Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2014

Currently: 71° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

COMMENTER SPOLIGHT:

Meet some of the Sun’s prolific website commenters

Four prolific contributors to the Las Vegas Sun website talk about topics and other motivations that spur them to write

Image

Steve Marcus

Timothy Lomprey, a frequent commenter to Las Vegas Sun.com, poses in the Las Vegas Sun photo studio Monday, September 20, 2010.

Who are the people who post comments at all hours on newspaper websites? Well, we wanted to know, and we wanted to introduce you to some of the folks who post almost daily on LasVegasSun.com.

Click to enlarge photo

Steve Mincer

Steve Mincer (stevem)

Steve Mincer, 40, lived in Las Vegas for seven years before moving to St. Louis in 2008 in hopes of finding better opportunities as a real estate agent. Though he no longer lives in Las Vegas, Mincer said he still keeps up with the community’s news and happenings.

Mincer said he began commenting on Las Vegas Sun stories when the recession hit to combat commenters who continued to refer to the city as “recession proof.”

Mincer typically comments on local economy stories, but occasionally posts on political issues. Mincer said that although he usually sides with the political views of the other local Las Vegas paper, he prefers the Sun’s website and comment forum.

Click to enlarge photo

Jim Bacon

Jim Bacon (boftx)

Jim Bacon is a 56-year-old software engineer who has lived in Las Vegas for the past two and a half years. Bacon has been a commenter on the Las Vegas Sun website since 2008, primarily commenting on opinion, political and environmental stories.

Bacon said he comments on the Sun site because of the community-like feel and social interaction. Although he may not always agree with all of the site’s commenters, Bacon said they do bring facts to light that he might not have been aware of. Commenters don’t know one another’s real names, but regulars do know each other, Bacon said, thanks to the Sun website’s community feel.

Bacon admits he is a bit of an exhibitionist and enjoys commenting because people are reading and may change their opinions as a result of his comments.

Click to enlarge photo

Boris Radtke

Boris Radtke (BorisR)

Boris Radtke checks in with the Las Vegas Sun website from more than 6,000 miles away. The 42-year-old casino employee resides in Mendrisio, Switzerland, but has had an interest in Las Vegas since visiting as a child more than 30 years ago.

Radtke frequents Las Vegas twice a year for two to three weeks at a time, and has done so for more than 20 years. He follows gaming news closely on the Sun site, examining and commenting on stories that may affect his next visit. He said he reads other comments to learn from Las Vegas locals so he can make his next visit more valuable.

Radtke said the Sun site is a great tool to feel closer to Las Vegas from halfway around the world.

Click to enlarge photo

Tim Lomprey

Tim Lomprey (getalife)

As someone who has lived in Las Vegas his entire life, Tim Lomprey might know the city better than most Las Vegas Sun commenters. The 47-year-old is a graduate of Basic High School and continues to live and work in the town he grew up in.

Lomprey comments on topics including politics, gay marriage and any other stories on the Sun website that pique his interest. His work usually takes him on the road, so Lomprey said he often uses the Sun mobile site to check in on the daily happenings in Las Vegas.

Though he often disagrees with other commenters and classifies himself as a “middle-of-the-road kind of guy” when it comes to politics, Lomprey feels the Sun forum is very balanced. The Sun website allows him to express his own opinions and still learn from others, he said.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 95 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. This will be interesting indeed :)

  2. Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors...here and again if the Sun doesn't like your spin they will remove it.

    Go ahead leave YOUR comment, if it doesn't fit what we want to see, we will change our rules of ingagement.

    So if a commentter doesn't feel like telling his real name doesn't that tell you that he could get flack from people at work? Doesn't that tell you he wants to remain annonymous?

    Sure some will show their stupidity and other characteristics that stand out. Opinions are had by all, take what you want but leave the rest.The Sun wants to control all. they are not just satisfied that they can delete your comment they also want to control what you write.

    If some one wants to make a jerk of themselves, let them. If it goes over the line remove the comment. The rest of this is a form of 'big brother', he's editing you.

  3. I will be more than happy to stand by my comments.

  4. I understand where the Sun is coming from, but I think this experiment is misguided in some ways. I do not have a problem giving the Sun my personal info., including my name and phone number. That said, I don't want my name printed on my posts.

    I don't get my posts removed, and I'm not particularly controversial, but say you lean right (or left for that matter) and make a comment endorsing a political person, and then a potential employer with a strong feeling one way or another Googles your name when you apply? Kiss that job interview good-bye.

    Also, you can't blow the whistle with any insider information you might have.

    It might be better to have posters give their personal contact info. to the Sun, and if you get three remarks removed for violations, you get banned and a phone call from the Sun. That might cut the vitriol without limiting people's ability to tell their story.

  5. It is nice to see the faces that go with the posters willing to put their name and face behind their comments.

    The Internet has become the land of trolls. Some of us don't have a problem standing behind what we say while others just like to hide and post nonsense.

    Good Job Sun!

  6. This is a great idea. It allows Sun readers to access all the comments if they so choose. I would expect that over the next few weeks virtually all the regular posters will verify their identities in order to be posted for all to see. My personal preference would be that posters refrain from making multiple posts on stories. One or two comments should be plenty. Another pet peeve of mine is posters who make very long individual posts. Writing an essay in a post is too much information.

  7. Chunky says:

    He's outta here!

    Thanks to everyone for all the mentions and even personal emails showing support for Chunky's common sense straight-forward comments. "Chunky For Sheriff" was one of his favorites!

    While Chunky supports a moderated comment section and even private ID verification with the Sun, Chunky frequently comments with direct insider information that could not only endanger the Chunks family business/employment relationships but their personal safety as well.

    Journalists and news media have a long history of protecting their sources of information, some journalist have even gone to jail in the process. Will the Sun now begin revealing discreet sources of information contained in their stories?

    Without anonymity the comments section of the Sun will simply become a watered down, colorless version of beige full of "I agrees" "Me too" etc..

    Chunky wishes the Sun would have taken a middle of the road path where identities are known and confirmed with staff, but safeguarded, protected and anonymous online.

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  8. I was asked to do this. I was tempted however, I chose not to because my views may not be the same as my employers or my clients. When the day comes where I don't have to answer to them, I'll gladly post my picture. Then everyone can bask in the glory of my ugly mug.

  9. They asked me to be part of this and to be honest, with me starting a new job (finally) and the odd hours I work, I forgot about it!

    Sorry Sun! I'll do it if I can get a second chance!!

