Anonymous on the internet
elizabeth tobey

Great article and speaks directly to situations I’ve run across recently. I work for a nonprofit medical association that serves professionals as well as the public. We’ve had a difficult time in engaging younger members to utilize our forums (Which do not allow anonymity). What I’ve noticed through recent usability studies is that younger members/users prefer anonymity so they can feel free to ask questions or throw out answers without the fear of being called out as less than their peers if their contributions are wrong, etc… The older members only participate in the forums because there is no anonymity and this way they can vet the qualifications of those posting questions/answers. I’m hoping we can create at least one forum/discussion group that allows anonymity with a moderator. I’ve often thought we should just turn off commenting all across the internet forever mainly because I’ve lost hope in humanity — ha! But, I do realize we’re beyond being able to do that and we have to work with what we have and try to make it a decent place to interact (forums, planet Earth, etc…). Anyway, thanks for posting!