Since it’s inception, the Internet has allowed for a sense of anonymity, but this anonymity has made it easier to spout of negative, even threatening, comments on message boards, news sites and other forums that have some sort of public commenting feature. Now one website is doing something about it.
In an effort to take a stand against such people (often dubbed “trolls”) who hide behind anonymity, the Huffington Post will no longer allow anonymous commenting.
HuffPost President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington told reporters about the change, reports GigaOm, after she delivered the keynote speech at Hubspot’s Inbound 2013 marketing conference, which took place in Boston:
“Trolls are just getting more and more aggressive and uglier and I just came from London where there are rape and death threats,” Huffington said in comments to reporters after a speech atHubspot’s Inbound 2013 conference in Boston. The changeover will come in mid-September, she said.
“I feel that freedom of expression is given to people who stand up for what they say and not hiding behind anonymity,” she said. “we need to evolve a platform to meet the needs of the grown-up Internet,” she said. The current Huff Po system uses advanced algorithms to moderate comments plus 40 moderators, but that is not enough now, she said.
Many sites don’t allow anonymous commenting by running comment sections through Facebook — a site that technically requires a real name — associating not only a name with the comment but a profile picture as well.
TheBlaze recently reported about this “dark side of Internet freedom” as it pertains to how unfairly negative — even fake — comments impact businesses, which in worst case scenarios could shut down as a result of disastrous reviews that might not be true.
Last year, the BBC tracked down an Internet troll and confronted him. The troll was not much kinder in person.
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Featured image via Shutterstock.com.
(H/T: Boston Globe)