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May 02, 2007

Comments policy: Pick a handle

Notice to commenters, please pick one distinctive handle and stick with it. Don't just use "anonymous" as your handle.

Pseuds are welcome, of course. If you want to pick a distinctive variant on "anonymous" like "anonymous 2007" or "anonymous source" or "alcoholics anonymous," that's fine.

I'm just asking folks to be consistent in what they call themselves. It's not conducive to discussion to have to guess whether two comments signed "anonymous" were written by the same person or not.


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What are those that post as anonymous trying to hide?

As promised, I deleted posts signed "anonymous" made after I announced that I wasn't going to allow them any more.

Of course, the troll will complain bitterly that she has been censored. She'll go an tell people "Majikthise is an echo chamber"--but the extensive record speaks for itself. She was banned because she was behaving disruptively and refusing to abide by the rules.

A word to the wise: every once in a while the "remember personal info" button is cleansed, or hacked, or something. A couple of times I have come up here as anonymous, and had to explain, and retype. If I had a dollar for every time I had to type "Sorry, anon was me..." I'd be able to take myself, and one other person, out to dinner at Musso and Frank's.


If I had a blog, which I don't (for a very good reason) I would NOT allow the anonymous handle.

Aww, now my last comment doesn't make any sense ;(

Thanks Lindsey,

I was commenting to sabotabby the other day (I can't remember whether I was trying to follow a conversation here or elsewhere) that it was very difficult to follow conversations conducted among multiple people all calling themselves anonymous.

For those concerned about gendered handles, here are ten non-gendered handles for you:

Wordy McWord Word
Vexing Question
Complex Ideologies

As far as I know, nobody uses these, so feel fee to take them and make them your own.


That was "feel free" and I apologise for misspelling Lindsay's name.

What are those that post as anonymous trying to hide?

Their lack of imagination.

Jennie, people can also make up initials. I could post as AL, or even as JMC; it wouldn't matter that one is real while the other is made up on the spot.

Or they can go to cyberpunk books and movies, which are full of handles that can be generalized. We know Neo and Morpheus and Cypher are male while Trinity is female, but how hard can it be to come up with similar aliases?

What a ridiculous post... criticizing people and threatening (in comments) to disallow their comments if they use anonymous.

In this age of digital stalking, does this make sense? Who are you to tell us what name to use?

Get a life.

Was that so hard, Anonie Mouse?

Alon Levy,

For my 10 made up on-the-spot handles (except for "Wordy McWord Word," I glanced around my office chose some items, and randomly extracted phrases from the books I'm working on. They're not really sexy, cyberpunk aliases, but they'll do for giving others in the conversation a handle on who's espousing which ideas.

It's not hard to find a word or phrase that nobody's using, and that nobody will connect to your real name. They're everywhere, and if I were to post as, oh, I don't know, "Sans Serif" nobody would connect that with "jennie." (Okay, now that I've mentioned it, you all would)—you'd have to trace my IP address to find out that I was a sockpuppet.

Both "Crash Override" and "Acid Burn" are gender-ambiguous.

Hack the planet!

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