The Huffington Post
gets a lot of comments. According to Poynter
, the site was getting up to 9 million comments per month about a year ago. That breaks down to about 25,000 per hour.
Those numbers may drop off fairly substantially come next month, though. Site founder Arianna Huffington, after speaking at a HubSpot conference in Boston on Wednesday, said HuffPo
will phase out anonymous comments by mid-September.
“Trolls are just getting more and more aggressive and uglier, and I just came from London, where there are rape and death threats,” she said, according to GigaOm
She added: “We need to evolve a platform to meet the needs of the grown-up Internet.”
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has been using an algorithm named “JuLiA” (Just a Linguistic Algorithm) and about 30 full-time moderators to deal with comments. There’s no word yet on exactly how the system will change once anonymous comments aren’t part of the mix.
Other sites, including quite a few newspaper websites
, have recently turned to comment systems that require users to sign in through Facebook, which has been known to kick out users who don’t use their real names or who have multiple accounts.
Of course, people can say nasty things using their real names, too, and the new policy could deter constructive commenters who simply don’t want to use their names.
What do you think? Does barring anonymous comments effectively deter trolling, or does it stifle healthy discussion?