I am "served" by one of the Gannet papers testing the use of facebook for comments. The editor is extremely pleased with the results, which apparently means the comments are now more in line with the newspaper's agenda.
Sometimes "more civil" means "less honest," "less intelligent," "less thought-provoking," "less diversity..." you get the picture.
It's a tough call here, there was no doubt a lot of very bad content being posted when the system was anonymous. I will say though that in the past I almost got up the gumption to sign up so I could comment on an article, but now that it requires facebook, no way. I will never have a facebook account.
So that move made me drop any thoughts of civil participation in local matters through the auspices of the newspaper.
I may well be alone in that, though. I rarely bump into people who have thoughtfully considered to NOT have a facebook account.
Keep Up with TechRepublic