Sunday, November 29 , 2015, 2:08 pm | Fair 64º

Bill Macfadyen: Keep Your Comments to Yourselves ... For Now

We're revising our story comments procedures and they may be unavailable at times the next few days

By William M. Macfadyen, Noozhawk Publisher | @noozhawk | updated logo |

Noozhawk readers are an opinionated bunch; in some cases, arguably a little too opinionated. For the next couple of days, I’m going to ask you to keep your opinions to yourselves.

Let me explain.

For several reasons that I’ll outline in a minute, our story comments feature may be temporarily offline at times this weekend so we can install a new system to handle them. Our new format will place story comments on a second Web page, separate from the article to which they’re attached. By doing so, we can keep the primary focus on our stories. (Update: Thanks to suggestions and feedback from readers, we’re modifying this to keep comments together with the articles; it may take us a few days to code the workaround.)

In addition, and it’s a big addition, we’ll be implementing a registration requirement for readers wishing to leave comments. I’ve written it before and I’ll say it again: I generally take a libertarian view of free speech and am only reluctantly taking this step. There’s a reason the Framers of our Constitution covered it in the First Amendment, and we should all be grateful that they did. But just because you can say something, doesn’t mean that you should — advice that often gets lost amid the easy anonymity of the World Wide Web.

To make the user experience a more pleasant one for the vast majority of our readers who respect our guidelines and post by our rules, we’ve concluded this is a necessary step to elevate the discussion we want to foster on our Web site. Most of our readers just want to make an observation, share what they know or ask questions about what they don’t know. We don’t think they’ll mind providing Noozhawk with their true identity, even if they’re posting under a screen name.

But, as most of you realize, this isn’t aimed at them. A former colleague, Bob DeLaurentis, often says that 5 percent of Internet users treat it as a bathroom wall. Those are the folks we’re targeting with our new policy, and we hope they’ll come out and join us. After they’ve washed their hands, of course.

In the meantime, if you want to make a comment on one of our stories and find that the field is missing, please e-mail it to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Depending on the volume, we’ll try to add them to the stories once we’ve reactivated the comments; otherwise we’ll just post them separately as letters to the editor.

A final note, about privacy: Registration is not required to visit Noozhawk but we will be making it a requirement to post a comment. As is outlined in our Privacy Policy, we don’t sell our readers’ personal information. (Click here to read Noozhawk’s complete Privacy Policy.)

Thank you for your understanding on this issue. We appreciate the diversity of opinions our readers bring to Noozhawk, and we’re gratified that so many of you take the time to write and submit regular articles and commentaries to share with others. We believe your participation is a healthy contribution to our community.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

comments powered by Disqus

» on 02.20.10 @ 06:19 AM

I will stop reading the Noozhawk from this point forward.

» on 02.20.10 @ 08:14 AM

Thank you.

» on 02.20.10 @ 10:27 AM

I commend Noozhawk on this move.

» on 02.20.10 @ 11:53 AM

Good idea! Keep up the good work.

» on 02.20.10 @ 12:26 PM


» on 02.20.10 @ 12:40 PM

True to a true Libertarian sending mixed messages - Free Speech includes those who write on bathroom walls! I know two “Libertarians”.  Both work in the government sector - go figure!  Also, comments immediately following actually add flavor to the article.  Please allow me to decide where the primary focus of an article should be. I may follow suit and de-Bookmark this paper.

» on 02.20.10 @ 01:01 PM

Once again the minority rules the majority. Most comments left after an article are informative and pertinent. Taking them to another web page smacks of protection - will the report stand up to criticism? Making people register will quell most commenting and certainly dissuade those who have any inside information from leaving their opinions. The comments section directly below the story is best for the reader - the most informative and entertaining. Please reconsider your decision to drain this advance in online news.

» on 02.20.10 @ 01:17 PM

An eminently reasonable and logical move.  No reason to let the puerile tendencies of the few spoil it for the sensible many.  If the graffitti-lovers wish to unsubscribe, this community will be better served by their decision.  Thank you.