    PS This was a great idea! Stevem doesn't look like I thought he did and I thought Boris was older!!! A lot of us have been posting here for awhile now and most of the time, the comments are cordial. Yeah, everyone disagrees and argues from time to time but that's what people do! Maybe knowing who the people really are will cut down on the trolls and the nasty comments, which I myself have been involved with. No more being anonymous, which is a good thing.

    Sun - Did you ask LLV Bouvier to join in???

  10. In an era where prospective employers and possibly prospective clients check your Facebook page as part of a background check, there are reasons to keep your name private.

    I do object to one thing in this policy and that is term "trusted" as in "trusted commenter." This implies that the person making the comment is telling the truth which as we all know is not always the case and for some commenters appears to never be the case. Walter Cronkite was "trusted." Paid fomenters are not trusted.

    Sun editors, can you change that term to "verified?" The only thing you are doing is verifying names and even that is easy to fake. Thanks.

  11. I'm going to jump on and make my comment for the Sun to read, prior to it being removed in 72 hours.

    Forcing people to reveal their identity is a sure way to lose many great commentators. Not everyone wants their identity engraved on a news or political story for the length of the internet's vast memory. This might particularly be the case for those with unique names. As pointed out above, it can ruin someone. Opinions change over time, yet a response given today will be there for future employers, friends and family to see for years to come.

    Its a terrible idea forcing real names. Do your verification, find a way to block problem commenters, but don't punish everyone.

  12. I have been asking (in the Comments section) for the Sun to lift the curtain on anonymous commenting for some time. Kudos to them for taking this step. The only problem I see so far is that when viewing only "trusted comments" they are often out of context. Still, I'm very happy to see anonymous commenting slowly disappear, as it enables, if not encourages, comments driven by hidden agendas.

    Thank you, Las Vegas Sun, for making this change.

  13. Good Idea!

  14. This was a smart thing to do. I don't comment as much as most of them, but I would have even shown my mug. Hats off to those guys.

  15. Always interesting to see the veil lifted a bit...

    I wonder if the Sun asked the Sarge to do a profile?

  16. Hm. Guess my commenting is going offline.

    As people mentioned above, I too work with some very influential people and companies. I'd probably end up in the desert 6' under with some of the things I know and insider information I've shared and/or would share...

    Sorry! :)

  17. I had concerns about privacy when I was first approached for this, too. But then I ran a quick Google and my identity was quickly revealed in the first two links. I have been active on the Internet for a long time in several diverse areas so it is impossible that I haven't left a trail.

    I would like to the Sun allow more self-policing by allowing the users to vote comments up or down, as is common on other sites. This, too, can be abused, but there are ways to minimize it.

    My biggest pet peeve is that we no longer have the opportunity to say why we are suggesting that a comment be removed. If nothing, I would like to see a predefined list of reasons given so we can point out what we think is wrong. Back when a comment box was available I flagged one comment not because of what it said, but it contained the writer's personal contact information which indicated he thought he was submitting a letter to the editor. With today's system, the moderators might not have caught that as the reason.

    This new system isn't perfect, but after time I'm sure we will let the Sun know what we think of it.

  18. I agree with Chunky, bg, Gordon, westvegas, et al (Hey! It's probably the first and only time we've all agreed on ANYTHING!) that this policy actually RESTRICTS (rather than elevates) comments. Anyone else notice that nobody profiled in this story is, uh, FEMALE?!
    Clearly there's personal safety issues involved. Why not require publication of our home addresses? Childrens' schools? Marital status? I wish Sun staff would re-consider this ill-advised decision to require first and last names on the story page.

  19. Hello !!

    Nice to "see" and meet you guys. And hats-off to you for being willing to peek out from behind that built in anatomist curtain. You are the pioneers in this too it seems...I always did like placing a face to a name.

    See ya in the funny-papers...:)

  20. Thanks to you LAS VEGAS SUN. However I am still older than the three fellows. Do appreciate seeing their faces and a little about the bodies that go with the faces.

    Appeciate the needed exposure in the medical series. Recently worked in a nursing facility where one patients skin tears escalted to almost looking as though she was a piece of raw meat. The DON admitted that that skin tears were from improper transferring of the resident. And improper nursing care by the day shift. Whenever I was on duty the day shift left the med cart in shambles as well as the residents and then flipped the narcs so that the narc count was off. An LPN with glassy eyes was so verbal in telling the night shift about my errors. She never had any errors though and neither did the DON. I thought this had sorta, kinda of beena on the downswing in senior care. Not in really, really rural nursing facilities.

  21. Anonymous is better when it comes to poltics. A lot of naive folks could lose their jobs and the folks that know better will NOT post!

  22. For all of those who are planning to stop commenting, you don't really have to go. Your comments will still show up on the "All Comments" page which everyone will have to read anyway in order to make sense of the comments by "trusted" commenters who respond.

    I am confused about this policy. The article detailing the changes says, "you can either provide basic personal information that, with the exception of your first and last name, will not be shared with anyone....none of your information -- beyond your first and last name -- will be released or sold."

    The first phrase suggests or implies that your name will be on your comment yet I see comments with usernames only and comments with username and name. Why?

    The second phrase implies that the Sun will be selling our names.

    Sun editors, could you explain this?

  23. And I do echo bg's comment that the term "trusted" implies that the commenter is telling the truth as opposed to the reality that the commenter's identity has been "verified."

  24. Hello Gentlemen ~
    Nice to see the faces and Bios behind the names. I'm curious as to the Criteria in which the Sun chose the posters, And why no women ? I hope by verifying my information that I don't get called by telemarketers 8327387 times a day.

  25. Myforte

    I am a female and was asked. See my comments above. Women are more vain then men; most don't want their pictures published....unless of course they go the route of those online dating sites and post a picture from 20 years ago or a photoshopped photo of someone else's body and their faces!!! I also believe there are more males that post then females on here.

  26. If a person doesn't have the stomach to stand behind what they say, then it probably shouldn't be said. Even so, there are plenty of places online to write anonymously if you must (create a blog, for instance). But when newspapers and reporters put their reputation on the line with every story, it is only proper for those commenting to do the same. It is not, however, proper for anonymous people with who-knows-what agendas to coattail what is often misinformation onto legitimate news sources. It's time to get back to a simple concept: Accountability.

  27. James_P_Reza said "newspapers and reporters put their reputation on the line with every story, it is only proper for those commenting to do the same."

    I disagree. First, they're getting paid to report the news hopefully accurately (the Fourth Estate?). Too many "news sources" don't report the facts anymore. Editorials are by definition biased (they are opinions) but even then I expect the "facts" quoted to be real and in some papers, and you know who you are, they aren't. Second, my comments, as noted by many other posters, could cost me my job. The First Amendment protects us from government intrusion not employers.

