An end to anonymous commenting

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

For the last few years, as the Salmon Arm Observer’s website (www.saobserver.net) and our family of Black Press websites have garnered more attention, some readers have raised concerns about one issue in particular – the fact we allow visitors to post anonymous comments.

The policy has led to some unpleasant and mean-spirited postings. It’s also raised an inconsistency in our Black Press brand. Our community newspapers don’t print anonymous letters, yet we’ve allowed our websites to become a place where people can hide their identity while occasionally taking shots at one another.

Starting Dec. 1, that policy will change.

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

We are 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.

All of Black Press papers in Alberta and Washington State have made the switch. These sister publications have continued to see spirited discourse among those who post comments, yet the discourse is at a much higher level, and commentators are generally well-mannered and on-topic.

This new approach won’t be perfect. People without a Facebook account won’t be able to participate in online discussions.

Still, we’re enthused to be in the vanguard of this movement. It shows we’re listening to our readers and responding. It places us more deeply into the powerful world of social media: by using Facebook Comments, we’re embracing a social medium with 800 million users worldwide.

For those of you who choose not to create a Facebook account, remember we will continue to run Letters to the Editor in print – you can submit them to the newsroom of your choice.

So please continue to be a part of the discussion. Your comments are part of an important dialogue that enlivens and enriches civic life in our communities.

We attempted to answer most common questions online at the following link: http://www.bclocalnews.com/commentfaq/.

 

Just Posted

Chances Gaming Centre evacuated due to ‘security issue’

Patrons were evacuated at approximately 8:45 p.m.

Salmon Arm pharmacies continue to experience flu vaccine shortage

One pharmacy has privately sourced vaccine in stock, available for purchase

Best in business: North-Okanagan Shuswap companies named top 10 semi-finalists

Small businesses from Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna compete for top spot

White Lake firefighters go beyond call of duty with construction project

Storage shed built for sports equipment in South Shuswap park

Opening date for popular North Shuswap outdoor ice rink delayed

Warmer temperatures have pushed back the openings of several rinks in the region

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Column: Kid’s growing up fast on Old Town Road

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

Old Christmas card has ties to Summerland agriculture

Card was sent by former director of Summerland Research Station

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

Frosty will have to pay rent to stay on Okanagan sidewalk next Christmas

Vernon Teach and Learn allowed to keep Frosty up, but will need a permit come January 1

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

WATCH: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Conservation officers on the hunt for North Okanagan moose poachers

Officers execute search warrant Friday morning, investigation continues

Most Read