» on 02.20.10 @ 01:28 PM

User generated content is the new mass media. After centuries of control being held by the few the Net has given a voice to everyone. I think this site will quickly find that the comments are as important as the stories themselves. This strikes me as an attempt to regain control of information flow.  But the market will determine what happens, not the editor.

» on 02.20.10 @ 02:12 PM

The people who commend this move are closeted socialists.

» on 02.20.10 @ 02:24 PM

What? i feel the comment brings the story home, some of the story’s are so full of it we need a third party to comment . this will be the last time i subscribe to noozhawk.

» on 02.20.10 @ 02:30 PM

It will make Noozhawk more like the News-Press. There, too, the comments section, the Letters, are in a separate section; there, too, there has to be real names provided. And, soon, I predict, the two publications will be similar with decreased reading.

For me, the comments section following - much more often than not - has been more interesting than the article. I don’t think I’ve ever made any bathroom wall type responses, but I won’t be making any at all. The main virtue for the reader of an online news source is the interaction with the readers who can be completely anonymous if they choose. Requiring registration ends that anonymity.

» on 02.20.10 @ 02:33 PM

I don’t understand the complaints about the new policy. I don’t see that Noozhawk is trying to censor anything, they aer just asking people to register if they want to comment. That’s probably not a bad idea given the story the other day about the man who was arrested after posting a bomb threat on-line.

Besides, now I usually have to read through alot of lame comments to get to the few useful ones. I’ll gladly register if that changes.

» on 02.20.10 @ 04:00 PM

I appreciate that I can read all kinds of viewpoints with the commentary articles, but I long ago stopped reading the comments about them because it seems like its only people who don’t like the viewpoint that are commenting.

» on 02.20.10 @ 04:23 PM

The bathroom wall analogy is a good one, although on some particular stories, I’ve seen more than 5%.

I think the change will make Noozhawk a more civil and enjoyable place for discussions. Not sure about the separate web page implementation, we’ll have to see how that works out.

» on 02.20.10 @ 04:27 PM

I’m not a libertarian, but this new policy makes a great deal of sense.  I will gladly register if I feel I need to make a comment and will appreciate the ease if NOT reading others’ comments.  I was getting really sick and tired of many of the more extreme comments that were being written, and was considering just dropping my Noozhawk off my list.  No longer, this new policy will make me stay with this source.

» on 02.20.10 @ 04:44 PM

Outstanding idea.

» on 02.20.10 @ 04:46 PM

Outstanding idea. I’m guessing that those who are complaining about this move and threatening not to read Noozhawk may be the bathroom 5%.  Good riddance.

» on 02.20.10 @ 04:57 PM

To ‘Ridiculous”:  I absolute agree with you re let the markets decide.  However, this is the Peoples’ Republic of Santa Barbara, where our own Councilman Das Williams has said he “doesn’t believe in free markets” - it’s up to governments [to allocate resources]. I’m not sure what kind of “ist” he is, but clearly not someone I want on the Council.

» on 02.20.10 @ 04:57 PM


» on 02.20.10 @ 05:23 PM

Ok fine, I don’t mind the registration part, at least the same person can’t pose as 20 different people, but I do not believe the comments need to be moved elsewhere.  What is that all about? You won’t be able to refer to the article when writing your comment. I think the comments are the best reading and complimentary to the articles( the most entertaining and interactive, most often,  I skip the boring article and just go to the comments).

I also don’t like the idea of using a REAL name to register. Once the Government cracks down on opposition like in Iran, the comments can be too easily associated with the real person, and there is such thing as job discrimination because of a person’s political views. I do not trust Noozhawk with my real personal info, not because they are not trustworthy, but who knows what eyes will have access? (call me paranoid) So if I need to register with private info - count me out,this is why I stopped reading the Independent - they didn’t like my strong non-liberal viewpoints so they censored me by canceling my registration. Is that what Noozhawk plans? Is this a “libertarian ” form of censorship?

[Noozhawk’s note: Thanks for the feedback on the same-page comments here and elsewhere. We’re looking into a solution that will address your points. But again with the censorship questions? How is comment registration censorship?]

