“The problem isn’t commenter anonymity; it’s abusive behavior by anonymous or semi-anonymous commenters. Furthermore, the kind of jerks who post comments that need to be deleted will infallibly cry”censorship!”when it happens…”

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Teresa Nielsen Hayden has a great post about blogging and comment moderation at Making Light. Here are the final two paragraphs:

Anonymous nastiness is easy to write, and will always find an appreciative audience. I don’t care. It’s not a manifestation of the free and open discourse of the internet; it’s a thing that destroys that discourse. To be specific, it’s the same old trashmouthed bullying we all know from junior high and high school. Putting it on the net doesn’t cause it to develop any novel complexities or interesting emergent behaviors. It’s just the same old sh*t.

If you have a weblog or live journal, or you administer a website that has comment threads, stand up for yourself and your readers. The jerks are never going to like you, or praise you, or admit that you’re doing the right thing. And if you’re waiting for someone to give you permission to suppress and thereafter ignore malfeasants, you have it right now. If you want, I’ll make up a certificate. Go forth and civilize.

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