Have you ever been in a large meeting where someone asks a question that is uncomfortably inappropriate? The perceived anonymity of the internet only seems to only embolden such tendencies.
Copywrite, Ink.: Allowing Anonymous: Communicators Divided – The business and communications justifications for allowing anonymous, allowing moderated comments, or allowing no comments at all. I would tend to agree that considering “[allowing] no comments at all” myopic is a bit harsh, for two reasons:
- While the average lone miscreant is relatively harmless, many organizations might (justifiably) consider themselves potential targets of coordinated attacks.
- The more popular the blog, the faster the comments degrade into flame wars. I avoid the comments on digg.com and several news sites because I’ve seen mildly provacative devolve into vitriolic hatred and ignorance–sometimes over something as benign as a story about a local basketball game.
I do, however, like this final point:
However, and I cannot stress this enough, I do advise communicators and public relations professionals to never make anonymous comments or, if they do, they need to be prepared to answer for such posts in a world where no communication is really private. Not anymore.
Of course, my feelings might be partially influenced by the Unedited Voice of a Person:
Do comments make it a blog? Do the lack of comments make it not a blog? Well actually, my opinion is different from many, but it still is my opinion that it does not follow that a blog must have comments, in fact, to the extent that comments interfere with the natural expression of the unedited voice of an individual, comments may act to make something not a blog.
Joel Spolsky draws from this to make the point that you get a few insights, followed by a spew of noise/filth that no one would say out loud if they had to take ownership of their words.
Finally, xkcd illustrates:
Especially on YouTube: