Surely you’re already familiar with commenting on the Globe’s articles. You don’t register, and nothing is required outside a verification code and a comment. It is simply assumed that you will put in your name, e-mail address and whatnot. It’s also assumed that you won’t use anyone else’s handle or commit sockpuppetry. This assumes honesty and decency which simply doesn’t exist anywhere, especially on the internet and double especially on the Globe’s site. The Globe’s lack of registration is a sitting duck. Any n00b who has difficulty making HTML codes would laugh at this setup.
I think if such a system were to be abused, it would best be abused by folks with the Globe’s best interests in mind. I’ll come back to that.
Another thing you’re probably familiar with is the fact that the Globe comments are batfuck crazy and hateful. In this kingdom of filth, one commenter named Av-I-Tar wears the crown. So Joplin Expats decided to have some fun and pretend to be Av-I-Tar for a while. The real (?) Av-I-Tar flipped his shit, despite the fact that no one could tell the difference between the real and the fake. At least I couldn’t. I’m not convinced that the real Av-I-Tar is just some liberal punking us all, anyway.
Joplin Expats was just up for a bit of fun at the expense of a psycho godbag, and so am I when you scrape the surface, but I see potential for so much more. I propose that EVERYONE post under the name Av-I-Tar. You can mimic his comments, or just write normal ones, it doesn’t matter as long as you use “Av-I-Tar” as your handle.
Perhaps, if enough people abuse the system and render conversations useless, perhaps the Globe’s site designers will be motivated to put some registration system in so we know who it is we’re talking to.