John Temple addresses the issue of different standards between letters to the editor (for print) and comments on stories (on the web).
Here’s my quick take: Print is a one-time deal of some permanence. There is something canonical about putting a letter in the paper. The standards for publication should be higher.
On the web, it’s all about the conversation, and the conversation can evolve quickly. On the web, if somebody says something stupid or wrong, there is a quick and easy correction process: The other people who can or might participate in the conversation.
While I’m no fan of falsified registration, or anonymous posting, I think the content of the conversation is more important than the identity of the poster (except in rare circumstances).