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Should users who post comments on media Web sites have to use their real name?

Response Percent Votes
53% 602
42% 480
Not sure
4% 49
Total 1131


Ellyn Angelotti 8 years, 10 months ago

Not necessarily a real name, but some way to verify it. If it linked through to a Facebook page, that would work too.

Marty_McFly 8 years, 10 months ago

I think people should. I'm glad I use mine.

beatrice 8 years, 10 months ago

Name, address and social security number. Lets make it as easy as possible for those who disagree with you to be able to harrass you in person.

Anyone who feels like using your entire names, feel free to.

Alexander Neighbors 8 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Alexander Neighbors 8 years, 10 months ago

that was not a curse word I posted kucf <-- this means what ever you want it to stop deleting my post

Richard Heckler 8 years, 10 months ago

Why not? It would probably lead to meaningful discussions.

I say go for it! Give it a try what is their to lose.

pace 8 years, 10 months ago

A guy on a local site, didn't like my attitude so he kept posting my address and what was going on in my yard like when my 9 year old daughter was playing alone outside. She read that. If I could have I would have invited him over to visit, and showed him my crow bar. My daughter said it frightened her. But no, don't use your names because p*m might not like you. People might follow you home, notice if you are planning a trip or just your schedule. Don't hire a maid with big eyes and don't give out your personals to strangers. Don't give out other people's personal information because you know it and someone asks you. That is how a stalker found a friend of mine. He couldn't get the information on the phone, so he walked in an asked a coworker where his "friend" had moved. She lived through it with only broken bones and by the way the guys attempted rape charge was dropped, plea bargained. If someone wants someone's information, take theirs, and tell them you will relay the message. Don't pass on phone numbers, address, living situations or emails to someone,without asking the persons permission. Don't give acquaintances information about yourself or others unnecessarily.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 10 months ago

With crazed people like enforcer at large, you'd have to be crazy to reveal your real name.

Satirical 8 years, 10 months ago

Anonymity allows for a more candid discussion, and allows people to censor themselves less, which can lead to a more honest and open debate in matters of public concern.

You poo-poo heads.

verity 8 years, 10 months ago

Although this is a little off the question, Pace is absolutely right.

Do not ever be tricked into giving out personal information about somebody else. Co-workers in an office are too often guilty of this without realizing what they are doing. Always ask the inquirer for contact information and pass it on to the person in question.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 10 months ago















Bob Forer 8 years, 10 months ago

Great idea. Most idiots know they are idiots, and would probably not post if real names were required. A great way to elminate the innane, absurd, and ignorant postings.

labmonkey 8 years, 10 months ago

So then, oh wise Sychopant, what is your full name?

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

Should rent-a-crowd ACORN protesters be required to plaster their names on the masks they have on their faces?

RiverCityConservative 8 years, 10 months ago

Hard to say. I like Marty McFly's comment above.

puddleglum 8 years, 10 months ago

oh yes, for sure. include blood types, fingerprints (claw-prints in some cases) and dna. gawd, whats next?

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years, 10 months ago

I thought it enough to use the name of my support group. You can find me there, nightly... or nearby.

yoornotmee 8 years, 10 months ago

I wish I didn't have my name on here. Internet stalkers and whatnot...

corduroypants 8 years, 10 months ago

Good one, Marty McFly. You'll always be a slacker!

Signed, Phinneus J. Corduroypants, III

Hoots 8 years, 10 months ago

This place would be mighty quiet if you had to use your real name. Some people here are SO NASTY. We'd never know what people really think.

TopJayhawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Too many stalkers out there. And with my proffesional work, I would not be able to chime in much if my real name were used. As angry as some folks get on here, I would not want to see anyone, no matter how much we may disagree, set up to be stalked, or worse.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 10 months ago

See also: When you get on that page, do a search for uptownbulker The disturbed and possibly dangerous Nick Danger wears many hats.

Rex Russell 8 years, 10 months ago

I don't for one minute believe anonymity leads to more open discussion. On the contrary, if the LJW is a prime example, it only leads it to increased bad online conduct. With the nasty back-and-forths now taking up most of the posts these days, it has lead to less real content. I'll bet if people were identified as they really are instead of a moniker, there would be more intelligent comments and debate. I'm not swallowing the the "free speech" angle to this. That's lazy logic. if any of these conversations were held face to face in a roundtable discussion, people wouldn't say half of this stuff. There is no consequences to bad conduct. If some believe sensible self cencorship is not what we all need, you've got it all backwards. The stuff that normally goes on here takes the place of real discussion and debate.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 10 months ago

unfortunately, there is still plenty of room in this world for people to use what you say against you. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. But not everyone is willing to accept those views. There are too many militant nuts out there that just can't accept the kinds of things I say. So I must keep my identity hidden but to my closest friends.

KLATTU 8 years, 10 months ago

For all the talk of harassment, the real reason people don't want to use real names is that they would be very embarrassed to have what they say online actually attributed to them. All the folks who enjoy ridiculing car crash victims wouldn't be able to have their fun.


