Columbian.com launches new commenting system

By Libby Clark and Matt Wastradowski

Published:

 

— Welcome to a new era for the Columbian.com community. Starting today, we are testing a new system that requires readers who wish to comment on Columbian.com stories to use their Facebook account.

You've told us in person, via e-mail and through an online survey that the comments on our site are often "offensive," "misinformed," "annoying," "childish" and "completely unintelligent," among other things. As a result, many of you have been reluctant to jump into the conversation.

We've responded by introducing a system that essentially strips away anonymity and requires commenters to use their real names. This introduces more accountability to the community, online and offline, that will also ultimately support better journalism.

The new feaure also reflects a larger adoption of social media tools in our newsroom. Our reporters and editors are welcoming and responding to reader feedback, comments, tips and personal interaction with new professional Twitter accounts and Facebook pages.

We’ve taken the first steps toward a more welcoming community and now we need your help to make this a success. Please use this new system to comment on our stories and connect with reporters, editors and other readers. Tell us what you think and what matters to you, we’re listening!

What will change with Facebook comments?

  • Your Facebook profile photo and name will appear alongside comments you post on Columbian.com.
  • You can "like" comments and see what other readers "like."
  • You also have the option to share your comment with your Facebook friends by cross-posting it to your Facebook news feed. If don’t want to share it, just un-check the box next to the "Post" button and your comments will only appear on Columbian.com.
  • Comments are threaded. Your response to someone else's comment will now appear directly below their comment.

What won't change?

  • Your Facebook privacy settings will dictate what others see about you. Other users may click on the link to see your profile, but they may not see anything more than your name and profile photo, depending on your settings.
  • Registered users of Columbian.com will be able to comment using an existing profile in a new discussion forum on the site.

The new system is a stark departure from the commenting system that's been in place for some time now. We hope you'll join us by discussing the issues of the day, and the people and places of Clark County. We're excited about this change and hope you are, too.

Have questions or concerns? Visit our Facebook comments FAQ or contact Web Editor Libby Tucker at libby.tucker@columbian.com or 360-735-4553.