February 24, 2004

Anonymous Coward

I have copied this title from my professor's blog. Some of you may be noticing the new claim at the top of my blog: "Comments without valid e-mail addresses will be deleted."

I know that the person creating a stir on my last controversial entry does not have the e-mail he/she listed. I do not know who this "Michael" is; however, when I wanted to thank him for his last statement in an e-mail, I discovered that the one provided is not real. In short, blunt terms: Anonymous Coward.

Of course I will not screen every e-mail that comes my way, but I want to promote true identity on my blog. So please, if you do not like me or what I have to say, say it with your own digital self; I will definitely hold what you are saying--good or pitilessly evil--in a more positive light.

Mr. Anderson is sometimes better than Neo.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at February 24, 2004 10:56 PM

Giving credit where credit is due... I copied the "Anonymous Coward" moniker from http://slashdot.org, which has a very complex and evolved attitude towards anonymity and free speech.

On that blog, anyone can post, but if they choose to post anonymously, their comment gets a reputation penalty. Readers of Slashdot can set their reputation threshhold so that they read absolutely everything (including anonymous drivel) or they can restrict their view so that they only read comments that their peers have voted as being worth reading.

Slashdot has hundreds of thousands of readers, and every so often a random number of readers are appointed as moderators, who can assign a certain number of reputation points -- promoting worthwhile comments and demoting worthless ones.

That sort of thing only works when you have a huge audience, but when there is a huge audience you also have a huge motivation for thrill-seekers who get their jollies by disrupting or annoying. Thus, the moderation system preserves the freedom of speech, but also permits readers to avoid wasting time wading through pointless comments.

By the way, I tried to add paragraphs in this comment, but you've got your comments set to strip out HTML.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 25, 2004 9:29 AM

Yeah, I know about that. How do I fix it?

Posted by: Amanda at February 25, 2004 5:07 PM

lol, someone was playing with her blog sheet a bit, eh? ;^)

Posted by: Karissa at February 25, 2004 10:24 PM

I think it happened when we fixed the colors, or when I fixed them on my own.

Posted by: Amanda at February 25, 2004 10:29 PM

I think it's actually on your configuration sheet...or at least that's where I think it may be, that's where the convert links to html in comments option is.

Anyway, I also had a strange problem on my blog with an "anonymous coward" right before Christmas break. I had complained about something innocuous, and a fellow Seton Hiller was giving me suggestions. Someone who doesn't like my Seton Hiller left three comments that made fun (in a rude way) of my commenter, with ficticious names and email addresses, of course.

I printed it out and deleted the comments immediately (I caught the comments about 15 minutes after they were posted) and then I determined that the ISP was on campus. I have my suspicions.

Your situation was a little different, but I whole-heartedly applaud deleting people with fake emails or names. :) Of course, I also have a big black Sharpie that I use to censor the Internet. ;)

Posted by: Julie at February 26, 2004 9:58 PM

Thanks Julie, I don't feel like the twirling-mustached nasty character in a bad silent western now that I have read what you do.

Big "good" cowboy man: "Get that varmint that keeps censoring the internet." Hehe. My imagination likes to run away with me.

Posted by: Amanda at February 27, 2004 12:20 AM

Weblog Config > Preferences.

Set "Text Formatting for comments" to "Convert Line Breaks".

I checked "Auto-link URLs" in the NMJ site since may students won't know how to do HTML anyway, but if you want your posters to be able to use formatting, you should uncheck that and check "Allow HTML in comments" instead.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 27, 2004 1:15 AM
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