Why I Will Never Post Comments On Huffington Post Again

20131211-T20001211-02-TGThis post first appeared on Stowe Boyd blog.

Tim McDonald, Huffington Post’s director of community, has announced that posting comments on HuffPost henceforth will require a Facebook identity, unless you apply for permission to post anonymously:

Tim McDonald, Turning the Page on Anonymity: The Future of HuffPost Comments

Now, as Arianna Huffington announced earlier this year, we’re going a step further to evolve our platform — which has always been about community and engagement — to meet the needs of the grown-up Internet. On December 10, after weeks of fine-tuning our commenting technology and platform, we are pulling the switch in a way that will keep the best parts about commenting on HuffPost while bringing more civility and accountability to the experience.

Here’s how to get started under this new system. When you log in to your account and go to make a comment, you will be prompted to link your commenting account to your verified Facebook account. Then, choose how you’d like your name to be displayed. You can either display your first and last names, or your first name and last initial. This is the only information that will be viewable to the community at large, and you will have control over your private information via Facebook’s privacy settings.

verified accountIf you do not want to link your Huffington Post account to Facebook, you can still log in to your account and fan and fave other users and their comments. And if, for whatever reason, you fear posting a comment under your name — if you are a whistleblower, or fear harassment, or any other reason — you can apply for the right to comment anonymously by filling out this form.

Oh, yes, how very grown up! You must use only this one identity, and at all times and in all contexts, and we’ll put that power in the hands of a company — Facebook — that has proven itself incapable of putting the interests of people ahead of corporatism.

Now that Zuckerberg and co. are turning the Facebook news feed into a daily newspaper, maybe Facebook will acquire AOL and integrate HuffPo into the user experience directly.