A call for a redesigned town square
Original post made by Sandy Piderit, Mohr Park, on Nov 30, 2010
Here's an exerpt:
"Content providers, social networking platforms and community sites must also do their part by rethinking the systems they have in place for user commentary so as to discourage or disallow anonymity. Reuters, for example, announced that it would start to block anonymous comments and require users to register with their names and e-mail addresses in an effort to curb "uncivil behavior."
Some may argue that denying Internet users the ability to post anonymously is a breach of their privacy and freedom of expression. But until the age of the Internet, anonymity was a rare thing. When someone spoke in public, his audience would naturally be able to see who was talking.
Others point out that there's no way to truly rid the Internet of anonymity. After all, names and e-mail addresses can be faked. And in any case many commenters write things that are rude or inflammatory under their real names.
But raising barriers to posting bad comments is still a smart first step. Well-designed commenting systems should also aim to highlight thoughtful and valuable opinions while letting trollish ones sink into oblivion."
I'm all for a vigorous discussion of the issues, and I think that a Town Square that provided a forum for that kind of discussion, while also discouraging trolling, would be a big draw for the PW website.
What is being done to explore alternative software platforms to the current, clunky one?