Why "real names" commenting isn't a panacea

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Cory Doctorow explores the disaster that YouTube’s switch to Google+ commenting has been:

The promise of G+ in the beginning was that making people use their real names would incentivize them to behave themselves. It’s abundantly clear now that there are more than enough people who are willing to be jerks under their real names. In the meantime, people who have good reason not to post under their own names — vulnerable people, whistleblowers, others — are now fully on display to those sociopaths who are only too happy to press the attack with or without anonymity.

In short: the idea that people will behave better if they’re not anonymous doesn’t hold true for everyone – and by doing away with anonymity, you actually disenfranchise those who could benefit from it positively.

Kevin Anderson on newspaper community failing to learn from outside sources.

Bonus Video:

A somewhat sweary (and thus NSFW in many places) response to G+ commenting from a YouTube user:

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.