December 1, 2014 by Charlie Eisenhood in Other with 19 comments
Ultiworld is announcing today a change in our comment policy: we will no longer allow unsigned and unregistered comments. What that means is that, at least for now, you will be required to register with Disqus (or use a social media integration) and post under a username if you would like to comment on our articles.
On a whole, we’re making this change because we think it will both benefit our website and benefit the Ultimate community. While reasonable minds could and will certainly differ about this change, it’s not one that we’re making lightly and certainly not suddenly; we wrote about it back in 2013 (receiving some strong reactions against it) and again strongly considered the change earlier this year.
There are a few reasons for the change, but, principally, we’re tired of articles and threads being hijacked by negativity. Specifically, we think that sort of behavior has increased over the last year or so. Our hope is that requiring a simple login will foster a more productive conversation, like one you might have with a teammate or a friend at a tournament–rather than something you would post on RSD.
While there is no doubt occasional insight to be found amongst the anonymous weeds, it has proportionally decreased and risks being drowned out by inflammatory comments, silly inside jokes, or useless asides that add little value to the conversation. Simply put, we are not as enamored of the open, anonymous commenting we have seen as of late, and we’re becoming more conscious that the decision to allow certain voices is actively discouraging other voices.
Since its inception in the summer of 2012, Ultiworld had embraced an open and largely unmoderated comment section on its articles. We long felt that a mostly unfettered area for discussion added value to our community by allowing people to agree, disagree, and discuss the most important topics in ultimate. But disagreement does not always rise to the level of debate, and debate does not always rise to the level of discussion. We know we would like to facilitate the best possible discussion on our articles, rather than count the most number of comments.
A few specifics about the policy: No longer will commenters be able to comment as an anonymous “guest” — they will have to have an account and login through a variety of options, including Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. You will definitively not have to use your real name. But we will strongly encourage that you use your name, or a unique username, and we will reserve the right to delete “drive by” comments from throwaway accounts. Your comments will stay with your profile, and you will have some responsibility in the discussion. Of course, as always, we will continue to delete hateful or off-topic comments that detract from the discussion; a user who is frequently reported may be banned.
If this drives away some commenters who don’t feel like taking the 30 seconds to create an account or login through Facebook, we accept that. We want to make the comment section a place worth reading for its content, not its shock value.
We hope you will join us in creating a more inclusive and considerate community in the comment section, which can add incredible value to an article. We also know that simply making a change in our comment policy won’t, on its own, accomplish all of these goals. We will need help from the community. And expect us to be more proactive about generating discussion — featuring more comments, linking to useful discussion from our website and others in the Livewire, and emailing users who post insightful comments with invitations to expand on them in an article.
Finally, we want to emphasize: If you would like to share tips or information purely anonymously, you can always email us at email@example.com. We welcome those emails, which are always kept private unless we get explicit permission to publish the information.
Thanks for being a reader and a member of our community.