NewsOK.com has revamped its comment system again, this time for quality-assurance purposes:
[F]ar too often in far too many stories, the comments contain vitriolic, hateful and attacking language. Far too often, those comments overwhelm those attempting to have constructive dialogue.
So beginning today, NewsOK is making changes designed to improve the nature and tone of the dialogue for its audience. We’re switching to Facebook commenting, requiring users to login with their Facebook account in order to make a comment on an article.
Facebook, in my experience, is a hair stricter than Disqus. (I’m quite used to both, and I have my real name tied to both, so this bothers me not in the least.)
The ultimate motivation, it appears, is to disperse the crowd of loudmouthed blithering idiots:
We care about the conversation. We care so much about the conversation that we are willing to give up quantity for quality. We expect this change to result in fewer comments on our site. But we also expect this change to encourage more users to participate. And we’re confident that we will see more constructive discourse about issues in Oklahoma.
Why? Because all the comments will be tied to a real person’s Facebook profile, making users accountable for what they post and eliminating the veil of anonymity.
There are, of course, reasons why one might want to remain anonymous on the Net. But commenting on a news site isn’t one of them. (If you aspire to be a whistleblower, you’re going to accomplish more by tweeting a reporter than you will by throwing up a comment.)
And besides, this is the way they do it on Oklahoman.com already, not that anyone ever comments there.