Commentary: Tribune to move online comments to new site

The West Central Tribune will soon be making a change in how reader comments are published in connection with stories posted on, our newspaper's website.

The West Central Tribune will soon be making a change in how reader comments are published in connection with stories posted on, our newspaper's website.

We will be moving all reader comments from to, a website published by the Tribune's parent company, Forum Communications.

The change for is scheduled to be completed Thursday or shortly thereafter.

When this comments move is completed, readers will be able to read comments posted at about articles .

Readers will now play a role in moderating the tone of comments posted concerning stories. All readers will be able to vote -- positive or negative -- on any specific comment. Comments generating an overall negative ranking below a certain threshold will be downgraded or hidden.


However, readers wishing to post a comment or talk about a story on via will be required to register.

The move to is being made for a number of reasons.

First, while many readers have posted comments, the conversation has often digressed into a personal attack contest between selected individuals, rather than a meaningful debate about issue or the article. This turns off many readers and has little value.

Second, some readers seek solely to spread their own personal political agenda, rather than honestly discuss the story topic.

Third, some reader comments are simply uninformed.

Fourth, some reader comments are just plain offensive to others.

Finally, some reader comments are frankly just plain spiteful, mean or hateful.

The platform has been upgraded with additional social networking tools, which will be beneficial to our readers.


Readers will be able to report inappropriate comments or perceived violations of decorum. These violation reports will be reviewed by a system moderator and addressed accordingly.

A team of moderators will also review comments on Individuals who refuse to listen to moderator direction or routinely violate our basic simple rules will be dealt with accordingly, up to removal of their ability to comment on stories.

The rules on are simple.

- Stay on the topic of the article.

- Keep your comments civil in tone at all times.

- Do not post any profanity, vulgarity or racial slurs.

- No verbal harassment of others.

We believe this comment move to our new platform: will be beneficial for all of our readers as well as those who post comments.


Readers will have a more robust experience and can rate comments -- positive or negative, which will help moderate the tone of the conversation on any given article.

In addition, those readers who do not want to view the article comments will not have participate or view the comment platform.

We encourage you to check out There are some comments on articles from The Forum of Fargo/Moorhead already posted on the site.

Finally, please give us your feedback on this coming change by posting a comment or sending an e-mail to my address below.

Thank you for reading the West Central Tribune and our website:

Kelly Boldan is the editor of the West Central Tribune of Willmar. His e-mail address is .

Opinion by Kelly Boldan
Kelly Boldan has been editor of West Central Tribune and in Willmar, Minnesota, since October 2001. He joined Forum Communications Co. in November 1998 as editor of the Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer.
Boldan can be reached via email: or telephone: 320-214-4331.
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