Why We Don’t Allow Anonymous Comments Here
Farhad Manjoo just published a firebreathing piece in Slate about anonymous comments, and why we need to get rid of them on the web generally. His opinions echo ours. I think anonymous commenting is a scourge and an abomination; anonymity allows any goof to spew out the most scurrilous bile without having to take even a smidgen of responsibility for it. If writers or commentators or public figures put themselves out front under their right names, why shouldn’t the commenters be brave enough to do the same?
“Letting people remain anonymous while engaging in fundamentally public behavior encourages them to behave badly,” Manjoo writes. “In almost all cases, the Web would be much better off if everyone told the world who they really are.” Yes, he admits, giving your right name – which sites can now insist on by requiring that commenters sign in via their Facebook accounts – may lead to sterile and neutered commentary.
So what? he demands. “I’ll take sterile and neutered over vulgar, stupid, irrelevant, sexist, racist, false, and defamatory any day.”
Yep. Amen. Right on, brother. Only a coward shoots from ambush.
If you want to read Farhad Manjoo’s column for yourself, here’s the link: