Hey all, I’d like to take a time out from the world of publishing to discuss a blog community matter. Town hall meeting! I’ll bring the gavel if you bring the crazy guy who wants to open up the park for deer hunting.
A few weeks back the Ethicist Blog discussed the issue of anonymous commenting.
Ever since I had to close anonymous comments myself a few weeks back due to a single anon (they’ve since been re-opened), I’ve been toying with the idea of permanently closing anonymous commenting.
Here’s the thing – there are absolutely people who use the anonymous function responsibly, whether because they don’t feel like signing in or because they are writing about something sensitive.
But at least 95% of the rude comments on the blog come come from people using the anonymity irresponsibly, saying things they probably wouldn’t say if they signed their actual name. And sometimes these comments can get an otherwise good discussion seriously off track.
I’m wondering what you think – do you like having the option of going anon if necessary? Do you think it adds to the discussion to have people politely registering their anonymous comments? Should we just ignore the few bad apples?
Or would you prefer that people sign their own name?
And if we do keep anonymous options open, what should be the criteria for comment deletion?
I’m not too worried about a few bad apples and definitely don’t take the anons personally, it comes with the territory, but at the same time, it’s important to me that the comments section be a place where good, respectful discussions can take place.