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(181,534 posts)
Wed Aug 27, 2014, 09:13 PM Aug 2014

Survey Confirms: Most Trolls Would Shut Up If Forced To Use Their Real Identities


Take away a troll's source of power--anonymity--and the online commenter will think twice before posting on a blog or forum.

A study released Wednesday by online commenting platform Livefyre finds 40% of respondents have commented anonymously. Surveying 1,300 people, the company found of those anonymous commenters:
■88% use real identities some of the time
■5% comment anonymously to bully others
■78% of people who comment anonymously won't do so under their real identities

Unsurprisingly, Livefyre used this as an opportunity to show the benefits of anonymous comments--and plug features, such as comment moderation. For marketers, giving users the option to be incognito ultimately means more engagement. If they weren't under the veil of anonymity, nearly 80% of these commenters would keep their opinions to themselves. In addition, Livefyre said there's still value in anonymous remarks. Of respondents, 59% said they view anonymous comments equal to or more valuable than those from people with verified identities.

What the company recommends is for publishers to post their community guidelines prominently and to give users who add value to online discussions moderation responsibilities. Livefyre also encourages publishers to join the conversation, a subtle reminder to trolls they're always listening.
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Survey Confirms: Most Trolls Would Shut Up If Forced To Use Their Real Identities (Original Post) underpants Aug 2014 OP
Oh those nasty trolls. Always saying things that make me so mad! Pholus Aug 2014 #1
I'm not surprised mythology Aug 2014 #2


(4,062 posts)
1. Oh those nasty trolls. Always saying things that make me so mad!
Wed Aug 27, 2014, 09:47 PM
Aug 2014

If only we could hold them accountable, we'd make the internet a better place. I don't think so...

I disagree with you greatly. Yes, trolls suck. But perfect accountability will keep people from saying things that are sometimes civically necessary. In fact, in some cases it will amplify the victimization of some groups not in the current mainstream as people conform to avoid the "consequences" of being different.

My example comes straight from the NSA revelation that Americans were put under dragnet surveillance for no other reason than they said they were Muslim -- probable cause be damned. It was an embarrassing revelation to me -- showing that there is basically zero actual reasoning behind our dragnet surveillance of Americans.

But even worse was what one of the named individuals understandably said to try to explain why they shouldn't be considered a suspect:

"You should be active in your community. And I have done that. The fact that I was surveilled in spite of doing all that—it just goes to show you the hysteria that everybody feels."

So to want to be left alone should be perceived as being suspicious.

"I've never given a speech where I've said any ill feelings toward the United States."

Saying that you thought W was a war mongering monkey could certainly be considered to be ill will towards the United States by those people who still think he was awesome!

"I was a very conservative, Reagan-loving Republican."

Great. So by implication someone who isn't should be suspect. So much for being a liberal!

"I watch sports. I watch football. My kids are all raised here. My kids at that time went to Catholic school. It isn't as if I was raising them in a different way ..."

So if you prefer soccer, have kids who were born abroad, have kids who attend unapproved schools or who are being taught "unamerican traditions" are all suspect -- compared to someone who doesn't.

Read the whole article and realize that for some groups, the right to say what they're actually thinking without fear of public pressure might be far more valuable than someone in the mainstream might think:


You know what? I'll accept a few trolls if it avoids the consequence of naming everyone and forcing conformity:

Gill correctly perceives that we'll all know what he means when he invokes the characteristics he possesses that would seem to make him less suspicious. The fact that most people internalize these judgments to some degree illustrates how chilling effects work: Americans, especially those who belong to minority groups, formulate a sense of what speech and actions will cast suspicion on or away from them. The mere existence of surveillance thus changes behavior that is constitutionally protected and in many cases civically valuable. This is a significant cost that I've yet to see any national-security official acknowledge.

If you're going to unmask everyone publically, you might as well make em show an ID to vote as well because voting carries more consequences than flinging off a one-liner with a swear word in it.

Note: I don't advocate EITHER.



(9,527 posts)
2. I'm not surprised
Wed Aug 27, 2014, 09:51 PM
Aug 2014

Obviously it's pathetic that some people hide behind "anonymous" screen names to troll or threaten others. But at the same time, there is a benefit to anonymity on the internet in places like China or other repressive regimes.

But so much of humanity can't deal with the responsibility that comes with it.

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