Reflections on the Guardian’s blog experiment

[Keyword: ]. You can read Georgina Henry’s experiences of managing Comment is free at,,1784903,00.html. Key quote:

“The answer for most media companies developing blogs (although no one is
doing anything quite like Comment is free) is to pre-moderate comments. We have
deliberately decided against that, only requiring commenters to register,
because we want to keep the conversation as free-flowing as possible. So what to

“Stung by one particularly brutal comment on a piece by a young Muslim
woman we had recruited to blog, I did what Emily Bell, editor of Guardian
Unlimited, advised and entered the fray myself. Why, I asked in an end-of-the-
week post, was it necessary for commenters to personally abuse those with whom
they disagreed? Why did so many resort to swearing to make their point? Would
they behave like this if they weren’t hiding behind the anonymity of their
screen names?”

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