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In Defense of Anonymous Cowards

Velocity Being real (228 comments)

I recently had a discussion of similar content with some friends of mine, but it was more concerned with starting in the gaming arena. The idea was that you would have a unique signature that would identify you and that could not be spoofed. Therefore if you did something in a game that people didn't like, the admin could permanently block you from playing, rather than just blocking your IP which many people can get around by just reconnecting. This led to other stuff such as something which recorded everything you did so you could prove yourself innocent should you be accussed of doing something bad. This bothered me and the more ideas he presented the less I liked it. I do believe people should be responsible for their actions, but I don't really think an elaborate mechanism for enforcing it is the way to go.

As for the anonymous coward thing, I think I can see why people might be tempted to use it, the extra time to sign up for a /. account is more likely to cause you not to post at all, at least anon gives you a quicker way to post. But, assuming that everyone who wanted to post had an ID already, if you are going to say something you should be willing to identify yourself. Not that most of the discussions are anything more than flame wars with people bickering about the topic rather than discussing it. I guess what I'm saying is, if you don't like anonymous coward, then skip the posts by them. As people are ignored and their flame posts are not responded to, they may find that when they really have something to say they will stop being cowards and post it with their name on it.

more than 15 years ago


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