This is a response to an article by Shannon on 09 January 2014
Thanks for posting an article that might just actually go some way towards improving the NEWS24 opinions and comments pages!
In all honesty, the NEWS24 forums leave a great deal to be desired. It is in the interest of NEWS24 to provide a better, more sophisticated service.
Herewith some suggestions which would improve the NEWS24 experience for all its readers:
1. I agree that is is almost impossible to get an article published exactly as you typed it up. I have seen many other articles with inexplicable font and paragraph formats which I am sure were never intended by their authors.
Other forums allow one to post, review, edit, (even use colour!) and THEN publish an article, subject to approval.
2. I have submitted several articles\posts on trolls. They will never go away as it appears they have no life other that what you see on NEWS24.
It is so frustrating to have them hijack one's article so that it is becomes impossible to find any rational and debatable material between all their unsolicited verbiage.
Although the rules of netiquette state that it is inadvisable to ‘not debate’ I choose to debate only with those are prepared to accept a different point of view without becoming insulting, personal or insensitive.
Those who have proven incapable of following these simple rules get no response whatsoever.
Unfortunately, even if you do ignore them, they simply will not go away.
So - I would prefer a system which allows me to 'blacklist' certain people's comments so that they are consigned to a hidden list which does not interfere with the article content\flow. This can be linked to my profile so that I can customize my own view of articles to my liking.
This is not rocket science - just requires someone at NEWS24 to realize that they could offer a far better service by listening to, HEARING and implementing suggestions which would improve their service.
It will also be the perfect foil for those trolls who have made NEWS24 so unpleasant to use.
3. I believe the REPORT ABUSE button could also be more informative – e.g. show a list of people who disagree with a particular comment\response for a day or two before the comment is deleted. This would at least give us some idea of whether the removal of a certain comment was justifiable or simply personal.
4. Another bugbear is the existence of individuals who use multiple personas to muddy the waters of debate. (Watch the atheists HOWL when they read this!)
They use different logins from different browsers to facilitate posting comments from ‘different personas’ to support their own arguments!
Oh yes you do and there is a simple way to expose you!
NEWS24 has the IP address of each logged-in user. All they have to do is show on the user’s profile, whether a particular ‘persona’ is sharing more than one IP address! In other words, when mike-take-a-hike white is logged in, his profile will show ‘1 instance’. When he logs is as mikes-wart, both profiles will show ‘2 instances’. If the administrators wish, they could even display which personas are linked.
This is no way infringes on their privacy rights. It just makes other users aware of who the dishonest ones are.
Come on NEWS24 - please, give us a better service!