With so many anonymous users commenting offensively and inappropriately on online articles, it's no wonder that several online newspapers have made the decision that requires users to leave comments through a personal social media account. Although this has turned some users off and fewer comments are being made, most newspapers who have made this change say it's worth it.
As journalists and public relations professionals, I think we can all agree that it is better to have ten comments that discuss the topic of the content in a critical way, that is informative to the writer and the organization, than to have 100 comments that trash the content in an offensive way and could never be helpful.
With social media as the future for most newspapers any way, it makes sense to conduct conversations around articles and content through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. After all, social media is all about conversation and sharing content.
The problem with anonymous user comments is that people can say whatever they want- be it racist, sexist, or just blatantly offensive. Take for instance this racist comment made by an anonymous user on an article that covered a shooting in Buffalo, New York.
|USA Today comment section that requires users to sign in via their personal Facebook accounts|