CONYERS — Starting Thursday, Sept. 5, the Rockdale Citizen and Newton Citizen will no longer allow anonymous comments to be posted online. Beginning with Thursday’s content, readers will comment on stories at www.rockdalecitizen.com and www.newtoncitizen.com through their Facebook accounts.
The Albany Herald and Gwinnett Daily Post, the Citizens’ sister papers, previously implemented this same system, and all Southern Community Newspapers Inc. newspapers are following suit in the next few weeks. The idea, SCNI leadership said, is to promote more civil and productive discussion of stories and events.
“Our papers have always tried to be a forum for public debate. We encourage it. But the editors at all seven SCNI properties thought the anonymous comments had gone too far,” said J.K. Murphy, vice president/content. “Moderating the comments had become a full-time proposition. Using Facebook is not a perfect solution, but it should create a better conversation. If you feel strongly about a topic, you ought to be willing to put your name behind it.”
The process for commenting through Facebook is simple. When you press the button to submit a comment, if you’re already logged in to Facebook, your comment will appear in the thread of existing comments. If you’re not logged into Facebook when you press the comment button, you will be prompted to log in with your Facebook account credentials.
This is done with direct integration with Facebook’s application and your account credentials remain secure between you and Facebook.