Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20

Thread: Bflo News ends anonymous comments Aug 1

  1. #1
    Unregistered
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    former west sider, now in Mpls.
    Posts
    2,154

    Bflo News ends anonymous comments Aug 1

    Margaret Sullivan's decision to end anonymous blog comments has likely stirred more responses than any other issue.

    Yet there has barely been a ripple on SUWNY, despite the site nearly being destroyed by an anonymous "mutiny" & 'dirty tricks' campaign by several former heavy posters early this year.

    Rarely are anonymous posts informative & constructive, too often being a shield for vicious (often racist) attacks.

    In a democracy, free flow of information & vigorous civic discourse is essential. Depite the powerful 'democratic' potential of the Inter-net to both inform & reform, too often serious posters are driven away by the relentlss anonymous attacks or drivel, as the truthfulness or motivation of many posts cannot be confirmed.

    I welcome the Bflo News change of policy.

    Franklin Roosevelt's comment is relevant to all those posters whose fear of revelation of their identities borders on paranoia . . ."You have nothing to fear but fear itself"!

    And, hopefully, many of the most destructive posters will be embarassed to reveal who they really are . . & find some other outlet for their venom.
    http://www.buffalonews.com/2010/07/1...ing-stirs.html

    "We hope online News readers will tell us who they are and get right back in the discussion."

    Margaret Sullivan: End of anonymous commenting stirs debate

    By Margaret Sullivan EDITOR
    Updated: July 18, 2010, 8:29 AM /

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about The News' plans to change our policy on readers' online comments. The gist is this: Beginning Aug. 2, we will no longer post anonymous comments. If you want to comment in The News — both in print and online — you'll have to give us your real name and hometown.

    Since then, the response has come fast and furious. The New York Times, CNN, the Boston Globe and Canada's CBC radio network have covered the decision, which seems to be the first of its kind for a metropolitan daily paper in the United States.

    The move has touched off the hot topic of anonymous Web flaming.

    Plenty of criticism has come our way — and some kudos, as well.

    The naysayers (many of whom, interestingly, prefer to remain anonymous) are blasting us for what they see as noxious free-speech violations and an effort to protect our evil political agenda. The Internet, as they see it, is a place where anything goes. Limiting that is a sin against free expression.

    The supporters, by contrast, are relieved that the astonishingly hateful and venomous commentary on news stories ("It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots," writes Gene Weingarten in a column that ran today) will likely be restrained once people have to identify themselves. They are hoping for a measure of civility, without the loss of wide-ranging discussion and diverse viewpoints.

    Meanwhile, we are working on getting people's identities and verifying them. It's challenging in this era when many people don't have a published listing for a land line telephone, the traditional verification tool for printed "letters to the editor."

    Those who are working on the project here recognize that there will be some bumps along the way. We also know that, like so many ventures on the Internet, this one is something of an experiment. We've tried the other way, living in the anonymous Wild West world, for more than a year, and are ready for something else.

    Those readers who want to comment on stories can register in advance of the August changeover by clicking here: http://verify.buffalonews.com/

    We hope online News readers will tell us who they are and get right back in the discussion.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    719
    Quote Originally Posted by kernwatch View Post

    Rarely are anonymous posts informative & constructive, too often being a shield for vicious (often racist) attacks.

    I find several topics and posts very informative and constructive on this site, regardless of whether or not the poster is anonymous.

    But, I hope that isn't what you were hinting at, because that topic here is getting quite old.

    I do agree with you, however, that the News moving away from the anonymous posting is a good idea. It may sound hypocritical, but there is a vast difference between the News site and this one.

  3. #3
    Member DomesticatedFeminist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    buffalo
    Posts
    4,925
    Well when there is weirdos who stalk down housing cops and then have to leave town because they are officially a stalker, can you blame us for posting anonymous.

    Although I am strong and tough, I try to avoid having to beat up stalkers.
    “Two percent of the people think; three percent of the people think they think; and ninety-five percent of the people would rather die than think.”

  4. #4
    Member Yankeefan2009's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3,234
    This is a bad idea. While there are no doubt some trolls, anonymous posting is most often the real, unadulterated TRUTH. It's what people want to say and what is really on their minds, but in real life is self-censored out of fear of ridicule.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Amherst
    Posts
    11,438
    To be honest I have no problem with it, I'll keep posting as I did before.

