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Des Moines Register to start using Facebook comments

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by D-3 Fan, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. D-3 Fan

    D-3 Fan Well-Known Member

    I was going to bump up an old thread, but it's been over 6 months since the last comment was made on it. Nevertheless, the Des Moines Register announced today that starting this Wednesday, 8/10/11, all comments on stories, blogs, and columns online will require a Facebook account (with your real name).

    The Register did a trial run of this concept with one of their columnists, Rekha Basu. Apparently, it helped cut down on the uncivil banter from anonymous posters.

  2. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    And the responses in the comment thread seem to go along the lines of:

    1) People will just create fake Facebook accounts, so there will be the same problems.

    2) People who have to use their real names will be harassed.

    3) It's an attempt to control comments.

    4) I enjoy reading the libelous carefully thought-out comments.

    5) If I can't be one of the trolls speak my mind how I want, I don't want to be a part of it.
  3. D-3 Fan

    D-3 Fan Well-Known Member

    1). I would love to see people try that stunt. I hope there's a tracking system to find their email and IP address if someone gets out of line with their "the paper has a hidden agenda" manifesto.

    2). People who have to use their real names (like I do when I blog for the Register and on Facebook) is likely to be harassed, but at least I'll know who the bastards are.

    3). Duh, why do you think they are doing this for?

    4). If I want to read the libelous carefully thought-out comments, I can either read it, or ignore it. There are more than enough assholes who feel the need to hear themselves and get attention.

    5). See #4. You don't have to read it. Read it at your own risk.
  4. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Can't wait for the first post by Facebook users Johnny Gosch and Eugene Martin.
  5. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I thought facebook deleted fake accounts?
  6. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    What's a fake account though?
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I think my old paper is doing this now - every time I read an article there it brings up my Facebook mug and a "leave a comment" line.
  8. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    Granted, I'm probably too big a fan of transparency, but I don't have a problem with this.
  9. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    If I'm remembering correctly, it's more Facebook that has a problem with people having multiple accounts. Meaning, if you're creating a bunch of fake accounts to spam or troll sites, and they can tell via IP address, then they threaten to kill your real account. While this probably wouldn't dissuade the Mom's Basement crowd that has no real friends anyway, I think it's a pretty fair deterrent to most users.
  10. mrbigles01

    mrbigles01 Member

    I've had this debate with several people, and I've never had anyone give me an answer that made sense to me. Why the heck does anyone even allow commenting. They are 90-95% drivel, rarely add anything to the story and often detract from it. Comments are in the same vein as citizen journalism, poorly written, uninformed and insulting to anyone who actually does this for a living.

    That being said by exporting them to Facebook at least they aren't on the same page as the story itself which helps to diminish them.

    (Before everyone jumps down my throat, yes I know there are here to stay, and yes there are some instances - like blogs - in which they can be a fun thing, but the news is not a user participation thing, IMHO)
  11. SixToe

    SixToe Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is. It will work, too.
  12. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    I don't know, I feel like it's important to at least give the reader an opportunity to at least feel like they have a voice. Now on straight news stories or features, maybe there is less of a reason to have it, but I think reader comments should definitely be an option.

    Now granted, over half are probably straight garbage with people crying because because a columnist's opinion differs from their own, but in a few instances it's nice to hear what the public thinks about a topic.

    When it does come to news, however, it lets readers sound off about a decision city hall made (for instance). Like on our Website, one of the most commented stories is about the Fayetteville city council's vote on the town's smoking ban. There's comments supporting it (well, the idea of it) and those against it. Despite how ignorant a comment may, or may not, be, it gives the reader a chance to spout off about something.

    To me, that's just like us here on SJ spouting off in a thread about Newspaper Company X laying off 50 employees. The only difference between commenting on a forum thread with the story linked and commenting on the actual story itself is that it will likely be 90 percent journalists who read it.
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