Part 1 of 4
The Huffington Post’s recent decision to ban anonymous commenting has sparked a debate about privacy and civility online. Do people have a right to rant, attack, and hate online? Do news organizations have a responsibility to provide an open forum for anything anyone wants to post?
In “The Reason HuffPost is Ending Anonymous Accounts,” managing editor Jimmy Soni offers a compelling defense for this decision.”We are capable of doing far worse things to one another when we do not have to own up to the things we do,” he writes. “One glance at our comment section or the comment sections of other sites demonstrates what we’re all up against. Trolls have grown more vicious, more aggressive, and more ingenious….
“We’ve reached a point where roughly three-quarters of our incoming comments never see the light of day, either because they are flat-out spam or because they contain unpublishable levels of vitriol.”
Soni explains that users will not have to share their identity in connection with each comment; they simply need to have their identity confirmed when setting up an account. In my next few posts, I’ll cover the ways negative posting can hurt your own online reputation and specific ways you and your organization can help facilitate more civility online.
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What I’m Reading
Cause for Change: The Why and How of Nonprofit Millennial Engagement , by Kari Dunn Saratovsky and Derrick Feldmann
The Start-Up of You, by Reid Hoffman, cofounder and chairman of LinkedIn
Bringing the Social Media Revolution to Health Care, by the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media
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