Thought I'd share a comment that was made on Sound Off this morning, and my response, to clear up any questions that folks have about the online story commenting system on our site.
I would welcome any other questions or thoughts, and will listen or respond if you'd like.
Sound off registration. wrote on Sep 1, 2010 8:10 AM:
" I have a close friend who works at the RC (can't mention name) who tells me the RC is "heavily considering" having people register their names and email addresses for sound off posts. This is a fantastic idea, which will weed out the only 2 people on this board that name call and cry about politics all day. When forced into the light of day, these "people" will go back to their conspiricy blogs. When its time to register..whos bot the fortitude to stay and continue to talk trash? its coming soon. "
Sorry to disappoint, and don't know where you got the information, but that's not true.
Registration doesn't do anything in terms of requiring commenters to not be anonymous. Just go to Yahoo or any similar email service, set up an account with the name "John Doe" or "Fred Flinstone" and you can see why.
Registration wouldn't even allow us to ban individuals from commenting. All they would have to do is register again and continue with the abuse.
There is a perception that registration helps end abuse because it cuts down on comments overall, and makes it difficult enough to comment that folks who just have something nasty and flip to say don't bother.
The problem is that it also makes it difficult enough for folks who have a legitimate interest and much to contribute on one occasional story that they don't bother.
Although no system is perfect, we feel that the pre-approval of comments we have now, combined with the ability of readers to report abuse for anything that gets through that system that they object to, is a vast improvement over what we used to have, and is preferable to subjecting everyone to the registration process (which doesn't solve the problem of abuse anyway).
Matt DeRienzo Publisher The Register Citizen email@example.com 860-489-1877 "