Oh, brave new world, that has such awful, racist, sexist, violent, sniping creatures in it.
- End of anonymous commenting stirs debate - Margaret Sullivan/The Buffalo News
A few weeks ago, I wrote about The News' plans to change our policy on readers' online comments. The gist is this: Beginning Aug. 2, we will no longer post anonymous comments. If you want to comment in The News — both in print and online — you'll have to give us your real name and hometown.
Since then, the response has come fast and furious. The New York Times, CNN, the Boston Globe and Canada's CBC radio network have covered the decision, which seems to be the first of its kind for a metropolitan daily paper in the United States. ...
The move has touched off the hot topic of anonymous Web flaming.
Plenty of criticism has come our way — and some kudos, as well.
The naysayers (many of whom, interestingly, prefer to remain anonymous) are blasting us for what they see as noxious free-speech violations and an effort to protect our evil political agenda. The Internet, as they see it, is a place where anything goes. Limiting that is a sin against free expression.
The supporters, by contrast, are relieved that the astonishingly hateful and venomous commentary on news stories ("It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots," writes Gene Weingarten in a column that ran today) will likely be restrained once people have to identify themselves. They are hoping for a measure of civility, without the loss of wide-ranging discussion and diverse viewpoints....
Those who are working on the project here recognize that there will be some bumps along the way. We also know that, like so many ventures on the Internet, this one is something of an experiment. We've tried the other way, living in the anonymous Wild West world, for more than a year, and are ready for something else.
- Policing the Web’s Lurid Precincts - Brad Stone/The New York Times
Ricky Bess spends eight hours a day in front of a computer near Orlando, Fla., viewing some of the worst depravities harbored on the Internet. He has seen photographs of graphic gang killings, animal abuse and twisted forms of pornography. One recent sighting was a photo of two teenage boys gleefully pointing guns at another boy, who is crying. ...
David Graham, president of Telecommunications On Demand, the company near Orlando where Mr. Bess works, compared the reviewers to “combat veterans, completely desensitized to all kinds of imagery.” The company’s roughly 50 workers view a combined average of 20 million photos a week.
- Judge orders Lynchburg newspaper to divulge poster’s ID - Danville Register Bee
Speaking of the Wild West:
-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News
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