HSJ is considering preventing users from commenting anonymously on its website
HSJ has always been very lucky to have an engaged and knowledgeable readership. When I first became editor in 2002 that was reflected in a lively letters page, today it manifests itself in numerous and often very lengthy comments on our web site.
HSJ is owned by Emap, a business which also produces the leading titles in local government, retail, construction, architecture and engineering. The level of debate on HSJ’s website outstrips all others, usually many times over, and often significantly adds to the knowledge and insight provided by individual articles.
I believe this interactive debate is now an essential part of the service that HSJ offers subscribers.
Many people posting on HSJ.co.uk choose to do so anonymously. We all understand the reasons for this as much as we might wish they did not exist.
The great majority of anonymous HSJ posters do not abuse that anonymity. However, a small proportion do use the fact that their identities are hidden to leave comments which are at best childish or puerile and, at worst, offensive. These comments can undermine the quality of debate and, therefore, actively discourage others to join in.
In a few weeks HSJ will launch its new website, the wonders of which we shall reveal soon. One of the changes we could make is to prevent users from commenting anonymously.
We would not require users to reveal their identity - they could, if they wished, choose a pseudonym.
What do you think? Should we make banish anonymous comments or continue to allow them. Answers below please - anonymously or not.