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AdLib On August - 26 - 2013

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A global hello from The Planet!

In case you haven’t heard yet, Huffington Post has announced that it will end anonymous accounts in order to reduce trolling.

While the intent of limiting trolls is admirable, losing your anonymity when you post comments at a public site could impact one’s job, business/personal relationships and even safety.

Respecting the anonymity and freedom of expression of our members are top priorities at PlanetPOV. Commenting on critical issues that make a big impact on our lives is meaningful and should be something people can freely do without worrying about any blowback in their personal lives. At PlanetPOV, your anonymity will always be respected.

Most members at PlanetPOV are current or previous bloggers at Huffington Post so if you haven’t been to The Planet recently, you may find some familiar (while anonymous!) user names.

At PlanetPOV, there is no automatic comment moderation, your comments post immediately. You can also edit your comment after it has been posted.  Our format allows for in-depth, substantial and enlightening conversations. As a site that’s all about real people and real opinions, all of our members may post their own articles which can appear on the front page and will be promoted to our membership and our Twitter and Facebook followers.

In addition to posts on political and social issues, we offer a variety of regular features:

MORNING BLOG – Our daily international roundup of the news.

TIME OUT FOR OFF TOPIC – Our virtual hangout to discuss anything and everything at any time.

VOX POPULI – Our live member chat on the week’s events every Friday night.

WEEKEND MUSIC THREAD – A new music theme every week for members to post their favorite songs.

THE SUNDAY FUNNIES ON THE PLANET – A roundup of the week’s political cartoons from both sides of the fence.

Since The Planet is not as vast as Huffington Post, we can and do moderate troll-type posts on a case-by-case basis instead of using blanket moderation on all comments. Our central philosophy is that all of our members deserve a minimum of respect when they express themselves, especially when they have a less popular opinion. So while we have 100% respect for freedom of expression, we have a zero tolerance policy for trolls or any comments expressing racism, hatred or personal attacks against fellow members.

PlanetPOV is a site by bloggers, for bloggers. We’re always trying to improve our members’ blogging experience so we always welcome feedback and suggestions.

If you haven’t been to The Planet recently or regularly, we invite you to join many fellow Huffington Post bloggers for thoughtful, anonymous and entertaining conversations at PlanetPOV.

Hope to see you soon!

All the best,

PlanetPOV Admin
http://planetpov.com

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

45 Responses so far.

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  1. agrippa says:

    Eliminating anonymity is not necessary. What is needed are strong rules that are enforced consistently. And, have a ‘ladder of punishment’ which culminates with banning the IP address.

    But, Huffington Post wanted the traffic and allowed all sorts of drivel. It is, now, living with the consequences of that decision.
    GIGO.

    • AdLib says:

      agrippa, agreed on multiple points. Getting rid of anonymity is pointless and will only intrude on honest people who give their real social media info.

      And it does seem best to have a moderation structure with steps that swiftly lead to blocking IPs after blatant abuse (though being smart enough not to punish those who aren’t truly trolls).

      Keep in mind though, there are easily available programs and websites that allow anyone to disguise their IP so trolls will be able to avoid that.

      Trolls are like cockroaches, you do what you can to reduce their population but you can never get rid of them completely, you just have to be prepared to stomp them whenever they come out.

  2. I would like to welcome all the HPers that find their way over to the Planet. I think you’ll find the Planet to be a refreshing difference from any other blog spot on the net, and certainly much better than HuffPo. I am still a member at HP, but I rarely comment any longer.

    I am looking forward to some great discussions with all of you. I don’t know you yet, but am looking forward to getting acquainted as the days and weeks fly by.

    I was lucky enough to be directed here by an ex HPer a little over 2 years ago. It was the most fortuitous event in my blogging life. I have grown considerably by being a member here. I have learned the difference between battling trolls and truly learning. I have learned a great deal here because of the friendly atmosphere and enlightened discussions and having the freedom to speak my mind.

    • AdLib says:

      KT, thanks so much for the very kind and gracious review of The Planet! Also, appreciate your welcome to new members.

      I do find it fascinating how much I’ve learned and explored here without the distraction of trolls, censorship and expoitative stories.

