Comments Anonymous


“Ibid you already know.”
— More Discworld philosophers (Terry Pratchett, Pyramids)

One of the most prolific writers in history must definitely be the erudite, all-knowing and flexible Anon. I still remember his great poems in the Dragon Book of Verse, not to mention the large amount of witty proverbs attributed to Anon. He is closely followed by Ibid who, however, tends to be a copycat.

A comment on my Misfits post by Alan Vella inspires todays post. I do not know Alan Vella. the first time he posted on my blog he was anonymous since – as he rightly states – he is not a member of Blogger. Alan’s comment comes as a breath of fresh air for although I still disagree with him I feel more comfortable disagreeing with a person whose name I know. The hidden identity is irritating – very much like speaking to a person wearing a mask. Technically nothing should change, the conversation should still be the same, but the big questions that keep knocking at your mind about the person’s ID and why that person chooses anonymity tend to distract from the main subject.

I do not like anonymous comments. I tend to react aggressively and lose objectivity about the nature of the comment. Blogger does let you post by signing your name and in any case you can sign at the end of the comment. On the other hand, I love comments. All kinds. When its a comment (signed) that disagrees with the content it gives me the opportunity to discuss. When its a compliment (thanks Seb from Luxembourg by the way) it gives you that little pleasure and tiny return for dedicating your time to blogging.

The comment is a very important part of the blogging phenomenon. Without the comment there would not be so much interaction. Hits or no hits I still see that a healthy blog provokes at least one comment per post. Which is where anonymous posters come in. Setting aside the bungler who does not make an effort to put his name anywhere on the comment, we are left with the abusers of anonymity. These feel comfortable being rude, irrational and downright irritating simply because they are covered by the shroud of anonymity.

A step away from the anonymous is the second personality. Nicknames on fora and blogs hide the real person. In some cases, like my Sfigho, it is simply to distinguish the comic from the less comic. Others do not abuse of their internet personality (see Maltagirl and Fausto for example). Others tire of their alter ego after a while – witness the demise of Arcibald.

Whatever the case, the Internet gives us a tool of powerful expression. Like all tools it can be used and abused. I for one would vote for less anonymity and more openness. Especially when leaving comments. I’d love to know what any reader of this post thinks… if you do have an idea, you know what to do…. click on REPLIQUE below.

Ah yes… leave anonymous comments only if you have no personality.

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10 responses to “Comments Anonymous

  1. Well, there may be reasons for choosing an alias, eg to keep away from a particular person (as yours truly is doing). OTOH, since I’m not hiding for the sake of it, plenty of people know who this blogger is :-)As for anonymity, when I worked at the Sunday Times, we constantly had to deal with whiny phone calls from people furious that we don’t allow pen names or anonymous letters. I never understood their whingeing, they’d be mostly complaining about bad roads and the like, so why the anonymity? I guess it’s a case of “hadd ma jrid il-pulizija wara biebu”.

  2. This post is so wankellectual. Pfft.

    (Somebody had to do it – Kenneth)

  3. Pompous ass. Who do you think you are?

  4. why do you refer to anon as ‘he, him, his’?

  5. Isma Jacques (jien mhux anonimu – kont xi darba meta kont qaraj imma issa xghari twil :)… Aqbad dan l-artiklu u ghaddieh mil-‘Lorna treatment’! Nissuplikalek! …nixtieq naghmlu jien imma ma tantx ghandi cans… jidher sors ta’ entertainment kbir, kemm is-suggett kif ukoll l-Ingliz kif inhu miktub.

    http://www.di-ve.com/dive/portal/portal.jhtml?id=196947&pid=1

  6. Your real name is one of the only things that you don’t choose for yourself in life. It’s the only thing you’re going to take with you to your grave. Everything else is pretty much ephemeral. So you have to be careful with it; cos it could be your best asset or your downfall.

    Some names can be a burden in themselves, and while it may be easy to judge anonymous posts as being cowardly, bear in mind that some people may have a perfectly good reason for not wanting to disclose their identity when associating themselves with a particular idea.

    It’s the validity of that idea that matters, not so much who expresses it. You are adding nothing to the idea or comment by merely knowing the identity of the poster. The idea remains completely unchanged. At best you’re just satisfying your curiousity.

  7. Arcibald, I read that gem over my morning coffee. Baaaaaaaad idea. To quote another di-ve article, it was quite “disgustful”.

  8. Come on, Athena, that’s pure entertainment! 🙂

  9. Indeed, di-ve should be marketed as Malta’s premier entertainment site. The “disgustful” referred to having to clean coffee off my monitor:P

  10. ah ok 🙂

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