Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ethics of anonymous commentary

I found an excellent article today in the Online Journalism Review concerning issues related to anonymous commentary in blogs. The article discusses and informs some of my thinking about maintaining the use of comment moderation on my blog.
[M]edia cannot offer transparency to the readers unless the readers are also willing to be transparent. If "News is a Conversation," then transparency is required among all participants in that conversation, including the readers.
I don't go quite as far as Crosbie suggests in the article. I have a pretty good idea of who some of the anonymous or pseudonymous commenters on my blog are. Even when they have not specifically told me why their identities are concealed, I have some idea why they feel it necessary. So I will make my decisions based on content of the submitted comment.

Then again, Crosbie is writing for journalists. I'm not a journalist. I only pretend to be a journalist on this blog when I get up after falling off my skateboard and decide to stop pretending to be a skateboarder for a while.

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