    I do agree with your statement "It is not, however, proper for anonymous people with who-knows-what agendas to coattail what is often misinformation onto legitimate news sources." And I've spent a lot of time here trying to get those people to provide legitimate sources for their misinformation.

  28. I don't need to see the 'face' behind the name, and I think this results in commenters potentially adding comments in the future, in the hopes of getting their name on the Las Vegas Sun site and their name in the news.

    It's just a gimmick - like all gimmicks - to increase readership and activity, and provoke commentary.

    So, I'm 'provoked'..........

  29. They desire to improve the tone of the comments.

    However, if one reads the FaceBook comments on this Sun site then I believe they are more mean and grade school then ever.

  30. That word, censorship ... I do not think it means what some of you think it means.

    If the Sun was out to censor you, your comments slamming the paper as biased and such would have been deleted long ago, no?

  31. Even though I've sometimes bashed stevem and BorisR, I have to say that I admire them for having the guts to go "public".

    Some of the remaining posters(especially the juvenile Chunky series), I wont miss one iota.

  32. Thank you for all of your comments and suggestions in regards to this new system.

    In trying to explain why we did this, the note I wrote was way longer than I wanted it to be. Too many words. But for me, one of the key lines in that note was that "we are determined to figure out how to make reader comments on our website more about discussion and less about name calling."

    My intention with that line was to flat-out admit that we don't know if this is the right approach. But we're going to keep trying things and tweaking things.

    We've already received lots of feedback and we're now in the process of making changes based upon what you all are telling us. Our goal here is not to get rid of commenters who disagree with us. Far from it. However, we have every intention of getting rid of those who are mean and post one sentence comments saying things like "fat idiot" or make sexual comments about a person in a photo on our site, etc...

    I completely agree that anonymity does have a place, even an important place, in outlets like the story comments on LasVegasSun.com. We haven't eliminated the ability to post anonymously, we've just made it so that those who do give their name get more prominence.

    More importantly, we have built our new commenting software so that if an anonymous comment is particularly thoughtful or well done, we can move that comment over to the actual story page with the "verified" comments. You can see examples of that on this very story. The vast majority of comments you see above this post I've written were submitted through "unverfied accounts," but were moved over to the main story area.

    We hope to soon add a feature that allows anyone to suggest an anonymous comment be elevated to the story page's comments, similarly to how we have a link where folks can suggest that a comment be removed.

    In watching very diligently how the reader comments have been on LasVegasSun.com for the last two years or so, there is ample evidence that how the system functioned before allowed too many to post comments that allowed them to anonymously just make fun of others or simply be mean as hell. The changes we've made were done much more to target that sort of behavior than it was to keep people from being whistle blowers.

    I hope you all will keep posting on our site and that you will reach out to me whenever you have an idea or question:

    [email protected]
    702.948.7831

    I will be posting more answers (well, more thoughts) here in just a little bit, but this sucker already is too long.

  33. In all honestly, I don't want my boss to Google my name and see that I comment instead of working.

  34. bg -- We completely agree with you that we should change the term "trusted" in regards to a commenter for the exact reason you outlined. We just hadn't thought of it as we were building this system.

    We also wonder if "verified" is the right word, as well, because -- as you noted -- we can be faked out on that process also. We've been trying to think of the right word to use.

    It is "responsible?" There are problems with that word. In the end, we might not find the exact word. We might just use "verified" because even though it's not exactly right, maybe it's as close to right as we're going to get.

    Anyone else have any suggestions?

  35. why not use "registered"?

    easy peasy

  36. Yes, getalife, maybe we have been overthinking this.
    :)
    Thank you!

  37. The problem lies in the ambiguity of the word in the given context.

    The word "registered" presents a different problem, though not as bad. Since all users must register to be able to post at all it can be said that all comments are registered.

    Perhaps a phrase such as "comments by verified users" would clarify the intent.

  38. I like "verified," too. It denotes that the Sun has done its diligence to verify the identity of the user to the best of its resources. Your lawyers will still require you to inform users of the sources you use to verify in the disclosures, but that's easy.

    I'm not completely sold on the new system (I have a unique name), but I applaud the Sun for trying to do something. I think that in the long-run, the Sun should incorporate the most frequently-used IP addresses for each specific user.

    Rob - I posted 4-5 comments on a story yesterday, but my identity wasn't verified until today. Is there a way my comments can be moved to the story page? Or, can I re-post them?

  39. I stand with my name after my comments. I have no problems with that. I don't need to hide my name or person behind some idiotic anonymous code because I think what we say in here is good and each and everyone of us has the freedom to say what he/she wants as long as nobody is being offended. From this point of view, I have nothing to complain about this entire idea.
    Greetings from Switzerland

  40. Another concern we have been hearing -- and I can't remember if we have seen these questions on story comments or via e-mails that have come directly to us -- is in regards to "unverified" comments disappearing in 72 hours.

    Well, here is the dirty little secret in regards to that: it doesn't really matter. The vast majority of the traffic to the vast majority of the stories on this site occurs within the first 24 hours after a story is first published on lasvegassun.com.

    BTW -- the way this new system works, just as we can easily move anonymous comments to the main story page comments, we also can easily move comments from "verified" posters over to the page of all comments that goes away.

    This is important for the exact reason that Sgt. Rock outlined: the comments that we used to post on our political stories via Facebook could be as mean and as foul as anything you've ever read.

    We've always felt -- whether we're right or wrong on this -- that we can tolerate a little more of that when someone ties his or her name to the comment as opposed to when someone is anonymously mean. But there are lines there, as well. That's why we made it so we could send comments from verified posters over to the sandbox, where the play can be a little rougher.

    And when we find someone who has created a fake Facebook account in order to get verified for our commenting system, we unverify that account. Heck, we've already done that a couple of times this morning.

  41. I just hope my wife is too busy doing dishes to read my comments. I have reservations submitting heartfelt expressions now that my name is there. Just like a seed needs darkness to grow, I needed that cloak of anonymity.

  42. One more thing I forgot to mention is that even though "unverified" comments disappear from the story after 72 hours, they don't disappear from the site.

    If you are an unverified commenter and want to see one of your old comments, or if another Sun reader wants to see them, all that needs to be done is to click on your name next to one of your posts. All of person's comments are available on their profile page -- verified or unverified.

