Brent Boyer: Eliminating online anonymity

New policy will not allow anonymous comments on SteamboatToday.com

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Brent Boyer

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

Editor's note: The changes went into effect at 8:30 p.m. Monday. This article was updated to reflect the time of the change to the posting policy.

Beginning Monday night, anonymous users will no longer be able to post comments on SteamboatToday.com.

The change is the culmination of years of discussion about our online forum and how best to create a vibrant, thoughtful and tolerant place for readers to share opinions, debate issues and otherwise engage in the news about the place we all love.

I’m excited about this change, and based on the tremendous amount of feedback we’ve received since I wrote about anonymity several weeks ago and since we held a Coffee and a Newspaper community meeting about it, I’m confident it’s the right move for the Steamboat Pilot & Today and for the community.

We’ve been working with our IT department on the change for the past week, and we anticipate it will be smooth for those who care to put their names behind their words. The transition is to occur overnight Monday.

Some of our posters already use their real names when commenting. For them, there will be no change. They can continue to comment without any action on their part or ours.

For everyone else who is a verified SteamboatToday.com user but has previously chosen to post anonymously, they will be prompted to go back through the verification process the next time they try to post a comment. Once a user has been verified and agreed to reveal his or her identity, the system will allow the user to post comments again.

Users who would like to post with their real names going forward but who don’t want their past comments to bear their actual identities can request that their existing accounts be deleted and new ones created. Those users’ old comments will be deleted from our system.

If you wish to change your anonymity settings, you may do so at http://www.steamboattoday.com/accounts/profile/anonymity/.

I’m sensitive to the argument that anonymity can give a voice to those who might put themselves at risk professionally or personally for their candor on any given issue. But I believe the greater good that comes from the accountability inherent in putting your name next to your words far outweighs any defense of anonymity.

We demand first and last names when we publish letters to the editor; now we’re simply extending that guideline to today’s online version of the letter to the editor. Ultimately, we anticipate this new system will attract far more engaging reader discussion than we’ve had to this point.

If you have problems using the new system or simply want to share feedback, please contact me at 970-871-4221 or bboyer@SteamboatToday.com.

Comments

Rob Douglas 2 years, 2 months ago

Three cheers! There are many folks who refuse to post on this forum because of the nameless trash talk that has come to largely dominate what could be a productive and useful community gathering spot. I look forward to more responsible members of our valley sharing their insights, experience and thoughts in a spirited manner. Good move Brent.

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rhys jones 2 years, 2 months ago

I think this will only serve to stifle input, is ill-considered, and heavy-handed.

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Jeff Kibler 2 years, 2 months ago

Hey thalgard, you little boy. It's time to man up and stand behind your statements. Thalgard's comment will justifiably get deleted.

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Jeff Kibler 2 years, 2 months ago

I do have a question for Brent. Were there any financial considerations behind this change? Perhaps fewer employee-hours monitoring comments?

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just wondering.

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exduffer 2 years, 2 months ago

I see the worst of the anonymous posters are doing their best to show why the Pilot needed to take this step.

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Phoebe Hackman 2 years, 2 months ago

thalgard is one of the reasons this is happening. Everyone now has to play by different rules because of a few bad apples. thalgard has had at least seventeen comments deleted in the last year. If The Pilot followed their own guidelines and banned people like him, this move would not be necessary. There are far more civil anonymous users than there are jerks like thalgard. Instead of looking at the decent anonymous users, such as MrTaiChi and many others, the Pilot is taking the easy way out. It is the Pilot's fault for not nipping it in the bud. This will change the whole dynamic of the forums ... and not in a good way. I will miss many of you.

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cheesehead 2 years, 2 months ago

I think Brent will leave thalgards post up. It does a great job reinforcing Brent's position. The timing of this and Victory's story makes for great conspiracy material. Its been fun, adios!

