New forum policy : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

Over the past week or so, I've been getting a significant amout of e-mail from people asking to have their postings removed from the database because they used their real name, then discovered that other people had been using pseudonyms or posting anonymously, and asked that I remove their names from their postings.

I think what bothers me is this: If you're not willing to take ownership of your words by signing your real name to them, I'm not particularly interested in hearing from you. 99% of people on the Internet have no legitimate reason to not sign their names -- it's not like there's anything particularly controversial on this site, certainly not anything that needs to be protected through the veil of anonymity.

Anonymity on the Internet can be an important concept while doing certain things -- like looking for pornography. But it is, in my opinion, detrimental to community building on a site like this. The people who write for the Web site have to use their real names; as such, we take responsibility for our words and our ideas, and we demonstrate a willingness to be held to them in the future. I don't see why participants should have the option of not being responsible for their words.

Accordingly, effective 15 May, 2000, I will begin deleting pseudonymous or anonymous posts from the databse, regardless of content. If you want to remain anonymous, you can simply not post. You may not like it, and you may hate me, but as I've pointed out many times in the past, this is my decision to make.

Comments are, as ever, welcome.

-- Mike Sugimoto (, April 28, 2000

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