This blog,originally founded by Blogger, who is listed in Marquis Who's Who and is a recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. He holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Anonymous Commenting

We ask people who post under anonymous to take a made-up name.  The reason is that if we have several Anonymouses, we don’t know which one to whom we are responding.  

One Anonymous just wrote:
“Blogger, you want me to accept an ID. Why should I give you or anyone else, especially Big Brother, my true identity?  Taking an ID is rather risky, especially now. I am sure you understand. I would prefer not to, if you don't mind.” 

My reply: Anonymous:  At one point in my life when I was protesting government actions, every time there was any extra crackle on my phone, I thought I was being bugged.  So I know the feeling.  However, on this blog, there is no way of our knowing who is commenting.  There is no difference whether you adopt a nickname or are anonymous.   We can not trace people and we would not want to even if we could.  I have been running this blog for  years.  There have been 38,615 comments so far.  At his point, I know who only  two of the commenters are and that is because they self-identified themselves one day in public.  One of them, I had known all his life and still never guessed from his nickname or his comments that he was someone I knew. 

I know all this is hard to believe, but it is the gospel truth.  (By the way, only a few ever put their URL on and they do it because they want people to come to their own personal blogs.)

15 comments:

G.I.G said...

I wonder if the nonny's post while wearing their tinfoil hats ?

Wolf's Head said...

I know I do.....

Anonymous said...

Blogger, you have many, many anonymous commenters. Yet, I've noticed that if an anonymous comment strikes a nerve or makes a very valid point that you or New Guy does not like, you will try to discourage that person from commenting using the anonymous id. It happens every time.

You say there is no way you can find out who is making the comment. Yet, when one registers as you wish, their email address is recorded somewhere. Maybe you don't have access, but others do, on Google or wherever.

It is not that you get confused, because of the numerous anonymous comments. It is not because of the anonymous id period. It is purely what a commenter says that especially you or New Guy objects to.

NewGuy said...

anon....I found your post (above) in the spam folder.

I'm sure blogger can speak for himself but I will tell you for the both of us that neither of us has asked anyone to "register" with your Google account. It's fine if you do register, and yes, Google would have your email address if you do, but neither blogger nor I have any way that I know of to obtain it.

But, that's beside the point. We haven't asked that you register, only that you pick a nickname to post with. You can do that without registering - just click the "name/URL" button instead of the "anonymous" button when you go to post. Then you make up a nickname and enter it into the block that appears. No registration; No email address; no giving up of privacy. You can even pick a different nickname every time you choose to post here. But, it does make it easier to respond to you and to discern YOUR comments from all the other "anons" that may be posting.

The problem with using "anonymous" instead of a name is that we will frequently have 4 or 5 or more posts on a thread all posting as "anonymous".Sometimes supporting one another; sometimes opposing ... When others try to read the thread, it is impossible to determine which "anon" is posting and responding without being able to separate one "anon" from another just adds to the confusion.

Personally, I don't care. I have taken the "Mike D" approach. I just refrain from responding to most anonymous posters unless, such as here, it's to clarify something or to assist someone who appears to be a new poster.

Blogger said...

Anonymous, As to Google getting your e-mail, if you have been keeping up with the news lately, Google has become the big brother collecting everything about you. People register for Google accounts in order do a lot of things beyond posting on blogs. However, it does not matter whether one does or does not get a Google account, Google is collecting everything you do no matter where you do it. The point being to sign up for Google accounts or not to does not protect them from them knowing you. Google knows where you live, even watching from above. But to repeat, we do not have a clue about anyone nor do we want to.

Blogger said...

By the way, Anonymous, we aren't the only one confused by the many anonymous comments, the spam filter over which we have no control often grabs anonymous comments even before we see them. The filter does not screen them all out. Evidently it is following some rule that we are not clear about. Remember all spam (many each day) calls itself anonymous, so it is easy to understand how the filter gets overzealous. And, I am very grateful for Google's spam filter. Before they did it, it was very embarrassing to be offered little girls for sex in Cambodia or girls from Russia practically every week.

Anonymous said...

'Not complaining about Google's spam filter or whatever.

Your access or exposure to whatever embarrassing websites or links is not my problem.

My point is that when I make a comment that you or New Guy does not like, the anonymous id is the means by which you try to intimidate commenters.

Anonymous said...

wouldnt it be easier for them to just delete your comment?

Sarkazein said...

"My point is that when I make a comment that you or New Guy does not like, the anonymous id is the means by which you try to intimidate commenters."- Anonymous


How could it be made any clearer? NewGuy, when you answer anonymous's comments/complaints, don't use "NewGuy" use "Anonymous". Maybe that will help.

Anonymous said...

Sarkazein- You are brilliant. I can tell by your comments you are very thoughtful and very charitable for being such an obviously handsome man.

Sarkazein said...

Thank you Anonymous. I hope NewGuy can convince you that this blog appreciates thoughtful counter points. But bloggin' aint for sissies, so expect hard rebuttals as most here are passionate about the subjects. A screen name just makes it easier to have a political discussion.

Nobody said...

Nonny sounds a bit paranoid. Hate to break it to you, but everything New Guy and the others here are trying to tell you is right. I never log in to Google to post as Nobody, an incredibly descriptive screen name if I do say so myself. New Guy even thinks I'm a female - which I'm not :) If Blogger and New Guy could find out everything about me, wouldn't they know my gender? Claiming they are "intimidated" by your using anonymous is a canard. Other readers grow familiar with certain posters' views on issues and one can develop a "personality" on this site -- if they choose a name. To be honest, I've wished I could get to know some of the other posters here, but I only know one other poster who rarely visits here anymore (Cincinnatus - wishing you the best). If you're worried about Google or any other entity knowing anything about you, best to disconnect your internet and return to a pre- information age lifestyle. Everything you do can be identified by your URL address and cookies by the right people, but the average blog operator or fellow poster cannot know.

NewGuy said...

Nobody....My apologies for the gender confusion. I was thinking that you had previously identified yourself as female. Obviously I was wrong. Probably my memory has once again failed me and I have you confused with someone else.

Sorry for my error.

You are also right on your point that, if one is worried so much about privacy - the internet is probably not the best place to hang out!

Sarkazein said...

My compliment to myself (above Anonymous comment 5:39pm) is another reason using the "Anonymous" name is bad. How many Anonymouses out there were saying to themselves "That wasn't me!"?

NewGuy said...

Sark...anon 5:39 had me fooled!

Good one! Ya got me!