Huffington Post to end anonymous comments

Arriana Huffington cropped

The Huffington Post, which has logged more than 260 million comments in its history, will end anonymity in those comments, founder Arianna Huffington said Wednesday morning.

Arianna Huffington“Trolls are just getting more and more aggressive and uglier and I just came from London where there are rape and death threats,” Huffington said in comments to reporters after a speech at Hubspot’s Inbound 2013 conference in Boston. The changeover will come in mid-September, she said.

“I feel that freedom of expression is given to people who stand up for what they say and [are] not hiding behind anonymity,” she said. “We need to evolve a platform to meet the needs of the grown-up Internet.”

The current Huff Po system  uses advanced algorithms to moderate comments plus 40 moderators, but that is not enough now, she said.

Whether or not commenters on blogs and news sites should post with their identity — and how that identify is verified — is part of  a long-running debate in the internet age. Many sites have guidelines that allow anonymity but prohibit the use of profanity, threats and other abuses.

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