Main | Monday, September 19, 2011

Advocate Ditches Anonymous Comments

After spending another annoying morning deleting and banning racist/homophobic comment trolls, three days ago I queried my 5000 Facebook followers:
Quick poll: If JMG switches to "Facebook only" commenting, one in which there is no anonymity (save those with fake FB names), how would that affect your willingness to participate in the threads?
Reactions were decidedly mixed, although a majority of respondents appeared to support such a change. And today comes word that The Advocate has made the change. Their reasoning:
Web anonymity can foster brutality, and this brand of negative commenting can be a disheartening and off-putting experience for well-meaning users, even those who disagree with one another and are poised for a lively debate. Facebook Comments offers a solution there, as your name and profile image will appear next to your comment. The general consensus is this is a troll killer.
Now obviously, JMG gets many times the daily comments of The Advocate and enjoys possibly the most, ahem, robust commenting community of any LGBT site. And I've mentioned here many times that I largely attribute that comment volume to the fact that JMG is (mostly) unmoderated. But as more and more newspapers, political sites, and now even The Advocate are ditching web anonymity, perhaps that day has finally come for JMG.

I invite your robust commentary.

UPDATE: I should have mentioned that the Facebook system allows you to decide whether or not your JMG comments also appear on your Facebook page.

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