MemphisFlyer.com to require Facebook or Google account for comments

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SERGEY ZOLKIN, UNSPLASH
  • Sergey Zolkin, Unsplash
Beginning on Wednesday, June 28, the Flyer will only accept story comments from registered Facebook or Google accounts.

Until now, we've allowed people to register with their own name, anonymously, semi-anonymously, and even not to register at all to make comments. It was a system that led to some great and spirited conversations, but unfortunately it also allowed tons of spam, hateful and racist comments every day, posters with multiple sock-puppet accounts, and personal attacks on Flyer staffers and other commenters. Monitoring and deleting reader comments was a constant hassle, even (and especially) on weekends, and, frankly, it was a waste of our time and energy. We simply aren't staffed to monitor and referee MemphisFlyer.com 24/7.

We recognize that some of our long-time commenters have posted under pseudonyms in order to avoid consequences from employers and/or simply from a desire to keep their identity secret, for whatever reason. Many of these folks have contributed greatly to the success of the site. We are sorry to lose you, if we must.

We're joining what's become the norm for most news organizations around the country. We realize that some folks will still create fake social media accounts and try to game the system, but we intend to keep diligently monitoring the site and doing our best to keep comments and conversations civil and transparent.

Bruce VanWyngarden, editor




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