Commenting on Posts Poll


I have stated in the blog rules that I am requiring a real first and last name when responding to posts and comments. The intent was that it would eliminate anonymous, inappropriate comments. I also understand why some commenters don’t wish to put their full name out on my blog in cyberspace.

I need to determine if I should adhere to the stated policy or should I ease restrictions. One compromise would be to allow a first name and last initial. I came to realize after receiving the the first comment without a full first and last name that it is impossible to verify identities anyway. I do have the ability to monitor and edit the site, so I can just not publish comments that I don’t feel are in keeping with constructive conversation, whether positive or negative.

What do you think I should do?

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  • Good question. The upside of your rules is that they are designed to help create a space here that is thoughtful and constructive. However, as you point out, they aren’t truly enforceable. Anyone can just enter Jon Smith, Jane Doe, or their favorite pen name. I think a more enforceable rule would be to have only one name attached to an email. This may still achieve some desired responsibility but also allow people to develop a sense of community with frequent commenters. Also, by allowing some anonymity it may welcome more opposition to a topic and provide varied opinions.

  • Barry – you’ve hit on a problem I’ve run into with Patch and now 40 South. As Joe said, I don’t know if with a WordPress site there is a way to guarantee a commenter is who they say they are. In a community like Maplewood though, many of us are known, and would be recognized, but some wouldn’t be. Some comments come from obvious aliases. As long as they’re from a consistent email address – that’s about the best an editor can do, as well as monitoring for whatever standards you want to hold to.

By barry

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