The Deseret News has instituted a new comments policy.  The newspaper encourages but doesn’t require that commenters post using a screen name that is a form of their real name.  Not sure why they don’t just require the real name as they are requiring a real name and zip code in the registration process. 

What strikes me as wrong, however, is its new policy to limit the number of times one person can comment to two.  These sections, if they were among people we could identify, might be much more constructive and civil.  Discussion should be encouraged, and I wish more reporters would weigh in with clarifications when people draw incorrect assumptions about the issue covered.  Not that over taxed reporters have the time, mind you.

It makes little difference to me, as I rarely comment on a story and almost never read any of the comments. (There are exceptions, such as some blogs like Press Think’s comments section, which tends to be illuminating.

I have yet to hear a cogent argument why online comments can be anonymous, but letters to the editor cannot.

Anyone have an answer for that?