Commenters on HuffPost mobile apps will soon need Facebook verification too

Amid the uproar over the Huffington Post’s announcement that commenting now requires Facebook verification — which itself requires supplying Facebook with a phone number — some users found a loophole: They could still use their old usernames (and not their real names) when commenting via HuffPost mobile apps.

Reached via email, Tim McDonald, HuffPost’s director of community, told Poynter that Facebook verification will be required in the apps once they’re updated next week.

Asked for his reaction to the reaction (we’ve seen 225 overwhelmingly negative comments and counting on yesterday’s post), McDonald expressed optimism about the long-term effects of the new policy:

“Any change will come with a period of outcry. We expected many users would not be happy with this transition, but are confident that as we move forward, this will make for a more engaged and diverse community.”

At issue for many HuffPost readers is what they saw as a guarantee in August from Managing Editor Jimmy Soni that existing accounts would be grandfathered in and not subject to new de-anonymization measures:

“As of next month, Huffington Post users won’t be able to create anonymous accounts to post on the site; going forward, their identities will have to be verified internally. HuffPost recognizes that many people are not in a professional or personal situation where attaching their name to a comment is feasible, and this change will not require users to identify themselves in connection with each comment. Rather, we will ask users to verify their identity when creating an account, which will reduce the number of drive-by or automated trolls. The change will only affect users creating new accounts on HuffPost. Existing accounts will be grandfathered into the new system.”

McDonald responded on Twitter to the charge that the site failed to keep its word:

Related: Want to comment on HuffPost? Just give Facebook your phone number first | Huffington Post will end anonymous comments

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.

  • Intolerantcentrist

    Thinking a Wikipedia page describing a “Huffugee” is in order. Thoughts…?

  • Shizuppy

    This has 100% to do with money, nothing more.

  • karen v

    You cannot go to their Facebook page, either, and make a comment: because Facebook says you have to give your phone number and verify your FB in order to post on the Huffington Post facebook page!

  • karen v

    They lost somebody from 2007 – and they don’t care! It’s crazy – it’s like internet NSA – and you cannot post on their FB page without “verification” on FB. HOW and WHY does HP get to force facebook users to give their telephone number TO MAKE A POST on a Facebook page??

  • karen v

    AND you CANNOT post on their Facebook page – not the site – but you cannot post on a Facebook page – Huffington Post’s facebook page – if you do not give your telephone number. I had 2 badges on HP for two years and out of nowhere – banned.

  • Shanti108

    Shanti108 here, member of Huffpo since 2005. Tons of posts.
    Only took me a day to decide to delete it all.

    Imagine two small town shops: you walk in the first and the owner is glad to see you, happy you are there. He tries his best to help you find what you need in a pleasant manner. Now the second shop not so much. You walk in there, and the owner resents it (and you). Now he has to stop doing whatever it was he was doing when you walked in and deal with a customer. He makes his resentment plain. He follows you around the store because he thinks you are probably going to shop-lift.

    The next time you need to buy something, which store do you go to? Which one do you avoid?
    HuffPo became like that second store; treating their customers as the enemy.

    You don’t stay in business very long that way.

  • unclesamonmars

    Facebook+ verification via my cell# = hell no!

  • fakir

    RE: “Whatever happens to the site known as HuffingtonPost – . . .”

    … remember Salon?

  • AskandTell
  • don

    It has begun. I can no longer post to Huffpost through their app on my phone without a Facebook account. I was trying to post this comment on the Tim McDonald blog:
    It occurs to me that many web sites require verification of identity. Netflix, for instance, knows who I am and where I am for billing purposes. So it happens. But I did not have to join Facebook to be a customer. I’m beginning to realize that Director of Community Relations is more like the Director of Human Resources, and the link to FB is more of a condition of employment than anything else. Those of us who have not complied have been summarily dismissed, fired, expulsed from the community, victims of a force reduction to make the remaining workforce more manageable. You better believe that Tim and his staff are availing themselves of personal information to ascertain if a poster is worthy of being kept on, and that the quality of the work does not really matter.
    I have been disenfranchised, silenced by a corporate decision.

  • MaudeFrickert

    Inspired by this report and by the comments it has generated, I am pleased to announce that I have finally mustered the courage to delete the HP user account through which I had been expressing myself since 2007. FromWayDowntown., may you rest in peace.

  • d.c. torres

    thanks bro!! :) huffpo dissidents united!!!!!! :D

  • Edna Crabapple

    I guess I’m joining the flood of refugees from HP and looking for a new “home”. I’ve been there for 3 or 4 years at least, and I’m not able to comment anymore.
    I don’t use my real name on my FB account, and there is no way in hell I will.
    In order to “verify” my FB account- they need my cell phone number? Seriously? And I can’t verify the account until I respond to a text message? Really?
    I have a cell phone, with only basic service- but because of spammers sending text messages that I had to pay for I turned the texting OFF years ago.
    And what about people that don’t even have cell phones? I know a few…
    No how, no way am I giving FB and HP my cell phone number. It’s none of their business and it’s just a scam to push ads to you and everyone you know. I could just imagine the amount of spam I would get if I turned the texting back on after giving my # to FB.

    To both FB and HuffPo- I may have been born at night- but I wasn’t born LAST night so please stuff this thinly veiled excuse to make money where the sun don’t shine.
    There- I feel better now… LOL

  • jbiot

    Agreed. NY Mag with Jonathan Chait and The Daily Beast are also very good. On the down side the NYT keeps dropping it’s character count. Now they are at 1500 characters, which is about 180-200 words. But if you have something to say and you’re looking for civil conversation as opposed to the verbal equivalent of twerking – which is all HP basically has – the NYT has the best platform and moderation.

    Trolling is the least of HP’s problems and can be controlled in any event, but not through an invasion of privacy. It’s ironic, really, that they have folks on Huff TV cursing up a storm and saying all manner of over the top stuff, and Jason Linkins has had a moment or two, not to mention a constant stream of titillating articles containing all kinds of naughty words you can’t post – but if you post a comment they are pretending that you need to Mother Teresa who, presumably, would be required to have a verified Zuck page.

