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.
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.