This week we made the somewhat controversial decision to require our readers to join Facebook if they want to post comments at http://postandcourier.com.
The reaction has ranged from support to anger to confusion about using Facebook. We are still in the process of implementing the change, but as the days pass we're confident you'll get a clearer picture of how we intend to make it a unique social community rather than a forum for anonymous attacks and misinformation.
Some people want to remain anonymous and some refuse to use Facebook. We've chosen Facebook (a Linked In option will also be available in coming months) because it requires the user's real name, or else they risk having the account deleted.
Facebook has received a lot of criticism (much of it deserved) for repeatedly changing its privacy controls over the years, but now it's relatively easier to control what you share with your friends and the public. You can make your updates and photos available to the public, just your friends or to a certain group of friends.
Beneath "Edit profile", you can make the same decisions about who can see information such as where you live or your birthday.
Beneath the photos link, you can control who can see your albums or individual photos. You can control who can tag you in a photo, among other things, by clicking on "Privacy settings" in the drop box beneath the arrow in the right-hand corner of your Facebook page. You will also be given the choice of who can see updates or photos you post from your cellphone.
The "How you connect" option allows you to control who can find your profile, who can message you and post on your wall.
Once you've created your Post and Courier profile, you will have the option to make your comments visible to your Facebook friends beneath "Settings" and "Connectors" on our site. Simply check it if you want to share or leave it blank if you don't.
We know Facebook isn't the perfect solution, but the truth is there isn't a perfect solution right now. We feel this gives us the best opportunity to foster meaningful discussion and debate.
We thank you for your feedback and patience and I encourage you to contact me if you have any more questions.