No More Anonymous Comments?

We do quite a few things to encourage a high-quality, valuable comments section here at Ultiworld. We moderate hateful or off-topic comments, we highlight great comments here in the Editors’ Blog, and we engage in discussion with those who make good points, whether or not they agree with us.

But reader Warren isn’t satisfied.

Despite our best efforts, there are still times when people leave relatively useless comments, often critical towards a team or person, that don’t add anything to the discussion. They also don’t warrant moderation.

Warren emailed us — we would really appreciate your thoughts and feedback on his proposal.

He writes:

[quote]Hey guys,

I am writing because I wanted to say that, despite how pleased I have been with the quality of the articles posted on your website, I have been very disappointed with the comments those articles attract.

I am no stranger to comment threads and the phenomenon of anonymity+audience turning normal people into Angry Internet Men, but it makes me upset to see thoughtful, nuanced comments like Michelle Ng’s response to the MagnUM apology followed by post after post by anonymous “Guest”s saying obnoxious, confrontational things that they wouldn’t in public.

In all honesty, this sort of thing makes me not want to come to your website. From my earliest days in the sport, I have avoided RSD whenever possible. I truly wish there weren’t bad apples in Ultimate, but the sad fact is that our largely welcoming, open community is not immune to hate and prejudice. Too many people who play our sport will gladly spew their vitriol given a comment thread and half a chance. I strongly suspect that this environment discourages and suppresses those players, coaches, and fans whose opinions would be a welcome addition to the conversations shaping Ultimate because they are unwilling to brook the response from the crowd of (let’s be honest) male, late teens/early 20s, anonymous commenters.

I would love to see Ultiworld institute a policy of requiring commenters to use their real names, perhaps by linking them to a Facebook profile. I believe it would foster accountability and improve the quality of the conversation a great deal while only imposing a small burden on those who want to contribute to the discussion of our sport.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I really look forward to your continuing work covering the sport that I love.[/quote]

We have mixed feelings about this, which I may go into detail about on a later post. But what do you think?

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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