0

Citizens to change commenting procedure

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.

Comments

John 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Wonder if some ever took a poll on how many readers actually have a Facebook account?

1

Covingtonian 7 months, 2 weeks ago

It's been real and I sort of, kind of, like the idea but don't chose to participate anymore. Good bye yall and in the words of an unknown wrestler "it's been a pleasure, Yours naturally".

1

bigmike 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Says the person who railed on "anonymous bloggers" for the past two years....

0

Covingtonian 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Only those who didn't show any civility in their comments bigmike. I try to play fair but will admit when it gets ugly, I can get uglier. Your comment may not have been meant for me based on the time frames but that's partly why I do what I do.

0

dennistay53 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Good Bye Covingtonian. Gonna miss your comments. But as a great baseball player once said, it ain't over till it's over. If you choose to come back and don't want your name out there all you have to do is setup a fake facebook page with a fake name.

0

bigmike 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Thing is, some people can't put their names behind comments for fear they will be fired from their jobs. Dennis and Laquanda taught us that lesson.

0

Chris 7 months, 2 weeks ago

You make an excellent point about the protective value of anonymity, especially in small communities. Regrettably, the overwhelming reality was that the forum was dominated by rude and mean-spirited postings with no constructive value. What could have been a great community asset became a very negative influence, and a poor reflection on us all. It gave a disproportionate voice to the most divisive views. Race-baiting, bomb-throwing, and personal attacks were the norm. It was not civil discourse; it was downright uncivilized. Despite the loss of protection for those with a true reason for anonymity, the paper is doing the right thing. It is overdue. Facebook would seem to limit access, so hopefully that will be a temporary requirement until they come up with a better solution. It is sad commentary that seven of seven editors all had the same sorry experience. We can do better.

2

John 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I guess I missed something along the way - newspapers & all citizens of the USA have the right to voice their opinions/beliefs. Me thinks stated opinions are called "freedom of speech" and I believe that is protected, by our Constitution & Bill of Rights that news publications jump behind, each day & everyday. One thing that I learned along the way - no matter the statement there is a thread of truth in it , sometimes it is hard to find - but with ~309 million people in the US of which ~ 100K in Newton county they are all individuals and see things a bit different than the person next to them. A perfect world can only be found in Utopia - great fictional reading.

0

Covingtonian 7 months, 2 weeks ago

To bigmike and his assertion that people would lose their jobs. I think much of that would depend on the tone of the comment, just saying...

1

bigmike 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Tell that to the teacher who was suspended last year for simply commenting that Dr. Carpenter was not the answer to AHS' problems. She was called into the principal's office, then the county office, suspended, had to hire an attorney, and was finally reinstated AFTER the attorney told the central office that what they were doing to her was illegal. Some of you people are incredibly gullible. If it were not for many anonymous comments, AHS and the NCSS would still be dealing with the Carpenters. That's a fact.

1

Billy 7 months, 2 weeks ago

This is all to limit free expression. As for the posters above, sorry you can't handle comments from others. The only people posting here from now on will be people that agree with the articles. I have an FB page, had it for years, but after the lawsuit happy worthless school employees we all know and remember from the past two years, not many want to be able to be identified for this purpose. This new requirement probably releaves the NC from lawsuits, so that they can pass on identities of posters for legal action and other harrassment of free speech. I'm glad all you people above falsely believe that this is some kind of plus; it proves you have not thought it out, or can't grasp why this change will be for the worse...

0

deathtotaxes 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I wonder if the AJC will be next?

0

Covingtonian 7 months, 2 weeks ago

One question for the Newton / Rockdale Citizen, why doesn't your editors have any comments on what's happening in the community? The last "Editorial" I saw in the Newton Citizen was dated March 12,2011. There has been much ado printed by the paper and some caused quite a stir yet your editors remained mum, Inquiring minds want to know..

2

Gafan4life 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The sad part is that a lot of good inside info that the BOE admin didn't want the public to know about was stated in the comments by employees. We will not have the inside scoop on what is ACTUALLY going on--without Ms. Viniard sugar-coating it--because what school system employee in their right mind would risk their job by adding their name?? It's a shame! Guess Facebook will become Fakebook so that people can still comment without fear of losing their job!!!

0

tomgahunter 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't have a face book accout, so this is my last comment.

Thank you editors for allowing me to comment over the last year, I hope my comments were constructive rather than destructive.

0

henrystamm 7 months, 2 weeks ago

If anyone is afraid to use their proper name than do not comment. If anyone is afraid that the dictatorial government will retaliate against you, far not they have the NSA, DEA, FBI, IRS, Ag and so on already doing it. If you are a drummed down political Hack, leave the country and move to any of the free countries in sub-Sahara Africa, or for that mater most of the south and central America including Mexico.

1

shaftedcitizen 7 months, 2 weeks ago

AS MY ANONYMOUS NAME SAYS WE ARE SHAFTED. I DO OT HAVE A FACEBOOK PAGE AND WILL NEVER HAVE A FACEBOOK PAGE. MANY OF US WHO COMMENT ANONYMOUSLY DUE SO FOR OUR OWN REASONS. WHAT SHOULD MATTER TO THIS PAPER AND OTHERS IS UNLESS THEY DECIDE TO BE THE VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY AND EXPPRESS THE OPINIONS OF THE COMMUNITY ITS TIME THEY SHUT DOWN. GOODBYE StrongEmphasis

0

HonestAbe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

My real facebook name is Abraham Lincoln

0

MamaTurd 7 months, 2 weeks ago

DO NOT GIVE UP ON THE NEWTON CITIZEN PEOPLE IT IS THE ONLY OBJECTIVE NEWS IN THE COUNTIES. JUST USE THE WEEKLY POLL LIKE THE NEWTON CITIZEN POLL AND THE ROCKDALE CITIZEN POLL.

THEY ARE KEEPING THOSE IT SEEMS SINCE THEY ARE EASIER TO MANAGE I ASSUME BUT THEY MAY GET REALLY WORTH READING WEEKLY NOW - HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1

henrystamm 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Wile you all are bellyaching, this is the only local paper that allows all of us to comment. The other one puts a restriction on it in order to purchase that privilege and hide the local politicians and to block us from commenting and giving and exposing the truth from and by us. Thanks CITIZEN.

1

Sign in to comment