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Open For Discussion: A Note On Comments

October 18, 2012

Everyone has an opinion. Great opinions and the thinkers that express them are what make debates and conversations interesting. On websites, opinions of the readers are expressed through comment sections. This is the opportunity for the reader to give their take on a subject, regardless of whether or not others may agree. Opening that channel has its advantages as well as its disadvantages.
Prior to my time here as Digital Media Manager of The River Reporter, the comments section had been locked down. You required an account with our website for which you needed to register and provide personal information. This came after previous comments turned into an anonymous free-for-all that upset many.

Without much pomp and circumstance we introduced a new comment system this past month. The new system allows users to make comments on our site easier than before. It has already allowed some to give their thoughts on topics and even disagree with each other. With this new system you have the ability to comment using your Facebook, Twitter or Google+ account. If not, you’re free to provide a username and valid e-mail address.

We want to encourage conversation. We welcome debates on our stories. There are lines however and we promise our readers that comments which threaten or harm others will not be tolerated. We will do our best to monitor our community of readers while encouraging the expression of opinions. We will engage and moderate but we will not censor comments we disagree with. We’ll simply encourage other opposing views.

In understanding people sometimes want to provide their opinion without using their real name, we offer that forum. However, anonymity does not equal the right to commit offenses without repercussions. Anonymous comments have e-mail and IP addresses logged to allow us to moderate the conversation and users.

The opinions and comments on our website do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The River Reporter, its employees, advertisers and affiliates. If you don’t agree with something someone says, want to offer your side of the story or have a strong opinion -- we encourage you to leave a comment (including for this editorial).