Does allowing anonymous comments help or hinder?
June 20, 2011 5:56 PM Subscribe
GigaOM writer: "Anonymity has real value, both in comments and elsewhere."
posted by zooropa (36 comments total)
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In the wake of the faux lesbian Damascus blogger, the question over whether or not to allow anonymous comments is being raised again. Some claim anonymous comments allow for dissent and are essential to democracy. Other claim that that anonymous comments lead to harsher, uncivil conversation that serves nobody.Presenting the case for anonymous comments:
"What we should all fear is what too many in power want to see: the end of anonymity entirely. Governments, in particular, absolutely loathe the idea that people can speak without being identified… I fear there will soon be widespread laws disallowing anonymous speech, even in America." - Online journalism pundit Dan Gillmor
Presenting the case against anonymous comments:
Many comment sections are “an exercise in faux democracy” and that there would be “more honest, kinder, civil exchanges if people used their real names.” - Alicia Shepard, former ombudsman for National Public Radio
But is the solution much simpler than we all realize?
"...and one of the main reasons media sites have such terrible comments is that their writers rarely if ever engage with readers." - Matthew Ingram (the GigaOM post author)