Change to Commenting Procedure on RH Reality Check


When we first launched RH Reality Check three years ago we made a commitment to providing an open forum for discussion of the issues surrounding reproductive health and justice.   Commenting on the site has grown dramatically as our community has grown over the years.  In 2007 we averaged just 5 comments per day but now, on average, there are more than 80 comments posted to the site everyday. 

To encourage participation, we have always allowed anonymous commenting on the site.  But anonymous commenting also has its drawbacks.  One of the most common of these noted by readers is that with more than one person commenting under the psuedonym ‘Anonymous’ it becomes very difficult to follow discussions in the comments sections.  We’ve built a strong community of readers concerned about these important issues and we have decided that it is time to require registration to comment on RH Reality Check.  Requiring registration will help make discussions easier to follow as every commenter will have a unique name and we hope it will help increase the civility of discussions as it will be easier to hold commenters accountable.

Registration takes less than a minute and requires only an email address and a name.  You do not have to use your real name. Your email address will not be made public or shared with anyone.  You’ll receive a confirmation email from us and once you click through to confirm your registration you can choose to add a photo and bio to your profile page if you wish.  With registration also comes the ability to post reader diaries, a popular new feature on the site of which over 75 readers have taken advantage of to date.  

So, if you have not yet registered with the site, please take a moment to do so now.  If you have any questions about or problems with the registration process, please do not hesistate to contact us.  

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  • betty-brown

    while i understand that allowing anonymous comments can help in a forum with topics some find too sensitive to be open about – the creepy/crazy spam comments over the past few days were so out of control, i stopped reading the comments sections all together.

    truth?  is truth unchanging law?  we both have truths, are mine the same as yours?

  • larry-j

    Can we all use these ‘diaries’, or are they only for those who believe that there should be a legal right to abortion?

  • betty-brown

    i can’t answer for this website, but it would seem to me that a site devoted to reproductive RIGHTS wouldn’t care to hear the same old ludicrous "but what about da babiez!" arguments.  maybe you should consider starting a website devoted to denying women reproductive rights & write as many "egg/zygote/fetus/embryo above a human female" diaries as your little male heart desires.

     

     

     

    truth?  is truth unchanging law?  we both have truths, are mine the same as yours?

  • betty-brown

    sir, there "shouldn’t" be a legal right to abortion because there IS the legal right to abortion – and there has been for many decades now.truth?  is truth unchanging law?  we both have truths, are mine the same as yours?

  • jayn

    While I’m disappointed to lose the ability to comment anonymously, this was needed. The spamming was getting out of control. So, thanks.

  • amanda-marcotte

    The spam bots were driving me nuts.

  • brady-swenson

    Hello Jayn,
    Yes, the spamming, especially the past couple of weeks, was out of control which was one of many reasons for making this change. Anyway, if you do need to comment anonymously for some reason or another you could create a second account using a "screen name" or pseudonym so others would not know it was you commenting.

    Let me know if you have any questions on that front…

    Thanks,
    Brady

  • brady-swenson

    From the About Us page:

    RH Reality Check is a proudly progressive, pro-choice, pro-education,
    pro-information sharing community. We welcome respectful, nuanced
    discussion and differing opinions in reader diaries within the
    framework of these values. We reserve the right to remove reader
    diaries that directly oppose these values. Our commenting policy
    is more open, however, so if you hold views in opposition to these
    please feel free to express them in the comments sections on posts. RH
    Reality Check editors monitor the reader diaries and will remove diary
    entries that violate these guidelines. In accordance with our general
    commenting policy, comments on reader diary posts that are
    disrespectful, threatening or which do not in some way further
    productive dialogue may be deleted. Editors reserve the right to remove
    objectionable, inaccurate, or inflammatory material and, if necessary,
    suspend or revoke diary privileges.

  • jodi-jacobson

    Just to reiterate what Brady has said, many people on the site comment regularly under chosen pseudonyms that do not reveal their identity.  You can choose such a pseudonym or more than one.  We really encourage you to do so, as we want to make the commenting on the site more relevant, useful and productive, losing the spam but not the people.

    Hope that makes sense and hope you will continue to share your thoughts and commentary.

     

    Jodi

  • edward-craig

    Just created a new loginID.
    Smooth implementation.
    Now I wonder if my pic shows when I hit enter. I suspect it might.

  • brady-swenson

    We do not display user pics in the comments section, they do show up in your profile (http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/user/edward-craig) and also next to a reader diary entry if you post one (i.e. http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/reader-diaries/). Thanks for joining our community, hope to hear more from you on the site!

