Brent Boyer: Cleaning up our online comments

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Brent Boyer

Contact Editor Brent Boyer at 871-4221 or e-mail bboyer@SteamboatToday.com.

Love it or hate it, many Steamboat Pilot & Today readers can't resist the temptation of our online story comments. It never ceases to amaze me how often people talk about what so-and-so poster wrote beneath one of our online articles.

More often than not, I'm one of the haters of our current system. It encourages anonymous readers to say whatever they want about whomever they want, with little or no repercussion. Legitimate comments about relevant issues quickly get swept under by the torrent of off-subject or off-color rants. Often, the anonymous commenters turn their attention to one another, hurling insults back and forth with little understanding of the impact of their words or even whom they're directing them at.

The popularity of our Web site, no doubt fueled by the comment sections, presents a doubled-edged sword for the newspaper. On one hand, we've seen the number of "hits" to Steamboatpilot.com increase steadily and dramatically since August 2006, when we redesigned our site and added the ability for registered users to comment on stories or create their own threads. Like any organization, we constantly seek ways to expand the reach of our products and attract new audiences. The Internet is ground zero for such efforts.

On the other hand, the Steamboat Pilot & Today has a responsibility to uphold. Just like we must be held accountable for the articles we publish, we also must take stock of the content that we allow to be published through our reader forums. I think Steamboatpilot.com can and should serve as an avenue for thoughtful, responsible and intelligent discussion about the issues relevant to our readership. We've gotten off track when we hear from readers, sources and others who are afraid to talk to the newspaper or log on to its Web site because of the inflammatory, objectionable or simply inaccurate posts penned by anonymous commenters.

Today, I'm excited to announce changes to our Web site registration process that I think will dramatically improve the level of discourse on Steamboatpilot.com.

Beginning Aug. 4, all registered and new users of our Web site will be asked to update their account information to provide us the following:

- First and last names

- A valid daytime phone number where they can be reached

- Gender

- Zip code

- Year of birth

Existing users will be able to post under their old pseudonyms if they check the box that reads "Hide my real name." Otherwise, posts will include the users' actual identities.

Once users complete the registration page, they will receive a telephone call from the Pilot & Today's Internet department to verify their information. Once that verification is complete, users will be sent an e-mail confirmation, and they will be allowed to post comments to our Web site. Any future changes to their account settings will postpone their ability to submit content until those changes have been verified by Pilot & Today staff.

We will make every effort to verify users as quickly as possible, and in most cases such verification should take place the same day the request is made.

So, how will these changes improve Steamboatpilot.com? First, I think revealing their real identity to the Steamboat Pilot & Today will give pause to posters before their fingers attack the keyboard. To be clear, posters can remain anonymous to the public, if they so choose. Second, posters who fail to obey the terms of our Reader Submitted Content Policy can and will be banned from the site and no longer will be able to quickly re-register using a different e-mail address.

We anticipate the amount of reader comments to drop come Aug. 4, but our hope is the number and quality of posts will steadily increase going forward.

We live in a highly educated, dynamic community in the midst of significant growth and change. I think our readers have many thoughtful things to say about the myriad issues taking place here and around the world. And I think the Pilot & Today has the responsibility and opportunity to provide a welcoming, respectful venue for such discourse. I'm pleased that we're taking a step in that direction.

If you have any questions or comments about our Web site or the changes in store, don't hesitate to contact me at 871-4221 or bboyer@steamboatpilot.com.

Comments

thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

God bless our soldiers, making sacrifices for our freedom everyday, God bless America, and God bless each and every one of you. Good luck and good bye.

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sickofitall 6 years, 10 months ago

Hell, the PILOT is not LIABLE for ANYTHING it prints! Why should we be liable???

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Scott Wedel 6 years, 10 months ago

It makes little sense to let people post anonymously as long as the SB Pilot knows everyone's real identity. That creates a situation where it is anonymous to the ignorant masses and a known person to the privileged insiders of the SB Pilot. So then no prominent local figure could ever post anonymously without expecting that the SB Pilot staff and reporters know what the anonymous persona said. This proposal creates a system where only friends of the SB Pilot can have any confidence that their anonymity will be protected.

If you are going to allow anonymous posts then the person posting should also allowed to be anonymous to the SB Pilot staff.

If the goal of the paper is to truly be responsible for what is posted then it needs to become a moderated site where someone must approve a post's content prior to it being posted for others to see. In which case anonymous posting is not a problem.

If the Paper believes that a poster logged in under their real name will be responsible then the post should include the person's real name.

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spukomy 6 years, 10 months ago

Will this stop the "inflammatory, objectional and simply innacurate posts penned by anonymous commenters"?

I agree, some people get way too uptight and personal with their attacks. But will someone get banned for being innacurate? Do you get a warning before getting thrown out of the game?

My mid-year resolution is to never post while enjoying the spirits. So, I guess I'm pretty much done here....

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JustAsking 6 years, 10 months ago

Brent, Ever hear of Mark Twain?

Additionally what does gender, zipcode, and year of birth have to do with posting?

Is it just possible you are using this as a excuse to gather this data for some other purpose?

Does selling advertising have anything to do with this ?

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CoJustice 6 years, 10 months ago

Death of a newspaper?

Interesting questions required. It appears to be contact information.

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bigdog 6 years, 10 months ago

Wonder how many people will be gunning to get their hands on the "list"? Who at the pilot will have access to the "list"? Ever hear of Blackmail?

Think of all of the "sources" the pilot would find! "Oh, did you see what the Police Chief posted yesterday? Let's go ask him for a direct quote about that controversy!"

BS

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 10 months ago

Brent, One could only anticipate that some slanderous things that were posted had a legal edge that the Pilot had to do some back peddling and review before liability of the matter took gain. Bully for you! There have been times I thought this new procedure should have been done a long time ago! Call me anytime with my credibility on my comments or opinions! I will give you the accurate information you need! I also feel I have kept restrained from throwing a fitted rage, even though some who post here create that environment. Logically, attacking issues instead of people seems to be a more educated and formal way to conduct business. When things get personal, they always get ugly because, the emotional freight train that follows can be unstoppable! Have a good day!

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sickofitall 6 years, 10 months ago

BTW, Ill just stop posting, I do not need annoying phone calls.

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BoatMaster 6 years, 10 months ago

I think the Pilot has a legitimate reason for stopping some of these rants, but possibly based on what I read above could be doing in in the wrong manner.

I truely believe that many of the folks who post here are not of the majority voice of the town and the comments are hurtful to the image of Steamboat. If anyone was thinking of visiting or moving here and read these comments I am sure they would think everyone here are a bunch of freaks.

Most of these comments are from the same 20 or so people. Some post often every day all the time and feel they are the voice of Steamboat. Not to mention the whole entitlement issue many posters have about Steamboat.

The Pilot should just turn off the blog section and let everyone just read the news. If you have a issue then send a email or letter to the paper for publication. They could even start a email comments section in the paper.

If you want to blog about Steamboat start a blog away fjrom the pilot.

Also...What about a PDF version of the whole paper instead of just the front page??

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colobob 6 years, 10 months ago

Once again as it so often happens in life the many must pay for the actions of a few. Personally I don't much care for the new policy although I can understand the reasoning behind it. Unfortunately however anonymous no longer means anonymous. colobob wishes all a good life as this will be my last post. See you on the water & remember to take a kid (or adult) fishing. Good bye all. Say good night Gracie!

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Gadfly 6 years, 10 months ago

The new policy will protect the centuries-old tradition of anonymous writing while providing a filter against some of the really idiotic stuff that a few bloggers feel empowered to write. Just make very sure, Brent, that the List stays confidential.

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Brent Boyer 6 years, 10 months ago

JustAsking: Yes, I have heard of Mark Twain. And I am sure his publisher - his nephew, Charles Webster - knew he was Samuel Clemens. At least that's who Webster made the checks out to.

All: I'm off to work the volunteer playground build at Soda Creek this morning. I'll be happy to address many of these other questions when I return to the office this afternoon.

Thanks, Brent Boyer Editor, Steamboat Pilot & Today

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, Brent! This is a great policy and it's in tune with most other sites that allow comments; at least the ones I've been to. I'm glad to see this change!

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JustAsking 6 years, 10 months ago

Brent, Have fun at the playground, but please address the real questions posed:
What do gender, age, and zip have to do with posting?

Will you be using the list to sell advertising?

What individuals, company, or organizations may eventually have access?

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cybergypsy 6 years, 10 months ago

Some who comment anomymously do so for fear of repercussion from employers, friends or neighbors. I think if Comments are allowed, anonymity should be an option. HOWEVER, the threads do seem to deteriorate quickly away from the topic or issue and become ridiculous rants. I will not miss those bloggers who resort to personal attacks as they will not conform with the new registration policy. It is the website of the Steamboat Pilot and those who want to rant and personally attack can register their own site and blog to their hearts content. The rest of us will be able to post comments that are meaningful and maybe even important.

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dimwitiguess 6 years, 10 months ago

Is it true that Donna Howl will be put in charge of the confidential list? Pat Gleason, Paula Stevenson, Scott Standford and her will safe guard the list of names?

I haven't posted in a long time but your list will be as confidential as School employee records. I'm pretty certain those you and your "friends of Steamboat" will be on the "confidential-until-they-or-anyone-else-we-support-over-the-poster-we-don't-like" list of contributors.

And will you give out the names of the offenders to those who are slandered because the offender's post "just-slipped-by"your-reader/editors of the postings?

Confidential list, my @$$ - reporters DON"T HAVE TO REVEAL THEIR SOURCES, REMEMBER? the PLOT still holds the reins to allow the stampede any time it dam well pleases and you know it. Will the PLOT take LEGAL responsibility for those offensive coments that slip past? Until you do, I among others do not believe your BS. Reporters have NO ethics. It's just a scoop to them.

Long live the PLOT and it's never ending schemes to out anyone it chooses.

Nice try boyuer, we see right through you and your unsavory colleagues, but I'm just THE dimwitiguess

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Mike Forney 6 years, 10 months ago

As one who has been savaged and personally attacked by anonymous bloggers in response to my posts, this policy is long overdue.

It was only after I challenged my attacker (who never responded when I asked them to put up [their name] or shut up) did the hateful messages stop.

The forum is a great way to allow public comment. Better these new procedures than the loss of the site.

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cmducks 6 years, 10 months ago

I haven't been rude, obscene, or written anything my mother wouldn't approve of, but to say that some comment I may leave today, won't affect something I am doing 10 years from now is naive. It's like people getting fired for putting a pic of them in their underwear on Myspace, and having a boss find it.

It all sounds a little "Big Brother" to me. I am surprised that they don't want my social security number, and mother's maiden name to check to see if I am giving my real name or a nickname.

I'm not even confident that the names in the captions for the paper photos are correct, so not real confident in how my information will be used by the paparazzi.

I will rest better knowing that if someone slips, gets hot and rants, offends the wrong person they will be stalked down by the pilot, or maybe even the police for slander. Is this about "cleaning up the comments", or not offending anyone? What's next taking down Christmas trees:::..crap that's already happening!

Good night and God bless::oh sorry Good night, and may the non denominational spirit who you value highly, shine upon you.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the effort to improve the discourse, Brent.

Some "will never post again". I understand how anonymity enables people to engage. But for those who have engaged for months, I can't say I understand how anonymity now outweighs the opportunity to converse and contribute with our "web" community. Either way I'll regret those departures.

I hope the Pilot is successful in stopping the personal attacks. When we reach that point I can look forward to reading contributions from citizens "who never posted before". -Steve Lewis

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shoe_Z_Q 6 years, 10 months ago

I think this is a great way to get people to talk about issues in a responsible way. If you don't like the new rules go to craigslist.com Rants and Raves and go for it. It is a great place for cyber bullies!!

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justathought 6 years, 10 months ago

I have to agree with a couple of other posters here, what does age, gender and zip have to do with your objective? Your intent is understandable but as long as you have my name, phone number and pseudonym why would you need any more info? How is this list to be protected, if we speak our opinion against a politician such as the sheriff, how easy will it be for one of your staff to provide him with the info? I don't know why you are gathering info that in my opinion seems irrelevant to your objective so I will have to think about whether it's worth posting here anymore or not. I would also like to see your privacy policy on this list, or will there be a "not responsible for lost, stolen, published or other misuse of private information" clause?

