Wednesday, February 27, 2008

This Post Has No Title

Cue Elton John's "This Song Has No Title".

Not so long ago, Abbas at Catharsis issued a fatwa against this blog. Well, I am inviting all righteous believers to join me in my new Jihad against the Devil's own children, anonymous commenters.

Look, some people are new to blogs. I get that. So they post anonymously because they don't know any better. But the use of anonymous posting, even by commenters with an established identity among Iraqi blogs, has gotten severely out of hand.

Once upon a time, a blogger or even other commenters would have laid down the law with a persistent anonymous poster, telling him to get a name or get lost. Once upon a time, commenters placed great value on their online identities, taking offense at someone appropriating theirs on the same site either dishonestly or inconsiderately. However, in the last few months, it is impossible to keep track of threads in the comments on certain Iraqi blogs because of a debilitating infestation of anonymous commenters.

Once again, I'm not just talking about trolls or new readers here. I'm talking about people who are well-known on the blogs they are commenting on and elsewhere, or are at least regular readers of the blog in question. At one point, it became a Theater of the Absurd at Catharsis with two anonymous commenters arguing with each other.

There is a certain unhinged, regular commenter at 24StepsToLiberty whose name I will not invoke for fear of summoning her. This person was the first established commenter I noted choosing to deliberately post anonymously rather than use her name. She started doing this shortly after RhusLancia showed (using a screenshot) that she was denying holding opinions that she affirmed on other blogs. This leads me to believe that in many cases this behavior is not done out of mere rudeness or laziness.

No one can stop you from trying to go incognito (although it might be a little embarrassing to do that and find out people recognize you anyway). But if you want to do that, then just create a new identity rather than pollute a blog with "anonymous" comments. If you are unwilling to login with an ID to comment, you could at least sign a name at the bottom of the post, so I can reference you when I praise or fisk you. If you have a site (like this one), and you use their built in comments (like this one doesn't), you can limit commenting to users with OpenID and Google IDs.

I enjoy reading the comments in blogs, so give me a break before I'm forced to take hostages.

And now that you've had your vegetables, it's time for dessert:

The Mudville Gazette is back after an unannounced haiatus.

After Mudville, The Long War Journal could be the second best online newspaper on The War at all of its fronts, including Iraq. Be sure to check out the current top story, Reconstructing relationships: Hawr Rajab:

Bruce Bailey, a USAID contractor working on a State Department Provincial Reconstruction Team, put it this way: “A businessman told me a story: Al Qaeda came to his house and killed his son in front of him to force him to swear allegiance to him. Six months later, they came back and beheaded his six-year-old granddaughter ‘just to make sure.’ This country has been through a trauma that makes rebuilding very difficult.”

MSNBC's World Blog has been silent for over a month now, but its Iraq posts are always worth the read. And they link to IBC, so they must know what they're doing.

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