On Anonymity

I like the fact that anonymous people can post here. I mainly allow it so that people can comment on my blog posts and ask for help with technical issues related to those posts, without having to jump through hoops of signing up for a site they won't ever visit again.

I also see the value of anonymity in the forums. However when people are anonymously insulting other users, there's no real recourse for that person to take since the commenter is anonymous. It's the Internet, people should have thick skins, but this most recent guy hasn't really added anything substantive to the threads he's been in, so I was thinking of dumping him.

So that's where you come in, I'd like to know your opinions on the subject, we have a few options:

Anonymous commenting, no restrictions, no verification needed (what the site has now)
Anonymous commenting, but requiring an email address be entered, which can only be seen by me
Restrict anonymity to my blog posts only
Require users be logged in
IP blocking of anonymous folks who annoy a plurality of users and add nothing to the discussion at large

Click Here to take the poll, and let me know what you think.

I'm leaning toward blocking the one user, but I'm non-committal on the subject in general.

It's your forum as much as it's mine, so I want to hear your feedback guys.



I want to be specific in that I don't want to ban even blatant trolling. If I did that, what would PTW and I do all day?

I want to see provocative topics that engage or polarize, it's interesting to see other people's views.

I /don't/ want to see people just yelling at each other. There's a big difference.

You are correct, yelling like I and poppa and others have done recently is not constructive. It is your site so I will comply with whatever you and the masses want. To keep thing civil and not leave you as the site admin. open to legal issues from posters stalking others etc...

I would suggest no yahoo email addresses be allowed for registration, and only real names be used for registration also. Otherwise you simply have folks registering with some BS email address and posting under a fake name, might as well post as anonymous. Good luck.

That is the trouble we are all supposed to be anonymous, whether we have a name or not. And anybody can use a fake email address. On the other hand, you would like to know if it is the same A. writing or another A. writing. So I go back and forth on whether I think someone should be able to post as A. Despite what a lot of people say, it is the controversial nature of most sites that draw the crowds, although some don't like it. My feeling is if you don't like a certain topic don't read it. I can say a bit but I couldn't go as far as you x and Peace do. I don't really like to argue that much and I think you reach a point where there isn't much more to say.

It's easier to put a persons thoughts into a profile of that user, anonymous or not.

For instance, I can look at the record of your comments as I've read them the last several months and make judgments based on that, like whether it's worth my time to respond to your comments.

With anonymous users, there's no such luck, because there could be any number of anonymous people, therefore you can't just blow off every anonymous comment because it might be someone else.

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not Forgive.
We do not Forget.

It's nice to be important, but it's important to be nice.
M. Heppelwhite

Yes, I agree, you don't know if anonymous is one person or several. I think our a. here, though in these lastest discussion is just one. But you are right, there is no way of knowing. Of course as someone else said, people could sign up with multiple names.

I vote everyone use their real names like I do.

Yeah, right...



For your enthusiastic support. I always try to lead by example.
M. Heppelwhite

Yeah right! LOL.

Oh, I just almost posted as Anonymous too! I got signed off!
I think it is just nice to have a name so that we know it is you-the same person- who is posting Anonymous. Maybe you could sign in as Anonymous 1. Then we would know it is you. If someone is just going to post occasionally, let them use Anonymous. Just my 2cents, as oc would say.