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handyman 6 years, 10 months ago

At my work, Mr. Techy was telling us about Big Brother's tentacles in our computer system. If Homeland Security comes knocking on Brent Boyer's door demanding the indenties of bloggers, is he going to say, "NO!" Hmmm . . . He may stick his neck out for a fellow reporter, but will our identities be kept confidential? I read these blogs for the entertainment value, like some of you. I don't like it when it just turns to vicious mud slinging. I leave at that point, but the good natured bantering is lots of fun. I won't blog when they require my name, phone number and year of birth.

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seeuski 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree with those that think the personal attacks are a problem, I have been heatedly attacked by oposition in previous posts and wish that a respectful discorse could occur.But the reality is that in this contentious political climate we are experiencing these days differing political opinions are held against the poster and if then their identity is known, well blacklisting is and has been used and suggested by the opposers, typically the hard left. Sorry but true. There was a poster who put an online jewelry web address in the hopes that locals would not use a specific downtown shop. I requested the post be cancelled to no avail, and I have no connection to or any relationship with anyone there. Just was angry at the personal attack. I do in light of that explicit experience don't trust the purity of the reasons given. I do agree with earlier posts here that comments can be filtered before they appear and then anonymity would not be an issue. I do commend those like Kielbasa who are open here but some of us who are more responsable with what we say here may have good reasons not to put ourselves in a position to be harmed in this little town. See ya on the slopes. Ski safe.

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cmducks 6 years, 10 months ago

It is a small town, and my comments don't need to affect my relatives. Even worse have a friend of a friend of my boss not like something and get me fired.

Voice your opinion about a sheriff's DWAI, or how a school board situation is screwy, and have it affect a son, daughter, or brothers business in this VERY small town. You are then feeding the power wheel, and handcuffing the voice of an individual. This especially comes to the front if whoever is in charge of the names, happens to be friends of the individual falling under scrutiny. Small town politics can backfire quicker than anything, and the risk isn't worth it. Moderating the content of individual posts would be better than controlling who posts what due to the fear of repercussion. There are two issues here the attacking and being inappropriate, should definitely be stopped, but the ability for a community to voice in about a "politically sensitive" issue is unrivaled in the modern society of article commenting/blogging. This "voice" is being stopped by the thought that at some point in time you will be confronted about your opinion if you are speaking up about a social issue. Seems like a giant step backwards to me.

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Joe_Mama 6 years, 10 months ago

Joe thinks this fishwrapper has never been about letting people voice their opinions, and he's not surprised that they now want personal information to create an account. It's a marketing tool, plain and simple. They will sell the info to whomever wants to pay for it. These are people who should be upholding the 1st Amendment, instead, they appear to be attempting to regulate free speech, in direct contradiction to it's principles. Joe will be glad to give his personal info:

Joe Mama 550 Frontage Road Biteme, CO 80477

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Joe_Mama 6 years, 10 months ago

Joe also finds it ironic that these folks are willing to put the effort into gathering and maintaining this information, but too lazy to monitor the posts.

Guess they've never heard of the concept of a moderator.

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Puv 6 years, 10 months ago

I have to say that I'm disappointed with this decision. I understand that many people hide behind anonymity in order to attack or insult but that is a part of this kind of virtual environment. I can't imagine that this wasn't thought about and discussed prior to establishing these forums. Personally, I would say nothing here that I wouldn't say directly to someone's face in full disclosure but the kind of information that you are asking for is too invasive especially in the age of identity theft and data mining for marketing purposes. What security measures are in place to protect this information? I rarely post myself, but I believe that anonymity is important in this type of environment and that more often than not, it allows people to speak their minds and provides a forum for criticisms that promote the true spirit of journalism. If you are unwilling or unable to provide good documentation for your stance then you should reap the criticism that follows. If you make a harsh criticism of someone with authority and reflect your opinion; who is to say that this provided registration information won't be made available to the wrong person and have a real-world consequence? I am not a conspiracy theorist and I hope that I don't come across that way, I just hate to see any First Amendment compromise, whatsoever. I also hate to witness journalists play apologist to authorities that might be complaining about criticisms received through these threads. There are already rules in place to remove inappropriate language and nonsensical completely incorrect rants. Will negative and critical opinions now be somewhat compromised? I understand the "put up or shut up" mentality and I believe that we should be forthright in our thoughts and actions. I also think that anonymity should be protected in these posts. The basic premises that often become attacks on First Amendment rights always have to do with a few people being so extreme that someone is offended and then certain groups get involved and the next thing you know a book or an album is banned because someone's child heard a "dirty" lyric in a song. However, we don't modify or take away our most basic rights to suit the sensibilities of a smaller group. We should always be wary of such things because once those compromises are made then others follow, and follow, until we find ourselves gradually giving up our rights because someone was offended. Now, I realize that I might be getting too far into free speech for this case at this point but it's the principle that is important.

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Joe_Mama 6 years, 10 months ago

The more Joe thinks about it, the more he realizes that this issue is simply the impotent actions of folks that don't truly want respectful discourse in these forums, they just want to coddle a few weakminded posters who complain about being "picked on".

Impotent, quite like their "Our View" column.

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Puv 6 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, anyone who wants get around it can, easily. It's the essence of the whole thing that gets me.

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meethinks 6 years, 10 months ago

Wow, I agree, Puv.... thanks for a voice of reason. I dont think I will post either, so much for a public forum. I understood that comments would be reviewed before posting, obviously they have not been. The solution? the release of MY personal information to a paper that regularly has to apologize for incorrect information that they have published. I dont think so. Thanks Brent.

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Joe_Mama 6 years, 10 months ago

meethinks,

That's what they WANT, voices of dissention to go away.

Don't play into their hands.

Utilize the above link, if need be, and if they go forward with this concept, DELUGE them with new accounts.

Obviously, they have thought this through very well.

Surprise, surprise.

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Joe_Mama 6 years, 10 months ago

whoops "haven't thought this through very well"

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shoe_Z_Q 6 years, 10 months ago

I think we all know what the result will be, however, maybe this is something that should be voted on. Majority rules. Some very good points are being made on both sides of this issue.

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JazzSlave 6 years, 10 months ago

Sound & fury signifying nothing. The Pilot has already demonstrated the ability & willingness to delete/ban posters and their rants.

Since commenters will retain the ablility to comment anonymously, the only impediment to what the "moderator" is trying to prevent will be fear that the Pilot might abuse the personal data it collects.

If any abuse does occur, the Pilot could find itself in court, and then we'll all have something new to blab about...

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justathought 6 years, 10 months ago

Sorry shoe, there is nothing to vote on, this decision is "owners and editors" rule not readers. The way I see it, we have two choices, provide the info and post, or don't. I'm leaning toward don't.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

While this is a public forum, it's a private website. The only vote that truly counts is the Pilot's.

Voices of dissention are not discouraged in the least. If they were, don't you think all the people naysaying this change would have their posts deleted or be banned? This info is actually less than most online forums ask you to provide.

Maybe it just means that people need to stop making false or unproven accusations towards people. If you fear for what you say, either find another way to say it or find another site to say it on. There are plenty of online web forums that you can provide the link to a specific story on, if you really feel the need. It's not that hard.

I'm living proof that not being anonymous on this forum hasn't harmed me in the least, and many times, I'm a worst offender. What I don't do is spout off false accusations without providing proof, unless I'm being facetious when confronting someone who tends to do that more often than not.

As most know, I can carry on a perfectly civil conversation online until provoked, and like most, it doesn't take much to provoke me. For some who rely on anonymity, it takes almost nothing to provoke them. If you are worried about your info being provided to someone else, you probably should never shop online, either. Also, you should never use a computer since nothing is ever truly deleted from it, for the right IT person. Don't make phone calls, because they can still be tracked by the phone companies and the police.

You can still have strong opinions while being courteous, instead of automatically labeling someone and crying "ad hominem" when someone does the same back. And with the people posting how to get around it, you might have just provided the reasoning for more stringent need of verification information.

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shoe_Z_Q 6 years, 10 months ago

If the Pilot is taking the resposibility of keeping our information safe the E and O coverage on the Pilot's insurance should triple.

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Puv 6 years, 10 months ago

I think that the principle is off by asking people for this information which could be used improperly. I've done plenty online and I get a lot of junk mail because of it. The moderator should step up more to eliminate the more inappropriate stuff. The point is to garner reactions and discourse and it rings more true with anonymity. That is just my opinion.

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cmducks 6 years, 10 months ago

Matt,

when i buy something online, does the sherrif get my phone number, name and Zip code?

If i buy something online, does a member of the school board get to harrass my child.

when i buy something online, does jack taylors wife get me fired becuase i bad mouthed her, and knits with my bosses wife?

It's a little different.

And I didn't bad mouth jacks wife.....hahaha

I think it is a little different than that

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skywatcher 6 years, 10 months ago

It's their website, they can do as they want with it. It is sad that the final straw was due to some incident in OC last weekend. What a waste. I do have to agree, does smell like dreams of MARKETING $'s. The comment section is a big draw to your website, it is not necessarily the news content.
Bottomline: If you don't like it, don't post here. Start your own forum and make your own rules.

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SoRouttNative 6 years, 10 months ago

Coincidence that the comments on the Oak Creek fiasco disappeared and the new Pilot policy was announced? Just wondering.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

cmducks- Then as Jazz said, sue the Pilot for releasing info to sources that shouldn't have it.

Before the internet, if you shopped somewhere in person, and you didn't like the service or the attitude of someone, you could stop shopping there as your choice.

If what you say gets you fired from your job, this is an at will work state. You can sue your employer if you can find cause or if you have a contract job, check the contract to see what it allows for dismissal.

If you badmouth the board, maybe you need more people to help you in who you want to get voted in. If it affects your child, bring this to the Board, start a recall with any facts you can provide to back it up, but mouthing off on here doesn't seem to work in that instance except to just blow off steam. D wasn't recalled, remember? I'll just use that as an example.

If you start rumors pertaining to illegal activities because you have "inside knowledge" and aren't bringing that to the police, if it hinders or could help the investigation then I think you should be held accountable for it.

Ultimately, if you don't trust the Pilot site with this info...don't post here. It doesn't get any more simple than that. The internet is humongous...this is only 1 single site. Someone already posted the craigslist.com site and a few days ago, there was an independent blogger site posted.

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JustAsking 6 years, 10 months ago

Just how is collecting this information going to eliminate "personal attacks" in a post?

The premise makes no sense at all. The pilot has used the power to remove posts and ban posters all along.

Those that think knowing the identity of those who pose uncomfortable questions and question the positions of other posters is going to make the forum a better place are mistaken.

All this direction will do is result in a group of posters of a like mind and stifle any voices of real dissention.

The reality is the collection of this information has VERY LITTLE if anything to do with policing the forum but EVERTHING TO DO WITH MARKETING.

What's next, race, religion, social security number, voting record, occupation?

When you are back from the playground Brent, please explain how this new policy is going to make the forum better. We are also very interested in your answers to the previously asked questions.

Note to those posters who think this is a good idea: the tools are already in place for the Pilot to moderate the forum.

Knowing gender, zipcode, and age as well as name rank and serial number of a poster does not infulence this ability at all.

It's a smoke screen folks. Wake up.

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cmducks 6 years, 10 months ago

Sue, leave, sue.........all intreaging options, like i said it is more trouble than it is worth.

bye

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Justasking- for banning posters, it now makes it harder for them to re-register since all they needed was an different email addy before. Now, it's more personalized.

Honestly, some of the things Brent mentioned were suggestions I passed along to him a few months ago, so I don't think the Cargo incident was THE factor...just icing on the cake. Whether he already had these suggestions in mind or took my advice, I can't say. I've honestly have never met Brent face to face. I even brought up having long time posters who are generally decent posters to be used as volunteer moderators, that the Pilot could pick, kind of like their editorial board.

Anyone want that job should probably send Brent a PM.

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BoatMaster 6 years, 10 months ago

Everyone

Remember the Pilot article about the Sheriff Wall trial where his lawyers were contesting the venue and they cited comments that were negative on the Pilot website?

Next time they may subpeana the comments and who wrote them. How would you like a angry cop at your door in the middlle of the night with a list of names????????

