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Website abuse forces new comments policy

The Scunthorpe Telegraph has been forced into introducing compulsory registration for user comments on its website due to abuse of the facility.

Visitors to thisisscunthorpe.co.uk will now have to register before posting comments.

It is one of the last Northcliffe Media websites to go down this path and something it would rather have avoided, according to the editor.

Mel Cook said: “In some ways, it’s a shame we have had to go down this route as our site has always been a lively forum for debate and the exchange of many different views on local issues.

“Unfortunately, a small minority of people were abusing the facility which has resulted in a dramatic increase in malicious and offensive comments.

“On the other hand, the new system means those abusing it can be blocked, leaving the site free for those who want to take part in more relevant and meaningful discussions.”

Comments

john (04/06/2009 12:23:31)
Before websites editors were able to vet all readers letters prior to publication, and weed out the nutters. Now, the nutters can avoid this screening. And believe me, they will find a way round the registration issue. The only solution is to vet every electronic letter before letting it go live on the website. Techies – any ideas?

Northern Snapper (04/06/2009 14:19:18)
The techies don’t have the solution. The comments need constant monitoring by people. People want paying. Therein lies the problem.

Golam Murtaza (06/06/2009 20:39:02)
Sad, but inevitable. The reader comments on the newspaper websites I read are regularly targeted by muppets writing posts which are either libellous, racist or offensive in some other way. Moderation is often tardy and half hearted. Expecting ALL anonymous posters to behave in a mature, responsible manner is unrealistic. It only takes a relatively small number of nutters to screw things up – and there are more than a small number out there!

Mr A. Drep. Ba. Hons, Sb. Edtr, Fkd. Of (07/06/2009 03:23:24)
Sad that censorship is so inevitable in the hi-tech world in which we live. Also sad newspapers are so threatened by loss of revenue through advertising. It’s such an unfortunate irony that the last bastion of free speech in the world (the web) when fused with the press, still cannot be a truly free press, and thus has to resort to (automated) censorship. In the olden days, there were staff at papers, can’t entirely remember what they were called, but it was something like ‘shrub creditors’. I dunno, maybe I’m getting it mixed up with the banking fiasco of that period in history.

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