Friday, February 29, 2008

Taming the Comments

The Bloomington Pantagraph is tired of bullshit commenters.

We have tried a variety of ways to temper the discussion, ranging from an appeal to users for more civility, stricter policies regarding the review of comments and suspending comments on some stories.

We’re hoping that the requirement of a legitimate e-mail address will make readers feel more accountable for their behavior.

Stupid, rude, defamatory comments are not allowed. That’s what God invented blog posts for.

If the SJ-R ever went to this, I would also like to see them weed out comments that contain unsubstantiated conspiracy theories (Blagojevich wants to destroy Springfield!) and stereotypes (All state workers are inefficient and lazy!). But then, I suppose, that would also include the ones I subscribe to which, obviously, should be allowed. And it would likely cut the number of comments by more than half.


Anonymous said...


I dont this rule by the pantagraph will change anything. One can set up a new email alias with yahoo, hotmail, etc.. in a manner of minutes. You then get verified by the pantagraph and never have to check that account again.

The problem with online comments whether it be with blogs or editorial/opinion pages in newspapers is that someone may take a swipe at your comments and you feel obligated to reply in a slightly harsher tone. Then your original critic will reply in an even harsher manner. Pretty soon it turns into schoolyard name calling. So I think there whole idea is supererogatory.

Anonymous said...


I agree with the Pantagraph. There is too much of the same bitterness. In my opinion blogs are an electronic version of the "Letters to the Editor". Therefore, they should follow the same rules. They will not be published unless you can identify yourself and your town and/or address -- so if need be the newspaper can contact you.

I find the Letter to the Editor section of the SJ-R to be the most useful in the newspaper. Sometimes a letter will even have an impact on public debate, city government or issues that go under the radar of the reporters. (If I remember correctly the recent homeless issue at Lincoln Library was started by a Letter to the Editor.)

Although...some of the comments targeted at Hot Rod do give me a chuckle with my morning coffee.


Anonymous ;-)