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Matthew Stoddard 2 years, 2 months ago

Great job! But, my lack of anonymity never held my words back. In fact, on the other thread concerning anonymity, people were just as vitriolic as I ever was. So, I don't believe that will help in that endeavor, but it will bring them to task if posting like an idiot. It might hold them accountable, though. Hell, you want to see vitriolic, just check out the comments made on articles for FoxNews.com. Some actually call themselves Christian in the same sentence as saying un-Christian-like things about another poster.

(And no- I was never banned, for those thinking it. I just stopped posting. I got tired of seeing the same posts over and over again. Pick someone who posts incessantly- check their posts from 1 year ago. Tell me the subjects of discussion are any different. They aren't.)

What I am stunned over is that Kelly Victory's article doesn't allow her to be held accountable for the things she has said during the MMJ Dispenaries vote in November. The only posts that should even be considered for being locked like that should involve someone's death. I remember a non-relative holding up a 17yr old's death in martyrdom when the real parents had barely begun to grieve. I don't believe anyone who is on the record as wanting to "save" us all from MMJ shouldn't get a pie in the eye from all of those "unsaved" people for being drunk with a weapon pointed at a friend who was trying to keep her from driving drunk.

Now I'm done.

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Matthew Stoddard 2 years, 2 months ago

Oh, and Victory's article does seem to be up and postable now. Just noticed it a minute ago.

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spidermite 2 years, 2 months ago

Jeff, They will still need to have monitors. Suspose Wedel gets out of control with his play by play description of a Oak Creek town board meeting.

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Jeff Kibler 2 years, 2 months ago

Phoebe, how are things going with your Mom? Still in Seattle?

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mavis 2 years, 2 months ago

Well--- is the pilot going to hold itself to a higher level of reporting??? Or are we just going to be subject to presenting news when there is money involved for the pilot?
Most "issues" in town are presented from a single viewpoint from the pilot. I hope they actually start researching articles and printing BOTH sides.

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mavis 2 years, 2 months ago

Maybe there will be a new newspaper opening up in town that actually does a little bit more investigating with stories so the community can be "informed." This could be a great turning point for Steamboat!!

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John Fielding 2 years, 2 months ago

' I admit to mixed feelings about this. I do think the tone of the discussions will improve, but the content will suffer. And there are several like Kielbasa who are vitriolic even without anonymity.

Mr. Tia Chi, please continue your contributions, maybe use your grandsons name or some other ruse if necessary. You too Sledneck.

YVB, Seeuski, I will miss you. .

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john bailey 2 years, 2 months ago

pauli should restart the local again. that was a real local rag.

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trump_suit 2 years, 2 months ago

I can assure you that I have spent my last advertising dollar with this publication. As of Tuesday, trump_suit will be signing off and will no longer visit this web site.

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Jeff Kibler 2 years, 2 months ago

spidermite, good point. Scott prefers communicating via social media. Yet, from what I gather, he actually attends OC town meetings.

He definitely pushes his agenda, of which I rarely agree. That's his right!

I've never attended any occasion where he was out of control.

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spidermite 2 years, 2 months ago

trump, There isn't much to the paper anymore. When you remove your advertising we will all know who you were.

Jeff, Then you have never been to a town board meeting!

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Phoebe Hackman 2 years, 2 months ago

Jeff- Yes, I am still in Seattle and Mom's doing well. She had a rough January ... blood pressure bottomed out for a few days, caught a stomach virus that put her out of commission for about a week, and took a tumble in the shower (just a small bruise on her elbow, thank goodness), but she always bounces back and, for the last few weeks, she's been great. So great, in fact, that today we went out for lunch and learned that two martinis is one martini too many for a 100 lb., 88 year old woman. She took quite a long nap this afternoon, lol! Thanks for asking!

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Jeff Kibler 2 years, 2 months ago

Spider, I confess to my lack of town board attendance.

Let's not make this a Wedel bashing.

He does have the guts to post his name.

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addlip2U 2 years, 2 months ago

So glad you are excited... I, on the other hand am disappointed for you choking the freedom of the open and interactive communication. Due to your decision I will no longer read your newspapers nor support your advertisers.
My best wishes to you, your staff and readers.