  43. I frankly think in terms of censorship and first amendment rights that you as a news media are concerned about but don't want to pass on these same rights to the commentators. I don't always appreciate the comments made by some but I believe they have the right to speak their opinion. I do like to have anonymity to protect myself from some crazy out there who will do anything to track me down. This policy you are imposing is disturbing. I hope you will reconsider and continue the comments as you have in the past. If not I guess that tells me you are saying the first amendment only applies to us.
    This is a sad commentary on your part.

  44. I recognize that some posters need to be "railed in", however, when I read that my real name was to be used, I said "NO WAY!" I do not intend to give you my address. Even though I am a female living alone and have a gun, which I can, and will use. I personally don't need to have the cops come to my home and shoot me in my bed, claiming my high blood pressure medication made me act crazy somehow. My family cannot afford to bury me at this point. If you want me to identify myself, I'll be glad to call you.

  45. Gordon -- I certainly hope you will continue to post on our site for all of the reasons you listed in your comment.

    Why do we ask birthdate? It's because the registration system we use on our site powers all parts of our site: commenting, newsletters, text-message alerts and other parts of our site that we haven't really launched yet (but will be launching soon!). But the key one there, at least as it relates to age, is newsletters. We collect the age so that ads associated with those newsletters are age-appropriate. Let me be even more specific -- because this is Las Vegas, lots of our advertisers involve going to clubs, drinking alcohol or gambling. You don't get those ads if you're not 21.

    As I just mentioned above, which I was probably writing as you were writing your post, we do not actually delete "unverified" comments.

    Again, we hope you will continue to post your thoughts on our site!

  46. jemster2, this isn't about trampling your First Amendment rights, we promise. This is about keeping the discussion on the main story page worthwhile and flowing, rather than it devolving into name calling, untrue statements, pointless and off-topic comments, and hate speech (which has happened far too often in the past).

    Anyone can speak their opinion, and if it's something that adds to the discussion we'll do our best to move it from the "all comments" page to the main story page (though we may miss some because we can't catch every single comment that comes through). If someone who is a "trusted" commenter says something that detracts from the discussion, we can and will move it off the main story page, as well. We're just trying to foster better, nicer discussions on our site, not keep anyone from providing their opinion.

    That said, comments that violate our reader agreement by being mean, being false or in any other way will be removed no matter the "trusted" status of the reader posting them.

    Levi Chronister
    Managing Editor of Special Projects
    Las Vegas Sun

  47. I'm already finding it tedious to be clicking an extra link to see all comments. The majority of those who comment understand and abide by the comments policy. It is a handful of people who routinely ignore common courtesy and the rules.

    It might be effective to ban a user's account for X number of days based upon Y number of legitimate complaints in a given time frame. Velocity checks are easy to implement.

    Another (unusual) way to encourage "problem children" to behave would be to post a weekly listing of those users with the most removed comments. No need to use real names, just the user name would suffice. Public shaming has long been found to be effective at enforcing community norms.

    No one wants to stifle expression of opinions, but the manner of the expression sometimes leaves a bit to be desired, as we all know too well.

  48. I will no longer post either. Most of the articles I comment on are about the gaming industry in which I am currently employed. Harrah's has already tried to get the employees to sign a "Social Networking Policy" so it makes me wonder? Why this new change" Did the gaming industry put the squeeze on you? They own the legal system, the politicians and now the newspapers! Nevada is no longer what it once was! It is "Corporate Slavery" through and through!!

  49. I am beginning to question the wisdom of expiring "untrusted" comments. As I go back and look at older stories most of them have few or no comments on them now.

    I find this disappointing. There were some damn good debates that are now no longer visible in context. Yes, you can go to individual poster's pages and look for them, but there is no way of knowing that they ever occurred in the first place.

    For what it's worth, I'd vote for not having an expiration.

  50. irishfighter -- I can promise you that the gaming industry had absolutely nothing to do with us implementing this new policy/software.

    Our stories on the construction deaths show that, as well as our big series on gambling addiction in Las Vegas.

    BTW -- I think most large companies make employees sign a policy likely similar to what Harrah's was thinking about. Greenspun Media Group has a similar policy.

    I very much hope you will continue to post on our site, even if anonymously.

    boftx/Jim -- Whether or not the anonymous comments on our site should be removed after three days has been one of the things we've really wrestled with. On the one hand, we hope it's a clear motivation for getting rid of so many anonymous commenters who simply post short, little mean things. On the other hand, those old discussions on our site are now gone.

    It was hard for us to figure out the right thing to do. We tried to make the decision we felt was best for our limited resources and for what we were ultimately trying to accomplish.

    That doesn't mean the decision we made will stick forever. As I posted earlier, this is very much a work in progress.

  51. For some reason my comments fall into the "trusted" category, even though my name does not appear in the posts. I tried to "EDIT PROFILE" to show my name, but your system does not permit that change. Does this mean that I have to join Facebook in order to expand my profile?

  52. Another user mentioned something about the safety of women. Most men have no problem with someone knowing their name. The last thing I need is some pervert or lonely male to see my "real name" look me up and harass/stalk/annoy me. Why do you think females aren't giving up their names? I really think you should think about your female readers and their protection. Not only that, if we post something that someone doesn't agree with--we are now a target. That is wrong.

  53. Gordon
    I also agree with a lot of the points that you have brought because I am a small business man also and I have seen other business close when they promote there belief on one occasion I went to buy a set of tires from this certain business while talking to a salesman about some tires I heard another sales man say loudly that the Auburn tigers were sorry as hell (on account he was an Alabama Fan) well the guy that said that was the owners son the owner also felt the same way because that's all you could see in the store was Alabama this Alabama that, the customer was wearing a Auburn shirt he had no idea that this place was like that Then the customer said I won't be buying tires from you sir! and the young man said I don't want to sell you tires either.
    While this unfolded I also decided without telling them why that I was not buying tires either because I was also a Auburn fan and I didn't like the way that man was treated simply because he wore a shirt in there that didn't display the owners beliefs. Less than a year this place that took a lifetime to build was now closed. I also went to radio shack one day and they had a TV blaring real loud with Glenn beck on while I was trying to buy a digital converter from analog to digital for my RV I could not read the box for hearing the TV so I went somewhere else to buy my box simply because I did not agree with there attempt to indoctrinate everyone come in the store. So yes you and I have the same concerns. When your in business you got to keep Sports, Politics, And Religion out of the customers view.

  54. @rebelfan19
    My mother who gave all this same information to another paper (not the Las Vegas Sun) was inundated by hate mail and some even threaten her life this info was not supposed to be released and it wasn't released officially but released just the same she went through torment for a long time just because of her political beliefs. so yes they are real.

