Monday, November 9, 2009

A new approach on comments

In a lot of ways, the comments are the best part of this website. There is discussion here that doesn't take place anywhere else in the community. However, there seems to be an increasing amount of people settling personal scores through the use of anonymous comments. There are a few hot topics that just do not seem to go away. And it is obvious from the nature of these comments that they would never be made if the commenter could not hide behind the cloak of anonymity. Sometimes this can be a good thing, but many are just using it to advance an agenda.

So here's the new revised approach. Comments will be monitored on a tiered system. The top tier is for those who comment under a Google account (sign in under your Google account instead of "anonymous"). If you don't have a Google account, you can get one here. If you comment under your Google account, your comment will very likely be approved.

The second tier is for all other commenters. Anonymous comments will be screened at the sole discretion of the moderator, and upon whatever standards the moderator chooses. Anonymous comments will be regularly rejected, particularly if they are mean-spirited, repetitive, off-topic, etc. If you don't want to get a Google account (which is understandable), then you can start commenting under a chosen user name. When you comment, pick "name/url" instead of "anonymous" under the drop-down menu and give yourself a name. You do not have to type in a url. If you regularly comment with a chosen name, then you will be more established and have more credibility than the many anonymous comments here.

If you still insist on being anonymous, your comments are welcome on the chat in the left sidebar (where your i.p. is recorded and archived). The comments might be deleted later, but go ahead and have your fun. Just be aware that you are responsible for your own comments.

14 comments:

  1. You push your own agenda, so why can't others? I know this is your website, but didn't you make it for the people of Darke county? I feel you are no better than the main stream media. I really like this site, but feel it could be ran better. If someone is taking a lot of heat, they proably deserve it.

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  2. I don't really disagree with your argument, but you are not seeing some of these comments I am rejecting. I will reject an anonymous comment, and then the same person will write back (anonymously again) and attack me - even threaten me - about rejecting the comment.

    Since the beginning of this website, I have invited people to submit their own stories. And I have posted 100% of the links forwarded to me, often making an article out of the link ("DL wants you to read this article about mortgages" for example). So John H., if you want to push something on your agenda, send me an article along with your full name, phone number, and email address and I'll include it just as I have included the articles of many others.

    While I might have an agenda (doesn't everyone?), I haven't prevented others from giving their own opinions. But I just can't let this website become the vehicle for people to anonymously settle scores and issue threats.

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  3. To John H. I agree with what the DJ is doing. I can only imagine what types of comments are rejected...people these days seem to think that everyone and everything is "owed" to them. Opinions do matter, but not when they are publically slanderous, unknoslegible or mean. If you have an opinion that is relevant and well-spoken.... then write away!

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  4. Awww...did you just call me, a democrat, 'established' and 'credible', DJ? ;) LOL

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  5. Agree with where DJ headed with this - as I have not used my name due to the attacks that seem to come without merit. And these are the tame ones as realize that not all get posted.

    DJ - what will show on DJ when someone uses a google account? Will it show full name - i.e. John Smith? Or is there still option to be John S?

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  6. Inquiring Minds ...

    No, you don't have to use your name for your Google account, although something like "John S" would be preferred. When I comment as "DarkeJournal," that's my Google account. You would have to fool around with your personal settings to keep your personal information private, as I have. But in all other respects, you can still be anonymous.

    The thought process is that commenters would be a little more accountable with a google i.d. The commenters would be using an identifiable name that I could recognize, and even if you're anonymous on this site, you're not beyond traceability if you do something ridiculous (which has happened recently, as I mentioned).

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  7. Darke Journal,
    Thanks for the alternative / addition to the Advocate. It's good to have other sources of media for our county.
    I read your journal a lot, including last weekend. I read some posts that were very strongly against your opinion, but I don't think I read any personal agendas, or direct attacks or threats to you. I didn't think they were settling scores. They just had vastly differing opinions and wanted to be heard. I personally think it's healthy to have a forum where people from opposite political poles can come together and debate.
    However, I do agree that it's a good thing for people to not post anonymously. If people want to comment, they probably should post their name. If it were me, I wouldn't allow screen names either. Just names.

    Carry on with your good work. I wish I had the know how to put together web sites like this.

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  8. DJ, I understand where you are coming from. Its sad that people would threaten you, Talk about radicals. One thing to think about is why people won't reveal their names. I know for me, its because the fear of losing my job. So, I am always going to be anonymous or use a fake name.

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  9. 9:52 ... that why I said at times "anonymity can be a good thing," because there is important/useful info that might not be communicated otherwise. Go ahead and use a fake name - just use it consistently so the readers can attach some sense of identity to your comments, even if they don't know who you are.

    Think about it ... some days there are 100 anonymous comments made. I have no clue who any of them are from. 98 might be from the same person,as far as I know. The readers can't tell either. But if you always comment as "JohnS100," or "Racer," or whatever, then everybody can make more sense of the comments.

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  10. Man I tell you what I cant believe a bunch of winey people make it this hard to post a comment.

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  11. DJ,I HOPE YOU ACCEPT MY APOLOGY..75.185.195.74

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  12. You're the "nails in the hands" commenter? Sure, I accept your apology. But I also don't know how to undo a ban on the chat.

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