In view of the thoughts of some of our esteemed readers and a general consensus among the blog administrators, we will continue to prohibit anonymous comments but will permit commenters to register under a pseudonym. If you want to use a pseudonym, when you fill out the information for your first comment in the New comment section you need to pick a unique “Name” and send us a real email address. We’ll confirm pseudonyms with an email the first time you comment under the new pseudonym. Each subsequent comment will need to use the same “Name” and email identity or you’ll be put back into moderation.

NOTE: We retain the right to reject pseudonyms for email addresses that we can’t identify with real persons or we identify with real persons that we believe will abuse our non-abusive comment policies. So if we don’t know you and you want to comment pseudo-nonymously I’d suggest you do something to allay those fears in an email. If we end up accepting and then unapproving serial pseudonyms we’ll probably either scale the policy back to requiring real names or . . .

14 Responses to “Updated Comment Policy”

  1. Cheap Seats says:

    Sounds fair. Let’s see if “civility” works longer here than in Congress :)

  2. SueDB says:

    Give it a go.

  3. Charlie F. says:

    Pseudo-nonymous? Is this a 12-step meeting?

  4. John O'Connor says:

    Good change.

  5. Snuffy says:

    • These are very reasonable accommodations for those of us that are publicity impaired. I understand completely the desire to avoid trolls and dishonorable comments, but I take umbrage with anyone who says that anonymous commenters are necessarily cowards or dishonorable. While there are certainly those who attack and hide, there are many simple reasons to avoid public attribution in today’s world, very few of them are related to fear for personal careers (Sorry Charlie).
    I am not now, nor never have been afraid to speak my mind or give an opinion to leadership or my peers. Some folks just like to keep their real names and IDs off the web as much as possible- I don’t need any publicity, professional or personal. In addition- sometimes my comments are inane or even an attempt at humor (and yes, I realize that sarcasm and irony often don’t translate well to short text blurbs, sigh) that I wish to separate from my professional persona.
    Interestingly enuff, there are times when the fields on this blog automatically populate with the real email address of those who have commented before me– always a danger that a systems glitch will dispense with anonymity.
    Besides, I love to read comments from Sooner Grunt and others with unique IDs and I don’t really want to know who they are because I am sure that will spoil it for me– Egads folks, there is such little mystery in life as it is. Let’s not succumb– because if we do, the trolls win.

  6. Dew_Process says:

    Well put Snuffy!

  7. SueDB says:

    Looks good to me – email – submitted

  8. Ama Goste says:

    What Snuffy said.

  9. soonergrunt says:

    I certainly don’t have any cause to go attacking anyone on this site, least of all for the quality of their respective legal opinions and experience.

    I use a pseudonym primarily because I have my real name which I use quite a bit with old friends and family and work, and I have my pseudonym for the stuff that’s either less interesting to them (like military stuff) or the political stuff that has no bearing on my work life.

  10. Socrates says:

    Reasonable compromise.

  11. SgtDad says:

    This is a good idea. Y’all should know that in the litigation world, one of the first things paralegals do in a new case is run the names of counsel & the parties through Facebook & do some Google searches. You would not be surprised what turns up. You would be surprised at how innocuous postings can be twisted. This is a good way to keep work, family, & blog worlds divided by sensible boundaries.

  12. RY says:

    I had a boss once who told me, half-joking, that I’d never get by in life if I used my full first name because it had too many syllables (2). Alas, brevity has stuck with me, at least with my name. As for my posts, brevity is still finding it’s way.

  13. Brian le chien says:

    Ruff Ruff. Sounds like a good plan.

  14. Bart Slabbekorn says:

    For an interesting discussion of the moral consequences of anonymity, check out the story of the Ring of Gyges in Book 2 of Plato’s Republic.