    Give me a break. That’s sanctimonious you know what.

  • Tabata Queen

    Hello former Huff Post people. I quit! No way am I giving Facebook my cell phone number. And, really, they LIED to us and they think they can use us now to drive business to them???

  • geesepeace

    Nobody is reluctant to ‘stand by their freedoms’. The thing is who is HP? They are not a courtroom where we have been charged and have to ‘stand by our freedoms’. And that is just insulting to infer this monopolizing ‘news conglomerate’ is entitled to be judge and jury and make anyone stand up for anything.

    Two proverbs say it best: Quis custodiet custodes ipsos? (“Who watches the watchers?”) and “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Cardinal Richelieu understood the value of surveillance when he
    famously said, “If one would give me six lines written by the hand of
    the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged.”
    Watch someone long enough, and you’ll find something to arrest — or
    just blackmail — with. Privacy is important because without it,
    surveillance information will be abused: to peep, to sell to marketers
    and to spy on political enemies — whoever they happen to be at the
    time.

    Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we’re doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance.

    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/05/the_value_of_pr.html

  • geesepeace

    Well few Canadians will be commenting in HP under their real names since the federal government is unabashedly looking at social media. So HP just made it easier for them to snoop.

  • geesepeace

    I have commented on the NYT on a couple of specific subjects and I loved their moderating. If you had something to say you actually got to say it without it being buried by a bunch of uninformative troll BS. This is the thing…if you really care about something and have a good argument it all gets lost in silly fighting.

  • geesepeace

    Some of us had disqus accounts before we joined HP. And I personally don’t like the idea of people following me all over the internet to see what I’ve posted everywhere; a few identities are nice in the age of surveillance by everyone and their dogs.

  • geesepeace

    They have no liability regarding comments.

    CDA Protects Newspapers from Liability for Libelous Comments

    http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2010/05/cda-protects-newspapers-from-liability-for-libelous-comments132/

    Their moderators are also not posting dozens of comments that are nowhere near libelous; I was a superuser and in the last few weeks many comments never appeared. They also used to give posters the ability to flag comments and that worked well too. This is nothing to do with trolls or libelous comments. Also a lot of the remaining posters on HP have outright described how they created fake FB accounts. This is nothing more than giving HP the opportunity to data mine information that is none of their business.

  • don

    My mobile ap is still allowing me to post at HP as of yesterday, and I posted this thought on Tim McDonald’s blog on the new policy:
    “The Federalist Papers were published under the pseudonym “Publicus” utilized by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay. Cowards all for concealing their identities to foster their radical ideas. Or is it that the Huffpost policy runs counter to an American tradition that traces back to the founding fathers and the origins of our nation?”
    I doubt that any plea to sanity will prevail with the situation over there, since they appear to have concealed the true reason for the shift in policy. I suspect that it has to do with liability for the slander is some of the postings and their reluctance to stand by their freedoms of the press that affords them the right to protect their sources. However their culpability for publishing those toxic remarks is really undeniable and the only way to dodge that is to pass the responsibility on to the poster. There’s got to be lawyers involved in there somewhere threatening their revenue stream. I don’t mind accountability, I mind the attachment to Facebook. I’ve avoided that enterprise from the beginning since I don’t trust them, and I encountered pages on the internet that I was not allowed to read unless I joined. They went unread. I resent being forced into a relationship against my will without alternatives.

  • Robin S Summertown

    Reading through these comments a thought came to me, with this move the world at large is seeing all of the dirty laundry that was part of HP commenting. How the moderating was such that posts that should have banished hung out there, how posts never showed in the first place.

    I guess the question is, are people paying attention to this and will give HP a pass any way and hand over everything but their first born. And even that is in question since most brag about their first born on FB.

  • http://jackholesrealm.wordpress.com/ RF_Dude

    Yes indeed – this and Epoch are like HP was back in the day…

    Their loss, big gain for Poynter and Epoch – I hope both sites keep running stories on this, their traffic will go up a LOT with all of us looking for a ‘new home’ :)

  • ibwilliamsi

    I’m there, & will see you there, too! It’s amazing how much I actually don’t miss HuffPo after finding old friends here and at theepochtimes!

  • Sharyn G.

    TimMcDonald says he’s for the underdog in his latest tweet to me!

    Get this:

    Seriously?

    TIMMY SAYS HE’S FOR THE UNDERDOGS ??? He answered my tweet last night again-

    I had replied:

    @tamcdonald Latest book is David & Goliath. Explores the relationship between giant competitors & underdogs. Power to the underdogs. Woof.
    4:11pm – 17 Dec 13

    Tim said:
    @sharynthomaguay We both agree in fighting for the underdogs.
    about 5 hours ago

    Sharyn said:

    @tamcdonald Yet at Huffpo you lied about grandfathering & underdogs r upset, all u say is “times change” and that u expect outcry. Classy.
    10:54pm – 17 Dec 13

    This man ACTUALLY SAYS he believes in fighting for the underdogs?

  • http://jackholesrealm.wordpress.com/ RF_Dude

    IB!!! Sorry I missed you here, many of the HP expats have migrated to Epoch Times http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/401062-huffpost-sees-mass-exodus-users-reject-new-comment-system/

    Please feel free to join us there, and we will continue to support this site as well – Poynter and Epoch are the only two news outlets breaking this story that is SO important to us all!

  • ibwilliamsi

    I’m taking a wait and see attitude on this. I was an active member of the community since 2008, with over 10k posts and a 900+ fan base. I feel that the moderation at HP was arbitrary and harsh. It seemed that all anyone had to do was flag a comment and it was gone. I can’t tell you how many times a comment such as “he or she was asking for” a violent crime stayed and stayed, while a response (literally) such as “you need to broaden your horizons” or “It’s kind of scary that you feel that way, what if it were your daughter (son)?” would be moderated out as offensive.

    I have no problem linking a comment on my FB page if I want to, and my friends know my politics. They can block me out if they want to, and I should be able to decide whether something (such as this very comment) appears in my feed. HP shot themselves in the foot with this one. Why pretend this about civility when it’s clearly about a monetary connection with FB? I’m a person who always did my best to not “click through” HP, because if an article or video is someone else’s and they have an ad on their banner, I’m not giving the credit to HP for it. Arianna has plenty of money and power without that.

