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More about comments and anonymity

My Jan 2014 comment at ToledoTalk.com.)

Here are a couple other "studies:"

If you run a website, you need to follow these steps. if you don't, you're making the web, and the world, a worse place. And it's your fault. Put another way, take some goddamn responsibility for what you unleash on the world. ... you'll find "real" identities are no cure for assholes showing up in your comments ...
Commenting communities are much more likely to be 'civil' if a journalist is actively engaging with them. ... even a little interaction from journalists can make a difference to the civility of comments.

The two points above seem to indicate that effort is required, but it's easier to do very little and blame some particular aspect of user-contributed content.

Here's a quote from a co-founder of Flickr. Obviously, this person has actual experience with creating a large, Web-based community that accepts user-contributed content.

The point I think is this: Pseudonyms are not in themselves harmful. Yes, they can be used for harm, as when people use them for anonymous, slanderous attacks, trolling, etc., but in the vast majority of cases there is no harm done.

In the cases where pseudonyms are being abused, it is the harm that should be stopped, not the pseudonyms.

#comments - #forums - #socialmedia - #media - #anonymity - #blog_jr

By JR - 250 words
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