What's with the comments?

I'm trying something for a couple of days that I've been toying with. I'm turning on the registration feature which requires people to register for a screen name before they can comment.

Why? Too many people are leaving comments as "anonymous" and not taking any responsibility for their words. Last night I was deleting comments left and right. Comments were either improper or off topic, and I get tired of being the comment police for the reason that some people wouldn't follow a simple request.

I'm tossed between this feature being "too much on-line government" and it being a welcome respite.

So, what say you non-anonymous commenters? Because the anonymous ones get to weigh in at around 5:15 today, when I turn the feature off.


Noon Update - I turned the feature off early. What do the anonymous among you have to say about all of it?


lexrex said…
problem is that the google password doesn't always work, and it makes some of us re-register every time we make a comment.
lexrex said…
and of course, now it's working.
nonnie said…
I agree with the password problem, but it's small potatoes compared to giving us supremely intelligent people to expound our extremely intelligent solutions to today's problems!

I was suprised that I couldn't just post like usual, but then I followed thru and registered with Google. I didn't have to give my name, am still anonymous, just registered the pseudonym I've always used.

Works for me! But how is this going to cut down on the nasty or off topic posts when we are still really anonymous?
arenli said…
One problem that registering users isn’t going to fix. If someone wants to post something anonymously, all they have to do is sign up for another Google ID. All you need is an email address. I have seven different email addresses that I could use for seven different ID’s…and I could easily have more what with Gmail, Yahoo mail, hotmail, aol, etc.

If someone wants to be a jerk, forcing them to register is not going to stop them. Even IP addresses can be spoofed – for a certain more intelligent class of jerk. So tracking these isn’t going to stop a determined @$$. That being said, it will make them do a little extra work before they display their jerkitude. I say go for it. Make them register.
Boiled Owl said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said…
I like the idea personally, but I must agree with others that the password situation can be a problem. I think it would cut down on the nasty comments because you can trace those comments back to an individual poster, instead of trying to guess which one of the 50 anon. posts it belongs to.
Good deal! Grandad always told me to be proud of anything I sign my name to. This has been a long time in coming.
MustBeKidding said…
Don't know if I will be doing this much...sounds kinda complicated...I know the anonymous thing isn't always proper but I have a job I want to keep, ha.
a_big_liberal said…
It sometimes takes me 3 or 4 tries to get past the word verification test, for some reason. Then it sometimes takes 3 or 4 tries to get my google password to work.

Oh well. The rest of us have been dealing with it, because we don't mind standing behind what we say. It's a small price to pay for accountability.
Anonymous said…
That's right, "a big liberal." You're really standing behind what you say ... from the cozy comfort of a pseudonym.
Anonymous said…
Only took you a few hours to realize that the end of anonymous commenting would essentially be the end of your blog, right PP?
Anonymous said…
Thanks, PP for allowing anonymous comments. That is what makes this site so well-read!
Anonymous said…
1:32, Somehow I don't think disallowing anonymous sniping would mean he isn't going to write for his own pleasure.
Anonymous said…
He doesn't write this for his own pleasure. He writes it to be read, and for some advertising revenue. Readership is paramount, and disallowing anonymous comments will obviously hurt his readership. It took him all of 4 hours to realize this. PP is a good businessman.
Anonymous said…
I didn't get online until this afternoon, so unfortunately I wasn't able to test the feature out. Sorry, PP.
William said…
Those of us that are actually open to dialog probably already use an identity.
Anonymous said…
does the name of the person behind the idea have any bearing on the idea's worth, william?
Anonymous said…
today is the day PP jumped the shark.

comments are down, poll participation is down.

it was a good run.
Anonymous said…
The logical error of judging a statement based on the identity or characteristics of the person making the statement is called "argumentum ad hominem". PP commits this error every time he writes that anonymous statements are less credible than statements by named commenters. Statements are true or false based on their merits, not on their author.

I think PP’s just nervous now because he’s right back where he was when he screwed up the Sutton thing so badly. He wants to be a blogger. But, now that he knows something his readers don’t know, he lacks the nerve to blog what he knows.

As my mother used to say when we’d hold the back door open “In or out you kids! In or out!”

In or out you PP! In or out!
Anonymous said…
Something happened to the main page. The sidebars have moved to below the posts. Is that happening for anyone else? If not, maybe my browser settings are off.
nonnie said…
What was the big deal about disabling anonymous comments? We could still use our blogger names so nobody knew us anyway. If PP knows us, so what. He's got the right, it's his blog. But we can still chat with each anonymously even with a pseudonym.

BTW, I am as curious as the next person what the big story is, but I can also understand why PP wouldn't jump the gun on this.
PP said…
If I jumped the shark, maybe I wouldn't have to type so darn much.

What I'm trying to do is to find a happy balance between expression and civility. I ended it early because.... well.. Because I felt like it. Nothing more sinister than that.

If you haven't noticed, I'm about the only one who allows the anonymous comments. And it can be a pain because I have to police it.

