Monday, January 6, 2014

WSJ Attacks Comment Trolls; All Readers Will Be Required to Use Real Names When Commenting

From WSJ:
Within the next few weeks, The Wall Street Journal is revamping its commenting and profile systems to create more engaging, relevant and thoughtful conversations.

Some key differences between today's platform and the new one:

• Commenters will have upgraded, visually rich public profiles. We will retain as much of your old profile information as possible. Your connections, groups and commenting history will be saved for future use.

• On public profiles, the full commenting history of the profile-holder will be visible. Should you wish to make previous comments private, you can delete them individually, notify to request bulk deletion, or put your profile into private status.

• With our new technology, conversations among readers will feel as if they're unfolding in real time. Comment length is coming down. We'll ask you to make your point in under 1,000 characters.

• All readers will be required to use their real names when commenting on articles and, for the first time, on blogs.


  1. Is commenting all that important? I always thought that it was ignored by the bigger sites.

    1. It goes to show how important ideas are....even those coming out of a comment section. Often times I find the commentary on sites like the WSJ better than the actual article that inspired them.

      The skeptical side of me says that drive to squash anonymity on the internet is a very bad thing and mostly supported by the state/statists.

      Can you image how the debate between the Federalists would have been without anonymity?

    2. I agree. This looks like a coordinated attack against anonymity, against whistleblowers, against dissent, against privacy.

  2. The Last Gasp of American Democracy

    The most radical evil, as Hannah Arendt pointed out, is the political system that effectively crushes its marginalized and harassed opponents and, through fear and the obliteration of privacy, incapacitates everyone else. Our system of mass surveillance is the machine by which this radical evil will be activated. If we do not immediately dismantle the security and surveillance apparatus, there will be no investigative journalism or judicial oversight to address abuse of power. There will be no organized dissent. There will be no independent thought. Criticisms, however tepid, will be treated as acts of subversion. And the security apparatus will blanket the body politic like black mold until even the banal and ridiculous become concerns of national security.

  3. Thanks for your comment on the unimportantace of comments.

  4. Well, 70% of people won't bother to comment anymore. I certainly am not placing my professional identity in the same place where I express my political opinions. Or any personal opinions, for that matter. In the age of clients and HR departments trawling social networks for the "dirt" on the potential hires and contractors it would be most unwise to conflate the personal and professional.

    1. Well said, Sir. And that is precisely why they are doing it. What better way to silence critics and opposing views.

      The good news is they become more irrelevant by the minute...

    2. " In the age of clients and HR departments trawling social networks for the "dirt" on the potential hires and contractors it would be most unwise to conflate the personal and professional."

      This is one of the reasons why I'm very careful of what I post on Facebook. As much as I sometimes want to engage in political debate, I always have that thought in the back of my head that a potential employer can see that and could cost me a job.

  5. The Wall Street Journal SUCKS!

    Barack Obama

  6. I can understand a necessity to log in so that at least commenters would have a nom-de-plume instead of the annoying wildgrowth of anonymuses and such.
    But the only reason i see for registering under your REAL name is for helping authorities sniff out subversive opinions, or at the very least for some kind of "chilling" effect. Why do they need to know your REAL name when it is supposed to be about the strength of argument, and not about who you really are?
    Don't expect opinions too radical now.

  7. This reminds me of what happened on Krugmans blog, Krugman was getting owned all the time by some guy from Florida critiqueing his articles so what did Krugmann do? He forced comment length down since said Florida guy tended to write long and detailed posts, cant have the masses be educated, must shut down anything other than short content devoid posts......

    I also believe that the WSJ is controlled by government agents or sympathizers, that is why they are starting their assault on internet anonymity there, it is one of their strongholds where they can easily change the rules.
    If there is one thing these assholes in western governments hate about the internet then I think it is the anonymity it provides for people telling the truth and the protection this gives from social punishment (being fired for example).