  55. The bottom line is that 24/7 moderation is probably not practical, so the Sun needs to devise a reasonable way to allow us to police ourselves and take some (but not all) of the burden from the staff. That is what I conclude from the comments I see and my own feelings.

    Maybe a panel discussion of sorts between the Sun and users in a couple of weeks would be helpful.

  56. boftx/Jim -- I agree with you completely that getting a group of all of us together is a great idea. I will try to coordinate something like that probably in October. We did something like this at another newspaper I worked at a long time ago (meeting with the commenters on one of our popular boards), and it really was fantastic.

  57. I use to post on the RJ until they changed their format. Then I saw their posts go WAY down. Not because of my actions, but their format (smile).

    I believe you only get the TRUE feelings of people when they are free to speak without being identified.

    That's why the old suggestion box works and the boss standing up at meetings asking for staff opinions does not.

  58. ronster,

    I don't think that this involves a question of being liberal or conservative at all.

    I visited the RJ a few times many months ago, and found their practice of allowing anyone to post, without a registered account, and with a new name on every post to be less than conducive to having any kind of discussion. To the best of my knowledge they have not changed that since then. (I refuse to give the RJ any traffic whatsoever, especially since they have started their "copyright protection" scam.)

    The Sun, to their credit, is trying to allow free discussion. But they have failed to curb the abuses that come with that. The Sun's current effort is commendable, but I believe it has a fundamental flaw in its assumptions, that only "mis-behaving" users will not want to take responsibility for their posts by letting their real names be known.

    Somewhere between the Sun and the RJ there is a happy medium. I think the true answer will depend upon involvement of the users in the process of moderation and the Sun disregarding its own bias.

    The fly in the ointment will be whatever legal questions arise by having user participation in policy enforcement.

  59. @boftx said "It might be effective to ban a user's account for X number of days based upon Y number of legitimate complaints in a given time frame....Another (unusual) way to encourage "problem children" to behave would be to post a weekly listing of those users with the most removed comments. No need to use real names, just the user name would suffice. Public shaming has long been found to be effective at enforcing community norms."

    So a "Penalty Box" to go along with the sandbox? It's a nice idea. How does the Sun determine legitimate complaints? For example, I think he who posted rapidly and inaccurately and attacked people would have suggested removal of many, many posts that he disagreed with. Perhaps the Sun has statistics on that (we don't need to see them). It just goes to my prior question of legitimacy.

    I'm not sure about your other idea of "stocks" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stocks). I feel that same user might have reveled in topping the list. It would support the contention that the Sun removes comments it disagrees with (which obviously isn't true since we see the comments saying just that).

    Anyone else have any thoughts? From Rob Curley's comments, it looks like The Sun will give us input on our sandbox.

  60. bg,

    I admit that I am only throwing out concepts, not concrete solutions at this point.

    You made an astute observation with the following:
    "How [would] the Sun determine legitimate complaints? For example, I think he who posted rapidly and inaccurately and attacked people would have suggested removal of many, many posts that he disagreed with."

    I have no ready response to that. The obvious answer is that a moderator would need to review the complaint and judge it on it merits (which is basically what they do now.) But I suspect the number of removal requests *for* a given user's comments could be scored (considered) by software when that same user suggested the removal of another user's comments.

  61. Rob,

    Here's an idea that might help automate some of the task of moderation.

    I'm sure you know that many sites and email providers use a Bayesian filter to knock out spam. Why not train a Bayesian filter to recognize rude or obnoxious posting patterns? I would use a training base of a minimum of 500 samples for good and a 1000 posts for bad samples. User comments that are removed could automatically be fed to the Bayes filter for scoring unless they are essentially duplicates of samples that have already been scored.

    Bayesian filters are extremely effective, removing 95% or more of spam posts and emails when properly trained. Using the same to automatically demote posts from the front page to the "sandbox" as you put it might also be effective.

  62. I operated a rough and tumble, no holds barred political website for about four years and had the same policy. Anyone who cared to comment on the stories I posted for discussion were required to do so under their real names. It certainly cuts down on the hurling of invective and personal attack as a debate tactic. I consider people who insult others from the [relative] safety of their own homes, under cover of pseudonyms to be little more than cowardly school yard bullies.

  63. Although I agree with this new policy, I disagree with the idea that anonymous comments have any place whatsoever in a civilized society. Accoutability matters. If you are saying something that might "get you fired" then you probably need to find another job or temper your voice to be more in line with your reality. If I feel like opening my mouth might get me in trouble, guess what? I keep my mouth shut and move on. I just don't get how personal accountability in a free-speech society has become something to run from.

    Further, anonymous commenting is the tool often of those with an agenda or an axe to grind. When a reporter writes a story, they can be challenged on their facts and held accountable. When someone is quoted in a news story, readers can assess the context and assign value to their comments. But there are too many stories of people being hired to "manage" the truth that appears online about companies, individuals or whatever other entity wants their online reputation "managed." I for one am tired of reading anonymous agenda and spin in these comments. I'm tired of reading obvious shill comments and I'm tired of reading obvious attack comments - all from anonymous sources.

    Additionally, since the newsroom seems to be paying attention to these posts, I would like some kind of explanation as to why any stories that appear in the Sun in regards to the business dealings of the Sun, the Greenspun Media Group, or just about any other related business interest do not permit commenting. Either every story should permit commenting or none of them should.

  64. "If you are saying something that might 'get you fired' then you probably need to find another job or temper your voice to be more in line with your reality." - James_P_Raza

    It is not only a question of getting yourself fired, but preventing you from being hired in the first place, as others have pointed out. In a perfect world your views would have no bearing on your employment. But we do not live in that world.

    Beyond that, I ask you, Mr. Raza, why did several of our Founding Fathers find it necessary to publish their opinions anonymously? They should have been ignored using your logic.

    I disagree with you, sir. There are many valid reasons why anonymous posting should be permitted. It is the behavior and language used by anyone posting, anonymous or not, that is the real issue in question.

  65. lampshade,

    LOL, did you at least add peperoni or mushrooms so my wife will like them, too?

    On a more serious note, I understand all too well the dangers of putting a name on the Internet. But since you looked me up, then you also realize that I have not had any Internet privacy for literally decades. I'm far too well known in various technical circles.

  66. James P Reza -- The reason stories on the Sun's website about things related to Greenspun family have not allowed comments is simple: the amount of people who commented on those stories with nothing more than name-calling and ill-will was amazing. The wild thing is that no one from the Greenspun family or in the leadership of this company's businesses ever asked us to do that.