As far as the big thing on the horizon, I'm not releassing details because A) - I'm hearing different things depending on who I talk to, and B)- nobody has been charged with anything yet. and C) - there is no documentation yet.

If you all what to start blogs that will print that kind of stuff, be my guest. I'm not going to. I feel as if I'm going out on a limb by just saying as little as I did, in an effort to give the heads up.

I gave up what little was verified after speaking with several people. If you would do it differently, let me know what your RSS feed is, so I can add you to the blogs on the left for the month you're going to be in operation.

I'm hoping for more longevity than that.
Anonymous said…

Just like the Dan Sutton thing you screwed up it's apparant you know more than you're telling. Your little act where you show a little leg is useless and sad.

The trouble with your childish admonition to your critics to get their own blogs is that you're the one who purports to be the blogger with the inside stuff. Either be the insider blogger or don't.
PP said…
Anon 5:29 - are you just pretending to be that stupid?

I just said that I provided what I thought I could. I've *heard* plenty. What do I *know* as the truth? Very little. I had more on the Sutton thing than I do now. At least then, I had a piece of paper.

In addition, it sounds as if an arrest might be pending. I'm not going to screw that up.

As much as you want the gory little details, the story is not ripe yet. When it is, I guarantee you I'm going to hear all about it.

Until we have more information, you can just sit tight and wait to destroy someone's life. I'd prefer to wait until I have the facts to see if it's deserved.
Anonymous said…
Ted Klaudt would never post anonymously. So he'd probably vote for having to make people get an anonymous google login before they could post.

PS: This is not Ted Klaudt.
Anonymous said…

Put up or shut up.
Anonymous said…

This is fun.
PP said…
Anon 6:21 - Like it, or leave it.
Anonymous said…
No, ted would never.

That's what I like about this blog, PP. I have a job, let's say that would not afford me the luxury of posting under an assumed name for if that name were to be attached to me I could get in deep do due. Now I know a lot of people and hear a lot of things and this is the perfect forum to share and pick up similar tidbits from people like me.

Put lexrex and nonnie in the corner, maybe they'll make out but I doubt we would ever get anything useful out of either of them other than their opinion. Dirt, PP, I want dirt and the anonymous option will get that and continue to be a source requiring verification...this isn't the NY Times or the Argus Leader for God's sake.

A lot of comments on political officials and their ideas can be freely discussed here w/out the worry of who are we pissing off. A lot of hypocracy can be exposed. If you want this to be blogmore, go ahead, you'll have the same 10 people posting all the time. I won't be one of them.


PS-Lee S. is an ass and will NEVER be governor, you know who is going to jail, Joel D is a joke, Judy Payne resigned from DOT 5 days after the indictment for non "family reasons", T. Johnson is worse off than people know and its being hidden, Rounds will not run against Herseth, Dusty J. does have a bright future if he'd take a deep breath every now and then, SANDY JERSTAD AND TOM KATUS ARE GOING TO A LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE...
Anonymous said…

"Like it or leave it."

Ther you go! That's the spirit that made this country great PP! Because God forbid a dissenting voice be heard.

As to your rumor-mongering in this case to which you allude below and the Dan Sutton deal, you should leave news gathering and reporting to the big boys. Your rumor-mongering srves no purpose but to encourage more rumors.
Anonymous said…
Good comment 6:32. Well said.
PP said…
6:21, As if "put up or shut up" was any better?

If you didn't notice, unlike this country, this blog is a private enterprise. So I'm allowed to have any attitude I want.

If someone came into your home, flipped you attitude, and told you how much you sucked, I don't recall a law saying you have to smile sweetly.

So you don't like the fact I'm going to provide only as much as I wish to? Tough sh*t. It's my party. If you don't like it, I don't care.

You're welcome to go somewhere else. And I'd invite you to.
Anonymous said…
I support your decision, PP.
Anonymous said…
You tell him PP!!

No dissent here!!

Yea PP!!

By the way, your analogy about that guy's home is stupid. You opened this up for comments. Good comments areas have lively discussions that involve all points of view. Bad comments sections run by rumor-mongering gossips strive for uniformity and big cheering sections. Ugh.
Anonymous said…
this is usually the point at which someone's wife or mother chimes in on this blog
Anonymous said…
PP, I'll agree to call for some restraint when you agree to give the "thing" the same run as you did Sutton.

Thanks buddy.
PP said…
hey 9:08, if you're not noticing, I'm giving it even more treatment. Because I had paper in hand on Sutton, and I don't here.

Normally, I wouldn't have touched it.
Anonymous said…
Beginning at 1:32 pm, this thread got interesting. As the evening progressed, it got much, much more interesting. It's the only thing keeping people here, and PP knows it.

Anonymous posting is here to stay. Bet on it.
PP said…
I wouldn't bet the bank.....
Anonymous said…
For all you people giving PP crap on a different post.
Back off, I agree with PP he has no proof in hand and he is doing it the right thing. Yep, he gave us a possible tid bit and that is great if what could be coming down the pike is not then people hasn't said anything against anybody that could get him in trouble. I would say that he is handling this the correct way.