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momofthree 6 years, 10 months ago

the pilot should simply moderate the site, like the NY Times does. That paper gets thousands of posts every day from around the world, and yet the comment sections remain completely civil and, often, insightful--and yes, they allow competing/dissenting POVs, they just don't allow personal attacks, multiple posts on the same issue from the same person, and, of course, foul language. it's a better gage of community opinion, too, because one person can say something once and that's it--so the same 20 people don't monopolize a discussion rehashing the same garbage over and over.

brent, please explain why you don't simply go that route?

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Brent Boyer 6 years, 10 months ago

All: Many of you have raised valid points about the pending change. I will attempt to answer a few of those questions/concerns before my next meeting. The Pilot & Today will NOT sell or otherwise distribute user identities or information to marketing agencies. User information similarly will NOT be given to curious readers or others upset about particular posts, etc. Only a couple of Pilot & Today Web site administrators, myself included, will have access to the user database. The basic information we are asking for (name, date of birth, gender, zip code and telephone number) are simply pieces of information that can help us verify your identity. It is the minimum we felt was required to help ensure accuracy. This change has been in the works for several months, pending changes to our site administration programming. That work was completed last week; hence the announcement of the changes today. The goal is not to stifle comments or pander to any particular group. As I stated in my column, the goal is simply to elevate the quality of the discussions that take place on our forum. I think those of you who have talked to me about this particular issue know that those are my true intentions. The bottom line is we're trying to preserve anonymity here while also adding a quality control element.

Brent Boyer

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JustAsking 6 years, 10 months ago

Matt, Your "cure" is much worse than the infrequent "disease."

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scooter 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm posting this from another blog (today under the dreaded TC debate) because this will be my last.

ABOUT Triple Crown...

It's just economics 101. If a business is relying on one factor (TC) for 1/3 of their yearly income, and feel that if they loose TC they will go out of business: Then they will fail eventually.

But I gotta say this before I go into the goodnight. On July 4th post fireworks, no business were open except the bars. NOT ONE!!! Here you have a captive audience of 20,000 to 25,000 people, with no businesses open. They want to spend money, buy T shirts, CDs, Books, Candy, and Souvenirs. Even possibly have a cup of coffee, or ice cream, or just browse. Your businesses lost a lot of money that night! STOP COMPLAINING!!!

If you demand family time... fine: but STOP COMPLAINING!!!

In a resort town: there are no days off. That's the price you pay for living in a resort town!

This will be my last blog since Boyer is going to change the rules. Too bad: Just think of all the junk mail all of you that re-register are going to get.

PS. I found out today that revenues from the ad dept are way down, and they are now discounting to long time coustomers. What does that tell you...

They are gonna sell your imformation!!!

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jomarch 6 years, 10 months ago

This sounds like responsible journalism and good citizenship to me.

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shoe_Z_Q 6 years, 10 months ago

We all have a choice, stay or go. Of those of us that care to stay, we will give our information to the Pilot. We trust our information to stay private. I love and care for this town enough to run the risk , in order to voice my opinions now and then.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

"We all have a choice, stay or go."

Ahhhhhh...reminds me of "The Clash!"

"Should I stay or should I go now? Should I stay or should I go now? If I go there will be trouble An if I stay it will be double So come on and let me know"

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Looking through the cons above, I still agree with Brent's direction.

Retribution: There may be cases where truly important local info came to the surface only because it could be done anonymously, but I can't remember any. Examples anyone...? And as others note, this blog is not one's only option.

On the other hand the past week offers far too many of examples of insulting, negative posts.

Marketing: Even if the Pilot could sell such a list, I don't see the value of someone buying it. -Steve Lewis

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shoe_Z_Q 6 years, 10 months ago

Very good, ha ha you know kielbasa, you always made me laugh in high school to. Drama was so fun. Sometimes I would do anything to go back to those days with ML. Oh and the music was real good back then too!!

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, shoe! With no theater right now, I guess this is my "stage!" Better than it being my soapbox, I guess! LOL!

We are now our parents- the music was always better way back when! I miss those days, too, when I didn't have to worry about this kind of stuff.

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JEM 6 years, 10 months ago

It is hard to find substance in most of the on-line comment on this site.

I had given up wading through the crap and posturing here to look for rational discussion of issues. I read and responded to this story because it appears many others feel the same.

Imagine if this was a forum where comments are held to a higher standard than currently exists, and where the few do not foul the nest for the many.

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id04sp 6 years, 10 months ago

So, what you're saying, is that the realtors who advertise in the Pilot think the forum is hurting the image of the place and harming sales.

See ya. Wouldn't want to be ya.

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shoe_Z_Q 6 years, 10 months ago

You are welcome kielbasa!!! But, back on track. I think B.B.'s intentions are only for the greater good. This is something that users will get used to. Just like soup, it is hot at first, then it cools off with a little time!!

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id04sp 6 years, 10 months ago

Lewi,

The folks in my subdivision finally caught on to what was happening to them, and have taken action. Whether my posts helped, I don't know. I only know they could have. Posting under my own name would only have resulted in the board of directors nitpicking me to death and charging me with legal fees every time I raised an issue, because every time they had to call the HOA lawyer due to a complaint, the person making the complaint got billed for the legal fees. The only justification necessary was that someone took an action which resulted in legal expenses to the HOA.

Some other things got worked out too. Whether my raising issues about the courts had anything to do with it or not, I won't know, but things that used to be on my credit record are not there anymore, and it's not because of anything I did outside of this forum.

Mr. Brent could accomplish the same goal simply by having a moderated forum where the post has to be reviewed by the Pilot staff before it gets posted. That would slow things down, but would accomplish the same end goal of not allowing vitriol and spurious allegations to be posted without proof.

I do happen to know that, if someone wanted to sue me, they could trace back through the Pilot records and my e-mail provider to identify the account name and identify me. It's just that it would take subpoenas to do so, and that would mean someone would have to invite me to prove that they were breaking the law. Nobody has ever taken the trouble because, guess what, I have always been able to prove what I've posted -- unless it was something like the Dr. Savage thread where I engaged in an objective discussion of the physcial phenomena behind global warming.

Frankly, nobody will miss me, and guess what, I won't miss the forum. There are others where I can pass my time while waiting for batch runs to complete, so when I'm tied to the computer waiting for a job to finish, I'll just surf elsewhere.

Honestly, I really do think that realtors are blaming the falling sales on negative publicity. I've always thought it was a hoot that a realtor could make the same profit off selling a house as they guy who took the risk to build it. Maybe some of them will learn how to live on a working man's budget, eh?

Adios. (|)

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CoJustice 6 years, 10 months ago

This scenario reminded me of an important decision in the Tattered Cover v. City of Thornton.

The case was based around the police department obtaining personal information. The Court eventually stated that law enforcement needs to show the information is critical to a prosecution.

I cannot help but wonder what position the paper would take if faced with a demand from the Sheriffs office with a possible motive "critical to a prosecution". These types of cases could be personal vendettas.

Since the paper has not publicly published a policy by their legal council, rather than an opinion and state clearly what the information will be used for, who has access and what position the paper will take when faced with a decision that could lead to expensive legal battle, I will not post.

Your not even protecting the paper without these policies and guidelines let alone any assurance to posters.

http://www.tatteredcover.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp?s=newsletter&page=168151

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rsssco 6 years, 10 months ago

Good riddance LCDR. You may be the biggest whack job that ever visited this place. Don't ket the door hit you in your fat head.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

id- the realtors can blame whatever, but I guess this forum is to blame for the whole country since sales suck everywhere. Couldn't be due to bad lending practices or the like.

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dave reynolds 6 years, 10 months ago

I have been called a sexual pervert because i questioned how the woman was dressed in the nerny blog..now im acused of being someone im not by muckermania..in an email..so i think this is a good idea..why cannt we all just be kind to each other

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stmbtgrl20 6 years, 10 months ago

I don't have a problem with it as long as long as I don't get pesky phone calls. I dont' comment very often, but when I do I stand behind the comments that I make. There shouldn't be any need for personal attacks on others. Under anonimity people are more likely to be highly critical of others. So if you make a comment, be prepared to back it 100%, and if you think a comment you make will cause embarrassment to family members, rethink the comment you are about to make. It really is not that difficult to treat others with some respect, is it?

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meethinks 6 years, 10 months ago

Joe-mama- thanks for the encouraging words so thoughtfully posted above, but you see, Mr Douglas has already contacted employers in the past because of comments posted for his articles, so you see how much easier it will be now? No, I enjoy my privacy and honestly, if the pilot is more concerned about those that dont live here, rather than the ones who make the valley thier home, perhaps it is time that we switch to other papers. As demonstrated, the local voices are not longer considered a topic of interest. (gee, we only spend our money here.....live here.....no reason why our opinions should be considered........)

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Soroco_Alum 6 years, 10 months ago

Brent: I am very happy to hear of this change in policy. It is important to create a sense of responsibility for the hurtful and harsh words that have been thrown around in the comment section of the site. Freedom of speech is important and one of our constitutional rights, however morality should come in to play as well. I have only visited the Pilot site three times in the past and every time I was incredibly shocked by the comments that were posted. I mentioned this in a post the other day, but I am sure that people would take more responsibility for their words if they had to identify themselves!!

Thank you Brent and The Steamboat Pilot!!

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meethinks 6 years, 10 months ago

also- ID Honestly I have enjoyed the coorespondence, you at least make people think. You will be missed......most of the time:)

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Meethinks- If I remember correct, Rob Douglas was called by someone at his home about one of his columns, and left him a nasty message. What that person forgot was he had caller ID and it had nothing to do with getting info from this forum. Unless there was another incident you're referring to?

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atypicalskibum 6 years, 10 months ago

Hey Brent-

Don't know if this has been mentioned or not, the blog is a little too long to read thoroughly (good job by the way, tough to do unless you are Tom Ross).

Was there any thought to creating a link to a separate page web page with people comments? Keep the anonymity but lose the sometimes nonsensical ranting that gets incorporated into the articles online with the current system?

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bigdog 6 years, 10 months ago

Really sad. I tend to read newspapers/mags for the entertainment value. I always first go to the letters to the editor, second to the controversial articles and read the comments. I guess the Pilot will not be on my hit list much longer.

Your comment sections are going to be lame at best.

bigdog OUT!

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meethinks 6 years, 10 months ago

same article, different incident. no difference, the Pilot had no issues with one of thier journalists calling ones employer over a comment, but oddly, Rob never called the one who posted the comment. Seemed one sided. But so do recent articles seems to be the new way of journalism for Steamboat.

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bigdog 6 years, 10 months ago

Alright, I am back for one last thought (maybe): Why not allow users to filter out/ignore certain posters? I post quite a bit on the Yahoo Financial blogs and use the "Ignore this user" all the time. That way, if i keep seeing rants from an "idiot", i check his/her name and POOF, no more idiotic rants. That way the community can manage it themselves, not BIG BROTHER.

bigdog OUT! AGAIN!

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Jean 6 years, 10 months ago

I used to live in SBS for about 20 years or so. I still like to read the pilot so I can keep up with what is going on. I will gladly fill out any info you may want, however I live in Mexico. Yes,I do have a phone,not that it works very well,I don't know my zip code,as it's not important (I receive no mail). So my question is...will the pilot spend all that money calling down here to verify my info??? If so,you will probably have to call several times as we don't have an answer machine.

