Saturday, July 21 , 2018, 9:35 am | Fog/Mist 65º


Local News

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

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.

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 Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

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.

Sign Up Now >