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Still, it's good to know with whom one is conversing--even on a blog. Too many anon's do get confusing. And my pet peeve is that it too often breeds too many snarky comments. The anon cloak seems to give too many folks the idea they can say what they want without any thought of responsibility.

That is why anonymous comments are marked as left by Anonymous Cowards (ACs for short) over at Slashdot, and have a distributed real time moderation system to boot.

The latter was added when the signal to noise ratio on Slashdot plummeted when its popularity boomed. Now most casual readers only read the most highly rated comments - a popularity system which of course has its own weaknesses, unfortunately.

too many folks the idea they can say what they want without any thought of responsibility.

can't they? I mean, this is the internet we're talking about here. It's the wild west, this place is governed only by a mix of zealous citizens and vigilantes.

Yeah, Leon de Winter and Walter Laqueur ran into this same problem with their blog, The Free West, which is attached to the German newspaper Die Welt's website. At first, it was a free-for all. Then, they had to stem comments entirely and moderate everything, which as any blogger with experience knows is a royal pain. They are still moderating and it has greatly reduced their comments, which might be their actual aim.

#3 Ryan--so you're suggesting, that just because there is no internet police, then people have no responsibility for what they say? If so, then we have vastly different concepts of personal responsibility.

Well I guess that's sort of what I am saying...

One thing about the internet that makes it great is the freedom from responsibility. It's a free-for-all here and that has made it an unrivaled marketplace of ideas. This has certainly had extremely negative results. But it has also been a great benefit for the spreading of all kinds of grassroots movements, philosophies, ventures, etc... That might be quashed in the "real world".

Internet ≠ Real World

Internet ≠ Real World

So why apply the rules of personal responsibility from the real world to the internet?

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