The Washington Post last week announced a new commenting system that editors believe will improve the quality of discussion. This follows recent moves by other news organizations to address a growing concern that inappropriate website comments drive away readers.
Online interactivity is one of the great advancements of our age, and it’s been embraced by ajc.com. Commenting is not limited to news organizations, but since our mission includes fostering community conversation about public affairs, this is an especially rich area for us.
But as commenting has grown, so have the challenges of screening out stuff that doesn’t meet the mission. Like many news sites, we allow anonymous commenting to encourage candor and participation. Our more than 30 blogs receive an average of more than 175,000 comments each month, and that number is growing.
Our guidelines encourage civil conversation and forbid bullying, personal attacks, violent, racist or vulgar language and spam. To enforce