Commenting on comments

November 18, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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As from this week, J-Wire will only publish comments on items submitted in the contributor’s own full name.

In accordance with the standards applied to regular print newspaper letter pages, we will not publish any comment using a pseudonym. J-Wire realises this may limit the comment content but our new policy ensures that only genuine comments made by those willing to engage in open debate are published.

Naturally, we cannot guarantee that every name submitted is genuine but we will do our best to control this.


13 Responses to “Commenting on comments”
  1. Judy Singer says:

    Don’t agree at all. It will mean that minority and eccentric opinions will be suppressed. It means that what people really think will not see the light of day, and what you will get is cautious anodyne opinions. Meanwhile, the real thoughts that people have will grow like the elephant in the dark corner of the room, and perhaps eventually reach explosive force. Anonymity on the internet may well turn out to be a safety valve for society – the internet allows people an outlet to put their ideas out there to be tested in debate, and get them out of their system. Of course some anti-social people will always be with us, but isn’t it better to have them where we can see them? In the case of slanderous or dangerous ideas, it is the media outlet’s responsibility to make clear their standards and moderate accordingly. Anyone can set up a fake email address and name to go with it, which J-wire may not be able to trace, but if it’s dangerous enough, the police will be able to. I think insisting on “real names” is just a way of bypassing the responsibility of moderating comments. But I am open to further debate on this question.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      1st, as a straight shooter under me real name,onya Henry and I’ll say no more.

      Except that I must say a few (!!) words to Judy Singer who, obviously, contradicts herself, unless her name is not Judy Singer.
      Judy, in societies dominated by unfair laws and respective practices, where the freedom of expression is oppressed and punished, your reasoning makes sense, but in Australia a decent person should not fear reprisals when expressing opinions.
      Henry’s laudable decision is not meant to “catch’ the real offenders and exposed them etc. One of the desirable effects of this civilised measure is to compell those otherwise inclined to respect certain “manners”. In our fairly small community we seem to know or gain knowledge of almost any “identity”. If one expresses a certain opinion, which, by the way, he/she should stand by with arguments and reason, that person should be “accountable” to all and sundry within a group the said person cares to wonder within and expect respect. The known identity of the poster is one assurance that opinions/position will be decently ( if the same is capable of decency ) or within the specifics of an acceptable mode of expression. The alternative is a free for certain characters to indulge in unwanted behaviour with impunity. Capisci !!??

    • david says:


      You need to establish your identity for virtually everything these days. Why should this not be the same for comments on the internet.

      Henry is to be congratulated for his new policy.

      It seems however Henry that you have posted comments from Wendy and Sam R and even myself – David.

      Maybe teething pains but I feel far more comfortable seeing Otto Waldmann, Liat Nagar, Michael Barnett and Lynne Newington and Ann Elizabet Fink.

  2. Thank you for increasing the level of accountability of contributors to your site.

  3. Liat Nagar says:

    I’m in full agreement with your new policy, Henry. People should be willing to own their comments.

  4. Wendy says:

    Couldn’t agree more.

  5. Excellent idea. Congratulations.

  6. Norman Trubik says:

    Exactly. Im tired of poisonous comments hiding behind pseudonyms. Well done!

  7. Sam R says:

    Not the first on the Internet by far. Many sites only permit Facebook log in, who in turn also insist you use your real name, but I can show you thousands who do not. There is nothing to stop anyone using an invented name.

    Danny Missionofhope
    Princess Papayaa
    Idlenomore WesternaustraliaCanada
    Margaret GLW

    This is just a few of the 100s on one FB page

    • admin says:

      We won’t allow FB IDs nor obvious pseudonyms and we have software which can go a long way to checking the owner of e-mail addresses

      • david says:


        You can only do what you can do. People who try to circumvent the rules are obviously hell bent on creating mischief. They will ultimately be caught out.

        It is amazing that people think so little of their comments that they are not prepared to put their names underneath them.

  8. david says:


    Let me be the first to applaud you on what could be a world first on the Internet.

    For too long the Internet has been a vehicle for the dissemination of vicious, spiteful and hate filled views expressed under the cloak of anonymity.

    I hope your new policy will be increasingly embraced by other web sites.

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