The Sacrament Bee now requires commenters to comment with real names.
Look for this to become the norm MSM news sites.
For the past few years, I’ve advocated a position that basically allowed public anonimity so long as the newspaper.com was collecting real names and contact information.
My position now is: Require real names and take reasonable measures to enforce it (absolute compliance is impossible).
It’s just the right thing to do.
The wild-web 2.0 has advantages, and normally I advocate be as much like the unfettered web as possible, and even though it contradicts my “stop thinking like big media” advocacy, there are some journalistic standards worth maintaining.Â One of them is truthfulness and transparancy. People should stand behind their opinons and assertions with their real identity.
There areÂ trade offs.Â Some people won’t participate. Some people will lie (hopefully we can catch most of them eventually). The nature of participation will change in subtle, unknown ways. Some people who might be willing to offer up anonymous news tips or useful background information will be afraid to participate.
The trade offs, in the interest, of a more civil civic discussion and maintaining some journalistic integrity in this regard, are negligible, imho.
Facebook has demonstrated that anonymity is not a web 2.0 requirement.
I just hope the Bee doesn’t think that requiring names (while ending moderation) will end their “rudeness and crudeness” problem.Â There is still no substitute for staff involvement in the conversation.