An end to anonymous commenting

BCLocalNews.com is joining the trend away from anonymous comments on our site. Dec. 1, we switch to Facebook’s Commenting platform.

For the last few years, as www.ahobserver.com has garnered more attention, some readers have raised concerns about one issue in particular – the fact we allow visitors to post anonymous comments.

The policy has led to some unpleasant and mean-spirited postings. It’s also raised an inconsistency in our NEWSPAPER brand. Our community newspapers don’t print anonymous letters, yet we’ve allowed our website to become a place where people can hide their identity while occasionally taking shots at one another.

Starting Dec. 1, that policy will change.

People will only be able to comment by using their Facebook account, which means their name, often even their photograph, will be linked to the statements they post.

Our company is not alone in making this shift. Several media companies, equally troubled by the vitriolic trend of anonymous comments, are turning to Facebook to power their website commenting.

All of Black Press in B.C., Alberta and Washington State have made the switch. Our sister publications have continued to see spirited discourse among those who post comments, yet the discourse is at a much higher level, and commentators are generally well-mannered and on-topic.

This new approach won’t be perfect. People without a Facebook account won’t be able to participate in online discussions.

Still, we’re enthused to be in the vanguard of this movement. It shows we’re listening to our readers and responding. It places us more deeply into the powerful world of social media: by using Facebook Comments, we’re embracing a social medium with 800 million users worldwide.

For those of you who choose not to create a Facebook account, remember we will continue to run letters to the Editor in print – you can submit them to the newsroom here.

So please continue to be a part of the discussion. Your comments are part of an important dialogue that enlivens and enriches civic life in our communities.

We attempted to answer most common questions on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Just Posted

Relationships, continuity top health-care concerns for Agassiz residents

Feedback during Fraser Health events showed access to health care needs to improve

Development on the horizon for Harrison Hot Springs Marina

The property has been the subject of a number development proposals over the years

Chilliwack Players Guild brings first ever radio play to stage

An Affair of Honour is based on a true story, written by the father of a Chilliwack man

‘Big hearts and even bigger feet’: Comedian sends Harrison humour to the silver screen

Jonny Harris will see the town highlighted on his small-town comedy series ‘Still Standing’

More staff being hired at Fraser Valley seniors homes

Number of care hours for residents lags behind provincial targets

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of Brunette overpass

Dash cam footage shows a vehicle speeding across a Lower Mainland overpass

Lower Mainland teacher resigned after ‘inappropriate discussions’ with elementary students

Tracy Joseph Fairley resigned from Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows district April 23, 2018

Surrey needs 350 more cops, activist tells council

‘Right now we are 350 police behind what our population requires,’ politicians are told

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Where mattresses go to die

Mattress Recycling opens the largest of its kind mattress-recycling facility in Hope

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Most Read