The Economist on BB's comment policy

For The Economist, Glenn Fleishman wrote an item about our comment policies, which are strict as fuck. (Disclosure: Glenn also writes for BB occasionally)

Beschizza approvingly cites an essay published in July by Anil Dash, the first employee of blog-software firm Six Apart, and who is currently involved in not-for-profit efforts to help governments and citizens talk effectively to one another. Mr Dash called on sites with communities and forums actively to police themselves, rather than allow the most egregious participants to set the tone. "If your website is full of assholes, it's your fault," he writes bluntly. "And if you have the power to fix it and don't do something about it, you're one of them."

Boing Boing's substantial community is ably moderated by Antinous and his splendid cronies, the unsung heroes of the piece. Alongside these traditional subjects of spam, trolls, toxicity and general quality control, however, the hot issue now is of anonymity and pseudonymity.

To clarify a little, I think everyone at BB is actually a hardliner on the "Nymwars" issue: requiring real names is bad. But I don't think any site running on standard well-logged webserver setups, which can get subpoenad, seized or hacked, should claim to offer complete anonymity. Technical, traceable fingerprints may remain. Here, you can post under any identity you like, but it is incumbent on everyone to learn how to protect themselves.