CFN to Keep Comments Section Open After Standard Freeholder Shuts Local Comments Down – APRIL 29, 2015

Jamie & FitzyCFN – In a not so surprising move the Standard Freeholder today announced that it would no longer allow comments for local stories.

Comments are a huge topic for media.  On the positive they can truly move a story forward and add valuable debate and information.  On the negative they can tend to turn into online pissing matches, many times over shadowed by anonymous trolls.

CFN itself has considered dropping online comments, but has instead changed to a system of more stringent moderation and asking viewers to post their first and last names as well as an email that can return email.

It’s not perfect and we chose to “Grand Father” a select group of long time commentators who have registered their id’s with us.

Until there is a true system that can register who really is typing behind the keyboard any comment system will be difficult, but we feel that the community’s voice, especially on local issues it critical to having any form of democracy practiced in a community.

It’s part of being a local independent instead of being a cog in a much larger omnipotent massive media conglomeration.

So Cornwall and Canada you still will get to post on CFN.    You don’t get to post anonymously and we still ask you to stay on topic and try to limit your comment to one paragraph.

Personally I find not allowing comments a form of censorship.   As someone that has moderated CFN for six years there are days I would find no comments very attractive.   Ultimately the public will decide if they stay by the feedback we get and the quality of comments we see come in.

We also would like to ask you to consider becoming a subscriber because the man hours to moderate comments on over 20 million page views per year can be massive.   Currently there are 55,542 approved comments on CFN.

So to Furtz, and Hugger, Jules, and our many regulars as well as many of you who will be Jonesing for a place to vent please consider supporting the local paper that supports you in so many ways.

Cheers and thanks,

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – CFN



  1. I think the closing of comments is related to the closing of comments in Sun Media papers in Kingston and Brockville. It probably has something to do with their new owners, PostMedia.

  2. {MODERATED} If your email bounces or your ip matches up to a known troll; IE you are posting a fake name, then you’re quite correct Kenny.

    Comment policy reminder

    CFN has a new comment policy. You must use your real first and last name. As well if your email bounces we will terminate your posting privileges.

    We value all input from our amazing CFN viewers and are always trying to improve the viewer experience which includes making this a safe, informative, and entertaining platform.

    If you have any questions please email

  3. They might have received complaints regarding stories about public persons who do not want any further evidence known & wish to hide the truth & keep us in the dark.Thank you CFN for allowing us to vent .

  4. Author

    Not sure that would be a factor David as comments are standard on Digital platforms. It certainly is interesting and even more so as it wasn’t just on the Freeholder.

    It could be a step to pander for Federal ad dollars with an election coming up though? Mr. Harper and his team have been very effective in tilting the media spectrum with the masses of cash they fed selected media outlets; for example their ridiculous Canada Action Plan program which seemed to be mostly about ads than action.

  5. I know in the case of the Brockville rag, the provincial and federal Cons will be glad to see the comments gone. Even thought the riding is solid Conservative, the comments were generally not kind to them.
    This was obviously a company wide decision since all the smaller (community) papers made the move at the same time. Probably a cost saving decision.

  6. To be totally honest and up front with all of you I have never felt at ease or comfortable on the toilet papers of record no matter who owned them. Jamie’s CFN is more like a family giving their opinions and I really like that no matter what we call ourselves. Big corporations are not friendly at all and a single owner or two like what Jamie has is the best. Bringing moi Jules down to one paragraph that is a miracle in the making – almost impossible. LOL LOL. ROLF!

  7. Post Media Ottawa Citizen/Montreal Gazette both use Facebook for comments so maybe someday SF will catch up.
    Mr Jamie even the big papers can’t get it right as Gazette site claims Facebook require you to have a profile picture and at least four friends to post.That isn’t true least it hasn’t stopped my posts.The joke is anybody can set up a fake Facebook page to remain anonymous and not have them follow you around the web like the NSA.I went under cover after my email box got filled everyday with Facebook asking “do you know this person or that person” and tracking my every mouse click.
    SF Hugo also made this funny claim ” I’ll put the Standard-Freeholder’s record on investigative and any other kind of journalism up against anyone else’s in this city any day”
    LOL. Sorry Hugo not against CFN!!!! Covering stories SF won’t touch.

  8. Author

    Mel I have to admit, sword buckling aside, that Hugo has been the best editor the Freeholder has had during the 11 years or so I’ve lived in Cornwall.

    I’m sure he faces many pressures that I don’t. The big issue we have to face as a society is that if honest news coverage is to be punished by government and business then is there really such a thing as news any longer? Methinks not.