      It’s not for everyone, some enjoy sparring with trolls or emoprogs but it seems to have dragged HP so far down they became desperate enough to attempt this ending of anonymity at the site. It really is a challenge to read any page of comments without seeing a racist, homophobic or mean-spirited and dishonest RW propaganda screed. Often, threads are almost fully occupied by these types. Hard to have a worthwhile and thoughtful conversation in that kind of environment but folks like Murph succeed despite that.

      • Ad, in the past few eeks I have occasionally commented at HP. Most of my comments were faved. There were a few who disagreed and were not very friendly, but the faves really outnumbered the dissenters.

        There is no way in hell that I will continue to post at HP, after learning of their plans to rid it’s members of any anonymity.

        I sometimes comment on Yahoo, and man, if you want to see some real racist, misogynous, homophobic trolls, you’ll find them there. In the same spirit as Murph, I do try to change minds and present the facts, and I do get some agreement from posters there, but the hate filled trolls almost dominate that site. It would be very depressing if I allowed it to be. I simply consider the source and move on.

        • AdLib says:

          There are plenty of informed and thoughtful folk at HP, no question. My issue is the same as yours, the huge population of racists and hateful extremists poisons the water too much for me. They are unavoidable and drinking in that toxicity day after day is not something that I see as healthy.

          • Ad, you may or may not remember my “pool shooting,” analogy, but it basically goes like this.

            If one plays with only average players, one will never improve their game. But, when one plays with truly talented players, their game will absolutely improve. Without a doubt.

            Serious issues are not really a game, but I think the analogy has some merit.

            • AdLib says:

              KT, I completely agree with your analogy and I think it’s evidenced here at The Planet. When you’re not spending your time arguing over death panels and Obama’s birth certificate and other RWBS and instead having thoughtful discussions and explorations of important issues…with other thoughtful people, you definitely up your game.

              The discussions here enlighten the person writing the original comment as well as those reading and responding, it’s a rising tide of smarts that raise all ships.

              On the other hand, this wouldn’t be a place for egocentric or bull headed types who can’t deal with others also having great insights and reason to offer.

              Personally, I like getting smarter and learning more about things even if I thought I already knew all about them. And I like “playing up” as opposed to “playing down” because as you say, it only makes you better at whatever you do.

  3. CaptD says:

    I see this move by HP as yet another step toward limiting really high quality comments from concerned informed bloggers since this will prevent them from taking the time (and the risk) of posting in-depth comments, especially about sensitive topics!

    As an example, blogging about Fukushima on HP will get dumbed down which will make all those in Gov’t. and MSM happier since bloggers will not be pointing out their stories errors and omissions.

    Will Planet POV be a success, only time will tell but one thing missing from HP was the ability to “connect” with another blogger without leaving your email for the rest of the Planet, hopefully PlanetPOV will make that easy and secure.

    Good Luck to US, we need it!

    • AdLib says:

      Welcome to The Planet, CaptD!

      Actually, PlanetPOV has been in orbit for four years and is going strong. This is a place for the kind of in-detail discussions you mention.

      I do agree that if this policy was enforced as envisioned, it would bring about self-censorship and people would indeed silence themselves out of concern for their jobs and personal safety.

      We’ll see what develops but the fact that this was what they wanted to do should give people pause and a reconsideration about Arianna, her mindset and how she truly views the bloggers there that make her site what it is.

      • CaptD says:

        As PlanetPOV gets comfortable with commentaries, I suggest that you post their comments in almost real time saving your reviewers time for new commentaries, then if people take advantage you simply just take away their “instant Post” privileges…

        • AdLib says:

          CaptD, we do post comments immediately as you can see from your comments. There is no automatic moderation here, all comments post right away. The only comments or commenters that would violate our Terms of Use are only extreme cases which are few and far between, mainly those having to do with expressing the kind of hatefulness and racism that trolls typically post or making personal attacks against a fellow member.

          Since the kind of people who have gravitated here share those principles, of free expression and having respectful discussions and disagreements, it really isn’t much of an issue so comments here are very rarely moderated.

  4. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    Hello All….Most of you I spend significant time at HP- for lots of reasons. I am also a regular here0 for lots of reasons.

    But the events of this last weekend really bothered me. Here is the post I wrote in response to the article that echoed words from Arianna Huffington earlier in the week:

    ========================================================

    “Sign” all Comments using our Real Names….What the Hell!