    In fact, Brian Greenspun has asked on more than one occasion why his columns don't have comments. He hates that their isn't a discussion (even if it's spirited disagreement with him) on his columns. He's told us several times that he writes them for that very reason.

    Well, with this new system, comments will now be on his columns.

    However, I totally disagree with you on something: not all stories on this site should have comments. I've seen our readers say some of the meanest things I've ever read in a public forum about a child drowning or a teenager being killed in a car accident. From here on out, we will initially publish those types of stories with comments, but if people are being heartless, than we are going to turn the comments off.

    Life is too short and precious to have to see crap like that on a local newspaper website that a whole bunch of us take a lot of pride in.

    Doing this is hard because there isn't a guidebook on how to run a news website. Haven't you noticed how newspaper websites across the country -- even across this city -- all do things a little (or even a lot) differently?

    The things we do at the Sun's website aren't always right, but when we realize that we've done something wrong, we try to change it and even improve it. And the way our comments used to work on lasvegassun.com and the way our community could so effortlessly become mean in those comments was in no way, shape or form right ... for our website or for this community.

    That's why the Sun's comments are different now.

    We know and understand that with this new system, we might have fewer comments (and fewer commenters) than before. We're okay with that. We never had comments on our stories so we could have huge numbers. We did it so that our stories could be a jumping off point for community discussion and questions. If fewer numbers actually increases the quality of the discussion, then we will have accomplished what we set out to do.

    And that's still the reason why we have them.

  67. I understand the logic that suggests the Founding Fathers relied heavily on Free Speech in order to launch a revolution against an oppressive governing body. If only the majority of modern anonymous commenting was so noble.

    As you yourself noted in the article, our electronic histories already precede us and there is little or nothing we can do about it. Frankly, if someone is going to say something that might affect their ability to get hired, chances are that they will reveal themselves soon after being hired under what amounts to false pretenses.

    I disagree that in a perfect world our views would have no bearing on our employment. Our views guide, inform and impact our employment all the time, but the myth is that employees are in complete control of that impact. Are you suggesting that someone who has written vehement anti-abortion statements online should be employed at a medical clinic providing abortions? That would be weird at best, dangerous at worst.

    Just as there are arguably "many valid reasons" why anonymous postings should be permitted, there are many why they should not. Just ask the top law graduate who was passed over for a year when trying to get a job because a another female law school rival posted anonymous comments about her sexual behavior online (as reported by NPR). Even when the poster admitted the postings were untrue, the blog site refused to remove the postings for fear of somehow compromising free speech.

    If the choice is between a society in which free speech is guaranteed and exercised to the benefit of the anonymous and at the expense of the accountable, or one in which the free speech is guaranteed and exercised in favor of the accountable over the agenda driven, hate filled, and axe-grinding speech of the anonymous, I prefer the latter.

    Contrary to your position, it is not the "behavior" and "language" of the posters that matters, it is the truth and accountability of their statements.

  68. Mr. Curley: I appreciate your efforts to respond to my query about commenting on Greenspun-related stories. It has bothered my for some time.

    That said, looking at your response to that issue, in context with your rationale as to why some stories might be restricted from commenting (stories about deaths, for example), raises deeper questions about commenting.

    I have seen some of the appalling comments on stories about deaths. I can imagine what some people might have said about the Greenspuns. It might therefore seem "right" to protect the families of those who have died, or to "protect" the community from being subjected to heartless, rude, and mean-spirited comments.

    But if that is the case, then I would hope the same kind of "protection" would be afforded to any individual covered in a story who then suffers heartless, rude and mean-spirited comments from readers. Will you scrutinize all comments on all stories in the same manner as those regarding deaths of children?

    This might seem glib, but it is a genuine question.

  69. "Contrary to your position, it is not the 'behavior' and 'language' of the posters that matters, it is the truth and accountability of their statements" - Jamdes_P_Reza (I got the spelling right this time, my appologies for earlier)

    Okay, I will stipulate that there are extremes at both ends tha need to be addressed. You gave an example of one such.

    That said, we do in fact have rulings and laws that define what speech is *not* protected for the reasons you mention. "False light" is specifically in our laws to punish people who wish to harm others, and the truth is NOT a defense in that case. Laws covering libel and slander are there for a reason.

    Based on the above, the example you cite of a site refusing to take down a post that contains libel is inexcusable, but no reason to bar anonymous posting.

  70. Damn!

    I still managed to mangel the spelling of James_P_Reza in my last post. My appologies, again.

  71. A word to the wise, always use Firefox with its built in spell check when posting comments and not Internet Explorer. You will save yourself a lot of embarrassment.

  72. "If fewer numbers [of commenters] actually increases the quality of the discussion, then we will have accomplished what we set out to do." - Rob Curely

    I apologize if I was wrong to insert "of commenters" in the above quote.

    Assuming I was correct, then I submit for your consideration that you should have meant "of comments".

    A policy that discourages some people from posting reasonable opinions (i.e. privacy concerns) can not be what you desire. As I understand it, the Sun wants the most diverse yet reasonably polite discussions possible. Limiting the number of posters does not accomplish that.

    I would say that educating users in what is acceptable language is your main goal.

  73. James P Reza -- I don't think that's a glib question at all. The short answer is "yes."

    We've pretty much reached our limit on people being mean to each other. Civil discourse, even spirited discourse, is fine. Even encouraged. But mean is out.

    We've always felt that way, but never really knew how to deal with it because we have such a small group that is trying to run the website and write stories, take photos, etc...

    We love the Internet and we reallyblove the realtime dialogue that it brings. We don't want that to stop at all.

    Part of our thoughts was that if we knew each other better, then things might work better on all fronts in regards to the comments on our stories. Just ask the people who I called today to verify them if it was just a few questions or if it was a longer conversation. For those who seemed interested, I asked them if they would like to come visit our newsroom someday.

    The reason for that is simple: We need to have a relationship with them because our readers often see the comments before we do. And when things get out of hand, we want them to tell us so that we can try to do something about that. That's why I gave my email address and/or phone number to everyone I talked to today.

    Sorry that got long. All I really wanted to say was "yes'" and that we hoped our readers would help us in identifying those stories.
    :)

  74. Rob,

    I have to give you credit. Posting after midnite? You are truly one of us. You should have been featured in the story. :)

  75. This is a great story reference to all of us that comment, unfortunately The Sun feels the need to change to a newer socialist type of format to comment on, much like a similar path following the changes of Las Vegas and the gaming industry going corporate by taking away a good thing much like the good ol days of how it used to be....

    However with the world's wacko's out there, from a personal standpoint I always remain anonymous due to the fact of potential identity theft can occur, no matter how many safeguards you have.

