Sorry, one of my primary rules of journalism comes from Jim Lehrer: “No anonymous sources, because no one should ever be able to do harm anonymously.” I stand by that. No anonymous comments. You want to sling hash, you put your name on it.
Ryan Broderick has a job I suspect would make me flee the grid after about two days: He’s BuzzFeed’s community manager, responsible for combing through about 22,000 comments a month, reports Adweek’s Charlie Warzel. Broderick says comments, even the worst ones, have a socio-biological explanation:
“There is a social realm where things are rationally sorted and then there’s the anonymous place that brings out a person’s base instincts. It can become a frothing, bubbling cauldron of insanity,” he said. “Yet, you need that animalistic part of yourself. I think of it almost like your sex drive.”
Both Broderick and Huffington Post community manager Justin Isaf defend anonymous commenting, however: “Anonymity can do amazing, extremely creative things if you believe in it,” Broderick says.