Time for Inside Higher Ed to End Anonymous Comments

There have been many cases against anonymous comments.

Popular science removed their comments entirely for a good reason, as referenced in a New Yorker article:

“The editors argued that Internet comments, particularly anonymous ones, undermine the integrity of science and lead to a culture of aggression and mockery that hinders substantive discourse.”

Huffington post brought up To Kill a Mockingbird:

“Lee’s basic claim is this: We are capable of doing far worse things to one another when we do not have to own up to the things we do.”

The cases for anonymous comments tend to focus on the lack of effect restricting it will have as people are still willing to say terrible things in public under their own names.

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Someone Was Wrong on the Internet

Today someone was wrong on the internet.  Yesterday someone else was. Actually a lot of people were wrong on the internet, and why does that bother us? I think we get bothered because we feel deep down that what we are doing/thinking/saying is right.  If we didn’t we wouldn’t be doing/thinking/saying that. Then we take that one step further and assume that because someone else does/thinks/says similar things to us on topic A that they will do the same for topic B.

The daily show had a great bit a few weeks ago where the corespondent expressed shock that it was left leaning people primarily in the “anti-vaccination” movement. The idea that someone who agrees with us can also disagree with us shouldn’t be a surprise, and yet it is. In any large religion there are as many viewpoints as there are believers.  And some of those viewpoints are opposite each other. And some of those opposite viewpoints are over key tenets of the religion. Yet both are considered part of the region.  Similarly two people can have very similar views on child rearing but completely opposing views on the environment, or labour laws, or the advantages of ketchup or ranch as a condiment.

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