Since starting this blog almost four three years ago I’ve maintained a pretty liberal policy on anonymous commenting. I did not want to impose any barriers to those who wanted to join in the conversation, believing that the more voices heard the better. In fact, up until now, I have even championed anonymous commenting.
Lately I’ve become somewhat less than enamored with the results of this approach.
Though many have respected my open door policy others have abused it. While I realize that you often have to accept the bad with the good, the bad is now threatening to overtake the good. Over the past year I’ve been told by more than a few of those who visit here that they won’t comment anymore because of the rude and cowardly comments that hide behind the mask of anonymity. The pendulum is now swinging in the wrong direction.
Last year I added I added the “drunken letters” filter to blog comments in an attempt to stem the flow of spam comments. I considered this to be a minimal imposition that would improve the blog reader’s visit. Nobody likes spam after all.
Now I’m taking a minimal step to hopefully improve the blog commenting experience by requiring all Tales of Two Cities commenter’s to at least use a pseudonym when posting a comment. While this won’t stop manic ranting or abusive commenting it will at least assign those with such proclivities a moniker. Hopefully that will result in better self policing.
I accept the fact that this change may chase off some current commenter’s. That would be unfortunate but sadly inevitable.