    This is a very poorly thought out decision. There will be a lot of fallout and the loss of many of HP’s most active members….including me.

    I am among the most vociferous in my concern for the behavior of trolls, but they are few in number and there are other options.

    This is absurd.

    I have no objection to the HP staff knowing who I am and how to contact me but I will not provide my real name for the open forum here for a variety of reasons-

    -- safety. I am a progressive who lives in a very conservative state and many views I express here would be a cause for significant grief from neighbors and working associates. I also am a conservative on several key issues which will cause me equal grief from the liberal side of the continuum.

    -- privacy. A name linked to my other comments will make it easy for those who disagree with at HP to find me and to contact me.
    -- freedom. Engaging in an honest dialogue in an open space is daunting enough. Having to lay ones name on the line for others to see, and possible exploit, makes this activity one that I would not choose.

    -- effectiveness. I am an activist and HP is a place where I can have very strong, honest, direct discussion about difficult issues without having to experience blow back in the work I do in my community.

    -- avoiding commercial exploitation. Once our real names are associated with our accounts how big a step is to having those names “sold” to advertisers.

    I am sure there are other downsides. And given a bit of time I will identify them.

    THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO HANDLE TROLLS. KILLING YOUR WEBSITE IS NOT ONE OF THEM.

    I am a pundit and have now heard from a half dozen or so who will not continue to write for this website if this policy is put into place.
    P.S. For a site that talks about “building a community” an arbitrary decision like this one shoots holes right through that.

    =================================================

    IN THE AFTERMATH OF COMMENTS LIKE THIS ONE, THOUSANDS OF THEM, HP’S VP FOR TECHNOLOGY ISSUED A STATEMENT ON THE THREAD TO CLARIFY THE POSITION AND THEN PUBLISHED AN UPDATED ARTICLE.

    KEY QUOTES:

    “As of next month, users won’t be able to create anonymous accounts to post on the site; going forward, their identities will have to be verified internally.”

    “HuffPost recognizes that many people are not in a professional or personal situation where attaching their name to a comment is feasible, and this change will not require users to identify themselves in connection with each comment. Rather, we will ask users to verify their identity when creating an account, which will reduce the number of drive-by or automated trolls you’ll encounter here.”

    “The change will only affect users creating new accounts on HuffPost. Existing accounts will be grandfathered into the new system.”

    HERE’S WHAT I PICK UP FROM THIS: HP wants to move to “verified accounts” It will insist, at some point, that new users register using a verification process such as Facebook and Twitter use. Current users will be “grandfathered in” under the assumption that the vast majority are legitimate and have demonstrated that this is so in their participation at the site. In all cases, the option to have a “screen name” remains in place.

    What most concerned me was the failure of HP leadership to recognize what a drastic change the original statement was and how it would affect the membership In no small part the mistake came as a result of not reaching out to community members to test the waters.

    At PLANETPOV…our management team operates from principals of collegiality and collaborative participation and decision making. It makes all the difference. So hats off to them!

    • AdLib says:

      Murph, that was an excellent response to the initial policy, well done. I think that your statement along with others who stood up on principle against such a harmful policy, cowed them into retrenching back to a pretty modest (and in the end, toothless) verification policy.

      Anyone can set up a bogus Facebook or Twitter account so this rushed backpedaling won’t really accomplish their stated goals in any case.

      This is a victory for those at HP who wouldn’t stand by as the site dictated a change in terms that could personally jeopardize members. Even though they’ve backed off from it, the original announcement by Arianna was that anonymity was being ended at HP. It is stunning how she could make such a declaration without any effort to engage with the membership first. A bit dictatorial if you ask me but when your business relies on the willingness of people to spend time at your site, very short sighted.

      Very much appreciate your kind words about The Planet and the Admin here. We try our best to protect and promote the principles of community, respect and free expression here. We know that our members ARE The Planet, we see managing The Planet as a welcome responsibility to the membership and we’re very pleased to be able to contribute in that way, as the folks here contribute in their way.

      That’s what a community is all about!

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        I got a lot of response to this and was able to provide some hopefully wise counsel along the way. I managed to mention the Planet six or so times.

        In the process my range of contacts at HP has grown and now includes a VP who seems to be a breath of fresh air. He seems to understand the concerns of which you and I have spoken.