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madmoores 6 years, 10 months ago

Hmmmm, some very good ideas here, particularly bigdogs last one, about "poof"...one more idiot gone, I like that. Id, you seem to make alot of sense sometimes and other times you seem completely off your rocker, guess that makes you even, not a bad place to be. I will miss your posts as well, especially the CH discussion, some people are so naive. Instead of moderating(what a concept huh??), now they want all of our info in this day and age of identity theft? Sorry, "me and a couple others" in no way makes me feel safe about you having my info. I have been posting here a little more often lately because some of the venom spewers of the past have moved on, I am not going to post anymore however because I would never trust a newspaper with sensitive information, name yes, phone #, no. Give someone an inch and they will take a mile. Matt, I'll take the "or should I go now" option. I admire you for always being rational and for putting your name behind what you say, if that is really who you are;)j/k... When I started posting here, I told you my name right off the bat, go look it up, first couple posts I put here. My user name is my name along with the first initials of my families names, I'm not angry or insane, could have been dammoores but I thought that would be offensive to some. If the pilot can't take my word for who I am then oh well, one less spot in the favorites column, it's their paper, they can make whatever rule they want. I, like bigdog, read the paper online for entertainment and just to see what someone is going to say next, it's fun and I get a good laugh out of all the nonsense that happens here on a day-to-day basis. I guess "you and a couple others" are not good enough to moderate, which somebody IS doing, I see posts deleted all the time. Why get personal when you already posses, and use, the power to delete at will? I've migrated to another forum anyway and it is a bummer that I will not be able to join my local neighbors in discussion. Like id, I won't be missed either and despite working and playing in Steamboat, I don't live there so my opinions don't count anyway. Here's my final thought: If you're so sensitive that an online forum, posted on by anonymous users, gets you so down and upset, then you need to stick your head in a bucket of water and get it over with right now. Grow some friggin' balls and suck it up, letting an online news forum bother you is a pretty pathetic existence in the least. Enjoy life, take a kid fishing(thanks cobob), ride a bike, recycle, laugh, love and by all means just live, there is not enough time in life to be mean or put up with the wussies and their whining.

"Elvis has left the building."

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

I too value the anonymous quality of my on-line moniker.

You will loose more than you gain with this approach to moderation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewpivXjLpr4

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skywatcher 6 years, 10 months ago

I made a comment earlier concerning the pilots marketing agenda, I now think this is wrong. It is a marketing agenda, just not the pilot's.

Does the possibility of tourists coming to the boat, reading (and enjoying) the local paper/life and then going home to log on the the piolt's site to read about this lovely place only to see the stuff that is written in the comments section. I am sure it will scare the heck out them that nirvana is not what they thought it was and they will vacation else where. Next, big event organizers see the same stuff and then they think maybe another town, say Avon, is a better place to host their event.

Think about it...... Pressure comes from many directions and when people are concerned about losing tax dollars or revenue, those in public office take notice. God forbid that the rest of the world read about nirvana to see that it is just as jacked up as the rest of the world.

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ThreeJobs 6 years, 10 months ago

Found this site. No personal info required to post. If you wondered what happed to the banned SBVOR all you need do is Google and here it is!

http://sbvor-local.blogspot.com/2008/07/sp-proposed-reader-forum-changes.html

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id04sp 6 years, 10 months ago

rsssco,

The essence of illusion is diversion.

Now, come back to bed and watch WIll and Grace with me, Honey. Karen is skinny in this one.

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constant1 6 years, 10 months ago

will someone tell me. do you have to log in to see your own posts?

cuz mine are gone. period. not removed. non existent!!!!!

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1234 6 years, 10 months ago

if you do not like the new rules, do not comment to it. the paper could shut it all down if they wanted to.

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Y_not 6 years, 10 months ago

R u kidding me? in this tiny lil community your are not going to allow us to keep our identity's to ourselves even thought we have legit concerns and thoughts that we feel we need to express??? Maybe what we are saying are things we want to let community leaders know but dont want to suffer for. Its a small valley one bad review and your company could be shut down forever or you might find you can't get a job or someone close to you could lose theirs. I think Wall and Cargo have a lot to do with this, damn us for having an opinion on the horrible decisions they made, but be in our shoes. we dont have the paper reporting all this. We have a D.A. office that wont cut a decent plea with anyone that isnt in the news (Wall&Cargo) wont reverse a charge no matter the evidence (Rainbow Gathering dumpster divers). You guy's want to refuse our ability to remain anonymous fine, but you give every single one of your "blotter suspects" the same press.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

constant1- If you click on your own (or anyone's) login handle, it will show you when they joined (you- 13JUL08) and how many posts they have, along with a list of them. You have 14 posts. Maybe you weren't looking at the right threads?

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sickofitall 6 years, 10 months ago

"The basic information we are asking for (name, date of birth, gender, zip code and telephone number) are simply pieces of information that can help us verify your identity. It is the minimum we felt was required to help ensure accuracy."

Fine and dandy until his laptop is stolen :P

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steamboatyahoo 6 years, 10 months ago

sorry to see that so many of these anonymous posters seem to be stating that they'll no longer post with the new rules. I was hoping to find out who some of these aXXholes in town really are.

Pilot, if you're so worried about anonymous posting then why to you print so many of these comments in your daily paper? That always seemed screwy to me.

still anonymous!

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meethinks 6 years, 10 months ago

hmmmmmmmmm... anyone else notice the new names this evening? it is nice to see the participation, opinions and ideals. Though we all may not agree. i have to say what a nice irony to see how many appreciate free speech. yet are afraid to use names and personal info online. I am one of them. This gave insights to our community, and those that would visit or just care about the valley... gonna go away now? or shall we find another way to express OPINIONS that may effect our families and lives here. How nice that the Pilot feels this need to censure.......................interesting.

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ThreeJobs 6 years, 10 months ago

"More often than not, I'm one of the haters of our current system. It encourages anonymous readers to say whatever they want about whomever they want, with little or no repercussion." Says Brent.

Just what "repercussions" do you have in mind? Is it just possible that those critical of the Pilot reporting and editorials are the real target?

One thing is certain. Counter point posts will be a thing of the past. You have chosen a course that insures that most all you will hear is "Yes." But ofcourse then you can tell yourself what a great job you are doing.

No more posts questioning the lack of depth of reporting on affordable housing.

No more controversy. Just a watered down, superficial, plain vanilla, light weight, rah rah rag.

"Be careful what you wish for," is always very good advice.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

What's even more interesting? Some of these same people have no problem discussing half of their personal info or gossip in the real world, not paying attention to who is behind them in a line at a store.

They might even be the same people who, when in a check-in line at a condo or hotel, get their info from the front desk clerk who quietly points out on the map where they are staying and they verbally reiterate it themselves, "So I'm in Room 222?" for all to hear.

These could be people who give their credit card number on their cell phone or work phone in hearing distance for all around to copy down. Or give their credit card to that front desk clerk who happens to have just finished a cell phone call & never notice them taking a cell phone pic of the credit card because their kids are running around.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Threejobs- What about the people who accused the Nerneys of popping roofies into people's drinks with absolutely no proof whatsoever on this very forum? Or the people who basically accuse Sgt. Foster for terrorizing 3 helpless women but weren't there to witness it themselves so can offer no proof? Or the person who jumps to a conclusion that someone is an illegal immigrant when there is nothing to prove that they are, and then say everyone who doesn't believe it is a naive idiot?

They should just be allowed to do this without providing how they know this, no proof, just a "little bird" told them? No- they should be held accountable for their words. Those aren't just "words;" they are accusations. There's a difference.

I could say "ThreeJobs has a history of groping small children, and should be registered as a sex offender" then PM everyone saying ThreeJobs is in real life John Doe, just because you pissed me off. That's not "just words."

But by most posts here, I shouldn't have to be held accountable for doing something like that. I should just get banned, then come back with a new handle and start it all over again.

What if John Doe's employer knows who I am and has a good rapport with me, then fires John Doe based on that? Or the policeman who knows me and decides to investigate John Doe because he knows I'm a stand-up guy in his book. Is that the kind of forum you'd want?

Maybe not everyone would believe me, but there are some who would. Just like there are some who believe Wall was drunk driving/Cargo was terrorized and those who don't believe it.

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JustAsking 6 years, 10 months ago

Matt, What has your post got to do with the topic?

Have you given any thought to how bored you will be without someone taking an opposing view? Or are you looking forward to just reading your own comments without challenge?

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madmoores 6 years, 10 months ago

No Matt, not that careless, just like I am not careless enough to give my personal info to "me and a couple others".

What the heck people, we should have one last blast before the end, let's drive up the # of posts on this thread as far as it will go(102 as of a few minutes ago, pretty impressive so far), I'm game to hang out til the 4th.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Justasking- There's nothing to say you won't be anonymous to the rest of us. Brent already stated the info goes nowhere outside the Pilot. I've always said, "If you are afraid you will be held liable for your words, don't use them." If you can't understand that, there's nothing more that can be explained about it. The Pilot is not censoring you or anyone else with this action. If people choose to drop out because of a policy change, it's a matter of individual choice. Same as taking the risk of ordering something online or by phone with a credit card. Same as crossing Lincoln Ave. a half block from the crosswalk light at 5:15pm on a Monday in July, yet you see that happen all the time...even adults with children.

How bored will I be? I doubt I will be bored. Do you post on any other forum at all? I do. I have to give more info on those sites than still what Pilot will start. As I've stated, I'm still among the living; nobody has stolen my identity yet, and I doubt they'd want to. They won't get much out of it.

If I wanted to read just my own comments, I'd ask to be a Pilot columnist for the paper, then force others to come on this site and hash it out amongst themselves...like Rob Douglas. Notice how he doesn't post on threads to his columns any longer? Or, I'd get a job on Fox News or a talk radio station where I can cut the mic of whomever doesn't agree with me.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 10 months ago

Well, I an only anticipate that this will open the door for bloggers to open dialog about issues on a confidential site, leaving their forum string address here, so that further discussions can take place and the Pilot will not have to worry! The stress of having to censor their site will be minimized and the same trash can be spilled and not at the Pilots expense! The string site can require the same sign up without reviling personal information and you can use a new identity to speak of the issue at hand! I guess the Pilot can't ban other reference sites, now can they! Then again, why bother. Keep it legitimate or be gone, right! Big brother is watching more than you know! Have a good day!

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prayforsnow 6 years, 10 months ago

What about people that cannot afford to own a phone? Automatically they are excluded from being allowed to voice their opinion?

WTF?

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meethinks 6 years, 10 months ago

to those of you missing the point....free speech. vulgarity aside. (yes opinion.. but still) when I signed up i was mislead to believe that I had the RIGHT and CHOICE to remain behind the scenes, and express an opinion of topics in my local paper that would effect me or my family. Ahh duh folks.... that right to a choice was just expelled...due to some folks who disagree with opinions/facts from others. It is called thinking for ones self.....this forum gave us the oppurtunity to do so without fear of repercussion from employers, friends and family. Anyone remember "1984"? Am I ready to stand behind anything I have posted, you betcha, it is my right as a free thinking person in what is supposed to be one of the most progressive nations in the world. Am I ready to go so boldly into my place of employment tomorrow morning and express the same views that effect me and mine so candidly? NO, the Pilot mislead us into thinking or believing that the comments posted here would be monitored for vulgar or obscene posts, nothing was said that ones views had to agree with a certain population in the valley. I am disgusted that a free, public publication would assume the position of censurship that is being offered to us. the very people whose advertisments and ideals keep it going. I am also distrurbed by the fact that many of us have been posting for some time, ideals and opinions that again, we were led to believe would be monitored and removed if deemed "to offensive" .the basis of this article is the possible written "abusive" comments posted by some, but some of those comments also generated the most responses. It is the irresponsible practices of those left to moderate these discussions which may have lead to possible legal ramifications, not just those who expressed an opinion (although thank you to those that actually tried to document and back up your thoughts or opinions, again made some of us think and research) due to lack of the moderation, "abuse" of some ideals may be the view of some. It is the open forum that we have been accustomed that has led to the "abuse and misconduct" of comments made. On the other hand, isn't great that we live in a nation where ones feelings may be hurt, but minds are expanded and people are sometimes encouraged to think for themselves. The Pilot is a free publication (except Sundays.. where oddley enough more names are put to print in the record....) Those of us that live work and spend our money here do have a say in a matter such as this. The more I think of it, I am not so ready for such a small publication to dictate to me what opinions I can say online, I am however strongly oppsed to the unregulated gathering of such personal information.... it is not Brents, or anyones elses business what gender or age I am.....Discrimination anyone????

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lessworkmoreskiing 6 years, 10 months ago

This town is way too small to be able to honestly express your views on this forum with having your name tied to it. Being anonymous can bring out some straight honesty. Yes, things will be said that other people don't like and can't handle. Cry me a river. It makes the blogs interesting to read - except for people making comments against each other that are just a waste of time. Maybe you have nothing better to do that blog to people you don't even know about some BS and say ridiculous things back and forth like some 6th grade kids would.

