Anonymous Commenters


Anonymous Commenters
Anonymous commenters really frustrate me.  These are the people that will comment on a blog post and will not leave any information about themselves.  No web address, no email address, or their real name.  There are a few reasons why this practice bothers me.

Hinders understanding
Communicating on the Internet has some significant downsides.  It is very easy to give people the wrong impression about what you are trying to communicate.  It’s also very easy to be misunderstood.  However the more we know about each other the better able we are to understand.  When people comment anonymously it makes understanding that much more difficult.

No accountability
I put my name behind everything I write so people can call me on it.  Everyone should be able to read what I write so they can understand me and judge what I say.  There is such a thing as righteous judgment (John 7:24).  The body should have every opportunity to figure out if I am an idiot or not.  They should also be able to call me on it if I am idiot.  Anonymity makes this impossible.  

It often reveals a lack of courage
Some people are brave enough to make all manner of accusations against someone but they aren’t willing to suffer any consequences for their actions.  They don’t want to put their name behind their words because someone might make unfair remarks about them.  This fear is not unfounded.  People on the Internet can be jerks and say all manner of nasty things.  However no one said standing up for truth would be easy and painless.

  1. #1 by Jordon Cooper on December 28, 2003 - 8:37 am

    It makes me appreciate those who do comment anonymously and then right below it, comment again apologizing for doing so accidently and then leaving credit and contact below. Good points! One of the nice features of MT is the ability to turn off the feature of anonymous posting.

  2. #2 by saint on December 28, 2003 - 9:55 am

    there are some of us, who because of employment contracts etc have to remain anonymous. doesn’t make us less accountable. we will all get called on every thought.

  3. #3 by LT on December 28, 2003 - 11:04 am

    Saint:

    What you describe is not what I’m talking about. I understand why some people like Bene Diction and Real Live Preacher blog under a different identity. Because they consistently use the same identity accountability is possible. What frustrates me are the people that leave no information at all or leave obviously false infomration.

  4. #4 by saint on December 28, 2003 - 1:34 pm

    you wrote ‘or their real name’ so I misunderstood you. apologies.

  5. #5 by Anony .....randall on December 28, 2003 - 1:46 pm

    Kinda the same with church notes.

    If someone sends me a note with no name, i’ll usually read it and disregard it. it sometimes gives me a sense of an unspoken and afraid voice in the congregation.

    BUT, I know pastors who have gotten death threats on little notes….

    Anyway, Is it better to have a policy of deleting those anonymous comments, or to leave them in, building a level of trust?

  6. #6 by Chris on December 28, 2003 - 5:02 pm

    I have pondered this one also. Typically people who fail to leave a name or email on my blog write abusive or offensive material. Are they embarrassed by their own offensive behaviour or are they scared I might somehow retaliate?

    Either way it speaks of a rather immature individual without the courage of their convictions.

  7. #7 by Toni on December 28, 2003 - 5:02 pm

    I think a lot depends on the content, although personally I’d be inclined to delete the truly anonymous posts.

    Partly agree with Randall about the anonymous notes. We had someone in the church years back who starting sending people ‘prophetic words’ anon. Some were light but some were far reaching. The lack of accountability was clearly unhealthy, and it became clear that something other than the Spirit of God was at work.

    While Blogs aren’t quite the same, where there is openness and vulnerability there also needs to be responibility.

  8. #8 by Rachel C on December 28, 2003 - 6:53 pm

    Agreed with your points LT.

    Just to turn this around another way, is there ever a situation where an anonymous comment could be useful/necessary? (Someone leaves a donation?)

  9. #9 by Luke on December 29, 2003 - 6:32 pm

    I was tempted to leave an anonymous comment – the obvious gag, but decided it would be predictable and not funny.

    I think the anon. thing reflects immaturity usually, coming more from fear that they may actually be wrong, or are not confident that they can stand up to questioning.

Comments are closed.