Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be blogging about blogging. Questions about blogging ethics, authenticity vs censorship, etc. Let me begin with the question of anonymous comments.
I am of the belief that if you have something critical to say, own it. I’ve said that before here on this blog, and said that if you are going to post anonymously, I am going to delete your comment. If you feel passionate enough about something to post a comment, especially a mean-spirited or critical comment, the least you can do is own it.
Tonight "matt" (who left this email address: email@example.com) left the following comment on this blog:
"rather than mock this guy why don’t you respond to it? That seems to be the problem with this site. You never address those who disagree with you, you only mock them and move on. Why not wear shirts that say, "Adulterer? Fine by me" or "Embezzler? Fine by me" Why not answer someone rather than just avoiding them?"
I was not a fan of the comment to begin with, because of his poor attempt to equate homosexuality with embezzlement and adultery – that’s not okay in my book and something I don’t tolerate on this blog. So I emailed him about it – but the email was returned to me because the email address doesn’t exist. Then, just for fun, I checked the IP address, and "matt" is a student at Princeton Theological Seminary. So, my problem is that especially if you are a fellow seminarian, you should be able to come to me in person or at least email me your specific concerns – or at least claim your comment with an email address that automatically works. So I took "matt"’s comment down – but if you are reading this Matt, you are more than welcome to leave comments on my blog, as long as they are not hurtful to others who may read my blog – but own them – leave us an email address that works.
Are there other thoughts on anonymous commenters out there? Unless someone can persuade me otherwise, I believe that anonymous comments automatically lose a majority of their credibility because of the anonymity.