Posted by Pd: “How can [insert name] say he is a Christian? He is going to hell and is taking anyone stupid enough to believe what he says with him.” Would Pd be expressing himself (or herself) so viciously if his name was attached to his comments? How helpful is this comment, anyway? Those are questions being asked by some editors about the comments attached to the articles they publish on line. While they want to encourage feedback, they feel some comments serve only to infuriate later posters and lead to futile arguments. Is there a way to get posters to stand openly behind the comments they make?
Some publications have discovered a way to do just that. It is now possible to convert your commenting system to Facebook. As a result, readers who wish to comment must do so through their Facebook account. One big advantage to publications is that Facebook requires users to use their real names. Those names show up in the comments section on your Website. This should encourage better quality, more thoughtful comments. It is also easier for Facebook users to share articles and comments with their own contacts. And for those who “live” in Facebook, the system seems natural and comfortable.
The disadvantage, of course, is that your readers must be logged into Facebook in order to make a comment. While this isn’t a problem for those who stay logged in all the time, amazing as it may seem, there are those who rarely use Facebook or (gasp!) don’t even have a Facebook account. Those readers who aren’t on Facebook must either get an account or hold their peace.