Hearne: Star Staffer Explains New Facebook Req, Talks Tony


Not Tony’s Kansas City
a parody

There’s just no escaping the touchy issue of anonymous comments online…

The latest: Pitch editor Scott Wilson‘s dissing of the Kansas City Star‘s new Facebook-only comments requirement.

“How’s that new commenting system workin’ out for ya, KC Star?” Wilson’s headline entreats.

“Media watchers and trolls alike took note last month (actually in August) when the daily began requiring every commenter to log in through his or her Facebook account,” Wilson writes. “The idea was to avoid another trollpocalypse such as the one that followed the Star‘s coverage of the Missouri State Fair’s clowngate crisis. Now every story that allows comments at kcstar.com kicks off that section with this sunny verbiage:”

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what’s in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

What pissed Wilson off was that even with its new Facebook restriction – effectively choking off anonymous comments – the newspaper opted to turn off its comments section last Friday for a story about tax rights in Kansas for gay singles.

“Not that I’m especially eager to hear what the Star‘s readers think about that, but it always smarts a little to be denied the pleasure of reading ‘lively, open debate’ from some of the most hateful, ill-informed media consumers in America.”

nasty-comments-0693-you-doucheThe  real story behind the story bhind the Star’s move to Facebook?

“First of all, every McClatchy paper got on the Facebook train last month,” says a source at the newspaper. “I read today where Sacramento is trying something different, turning them off entirely for a little while while they try something else: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. So blaming The Star for all this is a little misguided.

“But yeah – it was a corporate decision and it cuts down on all the racists and idiots who must have gone back to freerepublic.com or stormfront.org. So I guess in that regard, it’s a success. I’m the kind of person who stops reading stories most anywhere once the comments start anyway, because they add nothing and it gets to be a dick-waving contest anyway.

Anonymous comments make Tony’s site unreadable anymore. I just can’t look at it. too much political minutiae, too much negativity about everything, too much END EVERY HEADLINE WITH THREE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!  A parody site of TKC has the potential to be really amusing but the site has basically become a parody of itself. Wish I had the time.”

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14 Responses to Hearne: Star Staffer Explains New Facebook Req, Talks Tony

  1. KC says:

    “But yeah – it was a corporate decision and it cuts down on all the racists and idiots.”

    No, no, no. That’s just pretense they are using knowing the end result. This is all about ad dollars. If you want to comment, you give the KC Star access to your Facebook account. Your friends. Your likes. Your pictures. The KC Star will then give this information to a third party company to personalize ads to target you each time you visit the KC Star. So, they are killing off a majority of their audience in hope the ones that stay will be more inclined to click on the ad designed just for you. Targeted pageviews.

    Which is hilariously stupid, but newspapers, you know?

    • Brandon says:

      Good point. I want to know the link to this TKC parody site, too.

    • admin says:

      Interesting concept, KC.

      While I’m sure The Star and McClatchy won’t leave a stone unturned when it comes to advertising dollars, they have been wrestling with nasty comments for a long time. And I know they don’t want to dedicate the resources ($$$) to police their gigantic site that it would take.

      So this pretty much flushes anonymous commenters into the light of day where they’re far less likely to embarrass themselves when people know who they actually are.

  2. Ad Wizard says:

    Raise your hand if you ever bought anything due to the irresitable nature of a pop-up ad.

    Thought so.

  3. John Landsberg says:

    Captivating reading said no one ever. Old news; I was blocking comments before it was cool.
    This is just another attempt to generate false hits much like you do, Hearne, by allowing BalboWhoEver and Orphan of the HasBeens. I intentionally didn’t mention you, Hot Carl, you do enough to hijack the comment section, I wasn’t going to assist you in getting more attention.
    Hey, KC STAR Pot, meet KCC Hearne Kettle.
    Also, to wit, in addition and further more, I was up late last night looking up hot Maxim models on Google when I was inadvertently directed to the popular site, Tony’s Kansas City. He’s all over this already.
    You’d find something to bitch about if I set you up for an interview with the Holy Mother.
    Bottom Line; everyone go home, nothing to see here.

  4. harley says:

    the world existed by billions of years without comments on stories…it
    will exist without them.
    who care? most are vile/racist/hateful. If I want that I can watch 2 minutes
    of fox news and get all that type of crap I want!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments are closed.