Facebook acquires the Vancouver Sun!

 Well,  not really — but as good as 😉

Speaking of  the media and freedom of speech,

“Hi Jon. Remember when you wrote about the Vancouver Sun getting rid of anon comments and requiring your mothers maiden name to register and log in?– asks my mate Marc  in an email from Québec.

He was referring to  the dark, distant past when I owned and ran freedom of speech advocacy site p2pnet.

Marc continues:

“Well now they won’t allow you to comment unless you give them your
entire online profile, who all your family members are, all
pictures you ever uploaded, your marital status, if you have a
boy/girl friend, and who your employer is.

“I wonder what the reason for that is?

“Oh. I just noticed. It’s to
‘foster respectful debate’.


My p2pnet post went like this:

Unrestricted freedom of speech is now a thing of the past at Canada’s largest newspaper group,  Canwest.

Canwest Global Communications has just been given approval by an Ontario court to sell its publishing division to a group of unsecured creditors, led by National Post boss Paul Godfrey.

And as its first step under its new management, it’s banned anonymous posting online.

Or as The Province puts it >>>

We’re cleaning up the comments at theprovince.com

Cleaning up? Does that mean anonymous comments are dirty?

“Our experiment with wide-open, anonymous commenting is over”, says the Calgary Herald, continuing >>>

It did not work. That is not a conclusion we reached lightly, or by ourselves. Many of you wrote or called to say the harsh, and often callous, nature of many of the comments was at least distracting, and often, disturbing. Others noted that spammers were using our comment areas to try to lure unsuspecting readers to their sites.

Yup. Anonymous comments can be a bitch.

So “We have moved to a system that requires you to register and log-in in order to post story comments”, it says.

States the Vancouver Sun:

“We encourage you to discuss stories and reader comments online to improve dialogue in our community.

“The changes we’re introducing permit greater verification of identity. We hope they achieve two purposes: to more easily publish your comments in the newspaper and to discourage anonymous comments that don’t contribute to conversations.

“The changes also permit you to ‘rate’ someone else’s comments and see which ones were deemed best by others. We ask you to continue to report abusive comments.”

Definitely no need to stay tuned at Canwest.

No  need at all because Canwest’s publishing division was spun off into Postmedia Network, which publishes the Vancouver Sun.

Now,  in a note to readers,  “We have moved to a Facebook commenting system on our website and blogs in a bid to foster a robust, relevant and respectful debate on the issues of the day. Below are answers to some questions you might have.

“Q: Why have you moved to a Facebook commenting system?

A: Our goal is to create a welcoming and thoughtful forum where real people can debate real issues. We believe Facebook commenting will promote more stimulating conversation and make it easier for you to share stories with your community.

“Q: Do I need a Facebook account to comment?   (Of course you do!

A: Yes. To add a comment, you need to be logged in to Facebook. If you do not have a Facebook account, you can get one at http://www.facebook.com. It is simple and free.

yada yada yada …

Fa$ebook  is, of course,  a premier data mining company.

The Sunwas first published in British Columbia on February 12, 1912.  It’s paper is currently published by the Pacific Newspaper Group, a division of Postmedia Network.I

“Although its staff of reporters has shrunken considerably in recent years, the Sun still has the largest newsroom in Vancouver,” says  the Wikipedia

Well, there goes another Canadian  media outlet …

Meanwhile, rumours that  MZ  will soon take over at the VS  should probably be discounted.

[Follow me on Twitter @jonnewton8, and/ or identi.ca]

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