There is a simple solution to the stream-of-sewage comments that now accompany electronic versions of The Times and other news blogs.
When a person writes a letter to the editor to The Times, the person's name, address and telephone number must be included. There are no such requirements for online comments. Unedited rants from anonymous nutjobs pepper the discussion boards of online articles. As Meghan Daum points out, these nasty comments are fast becoming must-read parts of electronic news and are negatively shaping our opinions of the articles they accompany.
The ability to post comments quickly is a significant benefit of the electronic media. But this power must be tempered with responsibility.