LEWISTON — One year ago today, the Sun Journal began enforcing a strict no-pseduonyms policy. Want to comment on SunJournal.com? You now need to use your real name and list your city or town of residence in your profile. And we call you to check.
On Feb. 1, 2011, 600 people signed up with real names. We were amazed, because privately, we thought the system would be a success if only 60 individuals signed up. Today, a year later, more than 2,200 people completed the process of filling out their profile and waiting from a call from a Sun Journal staffer to confirm their contact information.
The change in policy came after we put a poll to readers asking: "Do you think mean and nasty comments are a problem?" The majority of the community said yes. And they said down with anonymous comments. And, also, please don't make us sign in with Facebook or Twitter.
In the time since we changed our policy, the number of comments that were removed and users who have been banned have decreased dramatically. But then, so have the number of comments. Conversation has been quiet, or non-existent on news stories, but a small community thrives on editorials and letters to the editor.
So we want to hear from you. Has it been a success? Please take our survey below, and, if you're around, participate in our editors-readers chat on Wednesday at 11 a.m.