September 12, 2011
Ever since we changed a website and made it easier for commenters to post their opinions on stories, we at The Pilot have faced and interesting situation: Should commenters be anonymous or should they be required to use their name when posting comments. After all, in our print product we require letter writers to submit a name, a hometown and verification contact information before we post letters. Online, currently, we have nothing of the sort. Sure, we have some commenters who, in my opinion (not that of The Pilot) have the guts to attach their name to their comments, and others who provided their names through the course of their regular interactions with fellow commenters. But a vast majority are anonymous on the site. Anonymity can be a double-edged sword. It can allow readers to post information on stories that they may otherwise not if they were required to utilize their own name. On the flip side, that anonymity, also can allow for comments, which wouldn't be posted if real names were required, that are meant to do nothing but stir controversy. Wonder what your thoughts are... If you'd like to elaborate, please feel free to comment on this blog post. As always, we appreciate your input.