The proposal to enforce AC posting for logged in members only on the main page was promulgated to all staff and members of the board 7 days ago. Thank you to all those who contributed to the earlier discussions and clearly expressed their own views, suggestions and potential enhancements. All are being studied for implementation, if feasible, when staffing and resources permit.
There has been unanimous agreement from all responses received in favour of the proposed restriction. However, it was also apparent that there was a wish that this will be only until other alternative methods of restricting spamming, abuse and other disruptions to discussions can be identified and implemented. This is unlikely to be achievable in the short to medium term; other sites are struggling unsuccessfully with the same problem. The long-term aim remains to include AC posting in all discussions if at all possible
Therefore, beginning immediately, all AC posting on the main site will be limited to registered members who have logged in to their account. We regret that this leaves a number of AC community members unable to contribute as they once did, but anonymity remains a personal choice.
This will not affect discussions in journals which will have no limits and will be open to all.
If there is a demand for it, I will look at alternative methods of publishing a small number of stories each day into a journal.
On a more positive note, there is evidence that because of the recent restrictions on AC posting a significant number of existing accounts have returned and are commenting in the discussions. The quality of discussions (i.e. signal-to-noise ratio) is significantly better than it was several weeks ago. Although we have lost overall numbers of comments, the value of many of those lost comments appears to have been quite low. There has also been a noticeable improvement in moderations being awarded with more positive moderations being given when compared to negative ones. It is too early yet to draw any firm conclusions from other site statistics.
I will happily approve of the "cost" of turning away unrepentant trolls and spammers. The less I have to do with that nonsense the better.
If a user is paranoid enough to never create an account under any circumstances then I'm not certain I want to hear from them either. If it's NOT paranoia then they have larger issues than not being able to post on this sleepy little website.
I AM NOT PARANOID!
Because if you are, THEY notice!
Same feeling here, speaking as someone who has needed to keep her online & real-life identities totally separate in order to avoid being tracked down online by an abusive, obsessed dude I dated long ago.
If the ACs were sharing sensitive governmental, corporate, military, or personal information that is so important that it would lead to a shadowy group hacking into SN's servers to find out which outwardly-anonymous logged-in user was responsible in order to unmask and persecute the person, then I'd understand some AC's refusal to create an account in order to post anonymously...but I've never actually seen an AC post anything of that nature, just the same kind of mundane comments the rest of us make.
Yeah, the conversations have been a lot more enjoyable.
I will say though that I suspect lazyness plays a roll - there are a LOT of times on other forums that I just pass through occasionally that I'd love to leave a comment, maybe offer some missing information in passing, but if they don't offer anonymous posting it's just not worth the effort of setting up an account.
The "across-the-internet" identities from Google, Facebook, etc. are an interesting concept, but I'm dubious of the wisdom of voluntarily providing that much more information about you to such voracious data compiling corporations.