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Jeff Kibler 2 years, 2 months ago

Phoebe, a two martini lunch with your Mom resulting in a long nap is a wonderful thing. Cherish those moments, if you can, with all the ancillary activities of caring for an elder parent.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 2 months ago

We all push our agenda. Some are just nicer about it. Over the past year or so I wouldn't correlate low standards with anonymity, and I'll miss some of "you".

This website can be powerful as a discussion place on our local issues. I hope posters like trump will reconsider and continue to contribute. The new change may add new voices and improve what we have. I do think the website needs some threshold of civility enforced for that to happen.

Anyone with history here has grown a thicker skin. But that remains the uncured flaw I see in this place. Character attacks are self satisfying only to the extent someone else pays a price. That should not be allowed on a repetitive basis. The real talent in our valley will never join this blog while insults are tolerated.

Fred loves to paint me with unflattering motives. What do I mind about that? The friend, more dedicated to this community than anyone else I know, wiser than anyone else I know, who points to Fred's posts as the reason I'll never read her words here.

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mtroach 2 years, 2 months ago

To Yvb,sled neck and the other I've enjoyed sharing viewpoints with, thanks for your opinions. Too bad the paper is "firing" it biggest written resource.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 2 months ago

MrTaiChi:

You are so thoughtful, informed, and measured in all of your contributions here that I can't imagine you'd ever need to be concerned about reprisals for anything you post in this forum. I earnestly hope you'll continue to elevate this board with your participation.

If you choose not to, I respect your decision, and will miss you nonetheless.

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Dan Hill 2 years, 2 months ago

Great move Brent. I didn't expect it, but I'm pleased.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 2 months ago

Oh well, change is truly idiotic. Inappropriate comments have been posted anonymously and with people's real names. The change to the system that required people to register real names with the Pilot even when posting anonymously largely solved the issue of forums being overwhelmed with inappropriate comments.

Solution should have been to allow some stories where inappropriate comments could be foreseen as likely issue to be moderated.

And not only does the paper make a very poor decision, they chose to implement in about as stupidly a manner as possible. A current anonymous poster wishing to post under the new rules has the choice of either putting their name to all prior posts or have all prior posts deleted? What sort of stupid vindictive policy is that? Since the existing posts were not considered inappropriate then there is no reason that prior posts should be affected in any way by this change in policy. The old posts were posted under the previous policy where limited anonymity (known to the paper, but not the general public) and there is no good reason to REQUIRE the old posts be attributed to a real name or be deleted.

I suspect these forums will be dead now. I certainly have far less interest in a place where deeply wrong, but interesting folks such as YVB are no longer welcome.

Can someone please post a link to a spot where interesting creative people are welcome even when declining to share their real names? See you all there.

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Jeff Kibler 2 years, 2 months ago

Spidermite, given Scott's latest diatribe me thinks you be correct.

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Kevin Nerney 2 years, 2 months ago

Will the archives now have names attached so we can ascertain the identity of the various posters or will they still read the same as when they were written?

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Brent Boyer 2 years, 2 months ago

Kevin: No, the archived comments won't have the real names of the posters attached to them. Those posters made those comments when our policy allowed for anonymity, and we will continue to honor that for those contributors. However, if existing posters choose to begin posting with their actual identities by going back through the verification process, their previous posts will show their names.

Spidermite and others: You are right in that part of this policy change will involve more rigorous enforcement of our online commenting policies. We believe the combination of the two will result in a better online experience for all of our readers. Thanks, as always, for the honest feedback.

Brent

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 2 months ago

Brent, So let me see if I understand this: 1) Anonymous comments will remain anonymous only if the poster stops posting. 2) Current anonymous poster that wishes to continue posting has two options. 2A) Go through verification process and lose anonymity of existing posts which will now be identified with their real name. 2B) Delete their identity which deletes all previous posts. And then become validated under their real name.

Is that correct?

If so then why not allow: 4) Allow anonymous posters to retain existing anonymous posts and start posting under their real name?

If the issue is appropriate posts then why force an anonymous poster that successfully posted under the current rules to have to make a decision regarding their existing posts?

For the new policy to affect existing posts suggests this is also a campaign against existing anonymous posters.