    However, I think their choice is based on laziness and nothing more! They don't want to take the time to delete off topic or out of line comments so their hope is that if you have to put your name by it you won't make "dumb" comments.

    Also how they are going to really verify who I am?
    "I know you guys enjoy reading my stuff because it all makes sense. "

    Dumbest post ever! Thanks for the laugh PO!

  6. #6
    Member FMD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,737
    they could force everyone to thand over a credit card number to verify identity. there are ways, however people who are anonymous tend to speak their truth more openly than those who are forced to share their identity. I persons true veiw points are often shared when their identity is no an issue.

    Its like that liar in the white house, if he could share his true beliefs and his true opinions on certain matters with anonymitty, Most people would say he doesnt believe that. however since its anonymous he feels more comfortable sharing with others that he hates amerika.

    in a way this is a good thing for the news as it will get rid of the trolls. however I feel people will be less inclined to share what they REALLY feel...

    think about it, certain veiws on certain subjects, can have detrimental effects on not only your personal life but also your professional life as well... A football player for example showing extreme sympathy torwards someone who is gay or a gay issue in the news could have disasterous affects on his career.

    When you remove anonymity, you remove the ability for most people to post honestly and truthfully.
    Willful ignorance is the downfall of every major empire in history.

    "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." - Mao, 1938

  7. #7
    Member Ms.Depew.to.you's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,412
    Wow, only 5 posts into this topic and there's Obama bashing for a post that has nothing remotely to do anything with him. WTG!

    Anyways, back to the topic at hand...I think the new policy is ridiculous. MS is citing the lack of manpower for moderating posts as one of the reasons for the switch. What about the manpower needed to verify information? How are they going to verify the information given? Anyone with a cell phone can call themselves Amanda Hugginkiss and say so when they answer the phone.

    But that's just an BS excuse, in my opinion, as to why they're going to the new system.

    I truly think they're going to lose a lot of valuable insight because people, me included, do not want their name out there on the 'net. Yes, a lot of idiot racists post disparaging and ignorant remarks. There's no denying that. But why not get a couple of high school or college interns (read: free) to delete the comments?
    If you don't like gay marriage blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

  8. #8
    Member sharky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Amherst
    Posts
    2,166
    I'm against it
    I wrote a letter to the editor once and some crazy dude looked me up in the phone book and called me about it
    Vote for freedom, not political parties.
    Politicians need to cut spending

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Amherst
    Posts
    11,438
    Really?? WOW, i'm not listed (aka i don't have a land line)

    I wrote one last year and 8 people at my work came up to me and talked to me about it.
    "I know you guys enjoy reading my stuff because it all makes sense. "

    Dumbest post ever! Thanks for the laugh PO!

  10. #10
    Member nogods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    9,330
    if what other people say drives you from a forum then you shouldn't participate in forums until you have become a full fledge adult.

    You, and only you, are responsible for your reaction to what someone else says. You can express your view of what another says, even call the other person out for what they say, but if you leave a forum because of what is posted by someone, then you own that reaction. Suck it up and stop belly aching like a cry baby.

  11. #11
    Member NBuffaloResident's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4,265
    Meh. Whatever. Their playground, their rules.

    I do agree, there's a huge difference between a news site, and this site. I don't even think a news site should have a "comment" section. Leave it to forums like this and others for people to have a commentary on it.
    Raptor Jesus: He went extinct for your sins.

  12. #12
    Member Trolls_r_us's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Somewhere out there....
    Posts
    1,436
    What is wrong with anonymous posting? Why would anyone need to know the identity of someone posting a comment?

    Simple: so they can find ways to give some "payback" to those they disagree with. Start a little "file" of everything you've posted in case it comes in handy some day for a GOTCHA moment. It will all be archived on the internet anyway, so if 10 years from now you run for office or become a high profile person, your enemies can google search you and have one more avenue to find something, somewhere to try to play GOTCHA with.

    People are obsessed these days with collating "dirt" files on their enemies that it would be INSANE to post anything under your real name on any casual forum.

    We're a society of destroying people with soundbites and 10 second Youtube clips. We love it. Now we can do it to regular people too, and not just politicians and celebrities.
    The truth from a troll is still the truth.

