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Comment #1512276 by Seán Gallagher

Seán Gallagher Aug 22nd 2013, 1:45 PM #

Alcohol Dependency
Drug Dependency
Spousal Abuse
Crappy Neighbours
Coming out
Sexual Abuse
Financial Difficulty

Off the top of my head, these are a list of topics which I don’t believe people would necessarily wish to have their name on, whether through a risk of people who know them learning these things, or in the case of the occasional nutjob tracking them down, but may still wish to join the debate, conversation or seek advice and can contribute significantly to a discussion on those topics.

This facility can and should be protected. While we (in the main, here) exchange ideas, some people use the Internet and online discussion for support and their ability to do so in a safe way, can be hampered hugely through forcing them to give an actual name or other information publicly.

On a technical level, it’s possible to log the IP address (and with consent) the MAC address of a user, which although can be faked, is considerably more difficult. The moderator in the case of wanting to ban a user can ban either: User ID, User IP, User MAC address or any combination of these. Removing anonymity doesn’t just fix problems, it also creates a lot more.

I agree that it’s important for people in some cases to be held to account for their words, but I’m not convinced that HuffPo is going about doing this in the best possible way.

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Read the article where this comment appeared:

Could anonymous comments be phased off the Internet?

Could anonymous comments be phased off the Internet?

The Huffington Post is planning to ban anonymous commenters.