The Pilot is most certainly collecting this info for their marketing purposes. I had been employed by the Pilot in the past, and the bottom line to most of what they do is money and advertising. The paper and this site is not free to run. I would say they could identify you with one single piece of info... if certain people are leaving numerous offensive comments, the Pilot can easily trace their IP address and block that computer from accessing the forums. If you are going to be a bastard and you get reported by others, then you lose out on your privileges. Being an adult is really hard.

There is absolutely no reason for the Pilot to need that much information from you. But maybe you dont care they are collecting this info to sell more advertising.

No me gusta.

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meethinks 6 years, 10 months ago

My point being....The Pilot relies on the community. It was very irresponsible to allow some of the posts to be made public. However amusing and interesting they may have been. Now it is "cover your a&& time" and the blame is being assigned to the public. No, it is the public that has made this such a welcome tool to our community. Lessskiing, you are so correct that this is a small time publication, all the more reason for some free thought. i have relatives a thousand miles away who have visited ,that daily read this site and post. our "small town mentality" is not always so small town, yet the majority of these ideals are made by the local crowd. Gives insight to those that we live and work among. Again the wonderous idea of free speech..................

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id04sp 6 years, 10 months ago

Uh, I get the Pilot's marketing crap (the real estate glossy color magazine, Steamboat at Home, or whatever) even though my current ID was obtained through a "free" e-mail provider I signed up with from a public computer.

This is because the Pilot marketeers can search the county tax records just like everyone else and get my mailing address.

It's not about marketing. It's about ad revenue and realtors.

When I was in college, my roomate and I co-wrote an advice column in the school newspaper where we made up the questions and the answers. Everybody knew it was a humor piece, and not a real advice column. We only got ONE real letter in the two years we wrote the column. Some of the school administrators were fans and couldn't wait to see their names mentioned in the column.

There's a long-standing policy at the Pilot I agree with. They don't engage in character assassination of people who are not public figures. A moderated website could solve all that, except then they'd have to pay two people full time to do the job.

It's a real concern that publishing false information about someone leaves the Pilot liable for libel. Big legal mess. Very expensive. Posters are also liable, and don't always know how to voice an opinion in speculation (like using the word "alleged") when proof is not at hand. In my case, when I've written something that might damage a person's reputation and lead to a suit for libel, I've always had written proof in my hand to back it up. For example, I did not accuse a public official of being a victim of narcissistic personality disorder. Instead, I published the criteria copied from the DSM-IV so that people could draw their own opinions.

The average Joe Boarder who signs on drunk and high with an axe to grind and flings out accusations may not understand the difference between saying something that is verifiably true, something that is alleged, and something that is intentionally false and intended to harm a person's reputation, income, standing in the community, etc.

The way I have been able to make the same allegations over and over about certain individuals and organizations without being sued is the FACT that I could back up what I wrote. Any attorney will tell you that, when someone accuses you of wrongdoing, you don't respond, offer a defense or attack back and thereby lend credibility to the accusation UNLESS you can prove it is false AND that you were harmed by it. You remain silent and let the accuser try to prove it in a forum which has jurisdiction over the matter.

(continued)

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Joe_Mama 6 years, 10 months ago

Joe thinks that anyone who thinks that personal info will not be used in a detrimental manner is simply naive.

It would be very easy [except for the inherent laziness of journalists] for the Pilot to moderate the posts, and there is absolutely no need to collect folk's personal information, except for the obvious reasons [ marketing, homeland security, you name it. ] Remember, this rag is in the business of sales, and if you think that simply Brent's "assurance" that no one will have access to your personal info is good enough, then live with the consequences.

Anyone who would give up personal freedom for the sake of a little perceived safety [in this case euphemistly referred to as "quality control"] deserves neither freedom OR safety.

Joe has enjoyed a few of these online debates, however, not enough to give out personal info to a bunch of people not qualified to protect it. The only posters who have been worthy of intellectual debate are no longer posting either, so it really doesn't matter.

With that, Joe will no longer be posting here.

Bad decision on the Pilot's part, but they seem to make bad decisions regularly.

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id04sp 6 years, 10 months ago

(continued from above)

I am pretty sure that some people got nervous and corrected some public records which altered the legal status of an action taken against me, and in the end, that was good enough. A judgment that's renewed after the last day allowed by law is null and void, and I can show you where the records were corrected to reflect the true dates involved. Why? Because falsification of public records is a felony, and certain jobs can't be held by felons.

The one time someone attempted to strike back at me purporting to know who I "really" am, they accused me of things that were just not true. Might have been true for someone else who was named in error, but not for me. That post was removed from the forum, but not at my request. I assume the poster had second thoughts about it, or it was done by the staff. It's just like when CoJustice accused me of being Gary Wall on another thread. I didn't dispute it or ask for it to be removed, because I am not the one who was responsible for posting false allegations. Why try to disprove something that would require breaching my anonymity, when in the long run, who cares? It doesn't affect me in any material (the "legal" material concept is what I'm talking about) way, so big deal.

There are some horrendous things which happen in this county and in Steamboat. I've been through some of them and understand what honest people face when they try to make a living in an area where stealing from the boss is, just, okay -- whatever -- and there are lots of people around living on money they never earned. Frankly, if you could take away all the people from Steamboat Springs and leave the ski area, it would be a huge improvement. The only ugliness in town is produced by the people who own or rent pieces of it. It could be a nirvana, but once you get to the bottom of the hill, Hell is just a few yards away. Thanks, folks, for ruining it for everybody else.

I knew the place had changed for the worse a few years ago when I went into Wal-Mart and the aisles were clogged with big fat fannies of second home and retirement home owners. People with money, cursed with selfishness and gluttony, and no business anywhere near a pair of ski pants.

The truth is, money wins. Nothing else matters as long as you don't get caught hurting someone physically, or outright stealing from them. Our greatest protection in this town is the fact that so many people who use drugs and evade taxes, etc., live here, and are paranoid about getting caught, that there's no room for real criminals to come in. People don't stand up for what's "right" because they'd be exposing themselves to scrutiny, so the drug use and economic crimes go unpunished. Real criminals just can't afford to live here, and even if they could, it's so small that they can't just fade back into the hood and be anonymous.

(one more time)

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justathought 6 years, 10 months ago

This is just another one of those cases where it is easier to pass a rule (law) that affects everyone in order to control a few. Our lawmakers do it all the time.

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trump_suit 6 years, 10 months ago

Any of you that think you are truly anonymous are sadly mistaken. On the internet, your access is routinely monitored, and the Pilot already has access to the IP address that you are posting from. With the proper incentive (supeona, lawsuit, grand jury summons etc) Your comments can already be tracked back to your computer, your house, and your identity.

This changes nothing, and those of you that think that it is a violation of your privacy need to reconsider your comments, postings and surfing habits.

Let me be clear. Nothing that you do on the internet is truly private and never has been.

Is response to the article, it is about time that the Pilot took some steps to clean up the negativity and personal attacks that take place in these forums. You would not speak to your neighbors that way in person, why is it OK in these forums?

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

LOL! People can't afford a phone, but can afford the time to be online, to post comments? Maybe write a letter to the editor- it's cheaper! And you do know that to just get a land line with no long distance from Qwest is about $30 a month instead of a $70+ cell phone bill, right? That's a little more affordable.

Sounds like the clip from The Soup on E! the other night, about some reality show. The guy says he's homeless, but lives in his car. He then says, "I got a Mercedes!" LMAO!

Ultimately, half of the people who post currently who say they'll stop...will be back in a new handle. It's our nature.

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id04sp 6 years, 10 months ago

(and finally)

So, our real problem is a soullessness that comes from the "me first" money loving crowd to the "why not me too?" working folks who can't really appreciate what it's like to live in a community of self-respecting human beings.

One thing for sure, though. It beats living anywhere in the NY, NJ and DC areas. People come here to get away from all that crap -- but forget to leave the attitudes behind. You can almost afford to look people in the eye when you pass on the street, say "Hi," and not get hit up for spare change.

And speaking of change, I think it's time for one. But not the one Mr. Boyer is making.

We need a community talk radio station where people can call in and get involved. Not only would it be "Free," like the "Today," but you wouldn't have to go downtown to pick up a copy. Does anybody else think that might cut into the Pilot's advertising revenue? For one thing, you don't have to buy paper for a radio station . . .

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shoe_Z_Q 6 years, 10 months ago

id I respect your opinion and you do have some very good points. I am the 3rd generation born and raised in Steamboat. I would give anything to walk downtown Steamboat and see the Dorothy Shop, Del's Jewelry and Toys, Harwigs, and the City Market that stood where the post office is now. The Rodeo grounds was the Stetson arena (when and why that changed I will never know) Then Steamboat gets discovered, people move here to "get away from it all" then vote for everything they wanted to "get away from" leave because the winter was to hard on them and the locals get stuck hoding the " Tax Bag" for them. I would like to see the exact opposite, Steamboat to come back and the Ski area to go. After all Aspen and Vail are a short drive away. Then the Pilot can report on the things that matter. The real local people will have ranches to run and won't have time to sit at a computer slammimg each other and all troubles with cleaning the comments up won't be a factor!!!!!

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geek101 6 years, 10 months ago

hey, to give you guys something else to talk about... anyone look at the personals today?? looks like OC will be having a trial afterall....

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colobob 6 years, 10 months ago

one last post before I go and in the form of a link. Hope to see some of you there. Plenty of issues to debate, discuss, or to just plain say howdy to one another. "via con dios! Audios!"

http://sbvor-local.blogspot.com

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prayforsnow 6 years, 10 months ago

kiel, I actually know plenty of people in this town who cannot afford a phone, and they are not sitting at home on the internet commenting, but they do go into the library and use the computers. $30 may seem like very little to you, but to plenty of people in town, its not even an option to spend an extra $30, especially right now.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

prayforsnow- I used to be there, too, but instead of being at the library, I'd be working a 2nd job to afford a phone, in case an employer calls. $30 is $30 and I don't just go tossing that amount as spare change. Maybe there are other things to give up in a life in order to have a phone, especially for emergency services. Maybe that means giving up a car or at least driving it and use the free bus to get around.

Personally, when I gave up drinking (and I drank a lot!) I found I had an extra couple hundred dollars a month. That got me a new TV (cheaper in 1991), a phone, and cable TV hooked up, all within 6months. Not saying drinking is everyone's case, but if it is...that could be cut down to save money.

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another_local 6 years, 10 months ago

I am amazed at the number of people who have evidently not read the new policy carefully. You will still be able to post without your name appearing if that is what you wish.

Yes, the newspaper will have a couple of people with access to your identity but it will not be published.

My guess is that this will halt some of the more irresponsible posts in addition to preventing people who are banned from re-registering so easily.

As to free speach issues; this forum is a privately owned place to which the public is invited. The newspaper is well within their rights to insist on knowing who is in here and is under no obligation to tolorate some of the nonsense that occurs here daily.

This is a good change.

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steamboatsconscience 6 years, 10 months ago

bob I went over to the bore's blog, what a hoot! LOL! he's built a monument to his own over inflated ego, named himself King, and he is basically talking to himself as usual, with the exception of his little buddy jazz and I guess now you.. I see he has already deleted posts from someone who disagreed with his "absolutely substantiated" view. pretty hypocritical considering how he is still crucifying the SP&T over his demand for an apology. I plan on signing up there, someone needs to keep him in check. any bets on how quick I'll get deleted by the czar sbvor? as for this travesty , well, it was fun while it lasted. I'm sure the ACLU would have an opinion on it, maybe I'll drop them an e mail. anonymously of course! I guess Steamboat will have to do without a conscience anymore.

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stillinsteamboat 6 years, 10 months ago

wasn't Safeway where the post office is now and City Market was where the rug store is?

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Bore's blog, and he's censoring people? Ohhhhh, noooooo, Mr. Bill!!!...I mean, Ohhhhhhh, nooooooo, Mr. Epley!!!!

He must be lonely over there.

"If I looked all over the world And there's every type of girl But your empty eyes Seem to pass me by Leave me dancing with myself

So let's sink another drink 'Cause it'll give me time to think If I had the chance I'd ask the world to dance And I'll be dancing with myself

Oh dancing with myself Oh dancing with myself Well there's nothing to lose And there's nothing to prove I'll be dancing with myself"

Billy Idol rocks!!

