To be anonymous or not?

When I read the New York Times article, “News Sites Rethink Anonymous Online Comments,” I immediately thought this:

Anonymity equals Drama.

When online social networking, and online chat conversations were becoming popular,  I reflect back to my middle school years of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).  In those individual chat boxes and in those chat rooms, people would stop at nothing to tear each other down, swear like crazy and at the end of it, really not say anything beneficial at all.

I think within news organizations, anonymity shouldn’t be allowed.

If we are commenting on credible news organizations websites, anonymity is just another excuse for people who really have nothing to stay, to say something of no value for all to read.  It’s a waste of time when that happens.

Obviously I keep on my local news organizations, and I do enjoy reading the comments at AnnArbor.com but when I see an article that has 25+ comments, I only pay attention to the top 3 that were voted in by other commenters.  After all, I don’t have a lot of time and I will not waste it on people merely bitching and not saying anything to put a resolution to the problem if there is one.

Seattle Times and AnnArbor.com are very similar.  Both newspapers monitor the comments by the staff.  Seattle Times just erases the comment notifying the user by email that the comment was deleted.  AnnArbor.com actually writes a statement in the comment section indicating a comment was removed because it violated their comment policy.

I think the same rules apply.  If you will not provide you’re name, we won’t use you as a source.  It has to work in actually reporting the story, it should work with the people who read and comment.

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