Thursday, March 14, 2013

Just giving up on anonymous comments

Well, I think it's time for the open comment experiment to end. In the time since it began, I've had an unending stream of spam comments. Most of them are caught by the spam filter and don't get published, but a few slip through. Besides, whether they are published or not, I'm still bothered by their being there because I get comment moderation notifications every day now. I could just turn those off, but then I'd never be notified even when my input is actually needed, and that would defeat the purpose.

Anyway, I'm going to require a log in again for commenting. If you have a Google account or something similar already then this should be no problem for you. I still won't include a word verification, though, since everybody seems to hate those. I've never minded them, but then again, I was fine with the idea of getting a full body scan at the airport, so I'm hardly the right person to ask about that.

Really, even if spammers weren't an issue at all, there is a tremendous risk in offering people the ability to comment anonymously. The reassurance of an anonymous platform leads people to believe (often accurately) that what they say online will have no consequences for them, and frees a darker part of their psyche to express itself without censorship or reason. I could easily write a whole post about this phenomena. In fact, I think I'll do just that, but not right now. I need to go get something to eat.

So, in summary, while I do still want you to feel free to say anything you want about my purposeless ramblings here, I'd like it if I could know who you are while you're doing it. My real identity is clearly visible to you, after all. If it weren't, it might seem like I have something to be ashamed of...

Well, that's all for now. Peace and love to you, sons and daughters of Readerland.

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