Whither the Anonymous Gerbil?


— 10:05 PM on December 29, 2003

Lately, the quality of discussion in our news comments system has been, shall we say, less than stellar. One recurring suggestion to remedy this problem is to eliminate anonymous posting. Implacable jerks, devious PR types, and useless trolls would be easier to track and regulate, if nothing else. With anonymous posting enabled, our moderation abilities are inescapably limited. We have tried using ja.zz's moderator functions to mod down obnoxious posts, but then we get broken or partial conversation threads showing up for those who have chosen not to see modded-down posts, and hapless newbies cry out that their posts have been deleted. We wanted to create a "Gerbil filter," but that creates the same problem with threads that don't flow.

So, I put it to you: should we make the Anonymous Gerbil an endangered species? Has he been polluting the fragile conversational ecosystem for too long? Remember, this is for truly anonymous posting; the use of a nick would still be allowed and encouraged, and we will keep user info confidential, as ever. Go vote in our poll and let us know what you think. We'll take it into account, although the results of the poll alone won't necessarily decide the issue.

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