Toledo Blade’s ombudsman Jack Lessenberry called for an end to anonymous comments in a recent column published on the Organization of News Ombudsmen’s website. He explained:
“Allowing people to post anonymous comments under stories is unfair to both the writer of the original story and to other readers because they have no way of judging where the comments are coming from, or how reliable the information is.”
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Lessenberry indicated that his column was prompted by a reader who, under the anonymous commenting name “Neighborhood Concerns,” complained because the newspaper wouldn’t “look up information” for the commenter until the newspaper knew who the person was. Lessenberry (obviously) agreed with the newspaper’s requirement.