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Nasty online comments drive discussion on changing the rules




A first-person column published on last night has sparked discussion among readers about the "anonymous maliciousness" posted online. Taffy Brodesser-Akner writes about a "slew of nasty comments that appeared" when she wrote about suffering from Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after the birth of her son.

Within minutes of publishing the story on Salon about her son's traumatic delivery, readers responded with:

"You should consider not having any more babies."

"I feel sorry for her son. Can you imagine going through life with this woman?"

Not every comment was negative, Brodesser-Akner wrote. Some were sympathetic, supportive, even touching. "But the mean ones — yikes — were they mean."

In the comments area of Brodesser-Akner's column, I asked readers whether requiring full identity would help cut down on the vitriol in comments. No one -- so far -- has been supportive of the suggestion.

"I am privy to inside information from my spouse. If my name was made public, I could never provide insight to a conversation because of the repercussions she would face," wrote one member, fwhite02. "I guess I could only comment on what the writer said. Pretty boring."

"The Internet is unlike any other medium in that it provides a searchable, nearly permanent, record of much of the public communications that take place on it. Anonymity allows people to candidly share their opinions and views on the Internet without fear of those comments following them around for the rest of their lives." ~ flimflam

Share your feedback: Would you reveal your full name if a site required that to comment?

[Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 4:04pm]


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