And my previous post intentionally used harsh language to describe bad ideas as an example that strongly criticizing ideas by people able to defend themselves is not unfair on a forum (or in life).

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Scott Stanford 2 years, 2 months ago

Scott:

If an anonymous poster wants to preserve their previous anonymous comments while still posting using their real names in the future, this can be accomplished by creating a new account using a different email address.

Scott Stanford sstanford@SteamboatToday.com (970) 291-9278

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Chad James 2 years, 2 months ago

This is a great move....commenting anonymously on a board such as this is akin to throwing a Molotov cocktail at an Occupy Wall Street gathering with a mask over your face.....

..."man up" and take credit for your posts.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 2 months ago

This move is stupid. Comments were not anonymous to the Pilot staff. So this is akin to throwing a Molotov cocktail at an Occupy Wall Street gathering without a mask over your face.

The act of throwing the Molotov cocktail is what is wrong. Not whether or not the general public knows whom throw it. The authorities always knew the identity of the thrower.

This policy will fail. It is beyond naive and stupid to think it will work.

"We demand first and last names when we publish letters to the editor" - and the paper has the names of those being allowed to post anonymously to the general public. This justification makes me wonder if the paper understands their current policy because the forums have not had any anonymity as seen by the newspaper. Thus, from the paper's perspective there is no issue of anonymity. So removing anonymity is not going to fix any issues with posts except to expel a huge number of contributors from the community.

":now we’re simply extending that guideline to today’s online version of the letter to the editor. Ultimately, we anticipate this new system will attract far more engaging reader discussion than we’ve had to this point."

So posts on the online forums are supposed to be considered equivalent as letters to the editor? Well, that is going to all of the vitality of a morgue.

The bigger issue was the paper failed to have any sort of understandable or consistent policy regarding what are acceptable comments from named or anonymous posters. A named person was allowed to post the address of one of my tenants following their Colorado Constitution right. And other posts have been deleted for using the word "queer" to mean odd and not as a slur.

It seems to me this new policy is an admission that the paper is too inept to continue to administer forums. But instead of acknowledging that fact they chose to make the forums so uninteresting that they will simply be no posts.

If anyone cares, I am done posting at this site except to point out the stupidity of this policy.

"Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence"

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Robin Craigen 2 years, 2 months ago

Nice Job Brent & Scott. Time will be the test for the new system. I never thought that this move was a way to clean up the forum, but this is a great opportunity to change the conversation (and hopefully create one) to a real one with real people sharing their thoughts.

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Mark Helle 2 years, 2 months ago

Thank you Brent I welcome the change. As mostly an outsider looking in it frequently felt like a handful of anon's were bullying others out of the dialogue. This seems like a more dignified approach for our community. We all put our foot in our mouth once in awhile - but now we can grow from it.

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Clay Ogden 2 years, 2 months ago

I will miss some ... but not many ... anonymous posters ... like SEP MrTaiChi for sure ...

Scott Wedel wrote "It seems to me this new policy is an admission that the paper is too inept to continue to administer forums" ... just asking ... is anyone that disagrees with you automatically inept?

Seems like an imperfect solution but worth a try ... it's their forum and they do have a right to set the rules of the game.

Perhaps the angry anonymous can pony up their own pennies and start their own on-line blog where they can rage to their heart's content ... angryanonymous.org ... looks like the domain is available!

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jerry carlton 2 years, 2 months ago

I will miss you Scott Wedel. Kind of like an ingrown toe nail.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 2 months ago

I can certainly be wrong, but this is a rather obvious case of falsely associating a solution with a problem. The problem is not anonymous posts because when Brent Boyer and Scott Stanford read the post then they can know the real name of every poster.

The problem of the blogs being too tough for less confident people has nothing to do with anonymous posters. It has to do with what are acceptable posts, or at least the type of posts that are not deleted.

