From the Editor: New policies on commenting (a work in progress)

Larry Johnson, the editor and publisher of the Cobb County Courier seated in an office chair in front of a small table with a laptop in article about Cobb County Courier Meet the EditorLarry Johnson, the editor and publisher of the Cobb County Courier

This is in the “good problem to have” category, but our increased traffic means we have an increase in comments under articles, and with that an increase in trolling (I recently removed a comment because the commenter referred to someone as a “sack of shit”).”

I don’t mind profanity (as indicated by not putting asterisks in the phrase above).

But I do insist that people try to at least pretend the things they are willing to say under our articles are things they would be willing to say to someone’s face.

And I insist that comments that are attacks on individuals be made using a valid name. I can’t stop people from using fake names. But throwaway names like “Captain Edgelord,” “Concerned Citizen,” and “Fed up,” will ensure that I delete your comments if you cross the line into attacks.

I guess my objection is really to people doing attacks on people who are using their real names while hiding behind a fake name.

There are valid reasons in some cases for being anonymous (job protection for instance). But if you post anonymously, conduct yourself with an unusual degree of civility.

Along with this policy I’m probably going to install a third-party plugin like Disqus, or some similar system. It will require you to at least register a name, even if it’s not your real one, so I can track repeat offenders of my moderation policies.

The more I type away at this post, the more I realize I need to develop an explicit Terms of Service document, and enforce it.

So give me a few days and I’ll post one on the Courier.

And folks, I don’t mind political disagreements. Just don’t be a troll.

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2 Comments on "From the Editor: New policies on commenting (a work in progress)"

  1. I’m guessing you haven’t read many other websites comment sections if yo think Disqus will help tamp down trolling.

    • Ha! I’ve used Disqus on the site before, and you’re right that it doesn’t “tamp down” trolling. The thing that it does do, though is put a registration system in place so that if trolls do arrive they can’t freely and easily change identities on site. If I ban a troll they at least have to go to the trouble of setting up and entering under a new id.

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