» on 02.20.10 @ 05:26 PM

So why don’t you just stop publishing the bathroom wall comments instead of punishing everyone?? Once again the 5% of abusers limit freedoms for everyone else. This is Libertarian? You act as though you have no control over what’s posted.

[Noozhawk’s note: Fair point, but define a bathroom wall comment for me. Would you be comfortable if we were defining it for you? We respect that each of us is entitled to our own opinion, but we expect you to maintain a sense of decorum in our forum — you, plural, because I know you always are respectful and I appreciate that. By going the registration route, we’re raising the level of responsibility for those who choose to comment. As I mentioned, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem for the bulk of our readers.]

» on 02.20.10 @ 06:14 PM

i agree with levi etal. the most interesting thing is to follow the comments after the story. There are always a few discourteous wackos (5%) and the reader can discern the validity of those comments. registering one’s name just to make a pithy point may be too much of a bother.people like to fire off comments, not register them.. I am mostly afraid, however, that it will discourage people who have inside information and viewpoints and wish to let us know whats going on but don’t want to lose their jobs or upset the PC crowd upset the PC crowd.

[Noozhawk’s note: I can understand your concern about whistleblowing etc., but can assure you it has not been a problem. Very few sensitive tips come through story comments, almost all go directly to our reporters, whose e-mail addresses are included at the end of each article.]

» on 02.20.10 @ 06:37 PM

The comments on the Vicente Fox visit well illustrate the value of the current comments policy.  Unfortunately, the Noozhawk and News-Press articles this morning both fawned over Fox, without citing the local and state-wide tensions over illegal immigration from Mexico.

The Noozhawk reader comments citing Mexico’s lack of responsibility and its blame-America first attitude are a needed antidote to the biased reporting.  Relegating such comments, and possibly censoring them like Edhat and the Independent do will only stife a needed discussion on immigration and other controversial issues.

» on 02.20.10 @ 06:50 PM

Exactly, eiretight. Anonymity is important to get people’s true feelings about something, not the Politically Correct version from people afraid of retribution from crazed obsessed stalking liberals. People don’t want those they work with to know their political viewpoints, I personally have been turned down for raises and promotions because of my conservative views.

It isn’t about the stories, and keeping the focus on them. If I just wanted straight stories, I would pick up a News-Press. The whole reason I read Noozhawk instead of some paper from a newsstand is because you can instantly see the reaction of the readers, and give feedback to the authors and other readers. Putting the comments on a separate page defeats the whole purpose of reader interaction. This is a dumb idea.

I did not leave Noozhawk, it left me. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

My preference - keep the comments on the same page, register people anonymously - make it easy (just ask for an email address and a pseudonym) to keep down the sock puppet comments (one person acting like 20)
Problem solved - maintain privacy, keep the comments associated with the article where they belong!

Don’t punish everyone just because you allow are not able to control the 5%! Seems to me that you screen comments, why not screen those out? This is like Mexico and Vicente Fox blaming US for the drug cartels they can’t control!

» on 02.20.10 @ 06:52 PM

I don’t know what Noozhawk that “Mixed feelings” is reading but I see plenty of non-liberal op/eds on this Noozhawk. It’s refreshing to see left, right, and center all mixed together on one Web site. As long as Noozhawk doesn’t censor those op/eds, I couldn’t care less what they do with the comments.

» on 02.20.10 @ 08:51 PM

This certainly got a lot of responses.  I think that is a very good thing.

» on 02.20.10 @ 09:03 PM

I don’t see where he/she said there were no non-liberal op/eds on Noozhawk. He/she was talking about the Independent.

» on 02.20.10 @ 09:05 PM

“But just because you can say something, doesn’t mean that you should —”

Does that mean that YOU become the decider of what should or should not be said? This does not sound Libertarian, it sounds Communist.

[Noozhawk’s note: For all your prolificacy and erudition, you really don’t read very closely, do you? Where did I say I would be censoring comments? This is about registering to post a comment. You can choose to do it, or you can choose not to; it’s your choice. But just think of all the time and heartburn you’re going to save if you decide not to. Have a nice day.]