    Other wacko's that take their views so serious against others expressing their different views can lead to stalking, or worse - and you all know who you are...

    It does not take a rocket scientist with an internet connection to frequent public databases, court records, or tax assessing records to dig up personal information or find your residence or your personal business in order to do harm or whatever their intentions may be...

    One other newspaper site I used to blog on had done changed their format over a year ago and initiated the "reveal your identity" crap if you wish to comment on the site... Well over 85 percent of the commenters (including me) said No Thanks and never been back - I sure hope The Sun does not follow this same exact path and still allow anonymous comments to be posted and displayed for a length of time.

  76. For those individuals that have been posted on this article, I can personally say it is very nice to meet you all and you all are kewl...

    I had always imagined stevem was slightly older than my age (not younger), and worked in some type of admin profession of sort, thinking he would look like a Phil Silvers type of person.. the picture posted on this article to me is he kinda looks like a ventriliquist or a lounge performer...kewl picture though.

    Man, I imagined boftx was around my age too but not older, at least I had the office type worker guessed right...

    Boris - You da Man !!! ...I am with Det_Munch thinking you was much older - I was thinking you looked like Benny Hill or something while being a eccentric 60 something year old retired cheapskate when booking hotel rooms - how wrong I was !..If you were ever a contestant on the old game show 'To Tell The Truth', you would have had a lot of judging panels stumped.

    I had NO idea you look like Howie Long and only 42 years old, jesus I cant believe I am older than you LOL.

    Now I am REAL curious as to know who BoreUS is with a picture.

    I thought getalife was much younger than me, not older - I never imagined he would look like the kid from King of the Hill though.

    As for me I am 45 years of age and look similar to Jim Morrison, and yes I am a cheapskate and a boycotter when it comes to businesses overcharging or pull bad business practices, however I am a great tipper when it comes to efficient individuals working hard and living in the struggle, especially if they're shorthanded with staff.

    I do agree on many commenters here that choose to depart over this new format, I will miss them all.

  77. boftx/Jim -- If there are fewer comments on our stories that are nothing more than snarky one-liners and name-calling, and that means fewer actual people post on our site, than I would say we are completely fine with having fewer commenters.

    It's not really a matter of anonymous vs. named. We just don't want any more of the thoughtless/meaningless hateful stuff on our actual story pages anymore.

    And if you are going to say something that's less than nice on our story page, you're at least going to have to own up to it with your real name.

    Some people are trying to spin this into a situation where it sounds like we're trying to keep differing viewpoints off of here, but that is simply not true. We simply want people to be civil. They can disagree. But they aren't going to be able to call each other names anymore.

    Look at how many of the anonymous comments associated this story that we have moved over to the main story page. Clearly, we're not afraid of having people post things that say they don't like what we've written as long as it is a part of a discussion and not just bomb-throwing.

    If they say who they are, then their comments are on our actual story pages. If they post anonymously, their comments start in the sandbox, where things can be a little rougher.

    AKsilvereagle -- We have no intention of banning anonymous commenters. Some people have very good reasons for not wanting to identify themselves, and as long as they don't violate our reader posting agreement, we want them to express their thoughts, questions and opinions on our site.

    However, just because we're absolutely okay with people posting anonymously doesn't mean that we should treat comments posted in that manner and comments posted with someone's name equally, because they're not.

  78. Thanks for the quick reply and the clarification Rob, as I do understand that more policing is needed reference to the harsher crude vulger attacking type comments or extreme violation of the comments policy.

    Others had already pointed out as to what little effect will really make a difference on policing nasty individual comments by deleting anonymous commenters postings after 72 hours from what I understand now.

    I am going to miss the types of entertaining comments that have happened in the past, for example :

    There was that one article based on reduced hours in effect on bail processing at the jail/courthouse, and all of a sudden all the bail bonds people in town were commenting on it ...between bashing each other and pointing out the real details and flaws of the strained system they had to go thru, and the one guy stating he was framed after serving 5 years, etc....That was real entertaining as I will certainly miss those type of elevated comments.

  79. People should stop complaining about what the Sun is doing.

    It is a private company.

    They can do whatever they want to do. If they want to censor leftist postings then that would be their right. If they want to censor smart thougthful kind conservative postings then that would be their right.

    I think it might help a little to improve the quality of postings but I still see the mean and grade school stuff with the Facebook comments so I don't think much will really change.

    It probably will reduce the number of comments some. But who really cares. The world will keep spinning.

    What the Sun should really do is a charge a fee to be a commenter. Perhaps, you get like 5 free postings and then pay a $50 annual fee to post more than five or you have to subscribe to the paper.

    Some people might lose their jobs for posting some innocent comment. But heck that is your choice to post stuff with your name out there. It is a free world so whatever floats your boat.

    I have my rules. I don't live by the turning-the-other-cheek rule. So if you ding me then I will ding you back but is not emotional for me. I don't take any of this serious or personal. Some of it is playful. I like strong discussions with some of the smarter leftists and even some of the not so smart leftists. Even some of the grade school chatter is just plain funny to read.

  80. I don't think Bore_US will participate in this under the new "terms and regulations". He was consistently picking on me and offending my comments and ideals, mainly because I am not from the US. But , and take this for granted, I have helped Las Vegas quite a bit with financing. 20 years of consistently returning with quite a bankroll, I mean, that is money being brought to Las Vegas. I should get some sort of a "cash-back" some day, shouldn't I ? :)

    Well, this is for Rob from the staff: I will indeed be in Vegas in 3 weeks from now and if your invitation for an office tour combined with a quick snack around the corner still stands, please give me a note ok? I am curious to visit the head quarter of this company.

    Greetings from Switzerland

  81. BorisR
    I agree that Bore-Us will not be participating. You are very well informed about Vegas and it is interesting to read what foreign visitors think of the place.

  82. @Det_Munch, Thank you for your compliment. In a way, from all my visits to Vegas, I could qualify as a "visiting local", if you want to put it that way.

    Las Vegas was the greatest gambling city of the world, for decades. No question about it. Laughlin tried to step into its footprints, didn't work out. Mesquite missed that dream, too, and Pahrum turned into a mess rather than a gambling town. That's how I see it.

