Around the world, media owners are making changes to their commenting policies, with Google enacting a controversial real name policy on YouTube and Popular Science removing the comments section altogether because it felt ill-informed views “can be bad for science“. StopPress has plenty of great, insightful commentors. But many of them prefer to stick the boot in and push their own pseudonymous agenda, so, in the interests of transparency, the real identities of anonymous commentors can now be revealed with the click of a button.
Anonymous comments are a pet peeve of many in this industry, and those who don’t have the cojones to put their name to their thoughts were regularly singled out as the biggest villains during our end of year opinion harvest. So StopPress has decided to nip them in the bud with a new piece of technology that trawls through IP data and puts the wording through advanced sentiment analysis so that readers can ‘unanonymous’ comments made on the site over the past four and a bit years.
For example, on the story Shine switches its dairy allegiances after Goodman Fielder win, ‘Susan from Herne Bay’ said “I am genuinely shocked that Cadbury shifted their digital business to Young & Shand. Must just be SEO stuff. PS I don’t work at DDB.” After clicking the unanonymous icon (and paying a fee of $49.95*), the real author is revealed as current DDB chief executive Justin Mowday.
And on the story The year in review: Justin Mowday, ‘Old Rocker’ chimed in with “Well said Mowday”. Yep, you guessed it, that was Justin Mowday too.
In fact, the unanonymiser showed that more than 87 percent of all the comments on StopPress have actually come from Mowday.
The tool goes live at 12pm, 1 April.
*All credit card data will be sold to underground criminal networks.