Tuesday, 17 February 2009

A is for...Anonymity

Seems quite a controversial topic, especially when it comes to bloggers. There are two sides to the argument that goes with anonymity. One is the right for a person to decide to keep their identity out of the public domain while the downside is the ability for some people to use the same lack of identity to act like a moron.
Looking around at some blogs there have been some downright nasty comments left for the author or other commenter's and most of them have no link back to their own blogs. The anonymity afforded to the abuser induces a great sense of bravery to the person who decides to give a miss to debating like adults and goes for the option of name calling and personal attacks. It is very doubtful that in the real world they would act in such a manner, mainly because they would be nursing a fat lip or worse seconds after opening their mouths.
Some bloggers who hold less conventional views and seem to attract the potty mouthed idiots, switch on comment moderation so they can weed out these idiots which is fine but can be used by the more unscrupulous authors to skew the comments they allow on their blog towards there own way of thinking.
Unfortunately, it is the price bloggers have to pay for having a unregulated Internet where we can say whatever we want on any subject we want but i would rather have to put up with the odd socially backward commenter unable to engage in debate rather than make everyone identifiable with their real life details which could lead to all sorts of problems.


Cody Bones said...

I agree Paul, Let all comments come out.

effay said...

Seriously, if people actually knew that I'm Vladimir Putin, that would cause all sorts of uproar. Wait..., oh shi...

Cheezy said...

"comment moderation... can be used by the more unscrupulous authors to skew the comments they allow on their blog towards there own way of thinking."

Comment moderation isn't for me, but it doesn't bother me that others might do it - after all, nobody expects any one particular blog to represent all sides of an issue equally or objectively. Even ones will hundreds/thousands of commenters seldom achieve that. And I think people generally realise the fact that they're in a very skewed, subjective world here...

Having said that, there was one funny ol' fella who used to hang around Blogovia (I'm sure some people will remember him), who would pretend to be a bastion of free speech, and would duly pepper his own comments with lots of potty words and personal insults, and all manner of things he'd never have the balls to say to your face (a cost of that 'anonymity' that you refer to)... and then (unbelievably) 'doctor' your responses - he'd particularly edit out any cogent arguments which demolished his own.

(Bottom line though: his blog = his rules. The only choice left is to enjoy the comedy of it all, or to walk away. I did both!)

Don said...

Never ceases to amaze me how important some people are deluded into thinking their blogs and comments might be. I could never possibly respect someone who thought so much of his little piece of the internet that he felt skewing the slant of the commentary was worth a moment of his time. People are really strange.

I suppose something prompted this posting but I don't know what it was.

This is a weird thing and quite off the subject: All of a sudden you are "Paul", but until now, for reasons I could not now possibly explain, I thought you were female. I say "not now" because the impression is suddenly dispelled, and there's just no telling where originally it came from.

Don said...

Never mind. The name was Lucy. that's why. Now It's Paul. Okay. 'Swhat I get for missing a few days.

Noah "Nog" M. said...

Well I think that you're a #$%# ##$%% #%#$%#$% $%#%$!!

Yeah those folks are really annoying.

I think there have been a few scientific studies that have shown that as we get further from face to face interactions, we are less and less able to conceptualize people in what we see. So psychologically, it is difficult for any of us to see anyone else on a blog as anything more than an object that spouts out words that I may disagree with.

And it is also significantly more difficult to say what we want to say without verbal cues and body language. That is why text messages tend to be taken as hostile more often than they are intended as such.
So, if I say "I hate you!" in a text message, that's what you have to go with. But if I say it with sarcastic or jesting verbal cues, it isn't offensive at all.

Jodie Kash said...

It's the same reason we make rude gestures and shout obscenities from the safety of our metal and steel cocoons on the roadways, but would never behave so badly in a the slow line at the grocery.

I once left an anon comment in a blog and, although it wasn’t “hateful,” it certainly wasn’t kind. And in truth, it came from jealousy and my unhappiness. Simple as that. I still feel badly that I did it. Worse yet that I'm not brave enough to own it and apologize.