No More Anonymous Comments on Slashdot

A year after disabling anonymous users, registered users can no longer post anonymously.

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Photo by Jaroslav Devia on Unsplash

“I don’t know who you are, but why is there an insane amount of photoshopped gay porn on several image sharing sites with your face, name, and contact info?”

I considered carefully whether to answer or delete the comment. The viewer may or may not have been trolling me.

“My dedicated band of trolls thought it was funny to paste my publicly available image and contact info on to gay and child porn images.”

I left out the reference to Slashdot, a tech news commentary website founded in 1997 and the Reddit of its day prior to the Dot Com Bust in 2001. I’ve read and commented on the website for over 20 years. The new owners since 2016 made long needed changes to modernized the website. (The previous owners milked the website for its advertising revenues.) I’ve stopped associating Slashdot with my trolls over two years ago. The new owners didn’t need the negativity and my trolls deserved the quiet obscurity.

  • Most of the Russian image sharing websites had a drop-down option on their contact form or a special email address for takedown notices.
  • Because the troll kept posting new links to the same half-dozen websites in anonymous comments on Slashdot, it took me five minutes to send out takedown notices when it took the troll 45 minutes to post new images.

“Dear Slashdot trolls: Do not come on to my YouTube channel to rehash in comments everything that happened in recent years. Want me to disappear from Slashdot? Stop accusing users of being me and stop assuming every AC is me. If you need someone to troll, go after APK. Thx!”

Someone tweeted back that Slashdot “disabled AC posting”. I stared at that tweet in amazement and wonder. If it wasn’t a technical glitch, it was a radical and almost unthinkable change for Slashdot.

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

If Congress decides to change the law to rein in the tech companies, those 26 words could disappear. Without liability protection, tech companies may find it easier to shut down their platforms than suffer the legal consequences for what their users post online. An alternative solution to avoid overreaching government action is for the tech companies to rein in their users.

C.D. Reimer makes videos about comic cons, pop culture, Silicon Valley and technology every week. https://www.youtube.com/c/cdreimer

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