14 votes

What’s the status on anonymous comments?

A long time ago, there was a discussion about anonymous comment posting. I’d link it if I wasn’t typing at mobile, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

How did things about anonymous posting evolve, @Deimos? Do you plan to eventually make something like this?

There are plenty of topics such as this one which would IMO strongly benefit from anonymous comments - I can definitely see much higher participation if that was the case.

Regarding the abuse, I won’t reiterate all the points made in the thread [todo: link] and purposed solutions, but what about turning anonymous posting on only in some topics, perhaps where the topic author manually turned them on? We could have them for sensitive topics while holding people accountable for their words in all the political topics.

10 comments

  1. Algernon_Asimov
    (edited )
    Link
    I would remind everyone that Deimos has said he is not against the use of alternate accounts, as long as we don't use those alt accounts to manipulate the workings of Tildes (such as voting on our...

    I would remind everyone that Deimos has said he is not against the use of alternate accounts, as long as we don't use those alt accounts to manipulate the workings of Tildes (such as voting on our own posts/comments or double-voting on other people's posts/comments). [EDIT: source] So there's nothing stopping people creating throwaway accounts if they want to share something without having that linked to their primary account.

    (I'm not saying this is a replacement for anonymous commenting. It's just a work-around which is currently available, until such time that anonymous commenting is enabled.)

    7 votes
  2. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      I had the same thought when posting it. Part of what makes the game work is that it's fully anonymous.

      I had the same thought when posting it. Part of what makes the game work is that it's fully anonymous.

      2 votes
  3. [8]
    skybrian
    Link
    Spam seems like an issue, so I'd rather see it turned on for specific topics where the person posting the topic turned it on, not site-wide. And it probably should turn off automatically after the...

    Spam seems like an issue, so I'd rather see it turned on for specific topics where the person posting the topic turned it on, not site-wide. And it probably should turn off automatically after the topic has been inactive for a while.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      spit-evil-olive-tips
      Link Parent
      I assume it would still require the user to be logged in, but with a "post anonymously" checkbox that would simply not display their username, and hide that comment from the user's "recent...

      I assume it would still require the user to be logged in, but with a "post anonymously" checkbox that would simply not display their username, and hide that comment from the user's "recent comments" page. Deimos would still be able to see who posted it for the purposes of spam or trolling comments, and presumably that comment would still factor in to the user's overall trust score (ie, posting Noise comments anonymously would not be a loophole to escape those comments affecting your "karma").

      If it were implemented, I would like to see it site-wide, rather than only if the creator of a topic opted-in to it. (though maybe the creator of a topic could have an option to force anonymous posting on every comment in that thread?)

      Another consideration is if you'd want identities associated with anonymous posters, within a thread:

      User A, posting anonymously

      User B, posting non-anonymously

      User C, posting anonymously where it isn't clear if they're User A responding to B, or User C entering the conversation

      You could perhaps display User A as "anonymous poster #1" in that thread, which would allow for anonymized conversations to take place (since User C's comment would get labeled "anonymous poster #2").

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        My assumption was that it's actually anonymous and doesn't require login. Anonymous but requiring login would probably fix the spam problem. Recording the username anywhere is not what I'd...

        My assumption was that it's actually anonymous and doesn't require login.

        Anonymous but requiring login would probably fix the spam problem.

        Recording the username anywhere is not what I'd consider anonymous. But maybe it could be described differently?

        1 vote
        1. spit-evil-olive-tips
          Link Parent
          Remember that Tildes is still invite-only. Just making it "anyone can sign up, no invite required" is a huge step that we're not ready for at the moment. Making it "anyone can post without even...

          Remember that Tildes is still invite-only. Just making it "anyone can sign up, no invite required" is a huge step that we're not ready for at the moment.

          Making it "anyone can post without even signing up" would be another big step beyond that, and not one I'm convinced would be worth doing, at any point. A huge part of why I'm here and why I believe Tildes will succeed is the trust/reputation system, and 4chan-style truly anonymous posting would undermine that significantly.

          8 votes
    2. Amarok
      Link Parent
      Abuse shouldn't be a serious issue, since admins can still see who is who until the data is wiped at 30 days or whatever threshold. If no one noticed the abuse by then, it's hard to see how it's a...

      Abuse shouldn't be a serious issue, since admins can still see who is who until the data is wiped at 30 days or whatever threshold. If no one noticed the abuse by then, it's hard to see how it's a problem. Any abuse detection code can see who is posting since it's operating at the admin level. Simple triggers like racial slurs can be effective red flags.

      We should be so lucky that the spammers and trolls would assume they can use the anon feature to get away with being asshats. Just makes them easy to find and ban. It's likely to require earning some level of trust to be able to post anonymously - even if that's just something simple like a mandatory waiting period (such as we use for labels) or some low level of participation. That'll give new users time to settle in before tempting them with anonymity.

      4 votes
    3. [3]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      But that would then reveal the identities of everyone who chose to participate anonymously. There would have to be a warning sent to all participants in the thread: "[This thread] will revert from...

      And it probably should turn off automatically after the topic has been inactive for a while.

      But that would then reveal the identities of everyone who chose to participate anonymously. There would have to be a warning sent to all participants in the thread: "[This thread] will revert from anonymous to identified in 7 days. If you do not wish your username attached to your comments in this thread, you will need to delete them."

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        My assumption was that if a post is anonymous, no username is recorded, so this couldn't happen. Rather, I was thinking the topic would be closed to new posts after a while. It seems odd that...

        My assumption was that if a post is anonymous, no username is recorded, so this couldn't happen. Rather, I was thinking the topic would be closed to new posts after a while.

        It seems odd that three different people assumed "anonymous" meant the username should still be recorded? That doesn't seem very safe for the person posting.

        1. Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          The proposal which Soptik is following up in this post is one where comments are still linked to the user who posts them, but the only difference is that their username is not displayed: it's...

          It seems odd that three different people assumed "anonymous" meant the username should still be recorded?

          The proposal which Soptik is following up in this post is one where comments are still linked to the user who posts them, but the only difference is that their username is not displayed: it's hidden behind a random "mask". That's the anonymising feature which has previously and repeatedly been discussed here, and that's the context in which everyone is replying to you.

          People have assumed that your suggestion would be implemented in combination which that previously discussed idea - which means that anonymous comments would be unmasked after a period of time, revealing the commenter's username (because it was only hidden from display, not fully unlinked from the comment).

          4 votes