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New website drops comments

By now, online readers should be seeing our new website. The address is the same: www.dailytidings.com. The layout is new: less cluttered, we think, and easier to navigate.

You may also notice something that was there before but is no longer: reader comments.

Editors at the Mail Tribune and the Tidings have been weighing the pros and cons of ending comments entirely or continuing to try to monitor them for vulgarity, personal attacks and other violations of the rules of polite discourse.

As Mail Tribune Editor Cathy Noah explained early this year, we want to let readers have their say, but if folks can’t treat each other with respect, we don’t have the staff to monitor every post and delete the offenders. The problems were primarily confined to a few individuals who seemed more interested in getting into flame wars with each other than in politely discussing the issues.

With the new website, we had the option of paying an outside company to monitor comments, but we want to spend the resources we have on reporters and editors, not playground monitors.

We still welcome letters to the editor from those who follow the rules: Use your real name, include a telephone number for verification, adhere to the limit of 250 words for regular letters and 150 for election endorsements or thank-you letters, and refrain from personal attacks.

If you feel compelled to comment online, you still can, on stories we post on our Facebook page. Just keep it civil, please.