How long before blogger.com insists on registration before commenting?
Blogging is coming under increased scrutiny following the case of Kathy Sierra, who came under a concerted attack from anonymous commentators who put death threats and other disgusting nonsense on her blog.
The woman got so scared she cancelled a conference she was going to attend and has since stopped blogging completely.
A fellow blogger and friend of Kathy’s has proposed a code of conduct for bloggers and those who comment on their sites.
Point five of the code says:
We do not allow anonymous comments, but will allow pseudonymous ones.
That means that everyone who wants to comment on this site, for instance, must register with google.com beforehand.
Much as I have sympathy, and empathy, with any blogger who gets personal threats, physical or otherwise – I have had a few of them over the two years I have been doing this – any across-the-board code of conduct on blogs must be resisted by us bloggers and those who comment.
I decided long ago not to make people register before commenting and I will stick to that principle. Each blog has to work out its own rules and mine are: free speech and access is absolute.
That includes access for trolls and psychos. When people get personal from the comfort of unregistered anonymity then it is a sure sign that they lost the argument and are incapable of entering into a debate to defend their point of view – if they had one in the first place, that is.
And I think that's a useful contribution to showing these people for what they are, and so discredit their ‘political’ position.
The success of this blog rests on the, mostly, intelligent and interesting people who return again and again for a jolly good argument. Any measure that makes participating on a blog like this one harder, and more instrusive, should get a loud ‘No Way’ from all bloggers.