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shoe_Z_Q 6 years, 10 months ago

Yes, stillinsteamboat, you are correct, at my age the mind slips a little Safeway was there. I stand corrected. Thank you, Have a super weekend everyone. I'm going camping!!

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Anonymity puzzles me. Many of you, after months of stating your beliefs, would rather leave than risk your name being associated with your beliefs.

When is something important enough that you would stand up for it? -Steve Lewis

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madmoores 6 years, 10 months ago

Let me break it down for you...I-D-E-N-T-I-T-Y T-H-E-F-T. Heard of it? "Me and a couple others" does not make me comfortable in the arena of identity theft. I am very careful with my information, giving it to "me and a couple others" is not being secure with your information. Is that to complex to understand?

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madmoores 6 years, 10 months ago

One more thing: What rock solid assurance are they giving us that they will not release our information to anyone, where is the written policy for this? Do you know what "trust me" really means?

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stillinsteamboat 6 years, 10 months ago

ps- shoe_Z_Q I lived at Dream Isand too and love your Grandparents. You have a great family.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

What's so risky about them, or anyone, having: - First and last name - A valid daytime phone number where you can be reached - Gender - Zip code - Year of birth

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Except for the phone number, all this info is on the voter rolls. Anyone can get this info for all of Routt's registered voters for $150. -Steve Lewis

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rsssco 6 years, 10 months ago

judging by this thread it seems routt county's main industry is paranoia.

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ijustlookhi 6 years, 10 months ago

just very stupid of the pilot staff...shorstighted and ignorant...lots of solutions and this is their choice?!...you guys are so lame...hahhah lol at the ineptitude of the pilot hahahaha...

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another_local 6 years, 10 months ago

All the info except the year of birth is in the phone book.

Identity theft? Really? That is the reason on you object? I guess we will not be hearing from you any more.

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madmoores 6 years, 10 months ago

"All the info except the year of birth is in the phone book."

IF you allow them to put it there, you have that option.

"Identity theft? Really?"

Really. Your trusting information to this (direct from Boyers post above):

"Only a couple of Pilot & Today Web site administrators, myself included, will have access to the user database. "

Are you people really this dense? What makes you trust that? I can't imagine what other outsiders reading this forum think of your town with comments like this(and other worse ones):

"I guess we will not be hearing from you any more."

All for simply stating I don't trust someone, what is so wrong with not trusting someone I don't know? Your wish will be granted on the 4th. Guess working, playing, and spending alot of money in your town does not give me the right to post an opinion, figures...maybe I need to find a new playground. I have already given them my name, they don't need anything else. If they can't trust me and my name, who says I have to trust them with more of my info? For the record I am not paranoid or psychotic, I am just extremely careful who I give ANY information to, I can't imagine what is wrong with that. Name and phone # now, what will be required next? Like I said, give them an inch and they will take a mile.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

madmoores- What makes you NOT trust what Brent said? While I not absolutely sure, I'm willing to bet that the policy will be in written format as of the 4AUG date Brent put forth. If not, save this page as an offline page in your computer and you can access it (without any changes made to the online page) since it has Brent's own wording right here. You can then use that to back yourself up.

And again- this is one of the forums that I (and others, from talking to them) that asks the least amount of information to participate.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Thinkfirst-

1) Do you as a public person pay for this site or does the Pilot thru money received for paying for the Sunday Pilot and thru advertising? If you are an advertiser, then we'll need to see the advertising contract to see if it allows for anything other than the ad you place, bringing you business. I haven't seen one that included unrestricted access to the Pilot's website in any fashion, yet, personally. Nor do I see anything that says paying $1 a week for the Sunday paper allowing for the same thing. All that does is get you a paper to read.

2) Can you prove that what Brent says is a lie when he says this info won't be sold? If so, please provide it as proof to dispute what Brent says.

3) You registed under the Thinkfirst handle 3 months ago, and that was your only post so far. You don't have to give any info to read, if that's all you usually do; just to post.

4) It is not your "Right" or mine or anyone else's to post on this forum; it is a privelege offered by a private company, the Steamboat Pilot & Today. They are the ones who went to the trouble to pay for setting up this website; not us. If it's a matter of rights, I'm sure you could do what svbor has done, and have your own blogsite on the web where you can control how it works.

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mkbar 6 years, 10 months ago

Ok. IP tracking of abusers only works if you only allow people with static IPs to post. That means that anyone who uses a dial up service is not allowed because they have dynamic addresses. It's fine for discovering the identity of a computer at a specific date and time through subpoena in a legal proceeding but is ineffective for the purpose of keeping banned posters from re registering.

Those of you saying that Brent Boyer is lying when he says the list won't be sold to advertisers and that your identities will be revealed by the others with access are poster children for this rule. It's those types of completely unfounded accusations that have no place on this public forum.

This could quite possibly be considered data mining but it's not the least bit similar to the NSA's illegal wiretapping. This is completely voluntary. That was done by a government agency in violation of the fourth amendment. This is not a valid comparison at all. If the pilot does violate your confidentiality you can sue them and be reasonably certain that a group of cowardly lawmakers won't give them retroactive immunity.

The site could be moderated, it's true, but why should the pilot take on the added expense of hiring a moderator and the added liability while still giving you a place to post and read the news for FREE. Besides I think you would find that due to the increased liability for the pilot, posts that even approach controversy would not make it to the forum. Moderating a forum is censoring it and you'd really scream then.

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rsssco 6 years, 10 months ago

mkbar is correct about IP addresses. Any lame brain can go to any one of many IP masking services and sign-up with a new IP address. mk is also right about the casual calling of Brent a liar. Let's try this. Those who call Brent a liar are indeed liars themaselves and were raised by parents who were bald faced liars. In fact, their entire family are liars. I know this based on the same evidence they know Breant is a liar.

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another_local 6 years, 10 months ago

Madmoores,

First of all, sorry, I was not addressing you specifically. I was responding to several posts, yours among them, that seemed to imply that the newspaper has ulterior motives in collecting information. I apologize if you felt I was attacking you.

Dense? No, and I don't appreciate the characterization.

Trusting? Yes. I know Brent and a number of other people at the paper and I do trust them. I would trust them with considerably more (for other purposes) than they are asking for here, especially since they are asking for information that is available anyway.

"Identity Theft? Really?" Refers not to my doubt that this can be done, but rather, to the belief that this information is enough to do it and that information gathering is the purpose of the policy.

I am not thrilled that they exist but all this information and more is available on-line by using any of several people search websites. Giving this small amount of widely available information to a business that already knows more than that about me does not bother me in the slightest.

Most people here generally leave doors unlocked and we trust our neighbors with a lot more than our year of birth and phone numbers. I understand that is no longer that case in many places, but perhaps that is one reason so many want to visit here? I did not mean to imply that you would leave the community, stop visiting or that you should, but simply that we would not be seeing comments from people unwilling to meet the requirements for posting here.

This issue is about some level of accountability for what is said and the ability to determine who can enter and participate, not about gathering information.

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id04sp 6 years, 10 months ago

I think a lot of us are aware that some folks who've worked for the Pilot in the past have had issues in their lives that put them in contact with the justice system.

Would a person on parole, or probation, deny information to a police officer, DA or judge who asked them for it on the sly? Probably not.

Can information be stolen? Sure. We hear about it all the time. Lost laptops have been responsible for the compromise of millions of sets of private data.

Consider that Brent can be telling the truth, but still be wrong. It happens all the time. It's called a mistake.

Given a name and address, any of us can go to the Routt County Tax Assessor's website and find out whether they own property. If so, there's more information on file on the Clerk and Recorder website, including how much the mortgage was for, etc., as listed in the deed documents. If you've got that kind of information, the ONLY other thing you need to steal someone's identity is their Social Security number. I proved this to my boss when she wanted us to circulate a list of our birthdays (day and month only), spouses and kids' names, etc., to be posted in a computer file and circulated to all 50 people in the department for "social" purposes. When I went in and told her how old she was and the price she paid for her house, she got the idea pretty quickly. A pay stub thrown in the trash, or a tax return, or any number of other documents (like their W-4 from work) will have the SSN on it.

If you live in a big town, and your name is David Smith, it might be hard to track down your particular information. If you name is Mort Schmeckelman, maybe not so hard, right?

My educated guess is that, given a list of 100 names, I could probably find tax records, deeds, etc., on at least 10 of them, and go steal their trash from the curb for a few weeks, and come up with enough information to apply for credit in at least one name.

Forcing someone to get a subpoena means they have to go on record as LOOKING for the information, establish a need for it, and thereby compromise their OWN anonymity.

If somebody wants to drive by my house and throw paint on my new Pathfinder some night, because of something I've printed here, they remain anonymous. I'm not fearful of the people who will post their names and addresses. What about the ones who only read the forum, and react to it? Those are the real macadamias in this cookie.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Some above are extremely careful with their personal information - the same information asked for when you register to vote. These folks are so against sharing that info that their thoughts and values may evaporate from this blog after Aug 4. Are these two new American priorities, anonymity and insulation?

I understand this little blog is only that a little blog. Hopefully, somewhere, each of us finds opportunity to "exercise our right to express ourselves" and does so with the ownership and pride of our name attached.

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aworker4progress 6 years, 10 months ago

Great going Scott !!
Leave it to a cub sports reporter who finds himself in an editor position...to try to implement a solution to something he (and I include his employer) know very little about.

This supposed issue has such an easy fix. I am talking about fixing the troublesome issues the paper has with anonymity, as well as an easy fix for those who still want to post anonymously and will continue to do so. This will accomplish very little except put an end to public discourse, polite or not. Wow, this city would be a good place to open a newspaper. Sheesh.

Oh, I understand both sides of the issue and when I have in the past posted my 'opinions', (on stories or writers), they are nothing more than that, my opinion. Without anonymity I may still post if so moved to include it in the debate. However, some if not most will not. Another forum for debate becomes less informative, imaginative, interesting, and available. I think we all know that more than enough junk is available as information in this age, some true some not. Any website suffers that BS.

By this stage in your young life Scott, you should realize that there is your story, there is my story, and then there is the truth. Even the print on your rag is not truly black and white.

Some may not be able to find it (truth) anymore. Few hardly ever have in this poorly edited and executed rag of wasted tissue paper. Try forming an opinion without the benefits of differing views made without fear of repercussions by the more ignorant/intelligent than you or I.

I managed to live through plenty of what might have seemed as personal attacks from friends, relatives, and even strangers as I grew up. This all helped me grow. Flaming someone, who does not deserve it, is not good. Neither is taming someone who does not need it.

Once again, my little mountain town has shown us a shining illustration of good intentions with lousy execution. However, I should not have expected less. So much effort to end a problem by throwing idiotic fantasy solutions to appease a handful of people who need no other views than their own or what someone else tells them to think or believe. This world (and apparently town) has loads of people who cannot have their minds expanded with differing opinions or thoughts. Shame.

Way to go Pilot!

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Airtime 6 years, 10 months ago

OK, did someone miss the "boat"? (Joke Steamboat) Obviously with all the POLITICAL arrests being made and all of the comments that provide such "accurate detailed" information on incidents; the Pilot has received requests for information from bloggers. This was probably very significant when Top Dog Wall started to form his CONSPIRACY theory that the world was after him and wanted to find out the bloggers that new so much about him? No I know Wall is not the only target on the blog, I mean you got Cargo, School adminitrators, business owners of bars, dogs at large, pine trees dying, etc..... So the pilot is reacting to who's pressure. The blog has been up for year and the "RECENT" polictical b.s. has created them to CHANGE!!!! I hate change... Where is my doctor?!!?!?

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Airtime 6 years, 10 months ago

Oops, one more thing, the nature of a blog is merely entertainment value. I have allowed my personal feelings to be offended by others prior and surely some of you have scars as well. When it comes down to it, there is nothing on TV (thats upsetting when I have 200 channels and cant find anything to watch - wheres my doctor?) and bloggers resort to an annoymous entry on a small town newspaper blog to "have their 5 seconds of GLORY!!!! speaking their word and FEELING heard. They say it's theraputic!!!! I dont know. Dont fix it if it aint broke.

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rsssco 6 years, 10 months ago

Yes. We should all take the advice of the intelligent and informed aworkerforprogress. So intelligent and well informed that he doesn't even know that "Scott" hasn't been the editor of the paper for close to a year now. What a moron.