» on 02.20.10 @ 11:17 PM

“you really don’t read very closely, do you? Where did I say I would be censoring comments? This is about registering to post a comment.”

I could say the same. You really don’t read very closely, do you? Wear did I say that you would be censoring comments?

If I am to believe what you wrote, the premise for doing this is NOT simply “registering to post a comment”

“5 percent of Internet users treat it as a bathroom wall. Those are the folks we’re targeting with our new policy, and we hope they’ll come out and join us. After they’ve washed their hands, of course.”

How do you “target” those people without censoring them?
There - NOW I’ve said it.

“just because you can say something, doesn’t mean that you should”

What do THOSE words mean, if you do not intend to censor?

Since you presumably had the power to censor anyway, please tell us just what IS the purpose then, if not to censor those 5 percent? Because that’s what you said, in an indirect way. What does “washing ones hands” mean and who is the decider of whether or not ones hands are sufficiently washed? Forgive me for reading between the lines.

I have always appreciated Noozhawk BECAUSE it is not a whitewashed new source and I compliment you for even allowing that 5%. Please don’t make me change my mind and head for the Daily Sound, which doesn’t even see a need to SCREEN comments.

Those who are offended by the 5% can certainly avoid reading the comments without moving them to another page.
Libertarian? Please.

[Noozhawk’s note: I’m typing ve-r-r-r-y slowly. You do realize “bathroom wall” is an analogy, right? Good, we’ll stick with it.

No. 1, 95 percent of our readers go in there and do their business, respectful of others who would like to use the facilities as well as the attendant keeping it clean. But No. 2, 5 percent go in there with no respect for others, making it a very unpleasant place by taking advantage of the circumstances to essentially vandalize it — you know, graffiti.

Right now, Noozhawk isn’t watching who goes in and out. We’ve trusted that everyone respects us and what we’re providing as a courtesy just as much as we trust them. Reluctantly, we’ve concluded that not everyone can meet that expectation of civility and responsibility once the door is closed. So, like a gas station requiring that you ask for a restroom key, we’ll be requiring that you register with us if you wish to post a comment.

Will that solve the problem? Maybe not, but we hope that requiring that brief interaction with the operator will make the user more mindful of maintaining a basic standard of decency once inside our property.

We’re not barring entry to anyone — and we’re certainly not interested in watching you — but if you don’t like the rules, there are plenty of other places down the road where you can go. Happy motoring.]

» on 02.20.10 @ 11:57 PM

I will miss having the comments attached to the article.  I don’t mind sending in my name or e-mail or fill out a form.  Can you please reconsider just that?

[Noozhawk’s note: Thank you for the suggestion. We are working on just that.]

» on 02.21.10 @ 01:21 AM

Thanks for the explanation and the promise not to censor. It sounds reasonable. I agree with Charlie though - putting the comments on a separate page would really take away from the interaction between readers, and the association with the articles. It helps balance opinion, rather than just showcasing the author’s point of view.

Thanks for hosting us low-life graffiti vandals.

[Noozhawk’s note: You’re quite welcome. We’re happy to do it and we really do welcome all points of view. We know story comments are snap reactions but we’d love to elevate them toward constructive solutions and suggestions for some of the vexing issues we’re always reporting on. We think we can.

As for the separate page, yes, we’re testing a workaround so we can shelve that aspect. Thanks to all of you for that suggestion.]

» on 02.21.10 @ 01:23 AM

Bill, I’m flushed with pride at that last answer. It appears you were on a roll, seats down.

» on 02.21.10 @ 01:32 AM

This will probably reduce the amount of time I spend on your site.  Was the change brought on by the suggestion or request of an advertiser?

[Noozhawk’s note: No. Why do you ask?]

» on 02.21.10 @ 01:44 AM

Now that I think about it- I’m gonna miss comments from people who rarely contribute and would not bother to register - usually it’s something really important that urges them to do so - as a previous poster noted, some kind of inside information from somebody with a personal association with the subject - 

Can’t wait for all the comments from the same old same old usual cadre of commentors - all the usual suspects - just like the Independent. They are like co authors on every article. I have a feeling you will be left with ONLY that 5%.

