I am not challenging anyone’s right to post or comment anonymously. I am instead suggesting that people remain very cynical and questioning about the authenticity, honesty and integrity of anonymous speakers.

Post to Twitter

Is that clear enough? For context see this post and associated comments. For background on astroturf and anonymity issues see this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

–Ann Bartow

NB: Sorry for the hostile tone of this post, but sheesh…

On a related note: There is a list of state “computer harassment” laws here. More information about “computer crime” that could be relevant to the blogosphere is available here. Information about online defamation can be found here and here.   Anecdotally, every law professor I know who set up online discussion fora for their students that allowed anonymous posting observed all kinds of unprofessional, rude behavior by students, and in consequence instituted moderation procedures, or required students to register their pseudonyms or post under their own names. Anonymity and hypercompetitive law students is just a bad mix.

Share
This entry was posted in Blog Administration. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to I am not challenging anyone’s right to post or comment anonymously. I am instead suggesting that people remain very cynical and questioning about the authenticity, honesty and integrity of anonymous speakers.

  1. browneyedgirl65 says:

    The medium tack I take in my own fora is to allow unmoderated registered comments, and moderated anonymous comments. Most software (including wordpress) is set up for that. Those who do want to remain anonymous and/or don’t want to have to log in each time (I admit finding that tedious myself) can accept the moderation in turn.

    I have no trouble weeding out and dropping inappopriate posts from anyone :)

    Anyway, chacon a son gout, of course, but that’s how I handle it.

  2. Ann Bartow says:

    Sounds very sensible. Few people mind anonymity when issues are being addressed substantively. I certainly don’t. I just get tired of the vitriol that has been flying around. It’s as if a small group of commenters are Harry Potteresque Dementors, sucking all the light and joy and laughter out of the feminist blogoshere. We can’t allow them to capture our souls!