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RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

The blogosphere being such a new entity and such a fluid medium it is not always clear, at least to me, what the rules of engagement are. Certain things should be basic, at least for Christian bloggers—things that have to do with kindness, love, speech that does not full under the prohibitions of a text like Ephesians 4:25-5:2.

But what about comments left anonymously? Specifically, should a blogger reply to such? My inclination is no. Not because I am ornery—I do not think this is a major part of my makeup. But I have identified myself when I blog and if someone wishes to comment on what I say, I deem it appropriate in terms of mutual transparency for them to let me know who they are. If this is off the wall, let me know (but don’t do it anonymously!).    

I think you are QUITE right, Michael. In fact, I would remove the ability to leave anonymous comments but for the fact that would require each commenter to set up an account with blogger.
So, rather than turning off that feature I basically do what you are proposing.
Of course, there is no law that you have to reply to any comment! There was some good discussion on this matter at the bloggers pre-conference at T4G. It seems that good manners allow for each site to "do comments" as it pleases. I think it is good to post your expectations on the blog, though.

You are dead on, I don't think anonymous comments are at all appropriate. I usually disregard them.

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Really, Michael, it's your blog, so you can do what you want. Just as I set the rules of conduct in my home for my family and my guests, I set the rules on my blog. That's just common sense, and certainly not any indication of wallowing in a narrow-minded extremist manner.

By the way, I have to point out the typo, being as I am a homeschooling mom: You wrote, "If this if off the all," which made me chuckle.

I enjoy your writing. Blessings!

The anonymous poster above seems to have made your point for you. Anonymity allows us to avoid accountability for our actions, which is FAR from a Christian way of operating.

Dr Haykin, you seem to have attracted some peculiar comment(er)s on this post.

I think it is noteworthy that the internet has become a place for anonymity. People can take on whatever schtick, whatever personality, whatever position they want and no one can call their bluff. To a large degree it is a world of fantasy and make-believe.

When you are dealing with reality and concrete truths (as you do on this blog) it is entirely inappropriate for someone to still hold on so tightly to the make-believe identity they've created.

Unfortunately, the fact that there are so many 'anonymous'es out there makes it quite plain to see that some people prefer to hide rather than face the truth that there are realities and consequences attached to ideas...

The trouble is that some people have gone to great lengths to create their own new online personalities... asking them to give up their anonymity is asking a lot.

Some people prefer to remain anonymous. If you forbid anonymous comments, they simply won't comment. It's your blog, but provided the comments are decent, I usually appreciate all comments on my blog.

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What I would suggest is disabling the ability for anonymous posting. That way you can keep your comments section without the trouble of guys like the above getting their kicks.
There is also another function that allows you to monitor all comments. They won't be made visible until you give it the okay.

I have no desire to remain anonymous but I don't want an account with blogger. My address is trishbabe2002ca@yahoo.ca If you want to exclude I have no control over that.

Free speech anyone? Reviewing and disallowing certain posts while reducing controversy, also violates that individuals right to express his opinion in a public forum. I'm not saying I agree with anything that he is saying, I just think that he should be able to express his opinion, and then be discredited.

Paul

I do agree about the right to free speech. But I do not need to give every individual a platform on my blog. If he wants to speak to an issue, he should get a blog.

Blogging promotes alot of hypocrisy. It allows people to act all tough and say things they would never dare say if in a face to face conversation. For that reason, there should be no anonymous comments. If you are not brave enough to put your name with your comment, then you should not say it at all.

I'm with you, Michael. Free speech, maybe - but this isn't really a public forum, just because the public can access it. The public can come to my house, too - that certainly doesn't make it a public place! And in the same way that I would expect my guests to respect my customs and such, I think it's perfectly reasonable for you to ask posters to respect you and yours.

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