I would have respected more if you asked for and considered feedback BEFORE making this decision. but…nothing good lasts forever, right Bill? Well there is still the Sound for us bathroom wallers… Happy motoring.

» on 02.21.10 @ 01:46 AM

You would need a fulltime staff to “weed out” offensive comments. However, I agree, often comments tell the rest (or even most) of the story… given that publications must be so careful about what they publish lest they be accused of God-knows-what nowadays. And they are not needed on ALL articles anyway.

I have no problem registering. I will continue to use my pseudonym however—in this town it’s difficult to be “honest” because so many folks in this “liberal” town are actually terribly closed-minded!

Finally, is it true the comments will not follow the article they pertain to? That doesn’t seem user-friendly to me… but other than that, it’s fine. Figures that the few would make it more difficult for the many, but so it goes. Welcome to democracy!

And if you’re paranoid about Big Brother, you probably should be. But I’m guessing Big Brother is probably paying more attention to big national pubs, where you do have to register before you can comment.

» on 02.21.10 @ 03:15 AM

Tax and spend liberals and government unions are so happy about this move..Union puppets win this one..

» on 02.21.10 @ 01:07 PM

Enforced civility is the opposite of Libertarianism.

» on 02.21.10 @ 01:26 PM

Comments on a second page is like a “free speech zone” relegated miles away as in the RNC convention or WTO.

» on 02.21.10 @ 01:27 PM

Why doesn’t the Moderator just do his job and delete the bad stuff?

» on 02.21.10 @ 01:42 PM

You don’t have to use your real name.  But I won’t reveal how….

» on 02.21.10 @ 01:46 PM

This will be my last post!

As for the %5 (Wacko’s as remarked below), I HAVE THE CHOICE to ignore them.

We cannot post anonymously if big brother is watching. The only reason I see, to have to register is so law enforcement can use the information.

» on 02.21.10 @ 02:23 PM

I completely back the decision to have us register and hope it will encourage people to write more objectively and without the potty talk that has been written before.

I am glad for the possibility that the comments will continue to be posted with each article.

» on 02.21.10 @ 02:28 PM

I enjoy the bathroom wall commentators - they add life and color, what is the problem with that? It gives a true representation of the breadth of humanity.

Just because they are morons, or not nice and polite they should be excluded? This reeks of political correctness. Free speech means just that - it isn’t supposed to be limited to “polite speech” or “respectful speech” or nicey-nice speech.

As far as I have seen, people have been abiding by the posting rules - no vulgarity,no libelous attacks… Yes people have been a bit abusive of each other, but so what? If they can’t take it they should not participate!

» on 02.21.10 @ 02:30 PM

There is an old adage - if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Why mess with something that everyone is happy about and nobody is complaining about? Sometimes people just love to change things, not to improve them, but just for the sake of change. I call them busy bodies. Leave it alone.

» on 02.21.10 @ 02:36 PM

This will certainly discourage anyone with inside information on a story, that rarely comments, from spontaneously adding what they no. I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to comment on stories, click the button and it says you must register. I just say forget it, it’s not worth the trouble.

I always liked the openness of Noozhawk which drew me away from the Independent site, where the same old cadre of registered commentators are the only ones making comments, and you can predict exactly what they are going to say because they have said it so many times before. Noozhawk is always alive with FRESH input from the ones who rarely comment, but have a close personal association with a particular story. This will change the flavor of Noozhawk forever.

At least allow GUEST commentators who don’t have to register.

» on 02.21.10 @ 04:24 PM

What an INSULT to your readers to think that we are not adult enough to know what is bathroom talk and what is not.  Even in some of the wild comments, there is at least a shred of truth.  Why try to hide the trust?  How dare you treat us this way! You might not know how to handle all of what is written, but we are educated and quite capable.  You and all the members of your board are losing their credibility if you take this action!

» on 02.21.10 @ 04:52 PM

Wow, what’s with all the outrage? Seems pretty reasonable to me. I love the Big Brother paranoia too. Believe me, Noozhawk is the least of your worries.

