Don’t worry, I will still let you be Anon-Chickenshits on my site (H/T – AG)

I know most of you, so I do a pretty good job of filtering out the psychos – sometimes. But this can’t be good news for ANON commenters on the Argue Endorser’s website;

Gannett this month will begin a groupwide initiative requiring readers to become Facebook members before they are allowed to submit online comments. The move covers all of Gannett’s U.S. newspaper and broadcast sites as well as USA Today. The publisher tested swapping commenting management from Pluck to Facebook at four newspaper sites before making the switch. A memo issued by the publisher said it will continue to use Pluck’s software for other website functions, at least for the short-term. Gannett follows a growing group of newspaper publishers that have opted to use Facebook as a conduit through which readers can post comments. Among them, The Orange County (Calif.) Register, MediaNews Group, Tribune Co., Media General and The San Diego Union-Tribune.

STORMLAND TV already does this on their site. I like it. Wanna say something? Back it up. I also believe you can delete your own comments, if you misspoke 🙂

I totally busted a city snowplow operator bitching about snow gates on the KELO site, and he deleted the comments. I guess losing all of that overtime got him worried.


#1 Angry Guy on 11.11.11 at 11:25 pm

Thanks for the HT fucko!

#2 Helga on 11.12.11 at 2:49 am

As if people can’t join facebook with a fake name and info.

#3 l3wis on 11.12.11 at 5:22 am

AG – I was afraid if I H/T’d you I would be giving you away.

#4 scott on 11.12.11 at 9:17 am

speaking of snow gates, the city is having a meeting on them next thursday from 530 to 630 at the morningside community center on bahnson ave. having been in the test area, i will be there to advocate their use again this year.

#5 caheidelberger on 11.12.11 at 9:39 am

True, you can make a fake FB account. But it’s like a bike lock: it won’t stop the dedicated trolls, but it will put the brakes on a lot of lazy anonymi. And folks too lazy to log out and log back into FB on a separate account are likely to also too lazy to think through their arguments.

#6 Andy Traub on 11.12.11 at 9:44 am

I will be at snow gate mtg too advocating for them.

#7 Analog Kid on 11.12.11 at 10:10 am

What is H/T?
As for Snowgates the mayor said something about testing again?? What for? They work already. I think he wants to have another chance to rig them and say they don’t work unless he can become an investor for one vendor to help fund his new mansion in NW Minnehaha County.

#8 cr on 11.12.11 at 10:59 am

I will also be at the “snow gate” meeting.

I was going to express my thoughts here, BUT I think that I will “save” it for the meeting. I want some spontaneous answers (if that is possible) instead of “canned cityspeak” responses.

I would urge anyone who was in last year’s test area to encourage others to also attend. Your input is very valuable.

Hopefully, Theresa Stehly will also be able to attend. She has depth of understanding about this issue (including personally having spoken to the both snow gate manufacturers) that I believe few other citizens have.

#9 rufusx on 11.12.11 at 11:41 am

Looking forward to the AL change. I think it wil civilize that place quite a bit. Most of the folks that post the extreme and unsupported “conservative’ rhetoric over there will disappear.

Now, if GPV would do the same………

#10 Poly43 on 11.12.11 at 2:03 pm

To those who post with your name. Have any of you ever felt like you’ve been unduly harassed in any way? I know Andy speaks his mind. He has seen his property trampled on as a result. A prank? Prolly, but also a subtle message. I’ve been dealt the same type of message in the past when I put my name to a LTE. I voice my opinion on varied city issues and city leaders. I have also driven the streets of SF for 47 years. I’ve NEVER been stopped for any reason. I feel if I signed my true name, my license plate numbers would be red flagged. Am I wrong to feel that way?

#11 l3wis on 11.12.11 at 10:10 pm

Has there been repercussions to me? Probably ones I have not seen. The only time I have ever been threatened or warned was when I made fun of Jon Lauck (Thune Staffer). Someone threatened me with a slander lawsuit.

If I ever meet Jon in person, I will tell him my thoughts on the first amendment.