    Articles that two weeks ago would have had 10,000 comments on them now have 16. They can say that their consumers will adjust to it all they want, but it’s not as if there aren’t places I can go for news where not only can I question the integrity of someone who makes threats of violence right and left about women, our President, and people of other political/social/religious/racial backgrounds, I can call them a “b-g-t” or “s-x-st” and not have to moderate myself only to wait fifteen minutes to see whether it got past a moderator. This is why Wonkette gets a little $$$ from me every month. Freedom of speech isn’t free, and it actually has nothing to do with allowing access to your FB or cell phone, or even with the Military Industrial Complex saving your freedoms. It has to do with being comfortable speaking your mind.

    You’d think that with all of the uproar about the NSA (not to mention the mistakes they made at AOL) they would have had a clue that this would be their doom. I’ll wait it out. They know the value of the dollar. They still have headlines and I’m happy to read them then search for an article where I can read and comment as I choose.

  • Erich Brandenberger

    From 2009 on, I was Enri on HP. And I consider the FB requirement to be a kamikaze decision. Nice to see some of you here.

  • RF_Dude

    Public Service Announcement – when the trolls start showing up (and they will…), please try to refrain from responding or downvoting. Just click the ‘flag’ that appears in the upper-right corner of the comment (you have to roll over it to make it appear – it’s there but normally hidden)

    Let the mods take care of any vicious comments – you’re free from theHP mania of trollery here, and once we’re all settled in new homes I amhoping that we can have free and open debate and not the seriously deranged insult-exchanges that assaulted our sensibilities at The Poo for such a long time.

    Old habits are hard to kick, but this is a healthy one to kick!

    Flag and roll – words for today!

    R.F.

  • RF_Dude

    Welcome David95 – it’s always news!

  • david95

    It’s the trolls that will start going after my Facebook and all my facebook friends if they disagree with what I said. And I don’t feel like locking down my entire Facebook page solely to protect my friends from HP trolls.

  • david95

    My huffington post account has been deleted forever. No news here. :)

  • abxnomore

    I’m wondering why so many HP former members are posting under a different name? It would be nicer to be able to recognize you guys. I’m still the same the three headed horse! Unless it has something to do with a Facebook account. I’ve never had one, avoided it like the plague .

  • CatrionaMacA

    I’m as left as a person can get without being a Communist, and I despise Obama.

  • aquarius2

    I agree with what your say. Your side note on Yahoo is accurate but even there many articles are direct reprints of articles posted on HP, including the comments. You cannot post a comment on those articles. I don’t get the direct relationship between Yahoo and HP,

  • drewbai

    Sitting on my couch reading the Huff

    Politics, Business, and other stuff

    Tried to post a comment and much to my dismay

    Got a message saying to log in another way

    They say its meant to curb comments abuse

    But i suspect that’s just some lame excuse

    Good bye HuffPo, enjoy your Facebook lnking

    I hope your traffic counts soon start a sinking

  • Sharyn G.

    Okay, a comment below was deleted. I’m sorry if I got anyone in trouble. :(

  • RF_Dude

    This just posted on Epoch Times: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/401062-huffpost-sees-mass-exodus-users-reject-new-comment-system/

    The word is getting out. Might be an interesting Monday Staff Meeting at the Poo!

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/djzebbie Quick Brown Dog

    Reddit was founded by a young man named Alexis Ohanian, with significant input from the late free-culture crusader Aaron Swartz. It tends to attract a young tech-savvy audience, but isn’t solely focused on technology or programming. Its “geek ethic” however makes it a bastion of anonymity. You can’t even use avatars at Reddit, which kind of sucks but clearly indicates that they don’t like the idea of posting your picture online for everyone to see. You don’t even have to set an email address for your account, but be careful as this means you can’t recover your password if you forget it.

    The president and several well known public figures — actors, athletes, authors, etc. — have been involved with Q&A sessions called “Ask Me Anything.” AMA isn’t just limited to famous people, though: anyone with a sufficiently interesting story can be part of an AMA. (I believe a Newtown parent did one.) If you’re familiar with the structure of the old Usenet hierarchies, Reddit will seem very similar. Instead of alt.* and misc.*, however, “subreddits” are listed under r/category/subcategory. There are even some funny ones, like r/comeonandslam (a fan reddit for Space Jam). You can check out Reddit at Reddit.com. Read wiki article for more about it, “lurk” for awhile, and if you like it, sign up :-)

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/djzebbie Quick Brown Dog

    Eventually it’ll just be Socially Awkward Penguins ™ posting from an ice floe in Antarctica. Then when global warming takes over entirely and penguins are extinct, HuffPost will have nothing but… *crickets.* ;-)

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/djzebbie Quick Brown Dog

    Plus one for you :) Twitter’s a no-go for me, though. I tend to avoid it because it seems just as celebutard-obsessed as Puffpiece is. You can’t see who people are following on Twitter without logging in, but last I checked, Ari neither follows nor gives the time of day to anyone but her famous people cabal. Waiting to see whether she retweets Alec Baldwin punching his own webcam. ;-)

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/djzebbie Quick Brown Dog

    (ZOMG you can curse here! I love Disqus!)

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/djzebbie Quick Brown Dog

    A brown paper bag full of steaming dog shit would be a quick, blunt response.

    (Ha, I used my username in context in a sentence!)

    Let’s see if the Carlin word shows up…

  • Sharyn G.

    So, I have been banned from Huffpoo, but am discovering twitter. And Tim’s account-

    Tim:
    The world changes one conversation at a time.+plus.google.com/10051900454325…
    3:07pm – 15 Dec 13

    Sharyn:
    So, I guess that’s why you guys curbed conversation at the huffpo.
    6:43pm – 15 Dec 13

  • gshscott

    Huffugee testing the waters

  • jbiot

    I’ve been commenting on HP for a few years and enjoyed debating people on healthcare and gun control. The NYT is my more natural venue but everyone agrees with me there, so HP is more challenging and fun.

