Ledger-Enquirer.com changing the way people comment

dkholmes@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 13, 2013 

Here’s the deal: Starting around noon on Sunday, we’re changing the commenting system here on ledger-enquirer.com. We’re going to use Facebook.

No, we’re not friends with Mark Zuckerberg, and we’re not making any money by using Facebook. It just makes sense to take advantage of a social network in which most folks are already exchanging ideas and opinions with thousands of their closest friends – and in most cases while using their actual names.

Maybe you’ve seen Facebook commenting on other sites. If you scroll to the comments section at the bottom of a story around noon Sunday and you’re logged onto Facebook, you’ll see your name and photo and comment box all queued up and ready to go. You just type your nuggets of wisdom, hit return and the whole world knows what you think – and who you are.

Why are we doing this? For starters, it’s the No. 1 thing readers complain about. Nobody likes seeing unkind, unfair and untrue things written about their community, causes, belief system and especially family and friends.

To publish a letter to the editor in the newspaper, you’ve got to let us know who you are. It’s always been that way. Even the anonymous comments to Sound Off! are screened by an editor. But online, a handful of people spend their days hijacking every conversation and every argument.

We love a good argument, which is vital to education and growth. We want to help nurture more of them, and that’s why we’re raising the bar on public discourse. We want to empower our audience members to have better and more civil conversations about issues in our community.

Our solution won’t be perfect for everybody. If you’re not a Facebook member but want to comment on our online stories, we encourage you to join while also being mindful of what personal information you want to release to the general public. Here's a link to some frequently asked questions.

If you have a news tip or an insight that you’d like us to know about but don’t want to share with the general public, I encourage you to send me an email at dkholmes@ledger-enquirer.com or call 706-571-8560 and leave me a message. Also, feel free to contact any of our reporters or editors.

Hate the idea? Well, go to the comments section below and fire away, and enjoy the cloak of anonymity while you still can. If your comment meets our current minimal standards, it will remain on this site for everyone to enjoy or loathe until Sunday around noon.

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

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