In a very interesting article from the WSJ, the issues of a lack of civility when it comes to comments on blog sites, is coming under fire. According to some, Internet users who surf using the anonymous moniker feel impervious in the way they comment on topics posted on blog sites. It seems that a small number are leaving comments that attack other posters and add nothing at all to the conversation. But in what seems like an obvious way to control unsavory comments is to have all comments moderated.

In the WSJ article it also states that:

Part of the problem is that people who conceal their names seem to feel free to say things they never would if their identities were known. There are obvious cases—dissidents living in authoritarian countries—where anonymity is needed. But as Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. wrote recently, message boards dominated by anonymous comments often become “havens for a level of crudity, bigotry, meanness and plain nastiness that shocks the tattered remnants of our propriety.”

There are remedies. Popular commentators on many sites and blogs go by their own names or at least by recognizable noms de plume, so their comments can be tracked. Sites letting readers rank the reputation of comment writers also help.

Peer News, a new site launching in Hawaii and funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, will not permit comments at all. Editor John Temple said anonymity had so reduced responsibility that comments sections have been dominated by “racism, hate, ugliness” and “reflect badly on news organizations that have them.”

I find this an interesting topic since some of the comments that have been received at Lockergnome are not always flattering. Yet, we monitor the comments, and rarely does anything make the comment stage without an examination by the blog site owner.

So I guess my questions is this. Why aren’t all sites monitored for comment content? Seems simple to me.

Comments welcome.

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