Author Topic: Why Huffington Post Comments Should Stay Anonymous  (Read 4323 times)

pipthom

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Why Huffington Post Comments Should Stay Anonymous
« on: August 23, 2013, 01:23:46 PM »
According to statements made by Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington in Boston on Wednesday, the site plans to end anonymous comments next month, as my GigaOM colleague Barb Darrow reported. Huffington said she has decided there are too many “trolls” using the site who hide behind anonymity to make violent or offensive comments, and that she believes people should “stand up for what they say.”

Is anonymity really the problem with online comments? I don’t think so, and there’s at least some evidence that supports my argument—but more than that, anonymity has real value, and giving it up has serious consequences.

The Huffington Post founder suggested her feelings about anonymity have been colored by recent rape and death threats against women in Britain, even though most of these—including a sustained attack on freelance journalist Caroline Criado-Perez that took place over a number of days—actually occurred on Twitter (which has repeatedly defended its users’ rights to remain anonymous, or at least pseudonymous). According to Huffington:

“Trolls are just getting more and more aggressive and uglier, and I just came from London where there are threats of rape and death threats. I feel that freedom of expression is given to people who stand up for what they say and not hiding behind anonymity. We need to evolve a platform to meet the needs of the grown-up Internet.”

Do we need a “grown-up Internet”?

MrTempler

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Re: Why Huffington Post Comments Should Stay Anonymous
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2013, 01:19:00 PM »
Is anonymity really the problem with online comments? I don’t think so, and there’s at least some evidence that supports my argument—but more than that, anonymity has real value, and giving it up has serious consequences.

Do we need a “grown-up Internet”?

The internet is already "grown-up." Anonymity was part of what made it grow. I am totally in support of your arguments.
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