting. Common decency seems to be in short supply.

But if they disable all the comments, people also can’t make supportive comments or share their own experience. So there really is no good solution.


I think you make a good point, but I think this also assumes that COTH cares about people’s opinions, rather than the amount of clicks their article gets.


I’ll just go ahead and blame Zuckerburg. If they turned off comments the article would be blacklisted by the algorithm and that would be devastating to COTHdotcom traffic. You really can’t blame a magazine, especially one struggling to transition to the digital age, for going after clicks. That’s their lifeline to the future.


That’s all well and good, but if USEF’s alleged goal is to truly make the sport safer and adhere by this new protocol and reporting system, these posts encourage just the opposite…

Guess it depends how you balance sexual assault and misconduct with a “struggling” magazine.


Um no.
COTH can not be blamed for any of this. COTH is doing nothing wrong.

You will not make rude people not be rude no matter how much you stand up and shout.

And… more importantly, not talking about the problem does not make it go away. If people do not see the article then you have made another problem.


I totally agree.

But if allowing the vicious comments is dissuading other victims from coming forward, that is a problem. I think turning off comments would be best. That protects the victim and possibly gives other victims the courage to come forward.


Turning off comments also loses those people the support that is there.


My post was about COTH, not USEF, and COTH is not beholden to any of USEF’s alleged goal/s. And, without COTH, the public depends on USEF for a heads-up about predators in the sport, and that’s certainly not the better alternative.


That is very true. I think weighing them in the balance, which is more beneficial and harmful, I believe the nasty comments outweigh the kind ones. There are other ways to show support for the victim.
I believe the online roasting is a deterrent for victims to come forward.


Ehhh I don’t know that I agree with you completely. Some of COTH’s reporting is vague at best, which only further incites speculation and harmful comments/assumptions, in my opinion.

I understand how journalism works. I agree that we have to get the names out there. I just don’t necessarily agree that this method promotes anything effective? Honestly the comments remind me of what people would post on Horse show diva, which I know COTH (used to) look down upon based on its unfiltered, distasteful content.


The online comments are likely a deterrent to any victims who might be struggling to come forward. They are a useful litmus test for people you might be thinking about doing business with. Sadly, you sometimes learn things about friends you might wish you hadn’t.


Let’s play this out with an example.

Let’s say Suzie Q. Junior Rider has been in a unhealthy relationship with her older male trainer or coach, and an observant adult in the barn or at a horse show reports their concerns to Safe Sport and an investigation is launched. As a result of the preliminary investigation, the trainer is temporarily suspended.

What do you think is going to be demoralizing/discouraging to Suzie Q. Junior Rider? The comments on a FB article (you know that FB’s demographic skews considerably older.) or the comments at the barn, at the in gate and in the stabling area at the horse show? Y’all have been to a horse show, right? You know what a cess pit of gossip they are? You think FB comments are going to have a negative effect on this kid, rather than being shunned, pointed at, blamed and gossiped about at the barn and at shows?

Remember during the Rob Gage controversy, one of the victims made a public statement? She didn’t do it on FB, she did it AT A HORSE SHOW, after the Gran Prix, to get all the chief gossipers in one place at one time. Brave, brave girl.

Yes, I think COTH should continue to publish this info, and from a personal taste and decorum point of view, I think they should disable the comments.

But of all the forces that are arrayed against reporters of abuse to question, bully, shame and discredit, FB comments are pretty low on the list.