1029 8 years, 10 months ago

I never would have been elected if my constituents knew about my LJ-W comments. Some people need the anonymousityness for their jobs.

sinverguenza 8 years, 10 months ago

No. 1 reason I am anonymous: My personal life and my professional life are separate. Posting here is part of my personal life. I can share my honest opinion about things anonymously that might cost me my job if my name were public. It's the same reason my Facebook profile remains private and I refuse to link it in any way with the work I do professionally, despite my organization being all over the Web, including Facebook. I discuss my postings often with other LJW readers and friends, and I've linked the only blog I've written here to my Facebook profile, so I'm only anonymous to you guys - not the whole world.

While I might be a sellout for working for an organization that holds opinions/practices I don't completely agree with, it's better that my bills get paid so all the jerks on here don't get to add me to the list of people they b*tch about not having a job and feeding off the system. Right?

Secondly, I studied journalism in college. When I read something, I fact check it. When I think someone is lying to me, I look into it. Through that, I've found that with a simple name, you can find phone numbers, addresses, yearly income, etc. on complete strangers. I like some of you posters but still, thanks, but no thanks. If you want to stalk me - in person or on the Web - you're going to have to put more effort into it than that. I'm not just handing you my name. If you really want/need to know, you can PM me. Otherwise I'm not just putting it out there.

There's nothing cowardly about my anonymity. I'd say whatever I've said to your face and you'd know who I was and vice versa. That just doesn't mean I'm giving a free pass to anyone who'd like to harass me for it. If we were forced to provide our real names, I'd probably do it. But like Satirical pointed out, it would only lead to me censoring myself. I'd be much more cautious in some of these debates that turn ugly, because one thing leads to another, and I'm not the CC type and I have no martial arts training. I'm more afraid of people on the internet than I am with people in person - I think with good cause.

sinverguenza 8 years, 10 months ago

And KLATTU Matt -

I have no fear of attribution. I have the very same debates afforded here in the bars and restaurants of this very town - with stangers. Just ask the Saudi boys I ran into at the bar last week. Difference is, they got to look me straight in the face and I got to do the same. That way, any threat is made clear and evident right then and there - not a week later when my cat ends up dead on the doorstep because some psycho googled my personal info. My opinions are attributed - to my online name. I AM sinverguenza. The only fear is knowing that people could really do some damage if they knew my real name as opposed to my screen name.

What kind of reception do you think Marion or Rhonda get on the street? Thing is - I'm not the type of nut to go after someone personally. I speak for myself, meaning many others are that type of nut. Again, no thanks. I'll go public when we all go public.

Ernest Barteldes 8 years, 10 months ago

I use my real name simply because I have no reason to hide under a nickname. Having said that, there are others who might suffer retaliation from their companies, friends or family for speaking their minds. But there should be a way to stop the same poster from repeatedly spamming spaces like these with multiple nicknames.

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 10 months ago

And gentle readers, remember that this is the same Marion Lynn who extols on this forum his acquaintance with, and the great scholarship of, one David Irving. I provide the following explanation. Irving's reputation as an historian was widely discredited after he brought an unsuccessful libel case against the American historian Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books in 1996. During the trial, an English court found that Irving was an "active Holocaust denier," as well as an antisemite and racist, and that he "associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism."The judge also ruled that Irving had "for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence."

localgirl9 8 years, 10 months ago

perhaps a middle ground could be found, you give the paper or forum your real name and they do not print or post it but they can verify you as well?

jonas_opines 8 years, 10 months ago

I've used this name for about 12 years now. Frankly, I like it better than my real name. So I don't see how consistency or accountability would be any different at all, especially with how easy it apparently is to get my birth name, since I've been using this nom de plume consistently for 12 years.

But whatever, this debate gives some people a reason to feel superior, which is all that really matters.

Samuel Clemens was a big ol' coward, I guess.

Nairb Rollem

jonas_opines 8 years, 10 months ago

Besides, if I did just put my name up in that box, people would call me by it, and I'd spend the rest of my time on here saying over and over that I'd rather be called jonas.

cthulhu_4_president 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm enjoying all the passive aggressive insults slung toward anonaymous users today. "Hiding behind a nickname?", "Not man enough?". Seriously, can you breathe with your noses stuck up that high?

As other users have pointed out, anonimity is a safety measure. If I "hide" behind my nickname when I post, then it is in the same regard that a cowardly police officer will "hide" behind a bulletproof vest when he goes to work. In internet life as in police work, people will shoot at you. It may not happen every day, or ever, but you will be glad you were wearing your vest, or username, if it does.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 10 months ago

Another threat to the those who use their real names, is that they can be harrassed to no end by anonymous techies who can cause no end of misery to a person that they have deliberately set up. Now, there are many conservatives here on the board that I disagree with most of the time, but their privacy is their own.

lgreen17 8 years, 10 months ago

Yes, I would like the cowards who called me names and said I gave my children marijuana (when I was working with the city commission to pass a law outlawing marijuana in the city limits) to be man or woman enough to sign their own names.

It's so easy for people to criticize when they don't have to sign what they write.

Laura Green

PS By the way, I don't have children.