    This recent move by HP is troubling on several levels. First, they had indicated when the policy was first announced by Jimmy Sonni that current users would be grandfathered. That turned out not to be the case, and McDonald’s tweet, “We didn’t change our stance, but did change the grandfathering”, is a disingenuous distinction that is insulating to all of us who responsibly posted on HP for years.

    Given that folks like me were a known commodity and well vetted, with views and tone that were far from anything that would be characterized as trolling, it therefore seems contrary to common sense – not to mention self interest – for HP to violate an already announced policy.

    Moreover, it’s not clear how the FB linking will do anything to stop trolling. The greater likelihood is that people like me will fly the coup in disgust. There are extremely good reasons for remaining anonymous, chief among them job security, privacy and even personal security. Trolling can be effectively managed by the comment community itself through moderation and flagging, and even word filters can be used. And anyone can fake an FB account and can even fake verification using Google Voice. Someone right now is posting on HP under the name

    Times Joke:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/timesjoke?action=profile;

    do you really think that’s his or her real name? One could argue that all the new policy will do is poke a stick in the hornet’s nest and HP will be come troll central just for the fun of getting around a lame policy.

    Bottom line:

    the policy is the front end of a back end deal between Arianna and FB and it’s all about them getting more on you; and ultimately it’s about $$$. All the BS about “trolling” is just the PR sugar. The real sugar’s at the back end – and no one has the guts to talk about that.

  • Iam Knowjuan

    I have also deleted my HP account. I had been there for over 2 years and my comments numbered almost 6,000. I was never over-the-top in my comments. In fact, a few times I was pleased that I engaged in long conversations with people whose views were polar opposite to mine – fanatical gun people or pro-lifers. Yet I was able to engage in the type of debate I love where we ended our discussions with “I haven’t changed my opinion but I think you made some good points and I enjoyed the debate.”

    I believe this has been nothing but a money grab by HP – they deliver guaranteed FB accounts (verified) for every HP user and HP gets – who knows – but they got something. I am disappointed but there are other sites to use to express my opinion but I will miss HP even if they lowered their standards after the AOL merger (sideboob – really?)

    I wrote to HP to express my concerns but received only a form letter (twice). If they were not interested in addressing my concerns, they don’t deserve my account.

  • undsoweiter

    Support ticket……haha. You could just as well have written it on a slip of paper and set fire to it. I’ve never had one answered.

  • abxnomore

    Let them do that, they will have even fewer members than they do now. The participation on HP these days is minimal and many, including myself, have canceled their accounts.

  • JustaGurlinseattle

    OOOpppssss…. Never mind…. :-D
    I found them…

  • JustaGurlinseattle

    what happened to my posts????

  • Sharyn G.

    We are glad to see you here!

  • Sharyn G.

    Yes, it was connected since 2011 at huffpo. It never bugged me until the Gestapo said you were REQUIRED to do so. That’s when my flags went up.

  • Sharyn G.

    Great idea! And of course as you know, with disqus all you need is a name and an email.

  • d.c. torres

    hey :) thanks!!…i ended up here a couple days ago while trying to comment on a huffpost article and of course it asked me to log in with my facebook (which of course i refuse to do :)) and i wanted to see if any sites had anything to say about it so i searched the issue on google- this site was right at the top of the list :D…

  • ChesapeakePirate

    What happened? I thought I left a post here about HP lying to us about being ‘grandfathered?’

  • da_veritas

    Your theory is correct, I had two posts about McConnell disappear instantly and they both had that word in it.

  • FDRliberal

    My theory was too many Mitch McConnell references.

  • FDRliberal

    How are you able to leave messages? Was your account already attached to an FB account?

  • arcturus

    turtle is too close to turd.

  • arcturus

    I had emailed “Tim” over at HP asking why they didn’t just contract with Disqus, (knowing full well this is a money deal,) but, of course, I got no reply.

  • arcturus

    I too had been on HP since 08 under a different name, and signed off on Dec 10.

    HP has gone all out to milquetoast itself and it looks permanent.

    Management has attempted to ruin the site a couple of times, but this time they have succeeded. They’ll score a mountain of money selling all the new FB phone numbers to marketers, who, since they will mostly be mobile numbers, will use GPS technology to follow you everywhere you go with you phone.

    Lets say all the old commenters like ourselves came back to HP – the moderation is still so absurd it’s waste of time trying to post anything of value. I was posting less and less because after composing something respectfully argumentative, it would disappear into a black hole. They are not backing off that policy. I’ve been checking on things there and the comments to the stories (which are worse than ever) are fewer and more white bread and chirpily agreeable than ever before.
    Side note: Yahoo has always been the worst site for comments, but in this current environment, with being free to speak your mind a huge plus, a lot of posters I recognize from HP found a haven there, at least temporarily. IQs have suddenly skyrocketed in most of the comments in news and politics (where the stories have suddenly improved overnight.) There is also a curious absence of real dumb trolls. All they would need is a better conversational format and they might have something.

    News today on the upcoming WSJ comments section “improvements” is really ugly. They are jumping on the selling of their list too, as they are going to be requiring all kinds of personal information.

    R.I.P HP.

  • Sharyn G.

    Exactly! I am leaving messages and links all over the place on huffpo trying to redirect out friends here. I think it’s working. Most are deleted but some are sticking.

  • Sharyn G.

    Hey, welcome! How did you find us? Did you follow a link I left on huffpo? I am hoping they are still working. I am trying to leave a trail of breadcrumbs that lead people here, but most of my posts are deleted. Let me know so I can keep inundating them.

  • Sharyn G.

    Very cool!

    I decided that I missed my friends. Therefore I am dedicating my time lately to pepper that one thread over at huffpo with links telling people they can come here. So far it has really worked. About 75% get deleted, but a few slip by and that’s what we need to get the good people over here. I am spamming them badly with the truth, I will do it every day until they ban me. I had over 4,000 fans who I loved chatting with. I want as many in my disqus circle as I can get. I call us Huffpugees!

    Thanks!