#12 GregN on 11.12.11 at 10:27 pm

I think making it a bit harder to be totally anonymous is a good thing. We all know how extreme commentary can get when you can be anonymous. I shouldn’t get too boastful since I’m not fully out there, I’ve tipped my hand a bit with my name but I haven’t put it all out there. On the snow gates front, I’m very interested to see what comes next. I’m a big supporter. That being said, I was disappointed when I think on Rant a Bit Councilor Jamison mentioned that if you are on a emergency snow route or maybe it was a collector or arterial they wouldn’t use them. In either case, I’m living on both an primary emergency snow route and a collector, so either way I’d be excluded, I guess, unless something changes. Since I’m on a emergency snow route, I have the plows constantly dropping deep wet snow in my driveway so its a constant battle. Would be a shame if I can’t benefit from it, but it wouldn’t stop my supporting them for others.

#13 l3wis on 11.12.11 at 10:35 pm

No thorns Greg, but here is my feelings on people who purchase homes on emergency snow routes or corner lots. You know what you are getting into. Hopefully. While I do agree, you deserve the same benefits as other taxpayers, I do tire of your constant whining about being on an emergency snow route. Your choice bro, deal.

#14 GregN on 11.12.11 at 10:54 pm

Actually I think you might/must be confusing me with someone else…I don’t think I probably ever said word one about it in the past, probably didn’t come up. Maybe I did. Trust me, I serve on a city board that lets just say this sort of thing comes up and no one knows better than I and feels more than I that you make your choices. Living where we do (on the emergency route), we do have plenty of snow blowing to do, but we also have a huge positive that snow is cleared immediately and our roads are awesome while side streets have to wait. So it works both ways (good and bad balances out). I also have the noise of a bigger road, and my wife and I have discussed it for years – the idea of moving to a smaller side street, but we also can get to where we need to quickly too. You take the good with the bad. I’m guessing you’re confusing me with someone else and if so no offense. I just can’t think of any time I’ve ever even said word one about what road I live on, unless I’m wrong, and if I did maybe it was once, I just can’t think of it honestly. And I certainly don’t complain about it. I have decisions I have to make on this board where I think to myself exactly what you said, you made your choice, so if you don’t like it you do have an option to move. Oh and by the way on this board I deal with corner lots and some of the challenges and things you get into, and I’m not interested in one of those anytime soon (all respect to anyone who owns one!). I do know the reasoning, as of now, that I wouldn’t get the snow gates, and I would live with it of course. And as I pointed out I wouldn’t try to torpedo them for others because I couldn’t get them, because this is about public good as a whole, not whether I would benefit, that’s not the way I play. Still think you’ve confused me with someone else – I didn’t make my first ever post on here until not that long ago…I’m not getting defensive or taking any offense, I just don’t want to leave it dangling out there that I’m a whiner 🙂

#15 l3wis on 11.12.11 at 10:59 pm

Like I said, no thorns. I agree, you take the good with the bad. I’m not saying YOU personally saying something about it is whiney. I’m just saying I have heard this song and dance before.

#16 GregN on 11.12.11 at 11:02 pm

Now if we want to talk about whiners…I was watching an old city council meeting from a few years back, it was the one where the council voted to approve the .08% increase in the sales tax that you Scott spoke at. That monologue your old friend De went on talking about how she was so tired, she wished others could do the job, she was so stressed, blah blah I was just thinking cry me a river…you had to be standing at the podium just itching to say something but you held back. My kneejerk thought would have been to say if it’s really that hard and stressful, step aside so someone like myself can go for it, but I probably would have kept my mouth shut. And yes I had a reason I was watching that old meeting, I don’t just watch them for fun 🙂

#17 l3wis on 11.12.11 at 11:15 pm

I wish you could find the council meeting where I told Munson if he could not take public criticism he should resign. 🙂

#18 Costner Matthews on 11.13.11 at 9:10 pm

I have reservations about using facebook for posting comments on the Argus for a couple of reasons. I used to post using my name, and sure enough someone used that to give me some personal “feedback” which wasn’t appreciated.

