Sunday, February 17, 2008

Comment Registration

Apropos of nothing in particular, I've turned off anonymous comments. Commenters must now register either with Blogger (highly recommended, since it gives you the option to receive email notification of comment replies) or another OpenID provider such as Wordpress, Livejournal, AIM, etc.

If you find this hugely inconvenient, send me an email and I'll reconsider. (I strongly dislike seeing 'Anonymous' appear in the comments, though. He's an unpredictable and not entirely trustworthy fellow!)


  1. I don't mourn this particular loss of anonymity, but I will say that the loss of anonymity is a mixed blessing for discursive communities on the internet.

    For an interesting example of where anonymity can take you, see the current assault on Scientology by a group calling themselves Anonymous.

  2. Yeah, there are some situations which call for the protections of anonymity. But it shouldn't be necessary when chatting with me, I hope :-)

    The only disadvantage here, which one loyal reader has already emailed me to note, is the inconvenience of having to register and sign in before commenting. The extra hassle might be a disincentive which causes readers to comment less often than they otherwise would (even when they have substantive contributions to offer). If many others are in this position, I hope they will let me know, so that I can better judge whether the benefits of banning 'Anonymous' are worth this cost.

    (On the other hand, I can see the argument that slightly raising the costs for commenting could be expected to increase the signal-to-noise ratio.)

  3. Oh, and I should add: it remains possible to have a stable pseudonym that does not give away one's real-life identity, in any case.


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