        I think that both statements that came out last week were premature and reflected only a partial understanding of where the site was heading.

        The sheer volume at HP makes it unlikely that they can moderate every comment even on light stories. So I think having verified accounts is a proper step, but it will only be a speed bump. I think that they need to beef up flagging with moderators serving as primarily as reviewers of comments, and as adjudicators in cases where a poster is clearly acting outside of standards as a practice OR is just so over the top that they do not belong. Finally I have suggested that HP place all new commenters on “probation” for XXX number of posts as a way of removing the incentive to set up fast hit and run accounts. This probation can be extended. AND the site needs to make a big deal of its standards- a welcome e mail that directs new members to those standards is a good start.

        Is HP “click hungry”- yes, of course. That’s what determines ad rates….BUT they are also fearful that troll activity is driving the very people the advertisers want away…so they need to solve this.

        If you have any other brilliant ideas, I would love to hear them.

        Your closing paragraph is what I have come to expect here. Bravo!

        • AdLib says:

          Murph, FWIW, I think they’ve been going in the wrong direction on this. The more they keep trying to restrict free, anonymous speech there, the more good folk are soured and the greater troll presence they create (as is clear from the current state of affairs.

          As we tried to express back in the Bush years, taking drastic measures that infringe on the rights of the innocent is only letting the terrorists win.

          The fully moderated posts, the huge blacklist of words (some that are standard In discussing politics, others that are just common words) and now this debacle over killing anonymity, the more HP locks down the site, the more that innocent people feel locked down there too.

          It may not seem very intuitive but perhaps going in the opposite direction and investing in a greater number of mods would help HP become a far more satisfying place to blog.

          Clearly, all the limitations put on free expression there haven’t made hate speech less frequent. In fact, isn’t it clear that while all of these systems have been put in place, the percentage of extremists have grown exponentially faster?

          And forcing new members to link to their social media accounts will only result in innocent people losing their anonymity with HP while the trolls will just set up bogus Facebook and Twitter accounts and evade being identified. So in the end, such a policy only continues to intrude on the good folk.

          Personally, I think it would be worth the investment by HP to hire an army of mods and do the moderation thing the right way. The joy among members would be enormous and the resulting increase in visits and clicks could pay for itself.

          Assigning various Mods to specific posts in a flexible way makes a lot of sense, so that the busiest front page posts have more mods moved over to them and others keep an eye on the less popular posts.

          They may get millions of comments but if they beefed up staff and focused their mod resources on the busiest posts, they would be putting out the major fires and eventually putting out the smaller ones.

          They may not like spending more money on staff but IMO, the user’s experience is the most important thing. Do they feel appreciated or mistreated when their comments are auto modded or modded because they used a common word that’s been blacklisted? Do most users agree that it’s better to have their comments held back for a while as long as troll comments never post?

          As they said in Godfather 2, “This is the business we’ve chosen.” They are in the business of public blogging, they need to appreciate the responsibilities of that as well as the profits they make from it. And IMO, investing in a fair and sensible system that doesn’t treat innocent people as guilty would be a fair and worthwhile investment.

          All of us in the blog world have to accept, there will always be trolls and always be comments that are offensive. The challenge is trying to uphold principles of freedom of expression while trying to prevent bad players from sabotaging it.

          It’s not easy and usually, the path that looks the easiest, like declaring all bloggers will no longer be anonymous, is usually a dead end.

          My feeling is, you do the best that you can do while going after trolls and hate speech once it’s posted so that you don’t start from a position of guilty until proven innocent.

          It’s more time consuming but it is effective and looking at the state of hate speech on HP 24/7 right now, it couldn’t be any worse.

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            Your thoughts re. the probationary, trial, initial period is a good one….tie it into more freedom of expression.

            Using HP’s environment as it is….I wonder if a badge could be awarded that shows the member is in good standing and thus free of pending times and slavish adherence to the word/phrase list?

            PS I passed your thoughts by a couple of others with lots of expertise in the blogging world and they think you are brilliant.

            • AdLib says:

              Murph, appreciate the kind words, cheers!

              Technically, it wouldn’t need a badge, just very simple programming to automatically allow accounts that have aged past the probationary period (without any bad behavior) to comment without being moderated in any way.