» on 02.21.10 @ 05:04 PM

here’s what is probably going to happen. The obnoxious 5% usually have no idea their statements are offensive. No matter what their side of the coin is, they are self-righteous and they love to see/hear/expound their own blather.  Therefore they will register and happily post their drivel. will this be censored? If not- how will registration make a difference? AT any rate, if only 5% are a problem I do not find it a problem to scroll past them. Where it WILL make a difference is for people who want to throw in something they know as an insider and will be disuaded from doing so if they have to register. These are the very comments that I like to read in Noozhawks. 
the biggest disadvantage

» on 02.21.10 @ 05:08 PM

I think SB Frank protesteth too much…

» on 02.21.10 @ 05:56 PM

Only liberals want you to be afraid to offend someone’s sensibilities. This is the opposite of libertarianism. It is a back door way of controlling speech in a free speech country - by intimidation and control. It is what started the strange and dangerous phenomenon of “political correctness”.

If the bathroom wall posters wish to speak let em! Most often it simply pegs them as a moron and they are ignored. So what, we can take it.

I say if you need to expel gas - let ‘er rip! Maybe you calmed some hostility that might otherwise have been used elsewhere in a violent manner. People need to express themselves! Freedom of expression is what this country is all about. LET PEOPLE TALK THE WAY THEY ARE INCLINED TO TALK! What is with all the control mechanisms?

» on 02.21.10 @ 07:02 PM

so far, we’ve established that the really valuable comments will not happen any more because someone with “real” inside scoop is not going to want to register, but they will post anonymously… I know that to be a fact, I’ve given some info even that I’d not post after “Registration”...

Next, we’ve established that segregating comments to another page is a foolish idea for a variety or reasons.

My observations of the “comments on the comments” by the Noozhawk itself are equally disturbing.  First off, you respond to the deluge of criticism about the second page commentary and reverse your position.  Next you talk circles around yourself trying to explain how free speech needs to be filtered through some sort of bathroom filter… says who?  Frustrated, you then lash out at anyone questioning such tactics as overbearing and wrong…

WTF is “Registration” anyway?  Who does that serve?  Certainly not the posters… No, this only serves those “collecting” the information. All “Registration” does is to remind everyone that “We know who you are… so do not say too much”...

Shame on you Noozhawk.

Your policy change is not well thought out, or even thought out at all - witness the reversal on the “separate page” idea already.  Now try to just reverse the rest of this ill conceived plan and we can get back to normal…  anything less is a blow to the Noozhawk’s integrity itself.

» on 02.21.10 @ 07:25 PM

Don’t know why anyone is surprised at this. Noozhawk has always been a joke, which is why I stopped reading it a long time ago. McFadyen pretends to be a journalist and he pretends his reporters are, too. Shouldn’t waste your time.

» on 02.21.10 @ 08:59 PM

Good post Anthony - right on target. Bill has adopted an “its my paper so I will do what I want” attitude, without even soliciting feedback from those they serve. Kind of sounds like Wendy McCaw. (not that there is anything wrong with that). that’s ok there is a humbling thing called competition. That’s where Noozhawk and the Daily Sound got their footing in the first place. I hope they remember their humble beginnings.

» on 02.21.10 @ 09:01 PM

I always thought,“comments are moderated, and will not appear until they’ve been approved”, as stated when you make a comment, as a way to delete the nasty ones. Having comments following an article seems appropiate to me. I ignor the offensive ones, mostly they put me on alert to some strange minds out there.

» on 02.21.10 @ 09:05 PM

I say let Bill do it, then I call for a registration, advertiser and readership boycott until he changes his mind. He doesn’t know it yet, but without comments he will lose his readership, because anonymous posting is the only reason most people look here - mostly to see the bathroom wall comments and the opinion battles that are what America is all about!

