Readers who want to comment on stories or photo galleries on smithfieldherald.com or newsobserver.com are now required to log in using a Facebook account. All McClatchy news sites are making the same switch.
We want our story forums to be places for robust but civil exchanges of opinion on the issues of the day, but we have learned that screen names do not always bring out the best in people.
We believe that if you have something to say, you should be willing to put your name on it. And we think most of you will agree. It’s a standard we’ve always placed on letters to the editor in the Smithfield Herald and The News & Observer.
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On Facebook, most people use their real names – it’s a Facebook requirement, after all – and a large number of our readers already have Facebook accounts. Readers who don’t have an account can create one for free.
We realize some readers will not like this requirement, but we think the improvement in the tone of the conversation will be worth it. And we’ll continue to monitor for comments that violate the rules of civil discourse.
There’s more information in our list of frequently asked questions about this change.
You can familiarize yourself with our rules for civil conversation, which apply to The N&O and community papers alike, by reading our comment policy.
As always, thanks for reading the Smithfield Herald and for joining the discussion.