For instance, the esteemed Rob Douglas under his name can post the following: Of course, Wedel won't run because he's an intellectual and physical coward. And, Wedel knows that everyone in Steamboat would learn that he has no idea what he's talking about and never has - just as folks in Oak Creek have learned over the years. In fact, in all the time I covered the Steamboat Springs City Council I never once saw Wedel in the chamber at a meeting - much less approach the council and put forth the nonsense he spews on this blog. Why? Because he's a coward.

http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2011/may/23/steamboat-springs-city-council-re-election-bids-ar/#c94863

So how is anonymity the problem? There are probably inappropriate posts of mine still on the forums as well. The problem is the lack of standards and the lack of enforcement of what are acceptable posts.

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Clay Ogden 2 years, 2 months ago

Scott ... I'll tell you exactly why anonymity is a problem ... because of what you just reposted ... for better or worse Mr. Douglas has to own those words and be held accountable by everyone that ever reads them ... not just the Pilot staff. Those words will live in the public domain for a long, long time.

You know full well the Pilot staff is lambasted when they remove posts.

This isn't really an issue of anonymity ... that's a Red Herring ... it's an issue of accountability. Insipid or not your words here are associated with your name ... you placed them in the public domain and claimed ownership. I admire that. Mr. Douglas did it and while I may not agree I admire that as well. I do the same.

Say what you want ... be mean ... be compassionate ... be an ass ... be insightful. I don't really care ... folks should be just be brave enough to own what you say.

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Marie Matta 2 years, 2 months ago

Scott Wedel - You write "The bigger issue was the paper failed to have any sort of understandable or consistent policy regarding what are acceptable comments from named or anonymous posters."

I would like to think that those who post on this website are adults who have at least a basic level of education and social training. It ought not to be necessary for the editors of this newspaper to spell out what is courteous and appropriate conversation, but having been on the receiving end of some insulting and patronising comments, I am disappointed that some people (both anonymous and named) seem to believe that good manners are a thing of the past and that bullying and demeaning others is the new normal.

Nevertheless, I do support the new policy of removing the anonymity provision and hope it will go some way towards improving the tone of these exchanges.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 2 months ago

Clay, Well, if someone is willing to post stuff like that under their real name and the paper chooses to allow it then I fail to see how less confident people would be willing to consider posting under the real name where they could be verbally attacked on the forums, have others call them at home and so on.

Yes, I have had real estate agents call me at home upset at my online comments regarding the real estate market, arguing that my posts on the reality of the market was killing deals and that I didn't understand the market and tried to feed me information so I be more upbeat. I believe one was drunk when he called around 11 pm at night.

I've also had quite a variety of people call me regarding my posts. Some to thank me. Sometimes a government official to explain what had failed to be mentioned in the article that had led me to question what was going on. I have a couple people call to argue with me and I just told them to post their thoughts on the forums and ended the call.

If the sincere goal is to make these forums a safe friendly community then it'd make more sense to strongly encourage participants to be anonymous and have strict rules on comments.

Blaming semi-anonymous (known to Pilot staff) posters for the same behavior demonstrated by named posters makes no sense and does not fix the problem. Banning semi-anonymous posters denies well-meaning more private people the ability to safely post without being attacked either on the forums or confronted in real life.

Look at the vapid posts since the new policy - most are vapid "congrats and thank you" posts. That is the vitality of a morgue.

And the Pilot staff is lambasted when they remove posts because their removals are so arbitrary and capricious. Any number of posts far less of a personal attack than the above Rob Douglas diatribe are removed while that remains. Posts that criticized ideas are deleted while posts that criticize members of the community remain. Thus, when a post is deleted then it is common for the poster to wonder why.

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cindy constantine 2 years, 2 months ago

Boo-hoo from my vacation. I think this was another lame move from the paper brass IMHO!! Now it will be up to myself, the "Scott's, Steve L. Fred, Sep, Kevin and many others to CALL OUT ski corp, council, all taxing authorities, the editorial board and assorted nefarious entities when they "step into" the collective sensitivity zones without the "inside and important" information anon's bring to the conversation!! Most of all I will miss the laughs . . . . . : (

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 2 months ago

Cindy, I doubt this policy will stay because it is so stupid and ineffective. I will not join a discussion where other worthy participants are not allowed to join unless they accept unacceptable terms and conditions.

