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Re: Assigning unique identifiers within a discussion thread to each distinct anonymous commenter

by sundialsvc4 (Abbot)
on Jan 03, 2014 at 16:16 UTC ( #1069163=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Assigning unique identifiers within a discussion thread to each distinct anonymous commenter

PerlMonks is the only forum that I am aware of which allows “anonymous” posting.   On every other system I have ever used, you must be logged-in to write a comment, and if you are not still logged in when you post a comment or a change, you are required to log-in before you may “proceed” (the forum software has helpfully remembered your post-data for you ...).

(The present-day PerlMonks software will, in this situation, silently “forget you,” and will enter your post anonymously.   Which also has the very bad side-effect that the post is no longer “yours,” and can neither be edited nor removed ... a serious problem if your intention was to periodically save your work for an as-yet unfinished “diatribe in-progress” ...)

Because of coffee-shops, pubs and so forth, most forums do not appear to filter or to display the IP-address.   (In fact, that could raise some serious privacy-concerns, the way that international laws on the subject appear now to be shaping up ...)   But all of them do record it, and can employ it for garbage-filtering.

I see little point in attempting to construct “behavioral filters,” nor in constructing anything designed to point-out, let alone penalize, what someone or other perceives to be “bad-ness.”   Very few people – who are sober, anyway (and sometimes late at night they are not ...) – deliberately get their jollies by posting in a vicious way under cover of Anonymous Monk.   (And let me immediately set the record straight that I am making no “sideways comment” about/at anyone in that preceding sentence.   It’s just the way the words came out.)   The odds are much greater that one of two things happened:

  1. They just didn’t bother to log-in, because the site right now doesn’t make them do it.
  2. The site logged them out, reverting their comment to become anonymous.

Anonymous Monk is one of the many “cute quirky things” about this site, and it’s one that we either put-up with, or have grown fond of (along with the Grim Reaper ...), just because the site has always historically worked this way.   But it doesn’t have to work this way.   If the owners don’t want Anonymous Monk to continue to exist (and be able to do things ...) the source-code can be changed.

As for “behavior,” well, programmers as a lot are strong-willed and opinionated.   The very best ones are, anyway.   This sort of thing is just part-and-parcel of human behavior on online forums, especially technical ones.   “Thick skin, Forgiveness,” and “pressing the Back button instead of pressing Reply,” are usually better solutions than anything that software could come up with.   (Heh... Giving the overused “down-vote” key a bit of a rest would be nice, too ...)  The information-content of this forum is what matters the most, and psychology just comes along for the ride.   So be it.

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