Our local Pulitzer Prize-winning, blessed-by-the-Pope twice-weekly newspaper has announced they are ENDING anonymous commenting. Now, if you want to say your piece on their award-winning writing, you must comment via your Facebook profile. THAT, explains their editor, will ensure we know WHO exactly is commenting.
I hate to break it to these guys, but Facebook isn’t the best vehicle for transparency. I mean, Barack Obama’s Teleprompter has a Facebook profile.
This is all part of an international trend by drivebys. Some are ditching comment sections altogether due to low participation. (Hint: you need to write something worth a damn in order to inspire people to comment.)
Others are limiting the sections, like The Pilot, or eliminating them altogether because people are just getting too mean. (*Somebody call a waaaaaaaaaaah-mbulance.* )
I think we’ve struck a good balance here with our comment section. I am a benevolent dictator here. I allow posting under aliases IF you make it clear to ME who you really are. Sometimes, I will let an anonymous poster avoid revealing themselves to me if they are pretty entertaining / humorous or really offer up interesting / valuable information.
Anonymous posters ARE NOT allowed to attack anyone else personally. If you are going to criticize someone, have the guts to put your real name to it. I do it ALL the time.
Our spam filter automatically flags and quarantines posts with links or profane language in them. The quarantine gets reviewed at the end of each day, and wrongly-quarantined stuff gets allowed.
We also like to keep comments relevant to the post they are attached to. If you want to make a suggestion about a future story, have a conversation with me, or just comment on something else altogether that hasn’t been posted on, click on the “email us” button at the top of the page.
I think our commenters add to our site’s offerings. Occasionally, even I learn something from these folks.