  9. I went on facebook for a mighty short time and never gave in my picture at all and I went by my real name. I was invited by a few of my friends on one of my hobbies and I didn’t like it at all and came off and never went back. I must have been there not more than two months tops. My husband’s youngest niece in Sydney Australia goes on that thing and spotted me on it and I told her that I was going to go off. To be honest with all of you the only place that I like to go on is Jamie’s CFN and no other.

  10. Well Hugo can make snide remarks on his twitter account thanking Mr Jamie for steering readers his way he is surely dreaming. New York Times allows free commenting
    His newspaper writes glowing stories on Fred Page Cup while the seats are empty. The ticket prices are high/the games are broadcast live locally so why trip down to that drab arena when u can swig free beer at home while watching Montreal Canadiens playoff hockey.
    SF Facebook and Twitter pages are just repeats of the day old news they report in their print edition.Time to close the doors when a five person reporting team can’t keep up to one man running a very fine CFN.Stop tweeting your latest restaurant trip and switch your reporters into high gear Hugo

  11. Author

    Did Hugo really tweet that? Good for him. Smack time 🙂

  12. CTV and CBC come down to Cornwall for Neil Doef injured-Smiths Falls Bears player-puck drop at final Cornwall Colts game..break into their newscast to report..the Civic Complex looks empty
    and they proudly post video on Fred Page Cup 2015 website. Not really good promo for Cornwall
    Did they even invite CFN Jamie???

    @HugoAPRodrigues Apr 30
    My only response to this? Thanks for the referrals. 🙂

  13. Author

    No, Mel the Colts BOYCOTT CFN and have since day one.

  14. Both of Ottawa’s papers Ottawa Sun and Citizen allow comments on their papers. It is very strange that Cornwall and Brockville banned comments. I wonder what they are all afraid of? Jamie surpasses all those small town papers and is the best around.

  15. Brockville/Cornwall/Kingston are not Ottawa. Both Ottawa papers are big. Eliminating comments in small town publications frees up needed resources.

  16. Author

    not really Hugger. I think if you believe that you know the tooth fairy personally 🙂

  17. Author

    btw, for point of reference we’ve moderated over 60,000 comments in six years on CFN and we don’t use a 3rd party service like the Freeholder does.

  18. I agree Hugger. Most small-town rags have been circling the drain for a few years. Some one has to be paid to monitor the comments.

  19. Thanks Furtz.

    I still think eliminating comments in small town publications frees up resources. Perhaps, not a full time position, but it now allows that person to do other things, besides monitoring comments.

    The CSF used “Disqus”, but all comments were subject to moderation.

  20. Author

    geez hugger why not get writers too and just use syndicated content? 🙂 A well run comment section is invaluable and in 2015 critical for some honesty in news coverage.

  21. Personally I find that the comment section provides the reader with an opportunity to monitor others reactions and weigh in themselves, sometimes offering a different perspective. Beats T.V. all to hell. I stopped watching T.V. when they came out with the laugh tracks for shows taped without a live audience. When people need a cue to laugh it is time to move on and get a life.

  22. I never said the comments sections were a bad thing. Where did you ever get that idea? I love comments sections. What I said was “I think the closing of comments is related to the closing of comments in Sun Media papers in Kingston and Brockville. It probably has something to do with their new owners, PostMedia.” If they closed the comments sections for the small town publications in Brockville, Cornwall and Kingston that is a decision that PostMedia made. Whether it is due to cost cutting or to gain favour with advertisers / potential advertisers that is for PostMedia to decide and know. It is not for us to get into an argument about.

  23. Jamie,

    I was reading an article in the SF today about the City’s vision and that they will be discussing transparency today. The decision they make today will define the City’s future both financially and ethically.

    Regardless of their choice transparency related to my case will occur.

    Take Care,

    Diane Shay

  24. Diane: can you give us a brief update on what’s happening in your case?

  25. I see the Freeholder and the Brockville rag are starting to allow comments on some stories.

  26. Author

    That’s not surprising Furtz. I’m sure they took a numbers hit while they were off. I know we had a spike.

  27. In my household we have all kinds of TV stations and I don’t look at anything except the net. My husband and adult kids like both TV and net. It has been over 11 years since I looked at TV and don’t miss it at all. Honestly the best news that I like from Cornwall aka Dodge City is CFN and I have to go and look at the Freeloader for some laughs. Transparency what’s that? You don’t get that from corporate presstitutes media at all. We all have to laugh at something and why not. You learn things from others when people can post otherwise what is the use of just posting a ton of lies.

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