On giving up on commenting, or commenting anonymously

This is only appearing here, not in my real blog, because it's entirely about an aspect of LISNews that I believe has reached FAIL! stage. To wit, commenting.

I just checked articles with comments over the past couple of days--34 comments in all. Of those, exactly five were clearly signed (three by me, two each by two other people) and two more were pseudonymous. The rest--27, or nearly 80% of the total--were anonymous. (Oops. Now it's 28 of 35, or exactly 80% of the total.)

And one of mine only appeared because somebody else found it convenient to attack me by name for the content of my comment. Whereas you can't possibly attack Anonymous by name--after all, they're anonymous.

Screw it. If FriendFeed conversations were 80% anonymous, I'd get the hell off of FF. As it is, I'm learning my lesson: Join the faceless, irresponsible crowd--either don't comment on LISNews posts at all or make sure I've logged out first, so the comments are anonymous.

Too bad. There used to be some worthwhile conversations here, but when nearly all the participants are hiding behind namelessness, the conversations go bad.

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We could ask Blake to revisit the anonymous commenter policy...

I agree that the anonymous commenting has its downside with the attacks, and I do my utmost to not attack the individuals but rather the content of their comments (on here where I post anonymously as well as sites where I do use my real name or at least have my email attached to a username).

But attacking someone for being anonymous (when this site clearly allows us to do so) is the same as attacking you personally by name. You fail to see that in that thread where you were attacked, there is worthwhile conversation going on, a good discourse. Yes, wading through the muck, so to speak, of anonymous sniping gets tedious, but I have seen plenty of sniping going on from those that use names over the past few years I've frequented this site. I've seen many "conversations go bad" with named people being the culprits. To solely blame "anonymous" is unfair and absolutely incorrect.

I would agree with Birdie, have Blake review the commenting policy. Quit sniping about people being "cowards" simply because we are using an option that is readily available to us. If you are that peeved by it, talk to the ones that can change the policy. It's like people coming to the circ desk to complain about library policies, when 9 times out of 10, the circ staff have no influence over policies.

I'm surprised that would bother you.
We've gone through this commenting thing several times. Someplace there's a long post from me all about comments. In general I see no problem with 80% anonymous comments. I've turned off anonymous commenting before, and I don't mind doing it again, but it'll mean 80% fewer comments. Very few people comment, and even fewer want to bother signing in.

I'm baffled why someone would not login. It's not like LISnews gets visited by accident (much).

Anonymous comments have their place, but they're much less credible in the scheme of things. Some worthwhile sites don't allow anon. comments at all.

Blake, is there an option to not even view them, making them invisible?

-- Keith Tipton (twitter.com/kctipton or keithtipton.com)

The reasons are stated many times above. People don't want to create yet another username and password. I personally read, but don't comment often enough to deal with creating a username. And a lot of worthwhile sites do use OpenID to make it easier to log in with a singular username across many sites.

And while I agree some of the anonymous comments contribute little to a discussion, making them invisible would do nothing but hide portions of the discussion from yourself, thus making the discussion harder to follow.