Starting mid-day Sunday, we no longer will allow anonymous commenters on Bradenton.com. To join our discussions, you will need to log in using a Facebook account.
We made the announcement in my column today in the Bradenton Herald, giving enough heads-up about the change so you weren't surprised when you sign in over the weekend.
The very word gets people going. And when you make a change to established habits, well, you know you're going to hit a nerve. The column is among the most-read stories today, with plenty of those anonymous comments.
They make the reason for this change even more clear: Facebook requires account holders to use their names. By not requiring accountability from our commenters, too often they use that alias for senseless name-calling and abusive attacks on everyone from public figures to each other.
You can read more information about our Facebook commenting in this FAQ. And if you don't have a Facebook account, it's free to set up at Facebook.com.
One reader’s comment to other commenters today gives me hope:
Wow...you guys are exemplifying exactly what the BH says is happening on their webpage blog. This has nothing to do with freedom of speech but everything to do with a culture of cowardness, lack of manners, and browbeating. I'm glad that the BH is taking the high road. Comments will mean a lot more coming from people who really are speaking the truth.