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dundalk 6 years, 10 months ago

Suffice it to say, I am not the most well liked person on the forum. I was raised in an environment where having an opinion was noble, and voicing it was considered a right afforded by members of my military family. I may not always agree with everyone on the forum, but I would go to my grave to allow them the right to say what they want, even when its calling me a human piece of garbage, as RSSCO did in another post. Rssco has the right to his/her opinion, whether I agree with it or not. Just as Boodog did, and a few others.

Even though I may throw invisible verbal darts from time to time, I would NEVER consider going after some posters here on a personal level, i.e., calling someone's employer, or trying to jeopardize someone's job, safety or well being, as a few have done to me. This is a blog spot after all. I have remained nameless for those very reasons.

It goes against all I believe in to supply the Pilot with my personal information. If I wanted someone to know who I was, I would simply spell it out. In a small town such as Steamboat, it is simply too easy to discover the identity of someone and then go on a personal vendetta rampage against them.

There are some posters who know who I am. They know my number, name and where I live. We may not always agree, but I trust them and know that regardless of any disagreements I may have with them, I am not going to wake up and find my car sprayed with paint. Ido4sp makes a valid point in one of his previous posts with regard to personal retributions.

With that said, my days of posting are numbered. This has been a nice source of entertainment since its inception. I wish all the fellow posters good luck on their decision as to reveal themselves or not. Keep posting if you wish, I will enjoy reading, silently and without keystrokes!

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Be afraid?

The above rationales are so incredibly weak. The next chapter of this site may have a LOT less volume and still be a big improvement. I look foward to Aug 5. -Steve Lewis

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Actually, I'm willing to be it brings new people into the forums. Or at least new handles. I still think half of the people who post saying they'll no longer do so...will come back in a new handle. LOL!

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rsssco 6 years, 10 months ago

Matt is exactly right. And maybe we won't have people smearing dead children anymore with their "noble" opinions--that would be an improvement!

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mtroach 6 years, 10 months ago

So If I provide basic information to Brett, and continue to post under my alias, my voice will be even more significant after all you scardy cats are gone, and if the owners of this site have a problem, they will know how to reach me. Every poster on this site gives out more information than this during a online checkout.

Some of your opionions will be missed, I wonder how some others will get along without the courage to give up simple information so that you can comment on what I'm going to post in this new age... Power to the posters!!

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StbtWatchmen 6 years, 10 months ago

I understand the concerns of all. Maybe the Pilot should just shut this thing down if they are so worried! No need to get undies in a bunch about it! Who cares! Maybe we can have write ins in the Steamboat Local newspaper or the Steamboat Pirate! Maybe those papers will gain more notoriety! LOL! I may not be posting here any further but, ya never know. I think I stayed a considerate blog. C-ya! ;-)

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StbtWatchmen 6 years, 10 months ago

Next on line question should be: should the Steamboat Pilot shut down their blog area? Would be interesting to see the insults rather, I mean the results!

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Steamboatmom1 6 years, 10 months ago

It seems to me that we are losing more and more of our freedom of speech. In these days and age it seems that we are growing to have less freedom due to terrorism, shooting in the work place and all sorts of bad people out there. I suppose this is just one more of those freedoms lost in order to protect the people. I feel it's just another scare tactic to make the people have a false sense of security in there lives. Yet I guess if we want to keep posting we have a choice. Either except the new way or get off and hold your thoughts to yourselves. For me I have nothing to hide so I guess I'll selectively post as I have been. I enjoy reading what everyone has to say ad will miss some of these comments some of which are very interesting and thought provoking. I like it when others really get you t think out side the box. Take care and have a great day

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Jonathan Casson 6 years, 10 months ago

Um...yeaahhh...this has nothing to do with Freedom of Speech, 1st Amendment, Terrorism or anything remotely close to that.

If you went to a bar on open mic night, took the stage, started ranting on a political diatribe that the owner didnt like or you start insulting the patrons of the bar, does the owner have the right to cut you off and throw you out of the bar? Is that a violation of your 1st amendment rights?

Of course, the owner has that right and its not a violation of your freedom of speech. Because it's a private place of business. Just like an online newspaper! The Pilot doesnt have to allow this forum or these comments at all. They own the paper AND the website and can do with it whatever they please.

I could be wrong, but I dont believe that first amendment rights extend to anonymous postings on a private business website....if I'm wrong about that, can someone post a link or reference to the pertinent case law?

So, you have a choice to post under their rules or not. Simple as that. They are in no way curbing your freedom of speech.

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aworker4progress 6 years, 10 months ago

joncasson, I agree that the first amendment is not relevant in Brent's, (not Scott as I incorrectly named previously, I am so embarrassed), decision to have some contact or identifying information on file. I think the first amendment applies only to government censorship. However, in 1960, a case may/could seem relevant; read Talley v California. Here is a link:

http://epic.org/free_speech/talley_v_california.html

However, this case involved anonymity and a CITY ordinance. I think private entities or businesses can make almost any rules they want:i.e. no shirt, no shoes, no service, etc., On my quick perusal of the above link, I think somehow pamphlets could be compared to e-bulletin boards like this one.

In my opinion, and I do have one, due to the fact the unlike rsssco, I have read the books in my library. It appears obvious that rsssco's library has only the two. And I don't think he has even finished coloring one of them yet. (Sorry old joke).

I am not a lawyer, nor do I understand much of what I read. I guess I am a moron. I'm going to go color now.

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id04sp 6 years, 10 months ago

The first amendment says that Congress shall not prohibit free speech. It does not require private parties to publish anything in their own newspaper.

The equal time doctrine of the FCC requires broadcast stations to allow time for people to make opposing political viewpoints when time has been provided free of charge to another for the same purpose. If you allow Obama or Osama or Yo Mama to go on TV and spew a political rant, then equal time must be allowed for an opposing view to be heard. When somebody pays for political advertising, the opponent also has to be allowed the same opportunity to air political ads at the same cost per minute or second or whatever.

Neither of these long-standing practices requires the Pilot to publish anything that any of us write.

The big issue for the Pilot is whether advertisers will continue to pay for ad space if "circulation" drops. Again, as I stated elsewhere, I think this new policy is a reaction to realtors complaining about us giving the town a bad name and hurting sales. Sales are probably down because of the econonmy, but why not play it safe and go P.C. just in case?

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Jean 6 years, 10 months ago

Just looked at Steamboat forum.com... I think it will be a great site. Will log on today. Take a looksee Thanks

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Steamboatmom, Above, you express disappointment in this site's upcoming requirements (name, phone #, year born, zip and gender). I'm glad you'll stick around anyway.

My disappointment is our fear of each other and how that has become a priority above participation. Underlying or at the surface of many con posts (against the new requirements) is the risk of personal retribution. But consider our peers on city committees, or our city councilors. Do they apply some courage against retaliation to stand up for their principles? The cons will say yes. Its a very remote risk, but I agree. We should also agree that particular vein of courage is the foundation of our country.

Many claim to write in this site for entertainment. But all (except random jokers) habitually suggest a proper course to take and most care enough to write hundreds of words over many months on many topics. I don't understand how such well considered views are not valuable enough to stand behind.

Every day we ask thousands of young Americans to walk deadly fields in defense of our freedoms. How ironic that in Steamboat, for fear of our neighbors, we are hiding ourselves from view.
-Steve Lewis

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id04sp 6 years, 10 months ago

Lewi,

Those who seek public office willingly expose themselves to public scrutiny. There are laws which protect public officials from violence and vandalism.

There are no laws which protect people who disagree with public officials from being punished for their views in the courts, administrative bodies, job actions, placement of children on sports teams, etc. Would you dare criticize a high school principal at a school where your daughter is trying out for cheerleader? Think about it.

We have people in our midst who break the law every single day for personal or political gain. Nobody can stop them, because they are the ones in charge of preventing the abuse which they inflict. Now, I agree, nobody should be able to publish a statement like, "Judge Flamson is a slimey @$$#0!e." But what about, "Why does Judge Flamson constantly give sex offenders a break by accepting plea bargains that put them back out on the street sooner?" Okay, so then, say, you go to traffic court and there sits Judge Flamson; what now? Change of venu? Sure, that would be great. They put you in front of another judge who works daily with Judge Flamson. Do you really expect to get fair treatment in such a case? I can tell you that once a local judge decides "you lose," buddy, you've lost it. Forget the appeal; you get back an "unpublished opinion" that agrees with the original decision. These people are not fair, unbiased, or truthful unless it suits them. They don't have to be. They ARE the law, and they can wreck your life and your credit rating for years if it suits them.

Would you dare complain about something done by the RCSO, or SSPD, or OCPD, if you thought they would watch for your car, stop you when you drive away, and claim you refused a BAC test? That's all it takes. They only have to CLAIM you refused the test, and you're screwed like Gary Wall and Cargo.

Lewi, I mean you no harm. But, here's something to consider.

According to the public records, a person with a name matching yours has a wife named Linda and paid $235,000 for a house in 1999. The current actual value of that property is assessed at over 1 million. Anybody can look it up. I won't give the address. But now do you get the point?

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

ID- Took me 2 seconds to find a Steve & Linda Lewis- phone # and addy in the phone book. What's the difference besides knowing how much he paid for his house?

You can find that info on Dex Online, even.

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id04sp 6 years, 10 months ago

Kielbasa,

Exactly.

All you need is the name. That opens the door to anything from vandalism to identity theft, to being set up by the cops to stop you and claim you refused the BAC test, to you name it.

No thanks. No sense making it easy for somebody to do something rash in the heat of the moment, is there? It ain't like people around here don't get f####d up and do stupid things they wouldn't do if they were straight and sober.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Actually, my point is that everyone gives out more info anywhere else BUT here. Again- it's all a matter of people not trusting the Pilot. No need to go into again. Brent has put it in print right on this thread.

My words aren't going to change anyone's mind or vice versa. People have paranoia set in or whatever other excuses not to put their names to their words. Whatever. Doesn't affect me, personally. If you're that concerened, get one of those LifeLine accounts or whatever that is, that protects all stuff. To me, it's all an excuse, one way or the other.

And with all the crap I've put to print, I'm still here. Living proof is all I can say.

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id04sp 6 years, 10 months ago

Right.

And you never sat in the audience at "Oh! Steamboat!" and wanted to warn other people about it before they spent their money on a horrid theater production that might have even been somewhat IMPROVED if the cast had been restricted to transexual exhibitionists.

Now, tell me, doesn't that p!$$ you off, just a little? It's candid, accurate, and could have been posted by any of 100 people who were in the audience that night.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Nope. Doesn't piss me off in the slightest. Art is subjective. You have your opinion based on 1 show that was over a decade ago, and most people involved with that show don't even live here any longer. In fact, the people who were in charge, were the ones most of us distanced ourselves from as the show was happening. The person who originally was supposed to be in charge had it usurped by 2 people, who had the worst performances up there, by most accounts. I believe you said you were friends with them?

It wasn't a great show, altogether, but their were some great individual pieces. And there were about 500 in the audience. Most of the responses I heard cherry-picked what they didn't like but liked the show and it's concept overall.

I've even had a stupid argument with Tom Ross years ago based on a show where I basically told him that I didn't care what he put in a review as long as it was honest to the rest of the cast. They deserved that much. I didn't care what he said about me in particular. I have a fan base that I've accumlated over the years. They come and go & as long as they leave a show entertained, I've done what I intended to do. If they don't, they need to tell me so I can improve my next performance. This is why I've always loved smaller theaters, like the 7th St. Playhouse. I can gauge the audience by seeing their faces.

What does that have to do with being anonymous? You afraid Gary's going to come back to give you a private lap-prance as Puck in retribution for saying you didn't like it? Or maybe a massage? LOL!

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Id, Matt, I agree with Id that there may be some consequence of signing a blog. His example of listing my personal info (and yours) does cross a line, by leaving the topic to dissect my personal life. But I understand the example and take no offense. Others could do worse, which is his point. I choose to expect better.

But his further description of worst case consequences resembles a POLICE STATE. In a police state, we would EXPECT anonymity. Not here.

Worst case fears of our own police, judges, and neighbors are not enough reason to retreat to the anonymous voices of a repressed country. -Steve

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Steve- That's right. So now, when the Pilot bans a person for doing that, they have a harder time just coming up with another free Yahoo or Hotmail email addy and new handle. They actually have to provide other info. This will help keep banned people as banned. Even ID has said he had at one time (maybe still does, but it might not matter now with the new rules) other handles ready to go should he be banned.