If he chooses to make his blog non anonymous posting that is his choice and his right. Like he and others have said just start your own and work to get the same readership he has.

if you see blunders so be it i did not proof so live with it.
PP said…
I'd add that my mom is dead, so she didn't write that.
David Newquist said…
3:17 makes a grossly false statement. The commenter tries to argue that the value of a comment should be based upon the comment alone and not attached to identity. The statement contends that identifying a commenter is "argumentum ad hominem." If Pulitzer Prizes were awarded for absurdity, this statement could be nominated.

"Argumentum ad hominem" is ignoring the question raised and attacking the personality of a person. It may be that putting an actual identity to a truly stupid and irresponsible comment may be a derogation of the personality, but in such case it would be a matter of whom fallacious fact and reasoning can be attributed to.

If anyone actually reads the theory of rhetoric as it goes back to Aristotle, one finds that identification is an essential part of productive discussion, and to paraphrase Aristotle, the first mode of persuasion is based upon the character and credibility of the persuader.

When PP casts doubt on the credibility of anonymous comments, he is reflecting 2,000 years of writing and thinking about what comprises valuable writing and thinking.
Anonymous said…
David’s comment is screwy. Besides Newquist’s PP-esque (ie bad) grammar and his inability to correctly identify the comment he attempts to rebut, he doesn’t really understand the ad hominem fallacy. The ad hominem fallacy is not simply attacking a person. It is weaving another person’s identity or personal circumstances into one’s argument to attempt to refute that other person’s argument.

If I ignore David’s “argument” entirely and note that David is an idiot, I haven’t committed the ad hominem fallacy, I’ve simply attacked David (or, more likely, stated a fact). However, if I attempt to argue that David is just advocating against anonymity because David has chosen to identify himself and wants to limit the field of commenters to persons such as himself I’ve committed the ad hominem fallacy. I’ve inserted a characteristic of my opponent into my rebuttal in place of an actual attack on his argument. An actual rebuttal would be to note that David’s premise is false and his argument fails accordingly.

Identification has no role in reason. The argument 4 is great than 2, 2 is greater than 1, therefore 4 is greater than 1 is true regardless who says it or writes it. Likewise with blog comments – they are true or false based entirely on their merits and in no way on the identity or any other characteristic of their author.

3:37’s conclusion stands – Statements are true or false based on their merits, not on their author.
David Newquist said…
"Ad hominem" means "against the man" or "against the person." Calling someone an idiot is an example used often in illustrations of what an "ad hominem" attack is.

Here is a fairly good discussion of the fallacy that takes into account its historical definition:

Thank you for such an explicit example of an ad hominem attack. And the dangers of presumptuous and pretentious ignorance.

We can only hope and pray that you aren't teaching anyone.

Oh, and cluck, cluck, cluck, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous.
Anonymous said…
Hey David, is English your first language?

(Thus ends my personal attack in this comment on poor Newquist – argument follows.)

12:02’s personal attack wasn’t part of his argument. He clearly separated his personal note from his argument. His argument was based in the objective fact that you miss-defined the ad hominem fallacy. Your premise was false and so your conclusion was without merit.

Thus, his argument was not at all an example of the ad hominem fallacy. That you further muck up the definition of the fallacy only strengthens 12:02’s argument.

Cluck, cluck indeed.
Anonymous said…
Hey David, great link you put up on the ad hominem fallacy. You should read it. It supports your opponent’s point.

According to the link you posted, the circumstances of a commenter (for instance whether a commenter is named or anonymous) has no bearing on the truth or fallacy of their argument. To argue otherwise would be to commit the fallacy "argumentum ad hominem circumstantial".

On the other hand your link notes that testimony might be reasonably challenged based on the circumstances of the person testifying. But that’s different from judging an argument.

Guess you were confused.
Jackson said…
I assume all the anonymous comments against Newquist are posted by the same person, because it is difficult to believe more than one person could persist in such errors of reasoning--and the same level of animosity is exhibited in all the comments.

Newquist is not original in his explanations. He is using the standard explanations from every textbook on rhetoric. And his link does not support the gibberish of his detractor.

I wonder if anyone else actually checked it out. I wonder if the anonymous one is someone who flunked a course from Newquist.
Anonymous said…
I checked out the link. The anonymous poster is right. It's pretty straightforward.
Anonymous said…
Bull. Everyone who has had a real course in high school or college composition knows that an ad hominem attack is the tactic of discrediting the argument by discrediting the arguer. This is truly ridiculous, but it seems to be the South Dakota education system as reflected on the Mt. Blogmore blog.
Anonymous said…
10:13 nails it.

Despite poor Newquist’s nutty interpretation and jackson’s kiss up demonstration of the fallacy – “I wonder if the anonymous one is someone who flunked a course from Newquist.” This is pretty easy to see – 2 + 2 always equals 4 regardless if the equation is done by someone with or without an identity. Suggesting that arguments made by anonymous posters are less credible than those made by named posters is a textbook illustration of the ad hominem fallacy.

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