  • FDRliberal

    Yeah so far Disqus is working nicely for me. Allows me to keep track of my fellow ex-HP’ers.

  • FDRliberal

    Their moderation ‘technique’ was using an automoderation tool that deemed words like ‘turtle’ and thousands of other innocuous words to be ‘sensitive’ thus creating an atrocious user experience.

  • Robin S Summertown

    Sadly dragging your suitcase down the road? I got mine packed then I got angry and said H3ll No, I will not be forced to join a site I have nothing but animosity towards.

    And now? I’m thankful it happened. Sure I lost my history, my friends (some I’ve found) but HP was becoming less and less of a site I liked. If not for this change I would have stayed and never known that sites like this one existed. Because I sure was not having any luck finding a new home. It was just because of Sharyn that I became aware of other possibilities. Again, Sharyn, thank you.

  • Robin S Summertown

    I’m still trying to figure out how they are going to explain to the community how they extensively covered the problems at FB then promptly climbed in to bed with the.

    That one move gives me the creeps and now I’m beginning to believe all sorts of conspiracy theories because they’re probably true.

  • Robin S Summertown

    I noticed that too, how quiet the talking heads were about this when those same talking head commented so often in the past about HP and its community.

  • Robin S Summertown

    Actually, their moderation techniques were also driving away long time members and the numbers of comments dropping proved that. It had gotten beyond ridiculous having to second guess what was acceptable and what wasn’t.

  • deacc

    I deleted my HP account and deleted the app off all my mobile devices. Taking a page out of “Mr. Wonderful” aka Kevin O’Leary … “HP, you’re dead to me.”

  • Trilby16

    “I uninstalled the app from my phone right after I deactivated my huffpo account” Me too as well. It’s like ripping off a band-aid.

  • RF_Dude

    ” not the only game in town ” – oh, yeah, you got THAT right! (look ^^^^^^^^^^^ ;-) )

  • RF_Dude

    OK, I’m posting links to sites that other HPers have migrated to in the past. Please feel free to add to the list – these are the ones that I am aware of, there are others.

    Thank you to Poynter.org for keeping this thread open for comments, don’t forget to click the star in the upper right corner to ‘fave’ the article and keep it active – thanks.

    (Note: the links have spaces, remove spaces if you C&P or just type them into your browser)

    all-len-all. com (was having server problems this morning, but the link is good and they should be up soon

    jackholesrealm. wordpress. com – another established site, no news (yet) but many HPers from the old music nights. It’s a blog, just click on the top story and you will be ‘on the Main’ as it were

    planetpov. com – it was established just before the AOL buyout, contains an earlier wave of refugees and a lot from this wave.

    http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/396442-huffington-post-comments-huffpost-exec-dismisses-widespread-criticism-of-new-system/

    I have not visited the next two sites, but I am told they have a lot of ex-pat HPers as well:

    Alternet. org

    http://www.rawstory. com

    Again, I had to separate the links with spaces to avoid the spam filter here,
    hopefully you can type these into your browser without spaces (or if you
    C&P remember to remove the spaces)

    Good luck to all.

    R.F.

  • RF_Dude

    Many posters have had their accounts banned, and in no case that I have heard of has HP or any staff responded. No reason, no help, nothing – not even a canned response.

    Once they ‘drop’ you, you don’t exist to them. Been that way for a long, long time.

    Sorry to hear your experience, QBD – hope you find a better home, HP doesn’t deserve you back!

  • SharynTG

    Wow. What a bunch of jerks. The 1984 Gestapo hypocrites!

    Ill be banned soon. You ought to SEE what I’ve been leaving over there. Ha!

    I had been there since 11 and had 4,089 fans when the downhill snowball started to roll.

    I hate hypocrisy. Let them ban me too and you will be in good company :)

  • SharynTG

    Yeah, ALL their ready-made excuses fall short. Its about money, not trolls. They underestimated us. We aren’t buying that. Nope.

  • RF_Dude

    Thanks QBD – yes, i believe I had too many links and it tripped the spam filter here. I was hoping that it would come out of moderation by now, but on this site it may only be a part-time gig and the administrator may not see it for some time.

    I will post them again upthread as you suggested (shades of posting links on Huffy Poo!)

    I know nothing about Reddit, but I think if it looks like another spot please post a link for the users here – it’s all good!

  • Arbutus

    You speak for a lot of us, thanks.

  • Quick Brown Dog

    Just post the URLs with the punctuation spelled out, or with spaces between. Like this:

    poynter dot org
    poynter . org

    Real people will be smart enough to know what you mean. :)

  • Quick Brown Dog

    Hi RF Dude, great list. I think the only reason your comment is being
    automodded (and why I “canmot reply to a post that is not active”) is because it contains a lot of URLs. Should update soon as
    none of these sites are what anyone (save for Arianna and her Borg)
    would consider “spam links.” I posted a link to PBS in a Huffpo comment
    and guess what: it got 86ed. I didn’t even say anything else, but I’m
    suspecting there’s some heavy ALEC (not Baldwin) activity over there
    now, as the link in the HP comment was to the Bill Moyers special about
    ALEC. One question: what’s your take on Reddit? I signed up for an
    account there and it seemed pretty good. It reminds me of the old Usenet
    hierarchies (r/alt/religion/scientology, let’s say) in a way, and AFAIK
    Aaron Swartz (RIP) was one of the original founders or at least was
    heavily involved in the development of the site. I’m Quick Brown Dog
    over at Reddit too BTW.

  • Quick Brown Dog

    I sent tech support an email (through the support ticket system at help.huffingtonpost.com) asking why my account was banned. Here’s the contents of the email:

    “I just tried logging in to the HP website, but to my chagrin, I was met with a notice saying that my account had been ‘banned.’ I am writing to ask for what reason my account was deleted and what I can do to appeal this. I cannot create a new account as I do not have a Facebook page and refuse to sign up for their services. I have never made any threats towards users, though I have noticed recently that some of my comments have been ‘auto deleted’ for using certain words that may be ‘blacklisted’ in the database. It would be helpful if the ToS would be updated to reflect a list of specifically what these words are.

