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10 Comments to "Comments"
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  1. Uh, what? How are the comments now any more anonymous than they were before?

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  2. Oh, I see now, you can not leave a name at all. For the love of God, why?!? That absolutely ruined comment threads at the last site. Can’t you exercise some discretion and force people to leave a name, one that can be completely made up?

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  3. Mike Zwick [AKA "Dahinda"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    I wanted to leave a comment on and earlier article, What’s My Most Boring Obsession? but I couldn’t. So I will leave it here. The continental divide between the St. Lawrence and Mississippi river systems in Chicago runs along Naragansett Avenue on the North Side and Ridgeland Avenue in Berwyn/Oak Park. South of there it slowly starts cutting southeast. North of there there it gets closer and closer to the lake until it is within a mile or so of the lake at one point. You can notice that at that point there is a ridge that was once the shore of an earlier Lake Chicago, Lake Michigan’ ancestor so to speak. This was also the boundary between the French province of Upper Quebec and Louisiana before 1767.

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  4. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    People post as anonymous to make it a bit harder for any party from NSA, to SPLC, to gay fascists to ObamaCare on down to track them.

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  5. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Every individual has a particular vocabulary and writing style. To a certain degree it is already possible use the information to identify a writer (e.g., Shakespeare or not Shakespeare), and the algorithms are only going to get better. If you use a consistent pseudonym then all your pseudonymous posts are tied together, so if you are identified as the author of one, then you are identified as the author of all. That won’t happen though if you post as Anonymous.

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  6. Anonymous, that seems pretty paranoid. I have never heard of a single person being outed based on anonymous comments, unless they did it at work and the blog owner noticed, or they stupidly revealed personal information.

    With all the millions of internet comments out there, you really think that it’ll be possible to identify people like fingerprints? I really really doubt it. I feel like I write differently depending on stuff like mood and time of day.

    And even if it becomes technically possible, I doubt such “evidence” will ever hold up in the court of public opinion. If someone came out and “proved” that John McCain was some racist blogger, nobody would take such a person seriously, no matter how good their science.

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  7. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    I’ll order us a pizza and some beer.

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  8. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Yeah, it’s overly paranoid. I do have a handle that I post under when a handle is required. But it is certainly technically possible. Not only is it a matter of writing style, but people often have catch phrases, or stories they tell about something that happened to them once, and so on. Sufficiently sophisticated algorithms will be able to scan huge numbers of posts and make connections using clues like that, connections that, once uncovered, will often be evident not just to the software, but to people. And while it’s unlikely that the government will go after you, if you said something that particularly offended someone you could get harassed, and have your name repeatedly posted in various places along with links that make it pretty clear that yes, you did in fact say that. Something to think about.

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