Toledo Talk

Toledo Blade Web Comment Posting Inconsistency???

I enjoy reading The Blade. I still have it delivered to my home and also read the online edition. Occasionally I will comment on one of the online articles.

A year or so ago The Blade changed the way their online comments worked. You could no longer post under an anonymous name, like we do here. The purpose that the change was made was (if I remember correctly) that if someone posted under their own name that it would keep conversations and comments on a more civil tone. You had to be registered with a Facebook name in order to comment.

I didn't like the change at first but in retrospect it has made for more civil discussions and has been a positive change.

I noticed today that one commenter was using the Facebook moniker of "Toledo Move to Amend" when making comments rather than commenting with an actual persons name. It was in the comment section of the "Not a prayer" article about the Supreme Courts Hobby Lobby decision. It can be found in the Opinion Section of the online edition today.

Does this mark the shift in The Blade policy regarding comments? It seem to me that this will encourage a backsliding to the old name calling, etc. that we use to see before they changed their comments policy.

If any of The Blade reps that post here on Toledo Talk see this thread can you please let me know why The Blade is allowing this?

It seems to defeat the purpose of holding individuals accountable for their posts if you now allow anonymous political leaning website posters to comment and not hold them to the same standards?

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this question.

created by shamrock44 on Jul 02, 2014 at 02:25:35 pm
updated by shamrock44 on Jul 02, 2014 at 02:26:39 pm
    Comments: 27

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Comments ... #

If it's a FB account you don't have to use your actual name. I have someone on my friends list with the name "I don't think so".

posted by lfrost2125 on Jul 02, 2014 at 02:29:46 pm     #  

That seems to defeat the purpose of the Blade policy. I was under the impression that they wanted actual names in order to make for more civil discourse. Allowing someone to hide behind a political name such as that Doesn't seem fair to other posters who actually put themselves out on front treatment and when they post an opinion.

posted by shamrock44 on Jul 02, 2014 at 03:24:06 pm     #  

That should read "Luton front street" I hit about every button I could to try to find the edit key but was not successful. I think I accidentally flagged, liked and did every possible thing I could while trying LOL

posted by shamrock44 on Jul 02, 2014 at 03:26:56 pm     #  

"Out on Front Street"

Darned autocorrect!!! LOL

posted by shamrock44 on Jul 02, 2014 at 03:27:29 pm     #  

Yeah, real name and all that. I actually created a facebook account for Mad Jack and 'commented' on a Blade article. My comments lasted about five minutes.

posted by madjack on Jul 02, 2014 at 06:15:23 pm     #  

Yeah. Well.
You're no Neal Levine or Adam Smith, my friend.

posted by justread on Jul 02, 2014 at 06:47:43 pm     #   1 person liked this

shamrock44:

First. Thank you, justread and the others here who are The Blade's audience and commenters.

Nothing is 100%, The Blade's moderators will miss things now and then.

The Facebook login is now the industry standard because its terms of service require a real name. Again, nothing is 100%.

The Huffington Post was one of the last holdouts. And they went to Facebook comments June 2, 2014.

Here's an excerpt of their announcement.

"On Monday, our entire U.S. site, including our mobile web and our mobile apps, will move exclusively to Facebook comments, allowing our readers to engage with content on the site and connect with other users outside of the native Huffington Post platform."

Here's the link.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5423675

Arianna Huffington:

"'It became clear that in order to maintain the kind of civil environment for conversations that we want we would need to end anonymity,' Huffington tells The Takeaway. 'We realize that ending anonymity does not mean ending negative commentingóbut it does mean substantially reducing it.'"

I mentioned Huffington Post because they were one of the last holdouts.

The LATimes went with Facebook Comments in 2011.

posted by paulhem on Jul 02, 2014 at 09:53:55 pm     #  

I still say its about intimidation not civility, the great thing about anonymity is you have no fear of reprisals and can talk freely and honestly. As working in the news industry you must understand this principle otherwise I demand you give us the names of the people who actually taste test all the restaurants for your food articles. How about you print the names of all your sources in the paper. I guess it only counts when you (the blah) stand to benefit from that anonymity.

posted by MIJeff on Jul 02, 2014 at 10:23:25 pm     #   7 people liked this

MIJeff:

Your demands are rediculous and demonstrate ignorance not only of the topic, but the news business in general.

posted by paulhem on Jul 02, 2014 at 10:55:42 pm     #  

Yep, completely 'rediculous'.

posted by jbtaurus98 on Jul 02, 2014 at 11:07:51 pm     #  

ridiculous --- Oops!

posted by paulhem on Jul 02, 2014 at 11:10:40 pm     #  

Paul thank you for the quick response!

Does that mean that posters with user names such as "Toledo Move to Amend" (or other political groups) won't be allowed to post in the comments sections?

BTW I was dead set against the change but must admit that I do think the comments are much more civil these days.

posted by shamrock44 on Jul 02, 2014 at 11:16:30 pm     #  

Thanks.

Yes. It means that our moderators missed that post.

The reason most news organizations went with
Facebook had to do with the fact that they can not afford the labor it takes to comb through the deluge of comments.

The people who moderate comments have quite a few other duties in the newsroom.

That's why you will see inconsistencies with comment moderation - like missing an obvious fake name.

Facebook's use if their users like lab rats in their latest "experiment," has me steamed.

