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Some changes to Town Square

Original post made by Renee Batti, associate editor of The Almanac, on Mar 13, 2009

As I'm sure Town Square readers and posters have noticed, we recently added a feature allowing users to report comments that appear to violate our Terms of Use, and another that allows someone posting a new topic to restrict comments to registered users.

Our programmers also recently set up a system that allows Town Square administrators to track user IP addresses. Our intent is not to regularly examine these addresses. However, there are times when a thread takes on the quality of an echo chamber, and access to IP addresses allows us to determine whether the "echo" is sounding from one or two individuals.

In providing this online forum, The Almanac encourages members of the community to engage in respectful conversations of interest. If we become aware that an individual is posting on a single thread under multiple pseudonyms to manipulate the discussion and deceive other users into thinking that there's broad support for his or her position, we will remove that person's posts.

In a similar vein, although we don't require posters to use their real names, we prefer that people use only one name or pseudonym in any single thread, and we reserve the right to remove posts by individuals using multiple names.

We also reserve the right to take down ALL posts by an individual -- whether using his or her own name or an invented name -- who consistently denigrates other people, accuses others of criminal behavior with no evidence, or is otherwise consistently disrespectful and irresponsible in commenting on this forum.

Thanks for your participation in The Almanac's Town Square, and your commitment to civil, respectful conversation with the community.

Comments (1)

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Posted by Brielle Johnck
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 15, 2009 at 11:06 am

Thank you, thank you. This is a step in the right direction.

The City of Palo Alto which has a web site where people can comment on city issues also has a delay between the time one writes a comment and it is posted. This way, insulting accusations are prevented from being published.

I have always wondered if the people posting on this Almanac blog aren't using different names but the source is just one or two people.

Hopefully, the tone will change and real ideas and suggestions will be made.


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