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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.
http://www.slate.com/id/2287739/

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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what to bet that if the industry took the no anonymous stance that

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Law? What law?

Microsoft and others won't jump on the band wagon to have it made into law?

Also, newspapers have been accepting anonymous letters to the editor for centuries, they simply moderate, and sometimes censor, them before publication. The current problems have come from, in mind, forum admins allowing anonymous posts on unmoderated boards leading to some nasty personal things being said - remember that discussion a couple of years back about the newspaper wanting to apply the reporter's shield law and not give up details of a poster on their board who'd accused a woman of a crime when she hadn't. I never did hear how that court case came out.

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On letters to the editor

by NickNielsen In reply to what to bet that if the i ...

Most of the print media doesn't publish anonymous submissions; the writer of a letter must include name, address, and phone number, for verification. Writers may request that their letter be published as "Name withheld" or "Anonymous", but I don't know of any print media that will publish letters without first verifying the author.

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A lot depends upon the content - I've seen lots of letters to the editor

by Deadly Ernest In reply to On letters to the editor

attributed to an anonymous person. If the content is very contentious or borders on liable etc, then it doesn't even get printed. But I've seen anonymous letter and media forum posts down here for years. The issue comes in the forums that don't want to check or moderate the posts before display - I know of some that insisted on traceable contact details that have dried up as people do NOT always like being identified by strangers.

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On-line and print media have always been different

by NickNielsen In reply to A lot depends upon the co ...

In the early days, everybody knew who you were on line. Now, not so much.

In my experience, print media has always required confirmatory data from the writer, or they don't publish the letters.

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Nick, things may be different down here, but the Aussie print media

by Deadly Ernest In reply to A lot depends upon the co ...

has always accepted and printed letters from anonymous authors as long as it didn't lead to a clear case of libel.

As to on-line, in the early days of the Internet the closest you got to a forum was a news group and about 95% of the people fudged their headers to hide who they were. People using true ID on the Internet has grown, but not at a fats pace. I suspect a lot of it has been more a case of too lazy to hide than a real intent to be upfront - especially with the social networks where you want to use them to reconnect with people.

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There's nothing stopping industry corporations

by CharlieSpencer In reply to what to bet that if the i ...

from attempting to push such a law now.

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No there isn't and they are now - but it's going no where due to

by Deadly Ernest In reply to There's nothing stopping ...

the general industry telling them to get lost. A general industry movement supporting this sort of thing will only make their case for heavy laws stronger - the same sort of laws now in place that allows the corporations to put a rootkit on a music CD and can get you sent to prison for using software to get around the rootkit.

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Tools of the crime...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to No there isn't and they a ...

There should be a civil disobedience campaign... hand out CDs with "tools of the crime" (even possession is a crime, you know) to everybody...
You got totc?
Yeah, you know me!

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Ballmer, not Gates

by P.F. Bruns In reply to But Palmetto, mate, this ...

Bill Gates has retired from Microsoft. If anyone there would have to put this through a fourth time, it would be Steve Ballmer--and he's just the rat ******* to do it.

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Steve is still pushing Bill's policies

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Ballmer, not Gates

The first three versions of Palladium were direct from gates, **** he spoke of them at conventions - he still pushes them and controls major corporate policy and policy direction as a board member.

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