Note on Anonymous Comments

21 August 2010 at 3:41 pm 10 comments

| Peter Klein |

We interrupt our regular programming for a note from the site administrators: When you comment here at O&M, the server asks you for a name, email address, and (optionally) a URL. The email address is hidden (to protect your privacy), while the name and URL (if provided) are published with the comment. Rest assured that we keep your private information private — we don’t sell your email address to spammers, laugh about your funny username, or otherwise violate your dignity. But the server knows the email address you entered and the IP address whence you came, and provides this information to the site administrators and/or post author. In other words, even if you don’t use your real name, we probably know who you are!

Of course, anonymous comments are welcome (though the spam filter may hold them if they contain bad words or other stuff it doesn’t like). We understand that you may wish to use a pseudonym and keep your identity hidden from the wider world, and that’s fine. But I recently discovered that some commenters thought they were anonymous from us too, and that isn’t the case.

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Entry filed under: - Klein -, Ephemera.

The Economics of Freedom of Speech The Corporate Hierarchy Dies, Again

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anonymous  |  21 August 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Oh yeah, then tell me from whom this comment came? :)

  • 2. Peter Klein  |  21 August 2010 at 10:18 pm

    I have no idea, John Smith of 123 Maple Lane! Or was it your wife Jane, after she returned from this afternoon’s unusually long grocery shop, or little Billy, who typed today’s comment? Mwahahahaahhaha!

  • 3. Steven Handel  |  22 August 2010 at 9:00 am

    How Orwellian! :P

  • 4. Rafe  |  22 August 2010 at 7:19 pm

    just as long as you don’t know where we live!
    Rafe Champion
    2/29 Ben Boyd Road.

  • 5. Gregory Rader  |  23 August 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Have you guys considered using Disqus ( on this site? It allows people to make comments from a common profile and can link to their other user accounts (twitter, fb, etc) to facilitate easy sharing. I find that I am much more willing to comment where Disqus is used both because login/sharing is easier and because I can easily track back to those comments/threads in the future.

  • 6. Peter Klein  |  23 August 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Gregory, does it work on blogs? That’s what we are. (Low tech, in other words.)

  • 7. Gregory Rader  |  24 August 2010 at 4:51 pm

    After a quick bit of research I found that actually does not support plug-ins(?). I am shocked and confused…

  • 8. Peter Klein  |  24 August 2010 at 10:41 pm

    You can use plug-ins blessed by and integrated with their server, but not your own custom plug-ins. I don’t see an option for enabling things like Disqus, but maybe someone else out there knows how to do it.

  • 9. Gregory Rader  |  30 August 2010 at 2:20 am

    I just randomly came across this:

    “I get the impression that it is included with WordPress 2.7 and higher so it is possible it’s already installed for you. Check the available plugins list. It would be named “Disqus Comment”.”

    Confirmed in another post by someone who works for WP…

  • 10. Peter Klein  |  30 August 2010 at 9:01 am

    Thanks. I think the person quoted here is referring to the version you host yourself (i.e., confirming that it isn’t available on the hosted version, but included in the self-hosted versions). See also In any case, it doesn’t appear as an option on my Dashboard. :-(

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