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 No Longer Nameless in Sacramento

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Number of posts : 142
Age : 37
Registration date : 2007-06-13

PostSubject: No Longer Nameless in Sacramento   Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:42 pm

The Sacramento Bee recently decided to A) Stop screening user comments and B) require a name to post. The Bee hopes that users will take responsibility for their own comments, especially if their names are attached.

I'd initially read the article during my daily browsing of news. It was early and I didn't think much of it except to inwardly give a tired hurrah. I interned at the Bee right out of college and complained bitterly to my boss there about screening comments. It's not as if the griping of one intern made a difference, but I guess the right person or people said something and got it changed.

A little later, I began to wonder if it was not only a newspaper's right, but also their obligation to screen comments. They have to produce a respectable and credible publication, after all… But then, what about the readers’ freedom of speech? I wasn’t sure what to think.

Later that day, Kristen sent me a link to the same article. She noted that the new policy will probably reduce the number of comments as user anonymity vanishes. And who is to say the name they provide is a real one? Good points and ones echoed in the comments appending the story.

Quote :
I have mixed feelings about all of this but in the end, I feel that the Bee should still allow people to use their screen names instead of their real names. By doing that, more online readers will still provide feedback to the Bee's article contents. There will always be some people who resort to posting 'gutter comments' whether their real names are used or not. Let the online community decide for themselves who is a 'gutter rat' and who isn't.

What do you think? What does your paper do about user comments and why?
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Number of posts : 9
Age : 34
Registration date : 2007-08-29

PostSubject: Re: No Longer Nameless in Sacramento   Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:22 pm

I'm very glad to hear the Bee has decided to stop screening.

Here's what I see in online news. There is 1) a local audience who posts comments reflecting the story's local impact and reactions, and 2) an "internet" audience reflecting a much more cavalier point of view. Internet audiences tend to respond to zany stories that get emailed and picked up by Google and "digg"ed and Farked and slashdotted etc.

If the Bee wants to try to foster a more mature local commenting community, that's fine by me--as long as they're not censoring to do it.
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No Longer Nameless in Sacramento
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