     

    Brady

  • crowepps

    Thanks a lot — the spambots are a huge waste of time.

     

    I am amused by Jayn’s comment “disappointed to lose the ability to comment anonymously” — choosing to use any screen name including ‘namesecret’ anyone can still choose to be anonymous in effect. If a person feels their individual views are validated by false majorities, they can easily create a bogus ‘group’ by using multiple e-mail accounts and associated screen names to sockpuppet.

  • crowepps

    RH Reality Check is a proudly progressive, pro-choice, pro-education, pro-information sharing community. We welcome respectful, nuanced discussion and differing opinions in reader diaries within the framework of these values. We reserve the right to remove reader diaries that directly oppose these values.

    I think you should allow anyone at all who is registered to have a diary, whether progressive or not, ProChoice or not, and disallow them individually on the grounds of consistently “disrespectful, threatening or …not in some way further[ing] productive dialogue” or “objectionable, inaccurate, or inflammatory”. I realize you did not set up this site to give a free forum to reactionaries, but the only way to reach ‘common ground’ is to allow everyone the chance to discuss the basis for their position.

  • larry-j

    Yes, I’d seen that, but it is a bit vague. Must one merely be respectful, or must one have all of the following attributes?

    • progressive
    • pro-choice
    • pro-education
    • pro-information

     

    There are pro-life progressives.  There are pro-choice conservatives.

  • larry-j

    auxiliary verb

    1. pt. of shall.
    2. (used to express condition): Were he to arrive, I should be pleased.
    3. must; ought (used to indicate duty, propriety, or expediency): You should not do that.
    4. would (used to make a statement less direct or blunt): I should think you would apologize.

     

     

     

    There shouldn’t be a legal right to abortion.    (see #3)

  • larry-j

    That’s very decent of you  :)

  • paul-bradford

    You knocked out the ‘anonymous’ option just as I was reaching my limit anonymous postings. A welcome advancement to the ‘site.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    Allowing the commenters here freedom of conscience to state their beliefs is a logical extension of my belief that pregnant women should also have freedom of conscience in making their most personal decisions.

     

    Was very amused by this comment in Roundup:

    Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN) weighs in on health care reform: “That’s why people need to continue to go to the town halls, continue to melt the phone lines of their liberal members of Congress, and let them know, under no certain circumstances will I give the government control over my body and my health care decisions.”

    Funny, that’s exactly what the ProChoice side has been saying for years!

  • paul-bradford

    crowepps,

     

    From my vantage point, there’s great similarity between the (strident) Pro-Choice viewpoint and the current anti-Universal Health Care viewpoint.  In both cases you have hysteria being whipped up by people who are thinking the very worst about the government — people who are absolutely unwilling to believe that we can work out an arrangement that is fair to all parties.

     

    The Pro-Choice side pats itself on the back for being pro-woman when really it’s just playing off a woman’s fear of government.  The Republicans also play that game.  Both play the game very well. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • brady-swenson

    Hello Larry,
    Thanks for your patience as we discussed internally your questions about reader diaries. After discussion we have slightly changed the reader diary policy to provide a clearer explanation of what we are trying to acheive.  The revised policy now reads:

     

    RH Reality Check is a proudly progressive, pro-choice, pro-education, pro-information sharing community. We welcome respectful, nuanced discussion and differing opinions in reader diaries that maintain a civil tone and are based in evidence and fact. We reserve the right to remove reader diaries that directly oppose these values, are objectionable, inaccurate, or inflammatory and, if necessary, suspend or revoke diary privileges. RH Reality Check editors monitor the reader diaries and will remove diary entries that violate these guidelines. In accordance with our general commenting policy, comments on reader diary posts that are disrespectful, threatening or which do not in some way further productive dialogue may be deleted.

     

    This sentence that best addresses your question: "We welcome respectful, nuanced discussion and differing opinions in
    reader diaries that maintain a civil tone and are based in evidence and
    fact."  So we are open to reader diary posts from all perspectives given they are civil in tone and based in evidenced fact.  

     

    Hope this helps and we hope to hear more from you in the future.

     

    Thanks,

    Brady

  • crowepps

    Certainly dragging abortion (and gays) into every possible policy issue as a distraction from the fact that politicans are bought and paid for by for-profit insurance companies who absorb for overhead/profits ONE-THIRD of monies for health care has proven that the hot-button is still effective in distracting the public from what’s actually going on.