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Is it time to get rid of anonymous comments once and for all?

By jasonhiner Moderator ·
Tags: Off Topic
Read this piece from Slate:

Troll, Reveal Thyself: Why we need to get rid of anonymous comments.

This is a really hot topic among online publications right now. Inside TechRepublic we've been having conversations about this for a couple years. The Facebook phenomenon is moving the Web away from anonymous commenting and toward people representing themselves more transparently online.

There are good arguments to be made that when people have their own name and reputation attached to their comments then you have a lot fewer trolls and personal attacks. The flipside is that you sometimes get less-honest dialog, and you have people who have a lot of reputation on the line in the real world who would be less willing to participate.

What do you think?

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yes, and that means people don't always feel free to say what they want to

by Deadly Ernest In reply to There's no support for th ...

or mean, especially when there is pressure on them from other sources.

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And the world's dictators and would be dictators will love you fro making

by Deadly Ernest In reply to 100 Percent Agree

it possible for them to find any dissenters and for shutting the rest up. Goodbye freedom of speech, commerade.

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Absolutely, Mr. 2734--or can I call you "tech"?

by P.F. Bruns In reply to 100 Percent Agree

Are you from the Southampton 2734s?

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by Trotter516 In reply to Is it time to get rid of ...

I can see both sides of the coin on this one.

While Facebook uses real names (supposedly), it is a closed community where you choose who will be in your own little realm. Sharing your real name with only those you choose, while still a bit risky, is not a show stopper.

This changes when you step out of that closed garden into the Internet proper where any one can sign up and post away... or can copy and paste and steal your words as their own... or can somehow be upset at you and take it upon themselves to "get you". Identity theft is almost child's play nowadays and professionals have much more to lose than most in this area.

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Yeah face book uses real name, and how many ahve they had

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Yes/No

court orders to take down because they'd been created by people pretending to be the person named? I've heard of several in the news over the years.

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by bbyrd In reply to Is it time to get rid of ...

Represent yourself otherwise your opinion means less than what it should. Not saying that being anonymous doesn't have it place and not saying that I myself am tempted to leave anonymous comments. If I can't leave my name then I shouldn't leave the comment. That is what my 21st century mama taught me ;o)

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so you have no problem with your homicidal manic ex-spouse being

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Yes

able to track you through your Internet usage? good luck.

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Yes, but

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Is it time to get rid of ...

I can't see it being more than locally enforceable. There will always be people willing and able to set up forum sites where anonymity is allowed, regardless of what TR, Facebook, etc. choose to do.

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But Palmetto, mate, this movement will give

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Yes, but

Microsoft and Intel the help they need to force the full power of Palladium (Secured Computing) down people's throats and totally lock them into using proprietary software only via having to register their computer with the central agency they control. Once the law says you must identify, then it's a simple push to MAKE the computer do an identification on every post and document it makes or handles. Man, Bill first put that up back in 1995 and got howled at then and twice since, but this will help him get it through.

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Law? What law?

by CharlieSpencer In reply to But Palmetto, mate, this ...

Neither Jason's original article nor I mention any laws. I'm unaware of any pending legislation in this country. If web sites mandate this on their own, they could actually make the case that an industry's self-enforcement is already ahead of what the law currently requires (which is nothing). Congress here is big on not passing regulations on industries when they give even the appearance of being self-policing.

Requiring a name (and often a city and state) never kept people from writing letters to the editor.

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