I'm increasingly impatient with Anonymity. Long-time readers will recall that I have long pushed commenters to leave real names and failing that to maintain a consistent pseudonym. During the active political battle that took place over fiber I tried to strike a balance, calling out the poor reasoning and highlighting the lack of confidence in their own arguments anonymous posters "enjoyed." I'd let a comment or two go by and then start pushing. I was able to push a number of opponents into posting using their own names and staking their own reputation. It helped a lot; comments were always more civil and useful on LPF than most other sites. I modified my own position more than once in response to responsible postings. Things have changed; there is no longer an ongoing political campaign and, probably even more importantly, the larger community of Lafayette media has seen the value of real identity commenting. It looks like our community has come around to the position long held on this site that real, useful discussion comes from having risking real reputations. KATC, the Advertiser, and the Independent had instituted real name policies. I think it has already improved the level of discourse.
Consequently I'm upgrading my policy for comments. I expect real identities and will feel free to go beyond simply admonishing those that refuse to show that simple respect for the basis of real conversation.
Two things are necessary to make a claim that would be worth spending time really thinking about and engaging in an honest discussion about: 1) A real person with a real reputation to dispute with. Until that happens I bear all the cost and the anonymous person is freeloading on the reputation I establish...I am through subsidizing unfair sniping. 2) REAL references with real links or at the very least references to title and where/how to get the materials that people vaguely reference. I almost never post a piece without traceable references on this blog and again I am no longer willing to subsidize the bad practices of others by allowing them to trade on the quality of referencing that this site has established.
Notice is hereby served.