The Sacrament Bee now requires commenters to comment with real names.
Look for this to become the norm MSM news sites.
For the past few years, I’ve advocated a position that basically allowed public anonimity so long as the newspaper.com was collecting real names and contact information.
My position now is: Require real names and take reasonable measures to enforce it (absolute compliance is impossible).
It’s just the right thing to do.
The wild-web 2.0 has advantages, and normally I advocate be as much like the unfettered web as possible, and even though it contradicts my “stop thinking like big media” advocacy, there are some journalistic standards worth maintaining.Â One of them is truthfulness and transparancy. People should stand behind their opinons and assertions with their real identity.
There areÂ trade offs.Â Some people won’t participate. Some people will lie (hopefully we can catch most of them eventually). The nature of participation will change in subtle, unknown ways. Some people who might be willing to offer up anonymous news tips or useful background information will be afraid to participate.
The trade offs, in the interest, of a more civil civic discussion and maintaining some journalistic integrity in this regard, are negligible, imho.
Facebook has demonstrated that anonymity is not a web 2.0 requirement.
I just hope the Bee doesn’t think that requiring names (while ending moderation) will end their “rudeness and crudeness” problem.Â There is still no substitute for staff involvement in the conversation.
[…] This will become the trend: news sites to require real names on comments. The Sacramento Bee does away with anonymous commenters and Howard Owens approves. So do I. […]
[…] Read more from the original source: howardowens.com: media blog Identity 2.0 […]
They may require them, but I don’t see how they’ll enforce it. If I say my name is Amy Gramm, are you really going to check my records to verify that?
tell amy I said hi
Amen to naming names. This is a reasonable and important “foot in both worlds” solution to the credibility-draining, anonymous and uncivil posters. No matter how we argue it, our audience — across all platforms — expects us to do what it takes to be credible sources of information. Our policies and practices will continue to morph, of course, and we will be stronger because we have bolstered our credibility.
[…] howardowens.com: media blog Â» This will become the trend: news sites to require real names on comments Howard Owens :My position now is: Require real names and take reasonable measures to enforce it (absolute compliance is impossible). Itâ€™s just the right thing to do. (tags: newspapers comment ugc community) […]
Personally, I have mixed feelings about this. It’s a bit like a journalist using blogging software to write a column while still calling the column a blog. This seems to push commenting into a slightly different space.
I guess I wonder, too, as has been mentioned here, how this can really be enforced technically. Is this next step requiring driver’s license or social security number for approval? :-)
I’m not sure it will help with the stated goal anyway. I’ve seen people be pretty rude in email, even when the person’s name *is* known. There’s just something about electronic communications that causes people to feel free to say things they wouldn’t if the communications were face to face or more formal.
[…] Howard Owens: This will become the trend: news sites to require real names on comments “The Sacramento Bee now requires commenters to comment with real names. Look for this to become the norm MSM news sites.” (tags: newspapers online community comments anonymity) […]
The best way is moderation, taking an active role in the website’s community. If you’re trying to cut corners, though, this isn’t feasible. It works well, though.
LA Times had an interesting article today that seemed to suggest anonymous bloggers are OK, though I admit, I don’t like the whole anon. thing. It’s dumb. Just say who you are. Ya know?