Public comment posted on the Bristol Press’s website generated criticism from the city council.
Council member David Mills, with support from the mayor, was calling on the newspaper to force web posters to identify themselves by their names.
Mills said he believes that way readers who comment at the end of articles are more likely to offer constructive criticism, instead of just being negative.
Mills said bad comments about the city and its leaders are bad for Bristol’s image.
Mills, who chairs the city’s marketing committee, claimed branding consultants say people outside Bristol have a bad impression of the city based on the negative comments. “It’s very easy to critique something, write a comment, or give a comment if you’re not responsible for it,” Mills said.
The Bristol Press said it doesn’t plan on forcing its web readers to post their full names, believing that would undermine Freedom Of Speech.