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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Anklebiters will bite

Requiring real names does not reduce unwanted comments:
YouTube has joined a growing list of social media companies who think that forcing users to use their real names will make comment sections less of a trolling wasteland, but there’s surprisingly good evidence from South Korea that real name policies fail at cleaning up comments. In 2007, South Korea temporarily mandated that all websites with over 100,000 viewers require real names, but scrapped it after it was found to be ineffective at cleaning up abusive and malicious comments (the policy reduced unwanted comments by an estimated .09%).
I think some people fail to understand why I delete anonymous comments. There are two reasons. The first is that it is difficult to keep track of who is saying what when there are multiple anonymous commenters. The second is that if you can't be bothered to take the three steps required to click Name/URL, enter a name, and click okay, the chances that you are going to say anything that requires notice are nil.

I'm not saying that it is necessary to register with anyone or provide your real name, the point is to maintain a consistent identity so that people can connect one comment with another. But that identity need not be linked to your actual identity. The ineffectivness of requiring real identities in nominal pursuit of civility is useful information, however, because it demonstrates that the real object of the campaign against Internet anonymity is something other than civility.

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35 Comments:

Anonymous Johnycomelately August 21, 2012 7:48 AM  

You mean something like this:

Former Marine Brandon Raub Sentenced To Up To 30 Days In Psych Ward Over Facebook Posts About Sep 11.

http://www.businessinsider.com/former-marine-brandon-raub-is-being-held-in-a-psychiatric-ward-over-facebook-posts-about-911-2012-8

Anonymous Stickwick August 21, 2012 7:55 AM  

I've already seen how ineffective this is in the U.S. I used to visit a particular site before it started requiring commenting through FB, ostensibly to cut down on the volume of vulgar, nasty comments. It failed spectacularly. First, what's to stop someone from creating a fake FB account for commenting? Many identities looked real, however, and it was very surprising to me how willing many people are to be identified with the insipid, vulgar comments they make.

Anonymous Salt August 21, 2012 8:10 AM  

If Obama used his real name, would it get rid of his unwanted presidency?

Anonymous dh August 21, 2012 8:34 AM  

Stickwick--

I would wager your are talking about Digg.

Blogger James Dixon August 21, 2012 8:40 AM  

> The ineffectivness of requiring real identities in nominal pursuit of civility is useful information, however, because it demonstrates that the real object of the campaign against Internet anonymity is something other than civility.

It never is.

Now, I do use my real name on my Internet posts, but that's my choice.

Anonymous Heh August 21, 2012 9:00 AM  

"I do use my real name on my Internet posts, but that's my choice."

Helps to have a pretty common name. I do myself, so I could probably use my real name, but still I don't. =)

Anonymous Heh August 21, 2012 9:08 AM  

And speaking of the common-ness of names, the study was conducted in Korea, where half the population has the surname Kim, Lee, or Park, so the policy of making everyone use their real name was less of a deterrent than it might have been.

Anonymous Roundtine August 21, 2012 9:12 AM  

People have been writing under assumed names since writing began.

Anonymous Anonymous Borg August 21, 2012 9:16 AM  

We are Anonymous. Lower your firewall and surrender your blog. We will add your super intelligence to our own. Your blog will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

Anonymous jm August 21, 2012 9:52 AM  

It appears that Youtube has no trouble with a video of a white British "racist" having a rant on the train. That video is still up.

It appears that Youtube does have trouble with a video of a black "British" racist having a rant on the bus. That video has been deleted and the uploader cautioned.

Huh.

Anonymous jm August 21, 2012 9:56 AM  

Perhaps this example will help clarify what Youtube/Google means by "civility".

Blogger IM2L844 August 21, 2012 10:09 AM  

I get the whole consistency thing and agree 100%. It's difficult enough trying to interpret a person's real intent from a comment. Sometimes it takes a long time to get to know what the subtle nuances and quirks in a person's writing style actually mean. Are they being an idiotic asshole or do they just have a dry sense of humor? It's much easier to know these types of things when you have some context, from their previous comments, to frame their newest comments. It can't always solve the problem, but knowing who is saying what does lend a sense of continuity to the comments and provides a better understanding of what is actually trying to be conveyed so you can sort the wheat from the chaff.

Anonymous The other skeptic August 21, 2012 10:16 AM  

What are all those people with lots of time on their hands going to do when robots take over

Anonymous Gx1080 August 21, 2012 10:27 AM  

I'm actually amazed that people are *still* pushing for this after the very visible mess of Blizzard's Real ID debacle.

