Anonymity for Me But Not For Thee

The AZ Republic, which still prints a couple of unsigned editorials in the paper every day, has decided that it does not like having anonymous comments.  Their solution is to have all commenters use their Facebook id.  Because it is so much harder to create a fake Facebook persona than it is to put a fake name on your comment.

Postscript-  Apparently "anonymous gutter talk" triggered the change.  The decision to tie into Facebook was a natural, I guess, because everyone knows the level of discourse is so high there.


  1. Captain Obviousness:

    San Diego Union Tribune recently did this. Now all the comments are incredibly bland and boring and "mainstream". It's no longer any fun to read them :(

  2. Johnathan:

    Mixed feelings on this one. I quit reading comments in mainstream media articles long ago. Scary people live there!

    However, requiring a Facebook account won't improve things much...

  3. gadfly:

    Some of us would not be caught dead near a mindless Facebook page, let alone give up all the personal information required to enroll on Facebook.

    Some blogs have now adopted the Facebook interface and I must say, they promptly exclude me and my ilk from commenting.

  4. Russ R.:

    The integration with Facebook probably has more to do with the potential advertising revenue than with the quality of comments.

  5. Zach:

    No, it's simplicity in developing a login system.

    Developing a user system that offers reasonable security is not easy. Letting the big boys (Google, Facebook, Twitter) handle authentication is easier than screwing up your local rag's authentication.

    Plus, some people (like me) don't want yet another website password, with its requisite dumbass rules and accompanying spam. True enough, Facebook knows too much about me to make me comfortable using it to log in to leave politically charged comments in public, but other people won't have such qualms.