Letters to the Editor

Letter: Move applauded

October 17, 2013


To the editor:

Thanks very much for the new policy requiring readers wishing to respond to articles, letters to the editor and opinion pieces in your newspaper to use their real names. The tone, overall quality and intelligence expressed in many comments have greatly improved. I hope this will encourage even more civil discourse on the issues being reported in your newspaper in the future.


Iam Tired 6 months ago

The policy cut a lot of good comments and dialogue also. There are people who have valid reasons for not wanting to be identified. Perhaps their political views differ drastically from those of their boss and they don't want to risk work relationships for the sake of making comments on an award-winning newspaper site.

The facebook only verification had to stop many from becoming verified; I only signed up to be verified - otherwise I want nothing to do with that popularity contest.

I think this was part of a move to standardize the online site to be more line with some other goal - such as selling off the final asset the World Company...


Matthew Herbert 6 months ago

I'd be curious as to the kickback the LJW received from Facebook for using them as their sole verification source. I'd be similarly interested in the kickback the LJW receives from Google, etc... via their surveys we have to answer before being able to read articles.


Scott Burkhart 6 months ago

I, for one, am glad that the cloak of anomymity has been lifted and anyone commenting on these articles and letters must own their behavior. Being a frequently published LTE writer, I have been on the receiving end of a lot of that "dialogue." I don't mind others disagreeing with me but if you do, please do so in a civil, cogent manner. I will listen and respect your point of view. I probably will not agree with you and you me but that's ok.

We all have a right to express our views and the duty to question our leaders. If we all share this view it makes it easier to speak to each other with a meeting of the minds as the end game.


Barbara Gordon 6 months ago

I'll go on record to say that I've seen a decline in comments but not an uptick in overall quality or tone. The moderation has remained heavy and inconsistent, leaving holes in the conversation where it appears someone is replying to the wrong comment. I don't think the "real name" policy is particularly helpful, and I think we lost some valuable voices from the community when we ditched the long-held tradition of anonymity.

Most of the comments on the site will tend to favor the new Facebook validation policy, since only people willing to abide by it will remain to comment. That's a survivorship bias, not an indication of popularity.


SouthernMan 6 months ago

Congratulations Lawrence Journal World! This long-awaited policy change has already elevated the conversation in the community and has provided outsiders who regularly read the on-line edition a completely new (and positive) impression of Lawrence.


Paul R Getto 6 months ago

A good point, perhaps, on Facebook. Using real names is good. I believe this is called due process and fair play outside of Internet circles. There are lots of fake FB pages, which can create issues as well. Good move, LJW.


Matthew Herbert 6 months ago

The downside has been the massive decline in dialogue. Since this has occured I have seen few articles with more than a handful of responses. I don't think the loss of anonymity is to blame, but rather the sole use of Facebook as a validation tool. Many (stereotypically) older people do not make use of social media such as Facebook and accordingly have had their LJW commentary suppressed


Richard Walker 6 months ago

I am specifically making it a point to begin posting comments to show my support of the new policy. Well done LJW - a clear move towards civility!


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