    Over the past 10 years, however, I noticed the big boom in construction, and to be honest, didn't know how it was possible to build so many homes in the desert in so little time. And this was the beginning of the new area, a big change, and Vegas would never be again the way it used to be.
    After all, Vegas is a place in the desert with limited water resources but extremely wide range of gambling opportunities and more. That's what made the city so fascinating to me. I think this city is known in the world better than any other city, although it's a sin city :)

    Perhaps from all the years of returning to Vegas I realized how much different the off-Strip situation is from the casinos on the Strip. Not only gaming wise, but in general. When I go to Vegas I perhaps go to the Strip 2-3x, to the most, within 2 or 3 weeks. And that's about it. I don't need that traffic pie-up and all the noise, however, that's exactly what most tourists get to see when they decide to go to Las Vegas. To me, it's much more fun visiting the little Skyline Casino in Henderson or driving all the way out to the Aliante than watching the pirates or sirens play in front of the T.I. For poker , however, I think the Strip Hotels offer very good games. Can't recommend playing poker in any locals' casino. These tough locals are just too experienced and not willing to throw away their money. I don't blame them. But these locals' casinos are just fantastic. Southpoint is my favorite place to be.

    Greetings from Switzerland

  83. I'm not going to register until The Sun gets this posting thing figured out. Work in progress? Change it as we go? Alot of work to do? Surely, this could have been brain stormed a bit better prior to rolling it out. There are many papers out there that won't let you post because they fear the vile comments. That's not my idea of the perfect world where you are free to express yourself or dissagree. I do offer praise to The Sun for trying to get it right. Just make sure that you do.

  84. Kaliscanner -- I totally get where you are coming from. But one of the things that business analysts say about the newspaper industry is that it moves too slow and doesn't try to adapt well to new technology. And the example often used is a quote from an Apple executive who said the key to success in this space is to go with what you have, then make refinements later.

    Look at the iPhone.

    Heck, Windows still would not have been released yet if Microsoft waited for it to be right.

    We did put a ton of thought into this new commenting system and policy. There isn't another system like this on any other newspaper site in the nation. My feeling is that even though we have to make some tweaks to it (and we're taking tons of feedback from our readers in making those changes) that it is already much, much better than it was, and certainly better than what most other newspapers are doing, with the exception of those newspapers that can afford to employ moderators. And you can count those newspapers on one hand. Maybe even three fingers.

    I can promise you we're trying to get this right and we hope you will give us any suggestions you have.

  85. You guys (the Sun) had a good thing going with comments under every story.

    I read many of your stories that I wasn't interested in reading just because I knew the comments would be a hoot, or to post a comment I thought would be fun to make if I could do it anonymously.

    But now with this Trusted Comment verify your identity nonsense, you've taken all the fun out of the comments.

    Yeah people get crazy when they are anonymous but that is where the fun comes from. Remember our famous tag line: what happens here, stays here. That used to be true of the anonymous comments, but now that every comment has to have my real name, I'm done commenting here and will spend 1/4 as much time on your site as I used to.

    Too bad. You were leaving the RJ in the dust when it comes to web publishing, but this Trusted Comment crap killed it.

  86. Rob Curley,
    The best part about an opinion is that it can change. Your sound facts have given me hope that you are trying to do the right thing. I have no problem giving The Sun my name, phone number or my opinion. It is your vehicle and I must play by the rules if I want to ride. I do not, however, owe the readers my identity because it serves no purpose. Will my points be agreed upon because they know my real name? I doubt it. I'm just trying to inject my 2 cents worth and I prefer anomymity.

  87. Gordon -- The short answer is your comments start being displayed on the main story page from the point we verify you as a trusted commenter. All of the comments you make from that point, that is. The verification does not affect past posts. As for the comments you're seeing without someone's real name, that happens when we move comments from the "all comments" page to the main story page. If there are people whose comments we consistely are doing that with, we will be contacting them and trying to verify them as trusted commenters, as well.

    newyorkrebel - You still can comment to your heart's content on stories without giving us your real name. We're not taking that ability away from anyone. And you still can read all of the comments that you expect to be a hoot. They're just not on the main story page anymore. They're still available for 3 days from when the story was posted, though, and that's when 99 percent of our stories get 99 percent of their readership, so there shouldn't be anything different from how you used to read the site other than clicking an extra "see all comments" link.

  88. I read a lot of Sun articles, but rarely comment primarily because of all the nastiness and angry mindless comments flying around. It made the comments section a very unfriendly place. If this new commenting policy helps reduce the nastiness then some of us lurkers may actually comment more to balance out the reduction of anonymous comments. If not, then lurkers like me will continue to read the articles and roll our eyes at the silly comments.

  89. "Yeah people get crazy when they are anonymous but that is where the fun comes from."

    Until you are anonymously and erroneously attacked, libeled, threatened, or worse.

    I agree with Gordon that past posts made by now-verified commenters should retroactively be made "verified."

  90. Because of the unexpectedly high numbers who have requested to be verified commenters, we've decided that as a thank you for everyone who was willing to attach their name to their comments, we are going to temporarily approve nearly everyone who has submitted their information.

    We plan to flip that switch tomorrow morning at 10:30.

    (People who obviously have given fake names or other false information will not be verified in this process.)

    Why are we doing this? It's not fair that so many people are waiting to be verified and we don't want them to continue waiting.

    Within two weeks we feel the actual verification process will be complete for all of those who will be automatically approved tomorrow morning. After that two-week period is up, we will unverify those readers/accounts who I have tried to contact for verification, but not been able to talk with. Once I have talked with them, though, they will be approved again.

    We still will be policing the comments on our stories, moving appropriate anonymous comments to the main story page and moving inappropriate comments off the main story page. We hope you will continue to help us by suggesting comments for removal.

    We also are going to do our best to verify that readers who became trusted commenters via Facebook accounts did so with a legitimate Facebook account.

    You can't realize how much we appreciate all of those who have begun this verification process and all of those who have spoken so passionately about it.

  91. I have to admit. It's a weird uncomfortable feeling having my name posted. It's a shame, a few "big mouths" have ruined it for everyone. Even on my facebook I don't give my maiden name ( I don't want the ex finding me). I've noticed some people's name comes up when you hit their user name and some don't. I think I'm still a little confused on your new procedure. I'm going to lay low for a while. Ha. Peace...

  92. Basically, everyone has to watch their peas and q's, put a sock in it, zip it up, lock it up and throw away the key. Hmmm... I guess we needed posting 101 classes. Let's just talk about the weather. ha

  93. "this is how first amendment rights are eroded, one inch at a time."

    olbuddy -- you just proved you know nothing about the First Amendment.

    "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ..."

  94. <can not participate in a public forum that has chosen a path of heavy handed censorship.>

    Heavy handed censorship? Isn't that going a bit overboard describing the SUn asking everyone to be polite to each other and STILL give their opinions? You know - acting adult???

  95. Comment removed by moderator. Comment repeated from another story.