Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Another tired rant against anonymity

This time, it's in the Washington Post. It's another in the sopoforic series of of deadly dull pontificating against the uncouth, unsanitary medium of blog comments.

Tom Grubisich writes:

"You would think Web sites would want to keep the hate-mongers from taking over, but many sites are unwitting enablers. At washingtonpost.com, editors and producers say they struggle to balance transparency against privacy. Until recently, many of the site's posters identified themselves with anonymous Internet handles -- which were the site's default ID. Now, people must enter a "user ID" that appears with their comments."

Yes, he wrote "user ID" in quotes. That says a lot about Grubisich's "opinion" of the "savvy" of the readers of his rant against anonymity on the "Internet". He then ponderously wades through the predictable arguments for anonymity, such as for whistleblowers, and, predictably, concedes that, yes some allowance must be made.

"If Web sites required posters to use their real names, while giving the shield of pseudonymity when it's merited, spirited online debate would continue unimpeded. It might even be enhanced by attracting contributors who are turned off today by name calling and worse. Except for the hate-mongers, who wouldn't want that?"

So it goes in Grubisich's mental simulation of the Internet. Only hate-mongers, he says would object to improving "spirited online debate" by controlling it. So that makes me a hate-monger, along with all the others who find such prissy, clueless babbling to be worse than useless. Flash: People are rude on the Internet! Flash! I've got a solution that's been proposed a gazillion times before! That makes me some Internet pioneer!

Grubisich really falls on his face when he points to washingtonpost.com -- where his piece appeared -- as an example of how controlled discussion can work. (A little kissing up never hurts, I guess). For example, read the comments about washingtonpost.com's new policy.

Grubisich linked to this announcement, but apparently didn't bother to read what people were saying. They weren't pleased. The commenters point out how the nifty feature of collecting a commenter's statements on a MyPost page doesn't work. (Derivative as hell, despite the Post's feeble disclaimer it is not copying MySpace).

For those too lazy to click, here's the entire list of comments on the MyPost announcement, as of May 15:

I like it. I think it will be a great way to actually see who is who on the site, and not have to deal with anon. trolls.
Posted by: amberdb | May 8, 2007 09:17 AM

Clicking on "wiredog" on the home page doesn't work, let's see if it works here.
Posted by: wiredog | May 8, 2007 10:24 AM

Nope. Doesn't work here, either.
Posted by: wiredog | May 8, 2007 10:26 AM

Can we have mypost on the blogs too? Pleeeeease!
Posted by: amberdb | May 8, 2007 11:16 AM

hi, i think this is a great idea. really super. but if it's launched already, why can't we access our posts when we click on our ID? please help. thanks.
Posted by: angelinalenahan.blogspot.com | May 8, 2007 12:37 PM

It is not set up on the blogs, but it works from other news articles. It should be set up on the blogs too!
Posted by: amberdb | May 8, 2007 02:32 PM

Uh, I just commented on an article, and it didn't give a link, either. This "MyPost" does not appear to be public at all. Are you sure you pushed it live? (Yes, I'm a Web geek.)
Oh, and will comments be connected to our IDs? My comment name is not the same as my WP user ID.
Posted by: The Cosmic Avenger | May 8, 2007 03:57 PM

Excellent.
Posted by: lcharters | May 14, 2007 10:00 AM

When will the Forums be restored to the state they were in when Lindsay was moderating?
Posted by: eerieindiana | May 14, 2007 10:37 AM

where is MyPost
Posted by: testing | May 14, 2007 12:38 PM

If this MyPost exists, then it is not showing up on my PC (tried using Opera and IE to find it).
Posted by: Tirade | May 14, 2007 05:15 PM

Well, clicking on my name doesn't work, and I can't make any comments after any articles. All I get is "View all the comments" and there are none, and "Make a comment" can't be accessed. Am I missing out on something or is this not operational yet?
Posted by: psherman | May 14, 2007 09:56 PM

This is a great idea. Perhaps this is why I haven't been able to post after the articles for the last week.
Posted by: Lynne | May 15, 2007 07:54 PM

I just posted a comment, it didn't show. What's up?
Posted by: Lynne | May 15, 2007 07:56 PM

This looks like a watered down version of usatoday.com's user profiles.
Posted by: Huh? | May 15, 2007 09:22 PM



There you have it: the chasm between the reality of the user experience, and the pompous pontifications and bloviations of so-called Web experts pandering to empty suits at corporate behemoths.



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