At the Park Rag we get a number of comments on stories we write. We appreciate that people care enough to take the time to read and comment. We’ve also made the decision to allow anonymous commenting. We believe this serves a valuable purpose in the community because some people are afraid to speak up when their name is associated with comments — because of ramifications (work, friends, employees, business, etc.).
That said, there is responsibility when using anonymity. Anonymity provides a veil that masks the commenter but can also lead to horrible things being said. With the Park Rag, I have made the decision to put my name out there (Hi, I’m Josh Mann… if you haven’t clicked on the About Us link). I believe if I am going to criticize an organization or people’s ideas, they have a right to know their accuser. They have a right to be able to see me on a trail and tell me I am an idiot. That just seems fair.
At the Park Rag, we follow rules set out by the Communications Decency Act of 1996 Section 230, which means we are responsible for what WE write and YOU are responsible for what you write (even when anonymous). That puts the entire legal responsibility for comments you make back on you. And while the Park Rag allows you to post comments “anonymously,” very few things are truly anonymous in this world. Should someone decide that your comment was libelous to them, they will likely be able to figure out who you are.
Outside of the legal realm, there is also the human realm. People are real. People are human. Cruelty serves little purpose and hurts. We do our best to criticize ideas or actions and not criticize people. We would hope commenters would do the same, when possible.
One of the great things about the Park Rag’s comments is that they can be informative. We appreciate that. We just don’t want to see it devolve into an angry mob. That’s a disservice to everyone who posts here, because then all comments are looked down upon. Likewise, you may want to consider whether you really need to post anonymously. We understand that many people feel they do (and that is why it’s available); however, we’ve found that comments posted by “real” people can get more attention.
All that said, I believe most of us have the same goal — a better Park City.
Thanks for reading and participating in the Park Rag.