    I was by no means a ‘drive by’ user either, having accumulated more than 15,000 comments and 460+ fans since January of this year, and frequently offering support and humor to numerous sections and articles. I have no other place to air my grievances either, as I cannot simply create a new account to tell my fans that I was banned, because I have no intent of ever getting involved with Facebook. Please let me know what I can do to appeal this and how, if at all, I can create a new account without having to bother with the abhorrent intrusion of privacy that is Facebook. I am trying my best to remain cool about all of this, but received no heads-up or warning that my account was headed for the cutting room floor. Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Quick Brown Dog”

    Ticket is now listed as “solved.” However, it was effectively CLOSED. To borrow a line from Phil Collins, there was “no reply at all.”

  • Quick Brown Dog

    Good rec for MoJo. Have not heard of Daily Banter but will definitely have a looksee.

  • Quick Brown Dog

    As though opening the floodgates to junior high punks will cut down on trolling? Seriously???

  • Skip Fantry

    Watchful and wary for me and mine . . . . and oh so little time/use for intellectual atrophy

  • SharynTG

    Yes and many sites use Disqus ! Very cool.

  • SharynTG

    Join us, become a Huffpugee. Huffpo is full of sheep now, who else would blindly follow orders like that?

  • SharynTG

    If you have the right people in the right format, it can happen again. It’s happening here.

  • SharynTG

    I’m happy to follow you the , you are not a sheep like those at huffpo who decided to obey their master and trust in FB.

  • SharynTG

    And any activity on FB only helps their bottom line. Three weeks ago huff reported they were losing accounts and had even lowered their age restriction to 13 to attract new accounts.

    Gee, now suddenly they have a way to get new accounts. They don’t care if you use them or if you just re-activate an old one. All new activity helps their stock prices.

    Who would want to to help them in any way?

    Also they were hacked last week and passwords were posted online. Huff covered that story too. Yet now they expect people toTRUST THEM COMPLETELY AND WITHOUT QUESTION.

  • deacc

    “The change will only affect users creating new accounts on HuffPost. Existing accounts will be grandfathered into the new system.”

    “We didn’t change our stance, but did change the grandfathering.”

    That is lying Mr. McDonald. But no big deal, there are plenty of news outlet, you’re not “the only game in town”.

  • RtheK

    Well, isn’t this a fine pickle? After getting the shocking, out of the blue, drink the Koolaid or get out of Dodge message the other day I find myself, sadly, dragging my suitcase down the road with the rest of the Huffpo refugees-but, hey, thanks Poynter for some shelter from the storm.

    I started posting back in the Cretaceous Period, just before the election in 08. The first black President. An economic collapse during the Bush administration. George W Bush, Maverick, and Miss Crazypants. Fox and far right lunacy. And then, ahhhh, along came the Tea Party. There were always some delicious comments from the right that gave us all plenty to work with and I had huge amounts of fun in battles of wits with unarmed men.

    This issue of “civility” is crazy. First, I never, with the exception of the last
    couple weeks, thought Huffpo was doing a bad job moderating its website. I had comments deleted and lost in the ethos but thought that was just part of the deal until long posts with pretty innocuous content began getting deleted. I always thought a list of words and
    phrases that were forbidden would’ve been helpful along with more public moderators. I can’t call George Bush a moron but I can call him a toxic, radioactive, poisonous little toad? And the option of first name and initial makes all this ridiculous. Ron K instead of RtheK. There. Problem solved. As for Facebook I especially don’t like being shoved there. I don’t have an account, all my kids told me-don’t bother and I agree. Screw the Huffpo/Facebook advertising conspiracy crap, an online coffee klatch and knowing what my 2nd cousin in northern Ohio’s recipe for peroigis is doesn’t do much for me.

    Secondly after the kinder gentler Huffpo of the last two days, the comments have gone to beige. People, this is the UNITED STATES. We rant, we rail, we are passionate, and I AM friggin angry!! How civil was Jefferson accusing then President Adams of having a “hideous hermaphroditical character.” Or Ann Coulter calling the President a retard? Or Beck saying the Presdent hates white people? Or the Don’t Renig 2012 bumperstickers? Civil indeed. And Arianna, please tell me. What do I do with someone who is saying the earth is 6000 years old? Oh gee, RedboneGA I understand your position but respectfully disagree? And how about in 250 words or less disputing the general lunacy of climate change deniers?

    Unfortunately for us he reality is this. There are no “freedom of speech issues” here. It’s Arianna’s. She can require all her commenters to wear gogo boots, have their heads shaved, and wear proper makeup if she wants to. If you all are waiting for a “huge Huffpo dropoff” because we are leaving-don’t hold your breath. Nature abhors a vacuum and for better or worse, this one too will be filled.

    Thanks all for letting me get my rant going again and Huffpo-it was fun-seeya.

    PS Some of my personal best:

    Louie Gohmert is way up in the Pantheon of Tragically Stupid Monumentally Ignorant Republicans. He has competition tho for the title of Boss Emperor of Congressional Bats**t Crazyland. The lunatic fringe Republicans are proud to have given us Michelle Bachmann, Paul Broun, Steve King, Joe Shimkus, and my personal favorite the Queen of Backward Virginia Foxx. Honorable mentions go to Joe Walsh and Allen West, we got rid of these members of Olympian Idiocy so we got that goin for us.

    The best things about the South are the trains going north.

    Obama is smug? Well, so far, he hasn’t grabbed his sack in a flight suit with a big Mission Accomplished banner behind him.

    I saw where Romney is thinking about having Trump campaign for him the last few days,,, Another great tactical move in Romney’s bumper car strategy of presidential
    campaigning. Mitt, you could search for a thousand years and never find anyone more symbolic of American greed and excess than this loathsome pompous buffoon. I can picture Trump flying into Godforsaken Montana and parking the gold plated Trump Stratoliner of Indulgence next to a bunch of cropdusters for a campaign event so he can “connect”
    with the voters… Probably chat em up about his ridiculous $5 million dollar extortion offer..

