On Jul 15, 2019, at 10:22 AM, Tom Johnson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> as professionals who work regularly with authorship, surely we can
> understand that people use and attach their ideas to many names in both
> private and public life for a wide range of reasons. the argument that
> restricting naming here would improve the quality or civility of posts
> appears unsupported.
Have you ever been on Reddit? Examples of anonymity being used to enable abhorrent behavior are legion. Unfortunately there isn’t any way to restrict anonymity to only those using it for understandable, positive purposes.
Something that seems absent from consideration are the less obvious and more insidious negative ways that anonymity/pseudonymity can be used in a forum like C4L, to advance a particular agenda. Is that person who keeps raising problems that they are (purportedly) encountering with a particular platform actually looking for help, or are they working for a competing platform vendor? Astroturfing and disinformation are real, and they are very, very effective.
One of the basic tenets of information literacy is understanding the source. I don’t think anyone here is saying that anonymity is not a very valuable and necessary tool to allow people to speak up in some contexts without fear of retribution, but that potential use case shouldn't override all other considerations.
Edward Almasy <[log in to unmask]>
Director • Internet Scout Research Group
Computer Sciences Dept • U of Wisconsin - Madison
1210 W Dayton St • Madison WI 53706
608-262-6606 (voice) • 608-265-9296 (fax)