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            I will probably pass it along as a post from a fellow blogger and friend and let the text stand on its own. How’s that?

            Your response is really, really excellent. You gather so many threads.

            • AdLib says:

              Thanks Murph.

              If there was a standard but reasonable probationary period for all accounts to go from being moderated via the auto mod posts and the word blacklist to becoming an account allowing free expression on all posts, it could reduce the trolling while becoming more enjoyable for bloggers.

              Just don’t like rules or laws that punish everyone including the good folk to defend against acts of the bad folk.

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            Can I share this with my friends at HP? If so, how do you want me to attribute it?

            Or, do want me to take it and rewrite it in my own voice.

            I will do any of this.

            Your thinking, as always, is razor sharp.

            • AdLib says:

              Thanks Murph. You’re welcome to pass it along as is…it’s a public post for anyone to read.

              I wouldn’t expect my recommendations for HP to be given much weight over there but I wrote the above out of principle, that good folk like you who are there shouldn’t have to keep looking over your shoulder for the next tactic that’s rolled out to further restrict members posting comments as a price of trapping trolls.

  5. gmb007 says:

    Hi, everyone.

    I haven’t been here for a very long time.

    Sadly, ever since AOL took over, HuffPost is becoming a tabloid cesspool.

    The Planet looks like a cool, beckoning oasis. :)

  6. Haruko Haruhara says:

    Hi guys, sorry for being so absent. It’s been summer!

    This idea by HP is horrendous, I think, they have enough problems with stalkers on that site, now they expect people to give up their real identities? For a lot of people, it would take a single search on Twitter or Facebook to find them in real life.

    You know there are people crazy enough lurking on HP to start looking people up, contacting their workplaces, etc., with this information. They don’t even have to have accounts on HP, all they have to do is lurk.

    It’s an incredibly naive and short-sighted decision by HP, and they handled it poorly, first announcing everyone’s gotta give up their ID, and maybe give HP a credit card number, then saying all old accounts will be grandfathered and only new accounts will have to post with their real names (unless someone flags one of your comments, then you have to use your real name).

    Also, there is nothing to stop trolls from setting up fake Facebook accounts to get into HP.

    What a mess. People are leaving in droves.

    I respect that they’re trying to address the trolls, but it’s kind of their own fault they have so many trolls; they’ve tolerated them for years (clicks, clicks, clicks). As an example, their MLK threads last week were just lousy with racist trolls posting the most vile comments about blacks; I didn’t even bother commenting, why bother trying to fight such vile people. I commented on a Zimmerman story on Raw Story, someone responded with what would have been a tame comment on HP about Zimmerman saved the world from a “future gangbanger” and Raw Story took the comment down and chastised the guy that racism wasn’t welcome on their site. Wow, what a difference.

    The real problem at HP is they need more moderators and they need to crack down on the baiting and threadjacking.

    • SueInCa says:

      Hi Haruko, I have not been here a great deal either but I do attend VOX pretty regularly. You have come up with some very valid points regarding this entire situation at HP. It has been ages since I even looked at their site so I have no idea what the temp is over there now but I also have no inclination to find out either.

      In my mind, Huffpo, starting with that bitch Ariana, fostered the attitude that is on there today. And even when she was owner, she filtered out any derogatory remarks about her management. It is too bad, it was once a nice place to go and discuss like adults the happenings in the world.

    • gmb007 says:

      Haruko, you are so right! The HP troll epidemic is all about CLICKS. They could SO easily get rid of them if they really wanted. And 40 mods for 9M comments per month? Ridiculous.

      Great post! :)

    • AdLib says:

      Hey Haruko, nice to see you!

      As you say, even with anonymity, people are and have been stalked at HP by RW lunatics and other unbalanced people. I know of instances where people wrote letters to editors in local newspapers and were stalked, threatened and harassed. Do people want that multiplied by thousands on a site like HP? What will that do to chilling free expression? Who would want to risk a crazy person stalking them just to express their honest opinions?

      Why would any blogsite, dependent on its bloggers, make such a huge and oppressive change in their policy without any interaction or discussion with their members? As I’ve mentioned before, it’s the hubris of corporate people who think their wealth and power means their thoughts are superior to those below them. I mean, how could any blogger at HP have a worthwhile criticism of the brilliant decisions made by their executives?