    Four more years of smug, arrogant, uninformed, ignorant contemptible swill and distortion. Four more years of the filth from Coulter and Malkin and their ilk. Four more years of Alternate Universe Fox Sewage Republican propaganda. Four more years of listening to the worst informed of the lunatic fringe “low information” voters. Four more years of migraine inducing, ear bleeding lies about climate change, anyone making under $100,000 needing a number tattoo and a tracking collar, and how the President of the United States hates white people. Four more years of the War on Christmas, the War on Christians, and the War on Conservatives. Four more years of phony victimization, and persecution. Four more years of Steve Doocy. Four more yearsof—–Fair and Balanced.

    I’m refusin on account Bill’s a hardly great human but Obama is a Kenyan and we have oil in the ground in Alaska we shouldn’t have to export it or just air mail my thoughts on it to others with a need for sayin the truth the way I’m seein it for ALL Americans that care about the greatness of it.

  • FDRliberal

    Lol. Good to see you. Let me know where everyone ends up….for now I’ll use this Disqus account. It allows me to be a loudmouth on the sites I normally just lurk on :) I think Daily Beast was pretty decent but not as many friendlies there, tho I do love to debate the Tea People. See you around.

  • Skip Fantry

    I was surprised to get an email from HuffPo that contained my messages to them delivered from a couple of different points of contact – they connected the dots, combined my concerns into one thread that I am quite certain has become very convenient to ignore entirely.

    I specifically begged out of the badges and what not and have no idea how many people paid attention to me – that isn’t why I was there. Discussion was a means by which I gained greater knowledge of the topics discussed. I will miss that. I hope I find it elsewhere as it better-formed my opinions.

    I have no expectation of being anonymous – ever – anywhere. In truth, just prior to the HuffPo policy shift I was in process of ditching my moniker there for my real name because of what I saw as a convenient excuse for bad behavior by some. At that time it was my choice. A choice I was willing to make for me. I Facebook often enough – I have real friends all over the world and it is a hub of communication for me personally and professionally. My real friends have my cell number. Facebook does not need it as they cannot be trusted with anything that approaches private information.

    I understand too well what having a voice can mean – I have friends that are squirreled away in places they’d rather not be, and privacy for the sake of unhindered communication is essential to them. They have lost one avenue. And it was important to them. It will be missed – by them and by me.

  • SharynTG

    Brilliant! And I love the Hufflop! Ha!

  • tpartynitwit

    I’ve sent a “scoop” to Hufflop to not ignore the possibilities to adding a weekly tie-in requirement to maximize revenue. They could sell naming rights on an annual basis: Hufflops, brought to you by the KochXL Pipeline! Or sell off corporate tie-ins to the highest bidder requiring everything from particular banking services to energy brands. No JP Morgan? No Hufflops! Oddly enough, they haven’t responded.

  • TheGamer

    We had the same issue with http://www.tiny-games.net and decided to implement some mechanisms.

  • d.c. torres

    bye bye huffpost heheheheheh

  • SharynTG

    Huffpoop is now the very 1984 Gestapo they always write about.

    Their hubris will do them in.

    I am a proud Huffpugee and I have sought asylum here.

    Thank you.

  • SharynTG

    Yes it is. And Big Brother-Free.

  • SharynTG

    We are all Huffpugees.

  • RF_Dude

    Hi Sharyn! I loaded too many links, i think the spam-filter grabbed it! I’ve got the links posted on the other thread, now I’m askeered to post links at all ;-)

    Good to see you, the feeling of freedom is fan-tastic!

  • TheGingerbreadman

    Well, I uninstalled the app from my phone right after I deactivated my huffpo account, so I guess I’ll miss out on any other surprises. Good to see some of you old vets here too. I put the same screen name on Disqus as I used on huffpo some time ago, so I suppose that’ll come in handy. It’s used to post on Mother Jones & The Daily Banter, also. See you guys around….

  • TheGingerbreadman

    Haha… Huffpugee. I’m stealing that one!

  • SharynTG

    Let the influx begin. It’ll be a huff po member diaspora.

  • SharynTG

    The place was getting really trashy anyhow. I was seeing so many stories about Miley Cyrus, side boob, and the Kardashian clan that I was embarrassed to be reading huff. It was turning tabloid.

  • SharynTG

    I finally stopped visiting there since I know every click makes them happy. I hope they feel it. Their new mobile commenting made it so I had to read comments one at a time then press an arrow for the next!

    Ha! What a joke!

    I’m very happy with Disqus. I never thought to use it before. Very cool. And I can read comments fast.

    Bye huffpo.

    Bite me.

  • SharynTG

    Yes! I’m so happy to find you all here! I have been mad at huffpo and have fled. I am now a Huffpugee. I hope they feel it. I was sharyn350z there. Glad to see other Huffpugees here.

  • SharynTG

    Thank you-

  • SharynTG

    They’re making money off it. Each new fake account people make is a new account at FB and that makes stockholders happy. It’s all about money and nothing else. It’s a ruse and a lie to tell us it’s about trolls. HP having access to my likes/posts/last time logged on/ friends, etc., has nothing to do with Internet civility.

    Screw them. Just look in your settings/apps page and see what they are taking. It’s a big lie. I bet huff got a big layout to help FB I crease usage like this.

  • SharynTG

    And Huffpo was reporting on the latest FaceBRAG hack just last week. Now they actually have the gall to force us to TRUST THEM?

    Ha ha ha ha.

    Hello Disqus & Poynter.

  • SharynTG

    I am a Huffpugee and I seek asylum at your website.

    Happy to be here and I see many other Huffpugees here as well.

  • HarukoHaruhara

    I’ve never given my phone number to FB and never will.

  • 6 one way half a dozen another

    Actually, the phone number goes to Facebook, not HP, to verify your account with them (FB).

  • RF_Dude

    Again, thank you poynter.org for allowing us HPers to assemble here and for allowing us to post links to other sites where former HPers have migrated.

    It is very important to us to maintain contact with each other as we find hew homes. This diaspora was not planned, nor could we plan it (much) over at HP during the past few months – your help in this matter is greatly appreciated.