» on 02.21.10 @ 09:18 PM

I don’t think anyone of any particular political or philosophical affiliation, be you Libertarian, Progressive, Liberal, Conservative, Buddhist, etc. needs to worry. Well, Anarchists might :)

The issue in my mind is about effective communication that fosters constructive discussion. I’ve seen too many comments @Noozhawk where the poster obviously hasn’t thought before typing. Those posters are often angry and are just shouting and pissing at the internet. Why? Maybe it makes them feel better to have something/someone to shout at. Perhaps its because its easy for them to do so. Perhaps its because there are no consequences to them. Perhaps they are trolls who get a kick out of inciting others. Or maybe its because they don’t realize that the freedom of speech granted to them by Macfayden on *his* website ... comes with some responsibility for civility. At least that’s what he’s asking for. I think its a fair request.

In the end, some of those angry shouters will end up registering under an alias. That’s OK because at least we’ll know who they are and can just ignore them if we want. And with no more sock puppets, it’ll be easier to follow and participate in discussions.

» on 02.21.10 @ 09:21 PM

I support the registration.
Too bad about the cowards who are afraid to be exposed for their inanities.
I agree that keeping the comments following the opinion makes more sense since the connection is beneficial to understanding the comments, and their objectivity.
But it is nice to know that Noozhawk is trying to improve its quality.

» on 02.22.10 @ 02:44 AM

I am glad Noozhawk is taking this step. Yes, there are indeed bathroom wall users, and there are also people driven to the Noohhawk site from other sites for controversial stories, where they post wildly (and off topic). The problem is, the average reader thinks it’s all local commentary, and it isn’t. Having folks register will cut down on that kind of thing. I’ve seen Daily Sound commentary devolve into straight out racism because of anonymity and no filtering. If we’re going to comment on articles and have others read them, the least we can do is be adult.

» on 02.22.10 @ 08:24 AM

Let’s face it, Santa Barbara is a pretty dull little town.  Who cares if a couple angry “trolls” post some rude comments once in a while.  Comments are sometimes more interesting than the articles themselves, and they can always be erased by the moderator can’t they?

» on 02.22.10 @ 01:20 PM

Thanks, Bill.  I’m with you on this. We can express ourselves, forcefully even, without deliberately attacking, insulting or antagonizing others with opposing views.  I really appreciate your taking this step.  Some comments, especially lately, have been seriously offensive. I rarely post comments so I have not been the target of an insulting post, merely the reader of same and I can’t say I’ve enjoyed them.  You are lifting your forum up to a more respectful and professional level.  Thank you.

» on 02.22.10 @ 03:52 PM

Excellent decision, Bill.  This does not impede “free speech” but does make people more accountable for their comments and should make the few who abuse this privilege by spreading lies, innuendo, and libel be more cautious.

» on 02.22.10 @ 05:38 PM

That’s my real name.  After reading these comments and in the spirit of accountability, I believe that I need to own up to my postings.  Therefore I have registered and I will not hide behind an alias. If I haven’t the courage to own up to my opinions and comments, then I shouldn’t be posting.  Henceforth, I will speak out openly and transparently.  That’s true freedom of expression.

» on 02.23.10 @ 12:36 AM


» on 02.24.10 @ 09:42 PM

My oh my, but I must disagree with Danny. Sorry Bill, but it sucks. Until the great sewer of information came along all we got was heavily biased broadcast journalism. Your participation was nil. You could always write a letter or two to the local paper but then some angry AH just throws a brick through your window because they don’t like what you said and you were naïve enough to believe it was noble to publish your name (sorry you nobles, but it’s really evil out there). So now we start “filtering” comments so that those who are sensitive won’t feel offended. Ooooooo, a big fat Whaaaaaaaaa. Alright, those of us bathroom scrawling, lazy, impulsive, overtly opinionated, mashers of the English language will go somewhere else and leave Dan’s article to be addressed by liberal PC mongers who haven’t any thoughts of their own and blush at the word “darn”. It was a whole lotta fun while it lasted and BTW, it is Bills rag and he can do what he wants and if you don’t like it you can leave. Ain’t free enterprise great! Go Bill! Cheers!

» on 02.25.10 @ 06:14 PM

AN50 I agree with you on many things, but you’re off base on this one.  As I said before, you don’t really have to reveal your real identity.