      It really is insulting.

      So true, this is a Golem that they created. Just like the GOP, they happily catered to the rabid RW because they saw it being to their short term benefit, the conflict trolls caused made Dems outraged and got them spending more time, writing and clicks at the site. Now, just like with the GOP, the ones being cynically exploited have overwhelmed their too-clever-for-their-own-good exploiters and taken over.

      HP has become so utterly toxic now, especially on any race-related story, that they are losing traffic so now they want to undo the ugliness they championed.

      Well, the trolls like it just fine the way it is, with so much domination of HP, they’re not going to just walk away.

      So HP instead decides to implement policies that in their original version, would harm innocent members by exposing their identities along with trolls then after protests grew, changing to a two-class system of bloggers.

      They are using the same approach as the GOP on Privatizing Medicare. “Don’t worry, the changes won’t affect you if you’re currently on HuffPost, it will only affect those who aren’t on it yet!” The strategy is of course to pacify and bribe those who are currently members to going along with a worse system that will eventually apply to all who are a part of it.

      What happens in a couple of years if there is an equal number of newer members who are forced to compromise their privacy and see others having more privacy rights than them? Would they protest if HP insisted that all members be equal and have the same compromise of privacy rights so none are “above” others?

      Bottom line, HP will necessarily be a site where you are no longer anonymous, at least to them if not others. And might one’s identity ever end up hacked or leaked? That’s just a risk people will have to take.

      You put your finger on it, the real solution is hiring a big enough staff to comb through comments, removing truly offensive comments and users.

      But that would mean spending money on operating their business properly and it’s much cheaper to just destroy the whole village to save the village than it is to just go after the bad guys in the village.

  7. MattieT says:

    Hello everyone!
    I’m more disturbed by the plummeting level of serious ‘news’ reporting over at HP, and the rise in AOL-style gossip, celebrity-stalking and fashion stories, than the idea of losing anonymity.
    I think HP has *completely* lost their way in the world of left-leaning, progressive, political thinking and reporting….

    While I am uncomfortable revealing real names and information on an opinion blog/site, I might have created a new, intentionally vague FB page for that purpose if I had to. But then again, I honestly don’t think HP is worth that effort at this point, anyhow.

    • AdLib says:

      Hi Mattie!

      Several years ago, HP took a very serious attitude towards their headlines, having a policy of only straight up descriptive headlines, no play on words, dumb puns or vague words. No doubt those editors work somewhere else now.

      Don’t know if you saw this but after AOL bought HP, Arianna declared in an interview that she was not a Progressive, that HP was not a Progressive site and that depending on who was nominated, she might vote Republican. So, agreed, HP is not the Progressive site its earlier members built it to be.

      I occasionally post a comment featuring the most intelligence-insulting headlines at HP that are on the site. When you see such a collection, it kind of puts things in perspective. Here are current HP headlines that are actually on the site right now, how can you see a site as a serious news organization that puts stories like this (on the site right now):

      Why Sharon Stone Is Urging Younger Actresses To Get Naked

      PHOTOS: The Real Reason Barbie’s Staying In Malibu

      500 Years Of Being Absolutely Obsessed With Witches

      WATCH: Journalist Goes Topless During Interview With Mayor

      Indeed, if HP’s solution to identifying people is to force them to link to a FB page, that too can be easily navigated by creating a phony FB page.

      The most obvious approach to the troll problem there is spending some of those millions in revenue on staff who monitor activity and regularly remove hateful comments and ban accounts. It is a neverending process but it would be the cost of doing business to respect the members and hold only those who break the rules as guilty.

      Consider, they have unpaid labor writing many of their articles, they post articles from other sources without paying for them, they have unpaid bloggers posting comments…the east they could do is spend the necessary money on salaries for screening out troll posts without violating innocent people’s privacy.

      But they are a corporate entity and like the rest of them, the game is paying as little (or nothing) for those who do the work and hording all the income into the hands of the few at the top.

      Hope to see more of you here!

      But as a corporate entity, the mantra is the same.

    • kesmarn says:

      Welcome to the Planet, MattieT! Yes, “news” and “HP” can hardly be used in a sentence together any more, can they?