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id04sp 6 years, 10 months ago

Lewi,

All I can tell you is that if you are not afraid of retribution, you don't get around much here in Steamboat and Routt County.

By the way, I only posted "public records" information. Not personal information. My point is that there's already stuff in the public records which provide an excellent place to start if you want to target someone for ID theft, or take out a loan in their name, etc. My concern is that retribution against someone for voicing a political opinion or a cultural observation can be sufficient motivation for somebody to take it upon herself to do things like, gosh, bury a paper you filed with the court so that the judge never sees it, and you lose your case. Can't happen? DID happen.

Kielbasa,

"Friends" is a loose term. The lady he was convicted of improperly touching was not the first one to observe improper behavior. I'll just say it's an excellent way to end a friendship and leave it at that.

So, nobody really cares, and neither do I in the long run. I have a specific reason for logging on here every day, and the forums are just a way to pass time waiting for other things to happen so I can do my next task. I'll still read the headlines, and check the thing I check every day, but I won't post, and won't care.

Maybe the problem is that Rob Douglas and some of the others try to write exciting copy by merely observing, and never participating, in the nitty gritty details of the workings of our community. You don't get to know the things I know by confining your outings to taking a stroll for coffee and a donut.

Mmmmmm. Doooonuttts . ...

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support 6 years, 10 months ago

The new steamboat forum.com is using some of the pilots blogger names that are not the real pilot bloggers. Someone is quite desparate.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Wonder how? Your link doesn't work. And how would you know whether they're real Pilot bloggers or not? Wasn't that their point- anonymity? LOL!

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support 6 years, 10 months ago

Matthew the style of writing not the same on all.

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littercleanup 6 years, 10 months ago

funny stuff!!! the fresh steamboat forum is trying to use old bloggers names. cursing etc. not the norm and a dead giveaway. a couple in normal pattern and some not.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

why does writing style have to do with anything.think that bloggers talkin third person is how some normallytalk or that its all for show?

It's pretty simple to change up your style of writing.

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cmducks 6 years, 10 months ago

I post there, it's the same me, and will continue to do so. In the modern era of internet, 98% of the pilot is yesterdays news. The only reason i came here was the entertainment of the blog section.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

I took a look at the anonymous site.

It was funny I have to admit - the two transplants x and y happily greeting each other in an anonymous version of "Its me! Its me!"

The Matrix prophecy begins.

-Steve

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

Hey Littercleanup!

What cussing? The forum is decent and has a moderator. The only thing it lacks so far is favoritism. So I'll See ya!

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

424!! Deja Vu!!

The Oracle foretold you would reappear, but did not reveal the wisdom of your quest.

Be careful! Fortunately Agent Smith only lives in cyberspace, but he can also become any blogger he chooses.

Agent Smith fancies sunglasses. Do you wear sunglasses?

-Steve

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

"Mister Anderson"

Why yes I do wear sunglasses. those cheap square nock-offs. I find the revelation of my surface data to be compromising at the personal level. So the forth of August will ring the bell and toll my passing from the SP&T site. It is a matter of principle for me.

Now as to the Steamboat Forum, with a moderator in place I have yet to experience anything but considerate banter. I know the moderator has it easy now and there no doubt be visitors to the new diggs that will abuse the right to engage in anonymous debate. I suspect he is up to the task though.

As is the case with agents we can assume any form we choose. I however am not about to give a newspaper my home phone and gender. My father was a newspaper man. And to Brent who gave his word that no-one would misuse the data I have to say,

No good, I've known too many newspapermen.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

424now, Sorry you don't trust Brent. I will. Though it matters little here since I put my name on my posts anyway.

A perfect newspaper is a fantasy, yes. But Brandon, Mike L., Tom... the Pilot has good people judging from my experience dealing with them. Even when we disagree. Have you met any of them?

I'll give you this, your posts were considerate, with (almost) never a derogatory remark. Good on you, whoever you are.

Some advice? You and Id should try a little trust. What goes around... Happy trails. -Steve Lewis

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steamboatsconscience 6 years, 10 months ago

hey lewi nice picture of you on the cover of the Local. is that a doobie I see in your mouth?

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id04sp 6 years, 10 months ago

Lewi,

Trust is a thing I brought to town. The people here destroyed it.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Keep some faith, Id. Life is not defined by a courtroom is it? That would suck.

Much as I hated hearing it, a local lawyer once told me "not to expect justice in our legal process". You have to decide that court experiences and community are two different things. -Steve

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

Well just a few more days before this forum becomes a ghost town and Steamboat forums takes off!

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forreal 6 years, 10 months ago

who cares about the steamboat pilot online blotter anyway? that's what craigslist is for. it's free. besides, everything i hear on this blotter is so rediculous. people spend too much time correcting each other's grammar. the next thing you know, we're off on a totally different subject. you all sound so childish and nobody really cares what you think. get a life.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm a little bummed I'll be gone next week. I think it would be fun to watch this place take a step I approve of. -Steve

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id04sp 6 years, 10 months ago

I once got kicked off of Compuserve for declining a "private message" offer of cyber sex with the chatroom monitor in the Writer's Forum.

Same thing as what's happening here, more or less.

Anybody remember "New Coke." It was a flop. "Coke Classic" was back in just a few weeks. The Pilot will do the same sort of thing, except the new "classic" version won't use high-fructose corn syrup instead of cane sugar like when they brought back "classic" Coke.

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trump_suit 6 years, 10 months ago

I will repeat for anyone that will listen! Getting an anonymous IP address only complicates the process of identifying you and your computer. If the desire is strong enough there are ways to track you down. It does not matter whether you are static, dynamic, dial-up or snail mail. YOU CAN BE IDENTIFIED.....

This new process changes nothing, and will hopefully cause some of the worst offenders to watch their words a little closer.

ID. I would think that you of all people would know that the Gov't has ways to identify anonymous posters. Give us a break with the scare tactics.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Pilot staff, I better understand from the posts above how blogging can be "filler" time. Entertainment. Though rarely are we blogging how good the powder was today, how good the fishing, or wow what a good concert.

Its probably more entertaining to debate a policy course than brag about the pow. But for some its still purely Entertainment, thus the desire for anonymity and no responsibility. If you call it entertainment, I understand that. (Unfortunately too many find insults also entertaining.)

The Pilot has chosen, for whatever reason, a format that does NOT hold entertainment paramount, and raised responsibility within the conversation you would sponsor. A good step.

If the opposite motive from entertainment would be citizenship, a newspaper should strive first for citizenship. Have faith that your readership knows the difference. -Steve

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Beanie32 6 years, 10 months ago

Just curious: How many of us would not have voiced a comment of any kind, pro or con, if the original requirement for registration had included the current information? I was very tempted to lie about my age! Wonder if I'd have been caught and refused access?

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trump_suit 6 years, 10 months ago

PS. I will stand behind my words, and ill continue to post what I feel is appropriate. I hope that all of you choose to add your voice to this community forum.

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BoatMaster 6 years, 10 months ago

Well it looks like tomorrow the forum will make the big change and a lot of the bloggers will go away.

It has been fun but I'm not sure if I will continue. I have already given my name, but the fun may be over and personally I agree with the Pilot and even suggest they just shut down the blog section.

Next week the only person left will be Kielbasa (Mathew Stoddard) and he already spends way to much time on this site. Without additional comments I am afraid it will become the Kielbasa Blog ,and with no offense to Matt, I don't want to hear from one person all the time.

Brent Boyer - Just go ahead and pull the plug on the whole blog. I think you will find it will improve the site.

I suggest those that want to blog all the time try one of the other channels. The Pilot should be about the news.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

LOL! Yay! I get my own blog! Woohoooo!

Case you hadn't noticed, quite a few new names have popped up on the forums recently, BM. Also, a few people on this very thread say they will continue to post, so it won't just be me.

Nextly, as to how much time I spend, do the math as I posted before- in the time since this site has been up and my number of posts, it averages to less than 3 posts per day. My- where does the time go? So, who are you to judge what amount of time is too much or not? I still work an average of 45hrs a week, I perform in occassional shows, I get to spend time with my family. I kill it on the XBox 360. I still get 7.5hrs to 8hrs of sleep. I still take 2 vacations a year. Maybe by giving up 3 posts per day, I could cure cancer!!

Just a few averages from sign-up dates vs. # of posts (these aren't exact- you can do the math to verify...if you have the time)

Me- 2.8 posts per day id04sp- 2.25 posts per day 424now- a whoppin' 5.2 posts per day!! (You win!! Granted- a good many are the youtube links, to be fair.) And that doesn't include whatever posts he has on the steamboat forums site, since I guess he's movin' on over.

Plus, if I wanted my own blog, I'd have started one. If you also notice, I chime in on subjects but rarely start my own threads.

So, thanks for your concern. I sure that without all the people who don't trust the Pilot that will be leaving (yeah...right to a few) this site will do just fine.

424- are you saying your father wasn't trustworthy since he was a newspaperman? Wasn't sure how you meant that statement, so I'm not being facetious.

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BoatMaster 6 years, 10 months ago

Kielbasa

I'm not trying to start a fight with you but you proved my point about you being on here all the time with your response to my comment.

Sorry, you can't deny it.

Anyway, don't take it so hard.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

LOL! So you read more than you post. Does that mean you are on here twice as much JUST to read my posts?

No fight intended, but you didn't have a point proven. If you did, you'd qualify how much is too much time. All that was proven is that you decided you won't post here any longer.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Sellin' t-shirts? Where did that come from??? I have a good friend whose family owns a t-shirt shop but I've never worked for them?

Although "Whoops! Another 46 seconds wasted on that post!" would make a good slogan for a t-shirt. Thanks!

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 9 months ago

I like the new blog. Less noise, much more civilty, and ideas are still surfacing.

It looks like the main difference with "less" anonymous participation is the once conservative majority has bailed?

Fred Duckels has his hands full now. Hang in there Fred!

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 9 months ago

Id- it says "anonymous" right next to your name. LOL! Plus, yes- a lot of the people left. And if you've noticed, there are a lot of new people posting...or at least new login handles. With the change, it's going to be slow over here for a bit. New people will come back and post, and older posters such as yourself...well, you found your way back, right?

I've visted the other forums last week out of curiosity and it's a well done site. I like the set-up of it. While it said they have a lot of posters who've joined, just like here, there are a minimal few doing most of the posting. Funniest thing I saw was that a couple of them still had to talk about me over there (and Steve Lewis, since he's been posting a lot). And here I thought that was another reason they moved over there! LOL!

They say it's more civil, but notice that one person over there was immediately treated to the "whiny liberal" remark by Jazz. Jazz could have just explained an opposing position. Instead, Jazz stayed true to the extremist handbook of politics and had to insult the person to make a point.

Look on this site now- so far, Fred Duckels has been the harshest with his comments, possibly trying to instigate the argument or it's just how he is. Notice what's similar? They're both far righties. So far, this site has become much better, in my opinion. Discussions are civil and people are getting their points across without insulting others...so far. When more of the others decide they can't stay away...we'll see what happens then.

Welcome back, BTW. I see you picked up the phone this time! LOL!

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 8 months ago

As I understand it, people are using that other xxxforum so they can have freedom of speech and a moderator. 424 said, "The only thing it lacks so far is favoritism."

Well I guess they at least still have a moderator over there.

Weeks ago I saw my name atop a discussion thread there and was pleased no one added to its slant. Went back about 10 days ago to check again, but I'm not allowed access to the site.

Tried to register to their site 3 times. Never heard back. Emailed the site moderator. No response.

I'm censored and I never even posted. Cracks me up.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 8 months ago

Last thing I had seen a couple of weeks ago, was SBVOR had signed up, then got into a pissing match with the Moderator- phrog, over some of the people there complaining about his links. (Gee- reaaaaallly? LOL!) SBVOR looked like he was taking what's left of his ball(s) and going home to his slogblot...ummm...blogspot. Next time I looked a couple of days afterward, I couldn't access those particular areas without signing up, so I said the heck with it. Wasn't that interesting except to see that all they could discuss was what's going on over here! LOL!

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