» on 02.26.10 @ 04:50 PM

Yep, Johnny I know. But I’m not off base. You and many who comment here are scholars and well educated. Many of the rest of us are not. Bill’s move smacks of elitism and it is an insult. But if publishing my name is not the game then why register at all? Doesn’t make sense to me. Dan took the high road and not only publishes his name but now writes for the Noozhawk, a laudable pursuit and very delightful at that. I’m a gutter crawler and don’t care. I like to piss on yer flower bed and dash. I live for those few quick moments when I can beat up on someone’s Ideology or opinion and then get back to work. Sorry but all this sign in crap you can have it. Like most working folks in industry I have to sign in and use a password just to take a leak for God ‘sake. After logging into my computer, logging in to the intranet the WAN and finally the internet the last damn thing I want to have to do is log into a freaking web site just to tell you you are stupid. It does not help when the system you use to do that doesn’t work very well and leaves you feeling like you got the door slammed in your face. I do not believe for a moment that was Bill’s intent, but unfortunately that is the effect and it is a chill on speach. All that because of a few emotionally driven cry babies don’t like that someone doesn’t agree with them and says so offensively and calls them names (oh, boo hoo). Quite frankly I like the offensive stuff since most of what is written is boring drivel.
Bill made a decision and it may cost him. Once he sees the traffic trail off even on Dan’s posts then he’ll realize he was listening to the wrong people. The reason online dailies are so successful (at least in Noozhawk’s case) is freedom of access. Once you kill that to “clean it up” and become “respectful” you lose the energy you once had being open and free. There is a place for congenial and respectful conversation, the internet is not that place and certainly not on the subject of politics. When Bill figures that out he may want to change back. I doubt it though. What Bill has done is driven his rag to the same dull boring place other registered sites have done. He may still get the traffic but will never have that excitement and fervor an open site has, just lots of intellectual narcissists vying for the superior argument.
Now I managed to spend more time telling you this than it would have taken me to “sign in” a hundred times but it’s the principle of the thing dammit!  I absolutely hate signing in to every damned thing I like on the internet. Hate it, no matter the reason or logic it’s just a damned pain in the ass and since I don’t have to I won’t. Cheers Johnny!

» on 02.26.10 @ 06:48 PM

AN50 & John,  I too had the same reaction that you have all had, the difference I have (lots of “haves” in this sentence) is when I relate it back to my service time.  We would often have the ROE (Rules of Engagement) change even in the midst of a fire fight.  Really.  Think - Jimmy “I want to talk to the commander on the ground even as you guys are landing in the dark to rescue the Iranian hostages” Carter.  So we learned to cope and adapt.  I’m not saying that you guys should hang because I’ll be fighting a lonely battle, because I will, but because liberals have one common denominator - the need to control. 

Control comes in many forms either in absurd laws or road blocks.  In this case you’re feeling that this is a road block to wide open free speech.  And yes, the uber-left is so thin skinned that if they stand in the sunlight they disappear, a lot like their ideas.

We always adapted and found numerous ways to really piss off those pols in D.C. who would often try to control real time ops.  I can’t even imagine what it is like today.  But I digress.

I guess I tried to look at it from Noozhawk’s angle where they may have been threatened by a vociferous cadre of verbal terrorists or they might just want the data – or both.  In either case I can see their position, to a degree.

AN50 - I certainly love your comment, “He may still get the traffic but will never have that excitement and fervor an open site has, just lots of intellectual narcissists vying for the superior argument.”  Man you can turn a phrase.

Here is my suggestion to Noozhawk.  I understand you want to have some control on the perceived flaming, but we sometimes need hard core speech since it really does open the senses and offers stark differences from which new readers are challenged to make a choice, or not.  I also realize that you want to access to the traffic data . 

Perhaps you can simplify/streamline the commenting process while still having an initial login process?

And guys?  Hang with me or I’m going to feel like that lone bomber pilot flying over Germany during WWII who had lost all his mates but was still driving on to the target pursued by a bunch of vicious fruit fly’s.  Daniel Petry

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.