I know U.K. authorities are investigating Facebook to determine if it is in violation of privacy laws for filtering posts to study the reaction of some Facebook users.

Unfortunately, news outlets have little choice at the moment. I am reasonably sure that many newspapers are looking for alternatives to Facebook commenting after this recent revelation.

posted by paulhem on Jul 02, 2014 at 11:32:10 pm     #  

Why have commenting at all? Anyone who doesn't share your viewpoints probably get moderated regardless of civility.

posted by MIJeff on Jul 03, 2014 at 12:16:45 am     #  

justread posted at 06:47:43 PM on Jul 02, 2014:

Yeah. Well.
You're no Neal Levine or Adam Smith, my friend.

Jesus, is there nothing those two won't comment on? I mean, c'mon. Just let it go sometimes!

posted by daddyg on Jul 03, 2014 at 08:18:33 am     #   5 people liked this

Still waiting for the Blade to sign their editorials...

posted by someguy23475 on Jul 03, 2014 at 10:33:26 pm     #   1 person liked this

daddyg posted at 08:18:33 AM on Jul 03, 2014:
justread posted at 06:47:43 PM on Jul 02, 2014:

Yeah. Well.
You're no Neal Levine or Adam Smith, my friend.

Jesus, is there nothing those two won't comment on? I mean, c'mon. Just let it go sometimes!

you've got to wonder what they do for a living. WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS if you ask me!

posted by upso on Jul 03, 2014 at 10:44:14 pm     #  

Well, Adam Smith is clearly a fake profile. If you click through to his FB page, there is only one photo and a bunch of random people attached as "friends".

posted by Ace_Face on Jul 04, 2014 at 09:50:56 am     #  

Ace_Face posted at 09:50:56 AM on Jul 04, 2014:

Well, Adam Smith is clearly a fake profile. If you click through to his FB page, there is only one photo and a bunch of random people attached as "friends".

If it's a fake, why does the blade allow that account to comment?

posted by nits on Jul 04, 2014 at 11:10:13 am     #  

Who is going to investigate every poster's facebook page to weed out the fake ones? Anyone can make a facebook page with a fake name. Steve Goeble, Dan Strikes, John Walsh, Peter Jones, 4 names off the top of my head. No idea if facebook limits by IP address or something, you can make a bunch of fake names.

posted by MIJeff on Jul 04, 2014 at 11:48:39 am     #  

upso posted at 10:44:14 PM on Jul 03, 2014:
daddyg posted at 08:18:33 AM on Jul 03, 2014:
justread posted at 06:47:43 PM on Jul 02, 2014:

Yeah. Well.
You're no Neal Levine or Adam Smith, my friend.

Jesus, is there nothing those two won't comment on? I mean, c'mon. Just let it go sometimes!

you've got to wonder what they do for a living. WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS if you ask me!

I found it easier to just block to the two and it makes reading the comments more enjoyable there. Since those two always go at it on every issue. Maybe it's actually the same person with a split personality? :)

posted by JustaSooner on Jul 04, 2014 at 01:03:43 pm     #  

Wonder if it's the same Neal Levine that had his law license suspended, (or lost it) several years ago for stealing checks meant for his clients and forging their signatures and keeping the money?

posted by JeepMaker on Jul 05, 2014 at 11:32:51 am     #  

someguy23475 posted at 10:33:26 PM on Jul 03, 2014:

Still waiting for the Blade to sign their editorials...

Exactly.

posted by Foodie on Jul 06, 2014 at 03:03:02 am     #  

Realistically, it would be difficult for the Blade or any other media outlet to know if a Facebook account was real or not.

I have a dummy account that I use to play games and occasionally enter contests with, so that my real account and real friends list don't get bombarded with game requests or spam messages.

The account would look completely legit to anyone who tried to check it out - it doesn't have an obviously fake name, and it has a handful of friends. (Random people who play the same games I do.)

I've never used it to comment on any news sites, but if I did there's no way it would ever get flagged as fake.

Anyone who really wanted to comment on the Blade "anonymously" could easily generate an account that would fly under the radar.

posted by mom2 on Jul 06, 2014 at 10:52:37 am     #   2 people liked this

By the way, in case anyone was wondering how secure Facebook is...

I have started getting junk mail at my home under the name listed on my dummy Facebook profile.

posted by mom2 on Jul 06, 2014 at 10:55:01 am     #  

Again. There is no 100% solution .

As Shamrock44 observed, the comments have become much more civil because of the Facebook commenting system.

Most news organizations compare terms of service (TOS) of Facebook to other types of commenting systems.

excerpt --
Registration and Account Security

Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
You will not create more than one personal account.
If we disable your account, you will not create another one without our permission.

https://m.facebook.com/legal/terms

posted by paulhem on Jul 07, 2014 at 05:08:15 pm     #  

someguy23475 posted at 10:33:26 PM on Jul 03, 2014:
Still waiting for the Blade to sign their editorials...

Exactly.

! posted by Foodie on Jul 06, 2014 at 03:03:02 am # + ' '

Before posting, it is a good idea to use Google.

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22newspaper+editorials+aren't+signed%22&rlz=1CDGOYI_enUS590US590&oq=%22newspaper+editorials+aren't+signed%22&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8&hl=en-US&espv=1

That's why. We've been over this many times here.

Does that help?

posted by paulhem on Jul 07, 2014 at 05:41:23 pm     #