Reminder: Please supply your full name with comments please

General / Thu 13th Apr 2023 at 05:03pm

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.

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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4 Comments for Reminder: Please supply your full name with comments please:

Darren Franklin
2023-04-13 19:47:06

Is there increased angriness from some commentators or just the fact their views no longer meet with your status quo?

Bruce Downey
2023-04-14 11:54:36

Should have a quiz, match pseudonym= name 😏

Edward Vine
2023-04-14 13:02:07

Advantages and disadvantages of such a policy because pseudonyms can protect genuine whistleblowers, especially people who are vulnerable as public employees or other key workers pointing to serious issues that may acting against the public interest or at least warrant queries. Prevention of such posts I'd argue isn't good because such people often on the inside, do have expert knowledge of topics. Whether a pseudonym is used or not illegal or posts in offensive or simply bad they are all subject to an editoral control so this is the best situation if one trusts the editor of YH as I think people from all directions do. If someone has consistently been posting under a fake name and email address and can change both email and to different devices with different IP addresses then this policy may be can be stepped around. It's not a if this policy were followed by the BBC our non political publically funded national press news. The national news channels frequently protect identities to put issues in the public domain and to get matters fairly investigated. The Times is not a politically neutral publication and this is a political decision in an attempt to prevent issues being raised which might embarrass the government, like the new voting ID policy (to prevent misdemeanors or irregularities in voting, as pointed out in and exposed in the Parliamentary debate, a non existent problem ) it's designed to skew the results in elections. Their perception being that such a policy will discourage labour and the less elite voters from voting. If issues are addressed civily then the focus is on the issue and the name used is largely irrelevant and sometimes the debate is less informed and effectively censored if those who need to use pseudonyms are excluded.

2023-04-30 19:30:03

Some valid points there Edward.

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