Second, if I do post during the day, even if I’m at lunch or a break or whatever, my employer could frown upon it. If I say something that goes against my employer (as in supporting some government regulation for instance) they could in theory hold it against me. Yes I know they legally couldn’t… but lets not fool ourselves into thinking someone’s comments couldn’t keep them on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder.

All of that said, I’m sure that requiring facebook usernames would slash the amount of hate speech and childish name calling by about 80%… so maybe it would be a good thing. The Argus regulars might have to find something else to do other than trolling for anyone who disagrees with them politically.

Granted it takes about five minutes to setup a fake facebook profile tied to a fake email account, so maybe it wouldn’t make as big of a difference as I might think.

#19 Alice15 on 11.14.11 at 4:23 pm

I won’t be posting on AL if I cannot be anonymous. I was one of those that received a “warning” regarding my postings of FB of not supporting the PLAN for the EC. Sorry, I have a job, so does my husband, and we have 2 kids. That comes first and obviously if you aren’t supporting it – you can’t have a say.

#20 l3wis on 11.14.11 at 9:44 pm

This thread reminds me of an Ugly Table post I have yet to write about called, ‘The backdoor complainer’.

Gotta problem? Man up! The first amendment protects all of us. I have never gotten a physical threat thru telephone, email, or text. The only threat I received was from some pussy-ass anon fellar who threatened me with a bogus slander suit about staffer Johnboy Lauck.

Fear nothing. Greedy people are a bunch of pussy chickenshits.

#21 l3wis on 11.14.11 at 9:45 pm

Sorry for all the naughty words.

#22 Costner on 11.16.11 at 9:26 am

DL – just because you haven’t been threatened doesn’t mean nobody else has. I actually had one guy make references to weapons and bragging about how much damage he could do with a semi-auto… yes I’m sure he was just saying crap and I didn’t take him seriously, but should I have to worry about that sort of thing? Should I need to worry about a car driving by my house at 3:00am?

The first amendment protects your speech, but it does not preclude someone from reacting to that speech. Plus, as I stated earlier – employers can and do use public speech against employees. They might not stop someone from saying it, but they can sure react to it.

Keep in mind there are now companies who search for public information on people which is then used during background checks. This can come up during interviews and even come back years later. Some media organizations have realized archiving comments for years ends up being a huge problem so they are only keeping things around for 30 days or so before they are purged, but for those places that keep comments forever it can be a huge problem in the future.

In your line of work, your opinions really don’t matter. I doubt someone will decide whether or not to order a steak depending upon what you wrote on your blog, and I assume someone who likes a piece of your art probably doesn’t care that you dislike John Thune. You can’t say the same about all people and all jobs.

Take a city employee for instance… do you think they can be candid about not liking the mayor and still keep their job? What about an employee working for Sanford who writes some comment bashing First Premier… do you think they are safe from reprisal if Denny hears about it?

Retaliation can be a serious problem whether you have experienced it or not. I say a lot of things publicly and use my real name more times than not, but when it comes to specific websites and controversial topics I tend to use an alias… and this is 100% connected to my prior experiences. In fact, shortly after I submitted a LTE several years back, I had my home vandalized. Sure it could have been a coincidence – I never knew who did it and it never happend again, but there are a lot of crazies out there so you just never know.

If people are always required to use real names – I tend to think you won’t get as much openness and honesty from them. The internal mute button gets pressed when they know their words can come back to haunt them later. Truth be told if you deleted comments after 60 days or so I might be tempted to use my real name here… but knowing someone can find everything I have ever wrote on this site even years later makes me nervous. I’ve just had too many bad experiences to fully trust people. Call me jaded.

#23 Costner on 11.16.11 at 9:27 am

Sorry about the length of that one. I’ll use chapter numbers in the future.

#24 l3wis on 11.16.11 at 9:45 am

The Events Center debate is a prime example of people being ‘mute’ on the issue. The proponents were virtually silent.