Update: Debate not Hate: Changes to our comments section

Your Say / Tue 21st Mar 2023 at 10:49am

Update: Thank you to all those who have supplied their names with stories.

We think it is working quite well.

We are trialling this between now and the local elections in May.

If this is the first time you have seen this, then all is explained below.


WE have decided, for a six week period, to make a change to our comments sections on the main website.

You are now asked to use your real name.

We will do this right up to the local elections (May 4th) and then review.

We are doing this for a number of reasons.

We were aware that The Times and Sunday Times started doing this since New Years Day and has seemed to work well.

We wanted to also show our support for the Debate not Hate campaign run by the Local Government Association and endorsed by all parties.

A Harlow Labour’s James Griggs has endorsed this decision: He said: “There have recently been some cases of mistaken identity in the YH comments section and on other media platforms, some contributors have incorrectly attributed comments to Labour Councillors or candidates.

“I wish to make it clear that Harlow Labour Councillors and candidates will, at all times, fully identify themselves when commenting or making statements, they will never attempt to deceive by hiding behind pseudonyms or ‘forgetting’ their surnames.

“I will be writing to the other political parties in Harlow inviting them to make a similar commitment to transparency in all communications”.

We have noticed an increased angriness from some commentators. In short, in the last year, we have had to “ban” more people/internet addresses, that in the past fifteen years.

On our Facebook page, most people seem to be able to comment in their own names, so why not here?

In many ways, it is a return to the letter page of the printed paper, where each letter was simply signed in their own name.

Of course, you are still welcome to write your comment as a letter to editor.

Thank you

Michael Casey

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1 Comment for Update: Debate not Hate: Changes to our comments section:

David Forman
2023-03-21 17:23:09

Cllr Dan Swords tried to do a crafty today on the budget story by signing his comment as Dan. I noticed he later changed it to his proper title. What a naughty Tory!

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