Hey, folks, sorry to have been AWOL! And thanks to John, PiGP, and all our fabulous commenters for keeping the blog alive. I've been meaning to start posting again, but my life is such that I can barely find the time to send birthday cards these days, much less sit down and compose something that meets the exacting standards of the M-M-M-My Pomona readership.
But this morning I was writing a protest letter to the editors of the Daily Bulletin regarding their new policy of only allowing comments on their website via Facebook, when it suddenly occurred to me that I should post a copy of my letter here. I hope you will share my indignation -- and if you don't, you'll tell me about it. No FB login necessary!
Dear editors of the Daily Bulletin:
I learned about your new commenting system from Dave Allen's blog, and I'm writing to say how disappointed and unhappy I am with this decision. Requiring everyone to log in via Facebook is a solution to your current problems, I realize, but it will cause greater problems in the long run.
You are now in the process of alienating several constituencies, which hardly seems wise when quality journalism is under attack from all sides. There are plenty of excellent reasons not to use Facebook at all, and many of us who do use it are careful not to open ourselves to attack via the Facebook API by allowing login information to be shared between sites. Moreover, Facebook is in open opposition to the ADA Standards for Accessible (Web) Design and the US Government's Section 508, so people with a range of disabilities cannot use it. Everyone who fits in these categories is now explicitly unwelcome at the Daily Bulletin site, or at least gagged.
That is no way to run a newspaper in the 21st century, and it particularly violates the principles of electronic journalism. I really thought you understood the digital world better than this -- and, in fact, I would argue that it is incumbent upon you to do so. If no one in the organization is aware of the threats Facebook poses to data privacy, net neutrality, and the free flow of information, you have betrayed the very nature of journalism. I encourage you to rethink this policy immediately.