The underlying issue is, yes, the lack of civility shown in some posts, but that lack of civility is from both named and semi-anonymous posters. And so, the paper is so inept that somehow they convinced themselves to blame the semi-anonymous posters for the same behavior that has been shown by named posters like Rob Douglas.

If the issue is civility then the solution is to enforce civility. And the way civility is normally enforced is not by micromanaging every word or action, but by having lines and consequences for crossing lines. So a far more effective means of achieving civility on the forums would be to suspend a poster until they apologize for the offensive post. When bad behavior results in apologies then most people behave better since few, if any, people enjoy apologizing.

What strikes me as the abject stupidity of this paper on this issue is to make such a stupid move killing content at the same time the paper is struggling with content on the printed page. Woohoo, a few articles a day, some insipid columns and shills for the real estate and tourism industries. If someone at the paper had the slightest bit of creativity or intelligence then they'd be reaching out to YVB and see if they could help him write a column on soil conservation techniques, or MrTaichi on whatever, and so on.

Isn't it completely stupid that because I am a named person that I can repeatedly call the paper stupid and inept, but semi-anonymous people are not allowed to post at all? I can be uncivil to the paper because I am named? How stupid is that? Such a stupid policy is supposed to being civility to the forums?

Get my point?

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rhys jones 2 years, 2 months ago

So the Pilot's Princess gets busted, and their knee-jerk reaction is to shut down comments, first to that article entirely, then to all anonymous donors. They can sing any song they want, but that's what happened.

You don't know me. You may think you do, due to the large volumes I post, and the fact that I attach my name -- but it all could be an act. I could be posturing for election (when we get an influx of old hippies). I might be trying to impress the girls. At any rate, I try to portray SOME persona; how accurate, is anybody's guess. There is no doubt I have occasionally toned down or totally squelched what I might have otherwise said, tired of dodging right jabs. The point is, you don't get the real me, you get the whitewashed me. EVERYBODY is on stage here. That is a good argument for TOTAL anonymity. At least we are then assured honesty.

I miss yvb, sled, the deranged seeuski, even the ex- and would-be cops who yank my chain, not to mention the always well-reasoned MrTaiChi. Until we see those guys back, I won't have a lot to say either.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

Scott W, My experience from taking with friends is that they read the blog 3 or 4 times a year. Because, in some thread areas more than others, the blog reflected the meanest conversation they would hear in Steamboat. By far.

Jerry Springer content attracts a certain audience. I don't think it attracts a majority of Steamboat. Based on this change, I think this blog will be better than it was last week. Whether it grows remains to be seen. You likely think the number of posts is paramount. I think this change represents an invitation to a broader Steamboat, and that is paramount. I think we will trade fanatics for younger and older participants.

Before the price of admission was a thick skin. Now, the price is your name. Fine by me.

Yes they need to enforce a better level of mutual respect. That is a significant chore and is made easier in this new format.

Plus, it is their website.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 1 month ago

Of course they can do what they want with their website.

But their stated goal of this change is to create a vibrant community. That is going to be far harder.

And sure it takes a tough skin to post on these forums, but semi-anonymity has nothing to do with that because comments from named people are as rough, or rougher. The above mentioned comment from Rob Douglas posting as Rob Douglas is nastier than 99.5% of comments from semi-anonymous people.

So why is banning MrTaiChi and yet allowing Rob Douglas to post is going to make the forums any friendlier of a place to post?

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Jeff Kibler 2 years, 1 month ago

I've been complicit in caustic commentary, no doubt. I'm a bit ambivalent about this policy change, except the cynic inside me still thinks there was a financial motivation involved.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

While the conspiracy theorist in me would love to believe in a payoff, I rather ascribe this to the self-important gatekeepers at the Pilot, dutifully protecting us from ourselves.