      I think you’ll find an entirely different experience here at the Planet. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

  8. Nirek says:

    Ad, I don’t remember who invited me here but it was well worth my time to come to the planet. I can think of a couple folks that I would like to see come over to the light.

  9. Unbelievable huh Ad? Does HuffPo WANT to lose hundreds of members? This is the most idiotic move they have made to date, and they’ve made quite a few. What are they thinking? 😉

    • AdLib says:

      KT -- I’m hesitant to attribute wholly altruistic intentions in any case like this but I will say that the goal of reducing trolls at the troll-infested HP is a legit mission.

      What they appear to have done now, to placate those who rose up and were upset at this, is to say, “Don’t worry, we’ll only apply this to new members!”

      As I mentioned to Murph, this is how policies get massaged into place. Like allowing employers to pay new hires less, eventually, the new hires become more plentiful and resentful of the older hires who have better benefits. Then, they side with management in dropping the older workers’ benefits to their level.

      The short term picture is HP will now be a classist site, with two classes of bloggers, those who are anonymous and those who are newer and are prohibited from being anonymous.

      The long term picture for HP though is unchanged if this policy continues, eventually it will become a 100% non-anonymous site where at a minimum, HP will know the identity of everyone who posts any comment and of course, how long until that kind of info is leaked or hacked and people are publicly exposed?

      More reason than ever not to comment there.

      • Haruko Haruhara says:

        How weird is that? I’m an old-timer, I get to be anonymous but you don’t. Tough luck!

        And like a friend pointed out to me, you can bet there are trolls setting up plenty of socks before the deadline so they can get grandfathered in.

        • AdLib says:

          Haruko, you get it but I’m afraid many people over there won’t. They’ll happily go along with a disrespectful, classist system as long as they get to be in the upper class. And all the while, they’ll be under the impression that their superior status will be permanent.

          It won’t, HP will have no need to continue anonymity for those accounts once they represent a minority of members. But that’s how the powerful manipulate the many, make them think that only other people will be harmed by something and they will be above it…then once the new system is in place, you eventually steamroll over those who believed they were above the steamroller.

          Yep, there’s got to be a huge frenzy of troll accounts being set up since the announcement, more than enough to sustain them as they figure out how to evade the new system.

          The incompetence of those at the top over there has never been more on display. They didn’t think their first version of the policy requiring all to have their identities made public would cause an uproar? They think everyone will be cool with a two-class system, especially the newbies who have no anonymity? They think this will really be effective in reversing the troll dominance over there?

          The members are far sharper than the management at HP, had there been a brainstorming post over there on how to best address trolls, they could have had a great and open discussion that could have yielded an approach that members would have strongly supported.

          Instead, such decisions are handed down from on high and the members are treated like “the little people” management sees them to be.

          Bottom line, good folks have been leaving HP and trolls haven’t been. This new policy won’t change that.

      • Ad, in the last several weeks, I began leaving comments there. I didn’t really get into any real conversations or debate, but I would occasionally leave comments. I haven’t done this since I first joined the Planet, about two years ago (?) My how time flies.

        There is no way at all, that I will post at HP under my real name. I can surely understand the desire to rid themselves of trolls, but there has to be a better way than requiring people to give up their privacy. Privacy has become a red hot issue, since Snowden’s antics began. Even more so than after the Patriot Act was signed.

        • AdLib says:

          I do visit HP each day but I don’t comment anymore. The comments that typically prod me to reply are of course, the intentional lies posted by trolls but as I learned long ago, what’s the point of replying?

          The trolls want to outrage Dems which makes them come to and blog at the site more which has made for greater ad revenues. HP let them flourish for a long time for that reason but now realizes that the toxicity level there has risen so high they’re losing traffic so now they’re trying to dial back the crazies they relied on for creating traffic. I don’t know that they can successfully do it, like letting part of one’s body get infected, you can’t just remove the infection, you have to remove the part of the body with the infection.

          As to the privacy thing, they seem to be contriving a way to pacify the current users by claiming that only new users will lose their anonymity (that is, at least HP will know their true identity if not those who read their comments). It will either not work to deter trolls or, as I would bet, will eventually lead to the deterioration of privacy for all users on the site.

          One can have fun and fascinating discussions here or play Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots over there, to each their own.


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