Comment policy takes effect

Newspaper hopes verification process improves online forum

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— The Web site www.steamboatpilot.com launches its new verification process for online commenters this morning.

The new policy means any online user who wants to comment about a story or create a thread of his or her own on www. steamboatpilot.com first must be verified through a new registration process. That process requires users to provide their first and last names, year of birth, zip code, sex and a daytime telephone number.

If they choose, users still can hide their identity from the public by posting under a pseudonym. The new registration process is for new and existing users of www.steamboatpilot.com.

After submitting their registration information, users will receive a telephone call from the Pilot & Today's Internet Services department to complete the verification process. Once a user has been verified, he or she will have the ability to post story comments and create threads and blogs.

Steamboat Pilot & Today Editor Brent Boyer said the new policy is part of an effort to encourage responsible and thoughtful discussion.

"Many of our online commenters are responsible posters who follow the guidelines of our Reader Submitted Content Policy, which all users of steamboatpilot.com agree to do during the registration process," Boyer said. "However, those commenters are often overshadowed by users who continually violate the terms of our policy while engaging in personal attacks against other users of steamboatpilot.com, as well as news subjects and community members in general."

Prior to today, users needed only a working e-mail address to sign up for a free www.steamboatpilot.com account and immediately begin posting comments to stories. While site administrators had the ability to remove abusive users, those users simply could re-register with a new e-mail address.

Boyer said the new system will help ensure readers have only one account. And, by having to provide Pilot & Today site administrators with their real name, valid telephone number and e-mail address, users who fail to obey the Reader Submitted Content Policy can be removed from the site and stripped of their ability to re-register under another e-mail account.

"Since first allowing reader comments two years ago, we have seen our Web site become a place where passionate discussion and debate about local issues is possible," Boyer said. "I believe our new registration process will take it one step further by encouraging accountability for posters, similar to what we require for anyone who pens a letter to the editor."

Since the verification process change first was announced more than a week ago, some Web site users have expressed concerns about their personal information being used for marketing purposes.

Boyer said the Pilot & Today's on-line-privacy policy addresses most of those concerns. That policy can be found at www.steamboatpilot.com/terms_of_use/, and it is accessible at the bottom of any Web page connected with www.steamboatpilot.com. Boyer also said only a few site administrators will have access to the online user database.

The registration process remains free and gives users full access to all www.steamboatpilot.com content.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the new policy can call Boyer at 970-871-4221 or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com.

Comments

elk2 6 years, 4 months ago

One name comes to mind, Dr. John D., remember how well the pilot kept his info confidential. Small town, there will be too much temptation for the staff to tell a trusted friend or mate that so & so said this and that. In a perfect world this policy might work. Steamboat is not perfect.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 4 months ago

From the Reverification Page:

"Account verification is required to contribute to SteamboatPilot.com. This helps raise the level of discussion and trust amongst users. Your real name will be displayed next your contributions on the site (unless you choose to have it hidden, but we encourage to show it and be an open and credible contributor).

We'll verify the information you provide below, and only your real name will be displayed to the public. It'll be displayed next to your comments throughout the site. None of the other information you give us will be made public. See our Privacy Policy for more information."

Privacy Policy is listed here:

http://www.steamboatpilot.com/terms_of_use/

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Brent Boyer 6 years, 4 months ago

Scott: You went through the verification process and provided your real name and your real cell phone number. Additional information such as date of birth, zip code and gender are pieces of data that can help us confirm the identities of users. Given our past interactions, including our conversation yesterday, I knew that you were indeed who you said you were. Therefore, we verified you as a user. Your gender and zip code were updated for accuracy purposes. The bottom line is we're most interested in ensuring a registered user is who they say they are. In your case, we could confirm that with 100 percent certainty. You are an exception in that regard, and other users who attempt to give us false information (indeed there already have been a couple) will not be verified.

Brent

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spukomy 6 years, 4 months ago

Big Brother wins another battle, yet the war rages on. A year or two of posting, never a removal, not good enough. Can't see the light on giving up any info. Sure, there's lots of my info in cyber-space, I just don't see this as a proper move. Of course, I will keep the printed Today version as my go to source for lighting up my fireplace. Nothing personal, just business.

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shiftworker 6 years, 4 months ago

Much that could effect Steamboat is in the news today. Bad timing to shutdown communication.

Unity marketing that tracks the spending of the affluent rich is reporting 20% decline in spending of luxury items with more to come. Sking of course is a luxury. CNN has an article today about it.

This will directly effect ski resorts. We need to get serious about bargain promoting our town and aligning real estate prices to match a recession.

Quick studies need to be done to project how much time we have before we see effects and put plans in place to lessen the blow.

Dont be spooked when reading the CNN article. Our future will be fine we just need to plan for a down turn in economy.

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Dave Ege 6 years, 4 months ago

Thank you to Brent and the Pilot. Responsibility and ownership of statements and opinions should not stop anyone from making responsible comments, without personal or un-substiantied attacks on individuals or ideas. My hat is off to Brent and the paper. Hope my spelling isn't too bad!

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 4 months ago

Elk2, Dr. D's damaging info was placed in the school's computer system, not in the Pilot's. And it was email. Different case altogether I think. Emails are now routinely being made public.

I agree with Dave! Good move Pilot!

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Scott Wedel 6 years, 4 months ago

They revalidated me with clearly false personal info. So all they have is a name and a valid phone number which is the same they require for a letter to the editor.

Sort of odd to require birth date, sex and zip code, but not require that they are accurate, but such are the ways of this paper.

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