Daily BulletinDaily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by Cory Zanoni, Community Manager, The Conversation

Our real names policy is one of the defining features of our community. It’s the part of our community standards that I receive the most questions about.

Why require real names

We strive for transparency on The Conversation – from our disclosure statements to our process for retracting articles – and requiring real names in our comment section is part of that.

Transparency is key to illuminating discussions. We want our readers and commentators to know when someone may have a conflict of interest: insisting on people using their real names can help in that regard (and has in the past during discussions on particularly polarising discussions).

The policy is also a signal to take discussions at The Conversation seriously: don’t say anything you don’t want published alongside your name.

The problems posed by real names

The first, and perhaps most obvious, problem presented by our real names policy is that it’s difficult to enforce. There are few ways around that: it’s easy to use a real-sounding fake name if you really want to.

But, more importantly, the policy can put some people off commenting for a lot of valid reasons. Someone may work in the public service or have concerns about their safety and, as such, be weary about using their real name online.

We sympathise with people who can’t use their real names online and, as such, can’t contribute to our comment sections.

However, the flip side to this are people who won’t get involved in anonymous discussions for fear of abuse (that said, whether or not anonymity promotes abuse is debated).

Value judgements

Any decision we make about regulating our community will include some members of our audience and exclude others. As much as we’d like to make The Conversation’s community a space for anyone and everyone, that’s unlikely to ever happen.

We decided that requiring real names and, in doing so, bringing transparency and trust to the fore of our community was an important thing to do.

It’s a philosophical decision and one that reflects the priorities and goals of The Conversation as a website.

Authors: Cory Zanoni, Community Manager, The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/why-we-require-real-names-69404

These historic grasslands are becoming a weed-choked waste. It could be one of the world's great parks


'No one would even know if I had died in my room': coronavirus leaves international students in dire straits


The Conversation


Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Scott Morrison: the right man at the right time

Australia is not at war with another nation or ideology in August 2020 but the nation is in conflict. There are serious threats from China and there are many challenges flowing from the pandemic tha...

Greg Rogers - avatar Greg Rogers

Prime Minister National Cabinet Statement

The National Cabinet met today to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, the Victoria outbreak, easing restrictions, helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment an...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Link Building Secrets - Comprehensive Guide

Link building has proven to be an effective approach when it comes to promoting your online website. Let's analyze the topic of developing an effective link building strategy for site promotion ...

Julia Smith - avatar Julia Smith

What to Expect from Your NDIS Verification & Certification Audit

The National Disability Insurance Agency administers NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) in Australia. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission governs it. As a welfare support scheme of...

Sarah Williams - avatar Sarah Williams

Why You May Need A Tower Scaffold Hire

When constructing a building, or even a multilevel structure, you must use a tower scaffold to get you into position. What is unique about this type of scaffolding is that you can build it highe...

News Company - avatar News Company

News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion