News halts anonymous online commenting

Commenting on Black Press stories will soon be done through Facebook

The News is making the switch away from anonymous commenting on our website.

As of Dec. 1, the current commenting platform called Disqus will be disabled and replaced with a platform tied to Facebook.

People will only be able to comment by using their Facebook account, which means their name, and often their picture, will be linked to the statements they post.

The goal is to eliminate problems associated with anonymous commenting, such as mean-spirited remarks, incorrect facts and libelous assertions. Our letters to the editor page does not contain anonymous letters and we’re aligning our online content in this same spirit.

The News and its parent company, Black Press, is not alone in making this shift. Several media companies, equally troubled by the vitriolic trend of anonymous comments, are turning to Facebook to power their website commenting.

This new approach won’t be perfect. People without a Facebook account won’t be able to participate in online discussions. Anyone can easily create a Facebook account by signing up at facebook.com.

For those who choose not to create a Facebook account, we will continue to run letters to the editor in print.

To read frequently asked questions about this change, click here.