NewsOK cares about what you think of their stories. In fact, they care so much that they’ve overhauled their commenting section and removed anonymous comments. Now a NewsOK commenter must have an active Facebook account to leave a comment.
From a blog post by NewsOK.com Managing Editor Alan Herzberger:
We’re switching to Facebook commenting, requiring users to login with their Facebook account in order to make a comment on an article.
We care about the conversation. We care so much about the conversation that we are willing to give up quantity for quality. We expect this change to result in fewer comments on our site. But we also expect this change to encourage more users to participate. And we’re confident that we will see more constructive discourse about issues in Oklahoma.
Why? Because all the comments will be tied to a real person’s Facebook profile, making users accountable for what they post and eliminating the veil of anonymity.
We understand that this decision won’t make every NewsOK user happy. Some will say we’re trying to censor voices. Others will extol the virtues of anonymous posts for freedom of expression. Still others will refuse to use Facebook and therefore won’t be able to comment on NewsOK.
But we expect a far greater percentage of our users will be pleased with this move.
After all, we want to encourage an open exchange of ideas. We want people to participate without fear they will be attacked by anonymous profiles. We want our users to have healthy, constructive debates.
We think moving to Facebook commenting will allow more of that to happen.
Part of me is very pleased with this change. The NewsOK.com comments sections was a petri dish of trolls, nuts and other people like Bob from Chickasha. It will be refreshing to finish reading an article without having to see someone blame Obama for Jenni Carlson’s shitty sports knowledge.
Then again, another part of me is deeply saddened by this news. As you may recall, I have dedicated entire posts to the amazing levels of stupidity and hate in the NewsOK.com comments sections. Seeing that most posts on the site now only have a couple of comments at the max, it looks like I’m going to have to move to News 9.
Here are some other thoughts:
What about Fake Facebook Profiles???
Did you know you don’t need a credit card or social security number to start a Facebook page? It’s true! All you need is an email address. As soon as the most vitriolic of our citizens figure this out, I’m sure they will be back to posting in no time and harassing those allusive innocent creatures who want to comment on stories without the fear of being attacked
Won’t this just create havoc on your Facebook Page???
Most of the time if you have to log on to a website with your FB it will post what you do on your wall (Why yes YouPorn, I would love to share this video!). Which means that if you comment on a story, it will post the link to your wall and you can have a hate filled debate with people you went to high school with!
Will NewsOK.com know everything important about you???
Did you just log into NewsOK with your FB account? Congrats, you just gave NewsOK all your information!* They now know who you are friends with, where you are from, and what you did during Spring Break of ’07. Don’t worry though, I’m sure they will use this information for good.
* Not really, but it sounds good.
If you would like to leave an anonymous comment, you are allowed to do so. If you want to see me on Twitter, I’m @SpencerLenox.
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