Thursday, June 02, 2005

Ventura Star comments - more explanation

Howard Owens sends more explanation about the comment situation at the Ventura County Star. This answers some questions posed in the comments section of an earlier post.

Thanks, Howard, for the permission to post this.

It's been a little more than a week since we put comments back up. Our
banning procedure has been challenged a few times, and we've had to
strengthen code/procedures, but so far, we're doing OK, I think.

Also, in reading over your post ... About anonymous posting, it's still
going on, but not as frequent. If a user registered under a false name, we
have no way of knowing for sure (not without some tedious investigation),
and some posters are clearly using false names, such as "Wild Flower" and
"Al Swearingen." However, anonymous postings are way down and the overall
tone is more civil. We've had a couple of loud-mouth, obnoxious and/or
pornographic hecklers who have been banned, but (knock on wood), the level
of noise is manageable at this point, which is really our first goal.

Also, in response to comments on your post ... We've done some data
integrity checks that gives us a high degree of certainty of accuracy in our
database. I hate to put a number on it, because CASS certification isn't
going to be 100 percent accurate, but even if it's only 80 percent accurate,
we know that the vast majority of our local registered users and even a
majority of our out-of-market users have been truthful about their
registration data.

Closing on comments: I should note, we're more concerned about the content
of comments than we are about the relative anonymity of posters. It would
be better to have real info and we may institute some sort of authentication
scheme for first-time posters (so at least we do confirm a real e-mail
address), but so long as the content is civil, we're not going to concern
ourselves too much, at least for now, with pseudonyms.


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