While for a while it seemed really fashionable for Star writers to badmouth the comment section on their own website (by my recollection, Tim Steller called it a "cesspool" when Mark Evans hosted the Buckmaster Show a few weeks ago), today Senior Editor Debbie Kornmiller announced that the site would go to exclusive Facebook-based commenting next week:
We will begin using Facebook’s commenting system on our stories and blogs.
Our main goals are to create a more courteous environment for discussion and to give readers an easier way to share Star content with friends. Facebook takes away the anonymity by requiring that account holders use their real name.
Our switch means readers must have a Facebook account to post in comment threads. If you’re already on Facebook, you’ll simply use that as your login to StarNet.
While certainly the move will eliminate some anonymous or pseudonymous commenting, mostly among people not savvy enough to realize you can create fifty Facebook accounts with various names if that sort of thing suits you, the comment section on the article about comment sections has become a wake, mourning the end of a way of life for some ... spending hours a day arguing about Obama on the Star's website.
Here are five somewhat predictably bizarre comments from those working through the stages of grief (and yes, one of these comments is from someone with an "Obama as Hitler" avatar, because of course it is):