Page 3.14

By Any Other Name?


On Framing Science, Matthew C. Nisbet anticipates putting “an end to anonymous commenting” on his blog. Matt writes that people are “more willing and likely to be uncivil” when they don’t have to face “social sanctions from others.” Other ScienceBloggers disagree. On Adventures in Ethics and Science, Dr. Free-Ride appreciates the value of a pseudonym, noting that some opponents will leverage “our full names and true identities” as a way to “scuttle the dialogue before it has happened or scare us off from taking part in it.” DrugMonkey writes that excluding anonymous comments is like wearing rose-colored glasses, as “politeness is prioritized over acquainting someone with objective reality.” And On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess, Isis the Scientist offers a thread “to celebrate anonymity on the interwebz.” As Anonymous comments, “Last night my husband told that he’s afraid that I hate him. The truth is that I do.” In the pursuit of constructive dialogue, just how much should we know about each other?

Links below the fold.


  1. #1 abb3w
    February 16, 2010

    Perhaps the Overlords need to consider the advantages and drawbacks of semi-automated reputation tools for ScienceBlogs.