  13. #13
    Member Trolls_r_us's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Somewhere out there....
    Posts
    1,436
    The move toward "revealing identities" is really a form of intimidation. It might not be the INTENT but it is the RESULT because of the soundbite GOTCHA culture we live in.

    It will decrease the volume of comments because people fear retribution when they comment on any politically charged issue.

    If you post anonomously and espouse ideals that others do not like (especially if you seem to be gaining some sort of following) it is hard to shut you up. It is hard to get payback. It is hard to play GOTCHA. In short, it's tough to destroy you.

    People want to be able to Google anyone and get a whole bunch of DATA on them. Learn about them. Dig up dirt. How are you going to learn how to destroy political opponents if you don't have their name and info? If your real name is out there it is easier to shake you down and drag your name and your family through the mud (see "politics in the modern era"). Tear apart people's lives and families as a way to quell debate and bully people into not speaking out. Much easier with real names.

    End result? Many people just shut up and stay out of the debate. Not because of not wanting to defend their ideas, but because it is not worth it to risk their families and their jobs and go through hell dealing with nutcases who want to ruin their lives.

    And unless you're a saint, you turn up the level of scrutiny high enough, and many decent people look like scumbags. If your every message board post, blog entry, facebook chat post, IM, text, and email were out there to pick through, your enemies could easily pluck a few sentences out that would make you look bad. Off color humor, vulgarity, etc. You become defined in 20 words or less, and you enemies choose the 20 words. Happens EVERY DAY (look at politics for numerous examples).

    Then there is the issue of impersonation (for the purposes of defamation), which raises a whole other set of issues and is the real reason most newspapers keep comments anonymous and FORBID "real names" in the comments.
    The truth from a troll is still the truth.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    1,919
    Quote Originally Posted by Trolls_r_us View Post
    What is wrong with anonymous posting? Why would anyone need to know the identity of someone posting a comment?

    Simple: so they can find ways to give some "payback" to those they disagree with. Start a little "file" of everything you've posted in case it comes in handy some day for a GOTCHA moment. It will all be archived on the internet anyway, so if 10 years from now you run for office or become a high profile person, your enemies can google search you and have one more avenue to find something, somewhere to try to play GOTCHA with.

    People are obsessed these days with collating "dirt" files on their enemies that it would be INSANE to post anything under your real name on any casual forum.

    We're a society of destroying people with soundbites and 10 second Youtube clips. We love it. Now we can do it to regular people too, and not just politicians and celebrities.
    Troll, I know and respect you from Two Bills Drive. Your mention of dirt files did get my attention. From what I have seen in the northtowns in lo these many years, is that if you truly buck the system evidence will be manufactured against you.

    I suspect whisper campaigns are a solid effort across the world.
    Last edited by Effigy; July 19th, 2010 at 03:03 AM.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    236
    Quote Originally Posted by sharky View Post
    I'm against it
    I wrote a letter to the editor once and some crazy dude looked me up in the phone book and called me about it


    The news did a story which I was involved in in the past. Just my name being in the paper brought out a " Lot " of people. Although most were genuine, I did get a few messages from some sicko's. But it being a story which I brought to their attention...I certainly do not blame them.

    I do believe it would probably cut down on ignorant and disrectful posts though. I think the Buffalo News going this route....maybe just having the 1st name and last initial may be more appropiate simply for safety concerns of the posters.

    In all honesty I have only posted once on their news " Comment " section though.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Finally, Governor & HUD address Bflo Housing Crisis
    By kernwatch in forum Buffalo NY Politics
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: October 27th, 2009, 01:28 PM
  2. Buffalo police supressing crime info
    By kernwatch in forum Buffalo NY Politics
    Replies: 66
    Last Post: August 9th, 2008, 08:22 PM
  3. Bflo Control Bd: Public Hearing
    By kernwatch in forum Buffalo NY Politics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: May 6th, 2008, 12:27 PM
  4. On the Web, talk is cheap . . . mean, ugly
    By OneEmerald in forum Morning Breakfast - Breaking News
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: February 17th, 2008, 08:18 PM
  5. Buffalo News Agenda What do they get???
    By BFLOCOP in forum Buffalo NY Politics
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: January 14th, 2008, 04:36 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •