Progress Switching to Facebook Comments

The Daily Progress is doing something about their cesspool of a comments section, and switching to Facebook as their commenting system. Second only in horribleness to NBC-29’s comments, comments on the Progress site are often filled with nasty, anonymous attacks, with a handful of regulars turning every conversation into an opportunity to go on one of a few stock tirades. Other Media General papers have been making the same switch (here’s a sample Times Dispatch article where you can see the comments at the end), in an effort to force people to put their real names on their comments—or at least outsource that to Facebook’s judgment and administration. That switch will take place tomorrow.

A year or so ago, I toyed with the idea of using Facebook as the commenting system, until I realized that there was no need. There’s no problem here in need of solving. People are generally civil to one another, many people post under their real names, I know who many of the pseudonymous people are (and they know I know—there’s nothing nefarious going on here), and all is generally well. But nearly every local media outlet would benefit from either switching to Facebook’s system or simply eliminating commenting functionality.

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