New Watertown News Commenting Policy: Full Names Required

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Commenters will now be required to sign their full names on stories on the Watertown News site starting Feb. 1, 2022.

Previously one comment was allowed anonymously.

Commenters can also provide more information about themselves, such as what town, neighborhood or street they live on, or other pertinent information, but it is not required.

If I cannot easily confirm a name you may be asked to provide more information, which will not be published.

Thanks to those people who commented responsibly even when doing so without signing a full name. However, comments continue to be the biggest are of complaint from readers and most of them were made anonymously (or with just a first name, initials or a screen name).

By having the full-name requirement the Watertown News comment section will be an even “playing field” where everyone will know who is making the comment, not just those who choose to identify themselves.

The full name requirement was used for stories during the 2021 Watertown Election. I think that went well.

For those who do not want to use their names when commenting, there are other places online where that can be done.

If you have a question or concern that you want to send to me anonymously, it can be done by email at or can be sent in the comments, but the comment will not be published.

Other commenting rules will continue, including:

  • No profanity
  • No comments attacking, insulting, or slights toward another commenter or person


Charlie Breitrose

Watertown News Editor

8 thoughts on “New Watertown News Commenting Policy: Full Names Required

  1. Hi Charlie,
    This is a good move. The best community communication is interpersonal. A view expressed with the name of its author is far more powerful and credible than an anonymous message.
    Sheppard Ferguson

  2. Bravo Charlie. Thank you for taking this principled stance and raising the bar on transparent and accountable communication across our community.

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