Mankato’s anonymity war

There are days when I think MinnPost’s comment standards (which I helped craft) are too high, especially when I see a good thought in the approval queue that doesn’t have a real name, as required.

Then I read stories like this one from the Mankato Free Press and I remember the grass can be brown on the other side of the fence, too.

The publisher is lamenting lost ad revenue, but he can feel good he’s forced some anger-eaters to look elsewhere.

All too often on the Internet, the crazy drive out the sane.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 11/14/2008 - 12:50 pm.

    I am a registered “Hey Martha” participant, but I haven’t been there in some time.

    Can’t say I’m surprised, though.

  2. Submitted by David Koski on 11/14/2008 - 02:10 pm.

    My main issue is that one person can have multiple pseudonyms and fill up a comments section with the appearance of like minded individuals. It is easy to get multiple email addresses and then just use a different name for each one. This is happening at the Star and Tribune comments section all of the time. It is rather obvious when the bulk of obnoxious comments come from the right wing. The comments are usually short , have misspellings and regurgitate the Republican talking points of the day. These aspects are true because it would take too much time to have a well thought out response and the facts to support one’s argument. I think these type of posts are considered feces flung by monkeys.

  3. Submitted by Brian Simon on 11/14/2008 - 02:51 pm.

    As an active participant in several online discussions (i.e. blogs), I find the MN Post’s comment policy to represent lost opportunity. Yes, there are a lot of crazies out there, but there are also many people who value having a place to go to discuss issues in depth, while respecting one another’s differences. When Eric ran the Big Question we had many productive discussions there. Yes, the kooks showed up too, perhaps causing administrators more pain than seemed worthwhile. But my point is: for an online-only media outlet to have a fairly limited interface for reader interaction is a huge mistake, in my opinion.

  4. Submitted by chris hatch on 11/14/2008 - 04:22 pm.

    personally I like media outlets to be more limited with comments/discussion.

    there is so much more effort to craft good news stories than most people realize and when those messages are hijacked in a comments thread it really detracts from the overall media experience in my opinion.

  5. Submitted by Corey Richards on 11/19/2008 - 11:51 am.

    Always a conflict of interest with the Free Press. Have to be careful what is said so advertisers don’t get mad, have to be careful what is said so readers don’t get mad.

    It was only a matter of time before the forum was shut down. Since the shutdown a new forum has been started at with no conflicts of interest.

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