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:”
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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.”
“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.”