Upcoming changes to DCSki
I'm posting this in "Letters to the Editor," but it's really a "Letter From the Editor." (Or more of a ramble, I suppose.)
Regrettably, the actions of a very small number of immature individuals will necessitate changing some aspects of DCSki. For many years, DCSki has promoted open and vibrant discussions in several areas of the site, including the Message Forums, article comments, resort profiles, etc. I have tried to make it as easy as possible for people to comment, only asking in return that people exercise responsibility, judgment, and respect to others in the material they post. Posting to the Message Forums has required registration with a valid e-mail address, solely to prevent spambots from flooding the Message Forums with spam. (I have never used the e-mail addresses for any other purpose, and don't intend to.) I custom-wrote software that allows readers to comment in other areas of DCSki, such as news articles. I was able to write that software in a manner that prevents spambots from posting spam as comments, while eliminating the need for readers to register. I believe this has helped to promote open discussion.
Unfortunately, it has been abused in two major ways in the past week, to post material that was simply unacceptable and potentially libelous. I recognize that few if any of you saw this material, as I was able to quickly remove it, and while I won't repeat the material here, I assure you that it was of a nature that any reasonable person would immediately see does not belong in a public forum.
I suppose it is surprising that the system has not been abused by now, given that DCSki has grown in popularity over the years. Although I take great pride in the resources DCSki offers, I have been most proud of the readership DCSki has attracted -- mature, passionate, helpful readers that have really turned DCSki into a vibrant on-line community of fellow snowsports enthusiasts. It is unfortunate that the actions of one or two individuals will require making some changes to DCSki.
I will be implementing these changes in the near future, and will describe them in more detail here when they're finished. But I wanted to give a head's up that they're coming and to let you know why. Some solutions I'm considering include requiring any comment posters to have registered, or to hold "anonymous" comments for manual review before they are posted. I will try to make it as easy as possible for readers to continue commenting in various sections of DCSki.
I have to tell you that these kinds of issues have really wasted my time and caused a great deal of stress over the past few months, threatening the future of DCSki. (I'm not looking for any sympathy points here; I run DCSki because I enjoy it and it challenges me. That's always been the sole criteria, and I certainly hope to continue enjoying it for years to come!) The very last thing I want to do is police comments or take actions that might restrict candid discussions. But some individuals feel they are entitled to post whatever they want to DCSki under the veil of anonymity, and this is simply not the case on several levels. For one thing, DCSki is a private site. For another, all web sites log who visits them.