But then, the Banksters sure would love to get everybody that sees the BS for what it is on indoctrination camps.

Anonymous Daniel August 21, 2012 11:07 AM  

Anklebiters: the least efficient cannibals ever.

Anonymous NewAnubis August 21, 2012 11:45 AM  

The ineffectivness of requiring real identities in nominal pursuit of civility is useful information, however, because it demonstrates that the real object of the campaign against Internet anonymity is something other than civility.

Yes indeedy-do!

I've got a great place to begin 2012 eugenics: yougov.com wherein one develops an 'opigram' volunteering their complete personality makeup that'd make a Profiler blush.
*Interests *personality *politics *work life *hobbies *religion *issues.

Is there an echo in here? Thought this was already done at FB.

Anonymous diffeomorph August 21, 2012 12:02 PM  

I think the eventual trend will be to remove anonymity entirely. I doubt it will be implemented on top of the current internet, but will instead be written into whatever second or third generation network emerges. The removal of anonymity will probably be coupled with a built-in payment protocol to drive piracy into dark nets. "Won't you think of the children" + "fight pirates" + "make shopping easier" == a winning combination.

Anonymous Robert Paulsen August 21, 2012 1:03 PM  

I'm sorry, on the internet we have no names.

Anonymous A Visitor August 21, 2012 1:59 PM  

I just deleted my Google account. If it gets to the point where I can only comment on five or so sites, so be it.

I deleted my Facebook account after my first year of grad school; I was going to delete it earlier but my grad school insisted we have one so they could communicate to us. I've been Facebook free for two years and love it.

I know many in my generation that would shudder at the thought of living without Facebook, FourSquare, or cell phones. I personally relish being uncontactable, unless you physically come and see me.

*gasp* The horror of actual societal interaction...lol

Vox, I thank you for keeping it simple and offering us the name/URL gig. Many places no longer do.

Anonymous likmysak August 21, 2012 3:23 PM  

Ha ha u r gay

Anonymous Sexual Eggplant Syndrome in the 24th and 1/2 Century Goes to Paris to say -- Ekki-Ekki-Ekki-Ekki-PTANG. Zoom-Boing. Z'nourrwringmm (Ni!, [Shh..]) August 21, 2012 3:55 PM  

Just practicing...

Anonymous Anonymous August 21, 2012 4:49 PM  

...

Anonymous Anonymous August 21, 2012 4:52 PM  

I am curious. I have a name. Where do I obtain a URL?

Anonymous Markku, with no URL August 21, 2012 4:53 PM  

URL is optional, you can leave it empty.

If you see this message, that is.

Anonymous fanofcarolus August 21, 2012 6:00 PM  

Test

Anonymous fanofcarolus August 21, 2012 6:04 PM  

Test

Anonymous Lell August 21, 2012 6:13 PM  

Alrighty

Anonymous the abe August 21, 2012 6:15 PM  

Ditto A Visitor about being able to remain anonymous here. The Ilk couldn't and wouldn't have ever gathered without the cover of anonymity. The internet itself would have never been created at all if it began as some form of a permanent record.

Blogger Rahul August 21, 2012 8:46 PM  

I get harassing comments on my YT videos from time to time. People need to be more civil.

It involves comments about illegal immigration and such. They just curse at you and tell you to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh (I don't)

Anonymous likmysak August 21, 2012 9:17 PM  

Rahul u r a fag.

Blogger Jamie-R August 21, 2012 9:23 PM  

Hey Vox! Stop making sense it's making you a lone wolf pack. You should take the Australian view, more trialling, sure, but with faith a much greater attack spread against the haters.

Blogger Jamie-R August 21, 2012 9:28 PM  

Fuck being 'American' in the modern day! The last Christian outpost is almost dead!

Blogger R. Bradley Andrews August 22, 2012 5:16 AM  

IPv6 (the version of the protocol underlying things has much less (no?) anonymity. No more private addresses, for example, if I am remembering correctly.

Isn't civility one of those despised "old-fashioned" values?

Anonymous WaterBoy August 22, 2012 3:24 PM  

R. Bradley Andrews: "IPv6 (the version of the protocol underlying things has much less (no?) anonymity. No more private addresses, for example, if I am remembering correctly."

Not exactly; the standard does allow for anonymity. See here for more details (scroll down to "Anonymous address interface identifiers").

However, private addressing via NAT which you are used to works differently. Further details on that are available here (scroll down to "What the equivalent of Private (internal) network addressing is in IPv6").

Blogger R. Bradley Andrews August 22, 2012 7:13 PM  

I stand corrected. I have looked at it a bit, but not enough apparently.

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