One of the telling comments from the dias during the Santa Ana City Council meeting on September 6, which dealt with the “rebuke” of anti-Semitic comments made by Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez, came from both Council member Vince Sarmiento and Sal Tinajero regarding “vile” and “personal attack” comments that get away from the issue itself. OC Weekly used to run a regular feature highlighting some of the worst of the worst in Register online comments.
Those days are nearly at an end.
The Liberal OC has learend that the OC Register will soon be changing their online commenting policy to require commenters to log in to Facebook in order to post a comment to a story. The LA Times already has a commenting policy like this and OC Weekly provides options for posting comments. The Register will roll the policy out gradually to start with comments on published stories from the paper that are online, and then roll it out for online stories and blog items. The new policy is likely to start next month.
We noted online comments on the Carlos Bustamante sexual harrassment investigation story started posts that outed the identities of some of the women being questioned by county officials. The Register’s editors removed these comments and it’s entirely possible that this situation was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
We believe this policy will result in few online comments but ones more relevance to the issues of the day and add quality to the merits of debate instead of hate.