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Jeff Kibler 2 years, 1 month ago

Let me rephrase in less cryptic terms:

This was a practical business decision on the part of the Pilate.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

As an attendee at the Pilot's Coffee & a Newspaper meeting on this topic, I can tell you there is zero financial motivation here. Scott Stanford was explicit about the financial drivers of the Pilot's website: its classifieds section. Specifically, the employment and real estate listings, which account - by far - for the vast majority of the traffic generated for its online advertisers. This forum could disappear entirely with no impact on the Pilot's bottom line, and Scott doesn't regard it as a particularly important or useful feature for the paper. Which likely plays into why the Pilot has never bothered to assign a hall monitor, and is unlikely to. Revoking the anonymity privilege was probably seen as the least work-intensive way to inspire a greater degree of civility.

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Melanie Turek 2 years, 1 month ago

Related question, Brent: Can you please add a "Like" or "Recommend" button to the comments? That's pretty standard these days, and it helps to see where other people's thoughts lie. Thanks.

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Brent Boyer 2 years, 1 month ago

Hi Melanie: We're working on adding a "like" feature to our comments section, but it's not something that's quite ready to launch. Good idea, and one that other readers have suggested as well.

Brent

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Fred Duckels 2 years, 1 month ago

Rob Douglas has addressed a period in which our local governance was embarassing at best, and left us holding the bag with millions of debt. Rob was long on humor and possibly short on tact, but the obvious needed addressed, and the voters agreed. Where were the editorials to identify such a debacle? In a community taken over by special interests, who, but a minority conservative voice would dare speak out? Rob is a target to be eliminated as he ruffles the wrong feathers.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 1 month ago

Fred, Where do you get the idea that Rob is a target to be eliminated?

I am just pointing out that Rob has posted nasty comments and yet is, as indicated by his post on this editorial, that he somehow thinks that banning the semi-anonymous people will somehow improve the site.

Rob Douglas is just an example that the problem was not the semi-anonymous posters. The problem, to the extent there was a problem, was the too frequent lack of restraint and manners on the forums as demonstrated even by a professional communicator.

Is Rob Douglas expected to have better manners and no longer personally attack fellow named posters now that semi-anonymous posters have been banned?

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Jeff Kibler 2 years, 1 month ago

Brian/Sep: Thx for the info.

"Revoking the anonymity privilege was probably seen as the least work-intensive way to inspire a greater degree of civility."

To me, less work-intensive equates to lower employee costs. Thus my comments regarding financial considerations.

On a side note, as the JazzSlave, where is your L-5?

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Sam Jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Thanks Brent!

Great step toward adding accountability to commentary. Why am I only commenting now on an Op Ed posted 11 days ago? Because I swore I would never post again on a forum with such a desperately low level of civility and respect. Hoping to see some healthy discussion from now on. Thanks for your attempts to clean up this mess!

Sam Jones :-)

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 1 month ago

Considering the number of comments since the banning of the semi-anonymous community, it would make more sense to have simply eliminated the forums and invited people wishing to make comments to submit letters to the editor.

There is simply no longer any discussion of ideas on these forums.

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Melanie Turek 2 years, 1 month ago

Scott, I suggest the reason for the diminished traffic is that we no longer have to listen to/read spin from YVB, Sledneck and all the rest turning just about any topic into an anti-government rant. I, for one, and grateful for the break, and now at least when I read the comments they are on point, and they carry more weight since the writer has to own them.

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Sam Jones 2 years, 1 month ago

To me this isn't really an issue of anonymity as much as the fact that this blog has been hijacked by a few who have strong tendencies to criticize, politicize, "rant" in the words of Melanie, and lob personal attacks. Some are happy to name themselves, others not.

Scott W . Honestly, use this thread to review your own behavior on the blog. 7 posts of almost absurd length on a topic that is far from hot. I don't think I have ever read a blog in which your presence is not equally overwhelming. There are no rules for blogging regarding brevity but humans can only stand to tolerate so much preaching from others.

Finally, it is laughable that some feel they are the watchdogs of bad behavior opposing nearly anything and everything in this town.... Through a blog.... In which they are anonymous. Really we don't need your input as much as you think. Try to PROPOSE instead of OPPOSE for once. You might find yourself short on words

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