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Editorial: Experiment aimed at improving tone and dialogue on our Town Square forum

Original post made on Jul 28, 2020

Beginning Saturday, Aug. 1, participation in's popular Town Square reader forum will be limited to those who register on the site with their name and email address.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 28, 2020, 2:20 PM

Comments (17)

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 28, 2020 at 5:43 pm


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Birdland

on Jul 28, 2020 at 5:57 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 28, 2020 at 6:31 pm

This, I hope, will allow people to come out from behind their fake names. However, it is welcome regardless.

Posted by Ennis
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 29, 2020 at 9:53 am

I'm glad to hear and hope this goes beyond the 'experimental' phase. I found it interesting that your recent editorial about running for local office didn't really address a key point in my mind -the character assassination that takes place in the comments section of any issue, particularly those that address local school issues (the school board, administration, and teachers) and local political issues, i.e. Costco. The venom directed at specific people and groups is surprising (well, actually in this day and age, maybe not) and clearly unacceptable. The Jamie Yee school board announcement in the last 24 hours is yet another example. I would also offer that it might also be in the interest of discussions to limit the number of comments allowed by any one individual to avoid monopolization and trolling that seems to happen.

Posted by Ndna Jnz
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jul 29, 2020 at 10:44 am

Bravo, Weekly! A long time coming.
Most online forums have long required registration to post.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Beratlis Place

on Jul 29, 2020 at 11:14 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Canyon Creek

on Jul 29, 2020 at 11:19 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Posted by Ken mano
a resident of Willow West
on Jul 29, 2020 at 11:37 am

I think you should go further than that and disallow screen / fake names, and require posting of a person's real name. If someone wants to post comments, they should stand behind them with their real name.

Posted by Juan Hidalgo
a resident of Village High School
on Jul 29, 2020 at 8:15 pm

"The actions of these problematic posters have demanded increasing amounts of our staff's time to moderate, edit and sometimes delete disrespectful comments that seem intended to antagonize or manipulate public opinion with false or misleading information."

I very much look forward to the PleasantonWeekly staff enforcing these guidelines in a fair and unbiased manner. I for one am exhausted from reading posts that slander public servants and attempt to manipulate public opinion by making false and misleading statements. I can't wait for the new town square, where facts rule the day and unsubstantiated allegations take the sidelines.

Posted by Screen names still have value
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2020 at 8:25 pm

I support this change. The registration requirement provides a reasonable balance between anonymity and accountability.

Screen names provide room for whistleblowers and others with minority opinions to exercise their freedom of speech - and maybe actually persuade others to listen to reason - without risk of real-world harassment from the legions of intolerant people who have fallen hook, line and sinker for the latest misguided propaganda feeding their preferred confirmation biases.

Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 30, 2020 at 8:24 am


Perhaps you’ve misunderstood what the article says. The only thing changing is that readers will have to register in order to comment.

I’ve been registered for years now, and have given PW my real first and last name. There will be many people who create email accounts with fake names just so that they can comment.

I’m agnostic about the outcome that PW is seeking, but registering has never once squelched how I wanted to comment and it won’t in the future.

Dan (my real name)

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 30, 2020 at 9:34 am

Dan, two sentences: the first was hope that people will use their real names; the second acknowledging this is welcome even if they do not. I see no problem with either statement; I also know you are already registered, as am I.

Posted by Jo
a resident of Parkside
on Jul 30, 2020 at 10:28 am

We shall see. As long as ppl dont adopt a "cancel culture" mentality.

Posted by culture
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 30, 2020 at 5:06 pm

with all that is going on in today's culture, why would i give my name out for all to look up on and similar platforms, to give whomever the opportunity to protest in front of my house and yours for that matter.
Mike, Kathleen and the rest?

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 30, 2020 at 6:08 pm

It isn’t a requirement that you use your name, culture.

Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 30, 2020 at 9:15 pm


Bingo. In today’s online world, cancel culture is the reason many of us comment anonymously.


Posted by Barbara Costello
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 31, 2020 at 2:42 pm

Interesting. It used to be that if you wrote a letter to the editor of your local paper, you had to supply your real name and address to be published. I get why some people want to use a screen name, but I absolutely support the registration process. I am registered and I use my own name when I comment. We should all turn against the cancel culture and doxing that has become so prevalent at preventing free speech.

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