LTN tidbit 7: Anonymous comments add flavor


May is 31 tidbits about Lake Tahoe News month.

LTN tidbit No. 7:

Anonymous comments are the one topic we get the most grief about. It’s also a service we receive many compliments about.

We could ask everyone to put his/her full name. But how do we know that is really Kathryn Reed writing a comment? The point of comments is real-time conversations. Verification, like what we do for letter writers and guest columnists, takes time. Time that we don’t have.

People have suggested going to a Facebook format so people have to use their real identity. Well, we are not that naïve. Most people have more than one email account. You can use any name on those accounts. Then you can create a Facebook account. So, really, there is no way to know someone is who she is via Facebook either.

We have in recent weeks taken a stronger stance regarding what comments are published. And even when something gets in, we can take it down. We – like many of you – are tired of the personal attacks. It’s fine to disagree with ideas. But to call someone names because they have a different belief is not necessary and won’t be tolerated. People are starting to be banned because they don’t know how to play nice.

To those who want to attack, we’d like you think twice before posting – Would you say that same thing to the person if she were standing next to you? Would you want your mother to know you wrote that? Why aren’t you using your full name?

People have said they like the comments because it gives them a quick way to say something, ask a question, offer advice, add to the story. People also like reading all of that. We like when the comments add to the story. So, thank you for doing so.

And for those who don’t like the comments. We don’t understand why you read them. Read the story and skip the comments. It’s pretty easy.

While Lake Tahoe News is the only news site in the basin to allow these types of anonymous comments, it is common practice in the industry. We like that it allows our readers to participate in news that is going on in Lake Tahoe. But that doesn’t mean if we keep being distracted from writing stories because of having to referee the comments section that one day it won’t exist. That will be up to you.

Here is information about becoming a paid subscriber.




About author

This article was written by admin


Comments (13)
  1. orale says - Posted: May 7, 2012


  2. Citizen Kane says - Posted: May 7, 2012

    certainly civility is a good goal and perhaps a real name may make us more civil (maybe, but I wouldnt always bet on it :) – but also some folks may want to post a civil comment but simply can not because of employment or other types of relationships that make exercising your private opinion hazardous to you lively-hood. Sometimes such comments are the most enlightened and it would be a shame to loose them. Banning someone that just posts personal diatribes seems reasonable – after all its a public forum but provided by a company that certainly is free to set standards. Unfortunataly all such postings seem to draw some weird stuff. But hey, if it lets someone blow off some steam guess its the lesser of two evils.

  3. Hessel96 says - Posted: May 7, 2012

    Being able to anonymously comment is great as Kane described above. I don’t have to fear retribution from my government or employer. I appreciate LTN allowing this and feel it does most the time result in constructive debate. Banning the people who often comment with unconstructive, offensive and inappropriate dialogue will help keep things more appropriate and tied to the topic of discussion. Thanks for the great news and the opportunity to share a voice…

  4. Irish Wahini says - Posted: May 7, 2012

    I agree with both Kane and Hessel, as well as with the editor. I think anonymous posting is an important filter for reasons stated by Kane, and I think non-constructive, personal diatribe should be left off or removed while constructive feedback often brings solutions to problems and issues. South Lake Tahoe is a fragile community that has great community spirit. We need to use that community spirit to flesh out ideas and answers, and save the energy spent on beating up people for positive purpose. I enjoy the Lake Tahoe News, and the opportunity to learn, listen and contribute.

  5. lou pierini says - Posted: May 7, 2012

    Kae, How about having two sites one for anonymous, and one for real names?

  6. David Kelly says - Posted: May 7, 2012


  7. Hangs Ups From Way Back says - Posted: May 7, 2012


  8. Parker says - Posted: May 7, 2012

    I choose not to give my real name for a couple reasons. The most important being that in this small town, certain criticisms could cause certain people, including friends, to take it personally! Thus the anonymous postings can allow some facts to come out without impacting one’s personal or work life. Again, this is a small town!

    So I applaud the addition of LTN to our community’s media, and support its continued evolution!

  9. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: May 7, 2012


    I just noted that an inappropriate comment that Hangs Up had briefly posted was removed. I’m really impressed, and I’d like to thank you for your efforts toward maintaining a level of decorum on this site so that a cordial exchange of discussion and ideas can take place.

  10. Hangs Ups From Way Back says - Posted: May 7, 2012

    Disinhibition can result in misbehavior, but can also improve user relationships. Just as it is a venue for political dissent , anonymity may also result in greater disclosure among Internet users, allowing more emotional closeness and openness in a safe social context .

  11. Kathy Compton says - Posted: May 7, 2012

    I am not ashamed to use my name ,I have nothing to hide,Sometimes this reminds of a CB radio 10-4 lol I understand it ,If you have a handle use it I think its pretty cool ,Now I used to go by cotton Candy,Love the news every morning getting up and having a cup of coffee ,and seeing what Lake Tahoe is doing ,thanks Lake Tahoe News ,keep it going ,

  12. Alex Campbell says - Posted: May 8, 2012

    KAE I recall two of your responders bragged about stiring the pot with at least two anophele or is it anonymity?

    The political chosen few are fair game as Page 5 of “The Roverian for Political Dummies” states.
    Now we must note the Roverian points out that dirty tricks are allowed.

  13. dumbfounded says - Posted: May 8, 2012

    I am laughing still from Alex’s comment on another post. Personal attacks? LOL. One must be a little less sensitive and a little more attuned to whom exactly one’s enemies actually are. If you lash out at everyone, it shows an incredibly weak position.