A great article on "Why we need to get rid of anonymous comments".
Original post made by peter carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood, on Mar 10, 2011
" Anonymity has long been hailed as one of the founding philosophies of the Internet, a critical bulwark protecting our privacy. But that view no longer holds. In all but the most extreme scenarioseverywhere outside of repressive governmentsanonymity damages online communities. Letting people remain anonymous while engaging in fundamentally public behavior encourages them to behave badly. Indeed, we shouldn't stop at comments. Web sites should move toward requiring people to reveal their real names when engaging in all online behavior that's understood to be publicwhen you're posting a restaurant review or when you're voting up a story on Reddit, say. In almost all cases, the Web would be much better off if everyone told the world who they really are."
"What's my beef with anonymity? For one thing, several social science studies have shown that when people know their identities are secret (whether offline or online), they behave much worse than they otherwise would have. Formally, this has been called the "online disinhibition effect,"
As I have stated elsewhere on this forum "The people who post on this forum anonymously do so, by their own admission, for the very reason that they wish to hide something (definition - 1. without any name acknowledged, as that of author, contributor, or the like: an anonymous letter to the editor; an anonymous donation.
2. of unknown name; whose name is withheld: an anonymous author.
3. lacking individuality, unique character, or distinction).
What exactly they wish to hide can only be guessed - it may be their name, their actual place of residence, their occupation, their experience or lack thereof, their otherwise known biases and conflicts of interest or the fact that they have also posted under numerous other noms de guerre. What these anonymous individuals opine must then be filtered though the lens which they themselves have created. In a discussion such as this one about the airport it is always helpful to be able to assess the knowledge base of the poster - which is difficult to do if we have no idea who they are or of their competency on the subject matter. Each reader must therefore use their own judgment in evaluating such postings.
Let the anonymous attacks begin.