  • RF_Dude

    To all ex-pat HPers looking for a new home, these sites are the ones I know of that have lots of folks you might know from HP:

    planetpov.com

    jackholesrealm.wordpress.com

    all-len-all.com

    Alternet.org

    http://www.rawstory.com

    I haven’t been to Alternet or Rawstory yet, but I am told by a reliable source that Alternet and Rawstory are two other sites with lots of HP ex-pats.

    Those are the ones I know about at the moment.

    Good sailing!

  • FDRliberal

    My message to the clowns at Huff Post:

    “Just wanted to let you know I’ve cancelled my account and removed your bookmark from my browser in response to you requiring members to join Facebook.

    Your moderation policies were more than enough to keep trolls off the boards. But we know this new policy is not about civility but rather about greed and money.

    With over 3,000 friends and fans I really did enjoy coming here. But my privacy comes first.

    Sincerely,
    FDRliberal”

  • RF_Dude

    Yes, Trilby16 – statements like those given by Mr. McDonald above and in the comments section of his post (replies to commenters) are the typical patronizing, marginalizing statements made to discount the relevance of the voices of the ‘disgruntled’.

    HP is all-in with the changes, time will tell who is right and personally I’m still (I guess) somewhat interested but I expect that will wane with time.

    Again, I do appreciate this site for allowing us to comment and connect in the way the HP ~used~ to be!

  • RF_Dude

    Thanks Wolf58 – I will check the trending over the next few weeks. Interestingly, if you expand the timeline on the chart you can spot the HUGE influx of users that happened after the AOL merger. It’s been kinda steady since then (was slowly trending upward) so if anything I would expect some kind of step-drop in some of the statistics to show up over the next month or two.

    Time will tell.

  • Trilby16

    The numbers of comments per story are a joke– in the hundreds for most. But I’m sure McDonald or Soni will just double down, if pressed, and say they expected that and it’s all good.

  • RF_Dude

    “Any change will come with a period of outcry. We expected many users
    would not be happy with this transition, but are confident that as we
    move forward, this will make for a more engaged and diverse community.” – T.McDonald

    Yes, this is the kind of paternalistic attitude routinely taken when attempting to downplay the relevance of a particular group.

    I have no idea how long Mr. McDonald has been at HP, but I was active there for nearly 5 years (since Oct 2008). I can tell you from firsthand experience that there was a vibrant community of concerned posters – yes, the occasional troll, but overall HP was an excellent place to engage with others. We did it all without excessive moderation, without ‘carousels’, and certainly without ‘identity verification’.

    We ARE the HP community, or at least we WERE before the management and staff at HP decided to cut us off.

    HP has, by its very own actions, destroyed the very community they were seeking to build. It first took a BIG hit when HP merged with AOL a couple of years ago. Many old-timers then dropped off, they could see the writing on the wall.

    Others of us, somewhat newer, became the ‘old guard’ and now we, too, are leaving in droves.

    Whatever happens to the site known as HuffingtonPost – and I have no doubt it will stumble on, lurching down the streets stomping on cars and people -it will happen without many if not most of the voices of the very people who built HP up to the mega-news-aggregation site it is today.

    And the internet-world is much the poorer for that.

  • RF_Dude

    @Sam Kirkland –

    The Soni quote is getting all the airtime, but an earlier blogpost by John Pavley (CTO @ Huffingtonpost) contained the same message in no uncertain terms:

    ” As many of our current community members have asked questions about how
    we’re going to verify identity we want to make it clear that we are not
    changing our user agreement, privacy policy, or comment policy, other
    than requiring that members link their HuffPost accounts with a social
    media account that verifies identity when they sign up. Those who
    already have a HuffPost account will not have to do anything. Most of
    our current membership is known to us. Their activity has established
    their identity. ” – John Pavley, CTO Huffington Post, 01 Sept 2013

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-pavley/free-speech-and-identity-_b_3852881.html

    Clearly Mr. McDonald does not value the credibility of himself or the Huffington Post site by so casually dismissing this VERY important point. Many old-timers stayed-on for a few more months directly because of the Soni and Pavley assurances contained in both the articles and the comments (where the authors responded directly to many of us).

    The outrage felt at this betrayal is understandable and not-at-all surprising!

    Over the past several months HP has displayed no sensitivity to user concerns, has not responded to long-standing complaints about the moderation process (arbitrary pending and deletion of innocuous postings), has recently implemented an almost universally despised format that by itself seriously curtailed comment-fluidity, and in general HP has treated their commenting-community as simply a herd of sheep who supply clicks to advertisers (i.e. – ~the~ revenue stream for HP).

    The preceding paragraph is, perhaps, a bit editorialized (over dramatic much? ;-) ) but truly represents the viewpoint of many ‘established’ users that I have known for years and have chatted with on this topic often in the past several months.

    Just thought you might want to know – and once again, thanks for keeping this alive and bringing us new information!

    R.F.

  • HarukoHaruhara

    Giving HP my phone #, what could possibly go wrong? It’s not like Facebook ever gets hacked or anything.

  • RF_Dude

    Thank you for staying on top of this story, Mr. Kirkland. Few ‘traditional’ news sites are running much.

    Also much appreciated is the open forum here – this site has provided a very-much needed gathering point for many ‘HP refugees’, as we sort out and connect after the dramatic events of this week on HP.

    HP was for many, many years a thriving community of interesting, intelligent posters and many of us got to know each other quite well. ‘Anonymity’ was not the problem – it was a series of calculated steps taken by HP staff and management that has made that site completely unusable for posters who wish to engage on topics, converse with friends on old threads late at night, or enjoy the social exchange any healthy community provides.

    It is no longer a healthy place, which has driven many of us (finally) out to seek other communities to join.

    Once again, I appreciate very much that you are providing us with information and will watch here with great interest as the story develops.

  • Wolf58

    We will see if Hp is singing that song as the number of users drop. As of 11th they lost over 2 million people since the 9th according to https://www.quantcast.com/huffingtonpost.com That is a 8 percent drop in less than two days. I hear that its like a ghost town on the site compared to what it was a day ago. Keep in mind if you go to HP you are counted as positive web traffic and that is what they want and need.