StirrrThePot 8 years, 10 months ago

I think media websites should have the choice to make that a policy if they want. It might clean things up a bit if they did. Would people say and act the way they do even half the time if they were forced to give their real names? That said, it is a privacy issue, and one that is abused each and every day here and all over the Internet. If people were forced to give their real names, we might not see as many contributors.

Really though, people can say what they want about that, but providing your name does bring accountability. It is easy to be an Internet tough guy who sitrs the pot, or who insults, threatens, or attacks people behind the anonymous screen of the Internet. And I am sorry, but comparing this topic to an author's pen name or a police officer's bullet-proof vest is asinine. We are not doing anyone a service, nor offering anything of value by posting our worthless drivel at the end of an article. We do it because we can, because that is the beauty of the internet, and for some odd reason we get enjoyment out of it.

cthulhu_4_president 8 years, 10 months ago

"And I am sorry, but comparing this topic to an author's pen name or a police officer's bullet-proof vest is asinine. We are not doing anyone a service, nor offering anything of value by posting our worthless drivel at the end of an article."

In the context you are speaking in, as something to contribute to society, you are correct, it is very asanine to compare a username to a bullet-proof vest, I agree. But in the context of my last post, safety, it is quite relevant. I really do consider my username to be my protection. I have known people who have been stalked on-line, leading to very real and ugly confrontation and litigation. My user-name is indeed my bullet-proof vest, and, in my eyes, a very practical piece of on-line safety equipment.

Tom Miller 8 years, 10 months ago

Personally, if people are too, as Marion puts it, "chicken biosolids" to stand up for their opinions and accept any consequences, then I say LET ' my humble opinion, we have a God-given ability and a Constitutionally solid right to screw up, insofar as it harm no others...words, and opinions REALLY don't actually do physical harm...they may be rude, offensive, and vastly uninformed, but people got a RIGHT to be stupid, and generally, the loudest of those voices tend to BE the most ill-informed... but once again, that's just MY opinion...I have, would, and will continues to stand up for the basic human right to be ignorant...and besides, it all just makes me feel VASTLY superior...LOL!!!

Tom Miller 8 years, 10 months ago

...also, I've looked for a place to add my real name to my posts, but I've really not looked very diligently, so, in the spirit of oh, whatever...all posts under the "tmkatt" moniker are attributable to one "A.E. Tom Miller", aka "tomkatt".

DB Ashton 8 years, 10 months ago

‘Tis a troubling and timely issue and the conflicts between security and collegiality are valid. As an old editor, I lament that editors are on the way out as gatekeepers and that modern readers (those few left who do read) don’t understand or value editorial service and craft, but I concede that in this new global village, the mob has chosen to do its own filtering.

The national press contributed to this (not that it would have made a fig’s difference, in the long run) by allowing itself to be manipulated by anonymous sources, on the dubious ground that public figures would not speak otherwise. More often, this practice was just an excuse for lazy, inside-baseball reporting. (While I have listened on background and off the record, I have not once found it compulsory to publish an unattributed word.)

As you all choose to be your own editors, and direct your attention to only what you wish to hear and that which validates your perceptions, fair warning: attribution has always been a measure of the strength of what one has to say.

(Forgive my own anonymity… I am an expat who left Lawrence long ago, but check in periodically. It’s a delightful town and I loved living there. Rock Chalk!)

RoeDapple 8 years, 10 months ago

Tom Miller, go to top of page, click on your tmkatt name, click "Become a “verified user”, fill in the blanks.............

Calliope877 8 years, 10 months ago

I don't think the people who use their real names are brave at all...I think they might be kinda naive. I mean, c'mon! Look at the world we live in today! You don't have to be rude or say mean things to get people p.o'd at you (tho that helps), just simply disagreeing with some of the fruitcakes on here can get them riled up -- even if you do so in a tactful way! Call me a coward, but giving a name is giving too much info in my opinion.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 10 months ago

jumpin catfish is my name and its real..... Google it. What's the problem?

Paul R Getto 8 years, 10 months ago

"in my humble opinion, we have a God-given ability and a Constitutionally solid right to screw up, insofar as it harm no others…words, and opinions REALLY don't actually do physical harm…" ========= god needs to go to journalism school; I agree on screwing up as a right, but no one has an absolute 'right' to post on private internet sites like the Journal World. This is Dolph's sandbox and he can direct his staff to do what they will to maintain order in the monkey house. Since printed newspapers are dying as an industry, particularly for the digital tribe born since 1970, I guess they are relying on 'click counts' to make some of their livings.

gl0ck0wn3r 8 years, 10 months ago

"merrill (Anonymous) says…Why not? It would probably lead to meaningful discussions. I say go for it! Give it a try what is their to lose."

Interesting position Richard. Why don't you use your real name? What is their [sic] to lose?

(I hope it is your wife who is responsible for home schooling and not you.)

coolmom 8 years, 10 months ago

i wouldnt mind using my real name for me nor fear any blowback for me personally, that said i have family that would cause issues and adopted an child that would also get issues because of my comments/opinions. i dont think i have any real outrageous opinions but people would know me and or my family.

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