Coastsider now requires real names and prior review of all comments

By on Fri, November 18, 2005

I put this off as long as I could.  Effective immediately, all comments posted to stories will be reviewed before they’re released on the site, and all people posting comments are required to use their real names.

I’ve been considering it for a while, but decided to wait until after the election because several pseudonymous posters were posting pretty heavily and critically on the site. I didn’t want anyone to get the impression that we were suppressing opinions.

Then, last weekend, someone posted something genuinely disgusting on the site while I was out of town.  By a stroke of luck, we managed to remove it pretty quickly, but I never want to repeat the experience.

This is a big step, so I hope you’ll be patient as we get the bugs worked out of the system.  My main goals are to avoid a repeat of what happened last week, and to lift the quality of the discourse by making posters responsible for what they say.

We will review new posts as quickly as possible.  We will require that posters get their facts straight and not make personal attacks. There will be more leeway in commenting on officeholders and candidates, but you will be expected to follow the Golden Rule.  If you don’t know what that is, ask your mom.

I will try to verify identities of posters.  If you’re going to post, you will need to click on the "Your profile" link in the left-hand navigation bar, and enter your real name in the field labeled "Name on your posts".  If I don’t know you, I may ask you to verify your identity.

I’m sorry I had to do this. But, I believe this will improve the quality of the conversation on Coastsider in the long run.