"Blizzard Entertainment, makers of the wildly popular
World of Warcraft online game recently started an online forum
tempest when they decided to start showing users' online account
names when they posted messages to their game forums. Blizzard
explained they were making this change to their online forums
because their "forums have also earned a reputation as a place
where flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness run wild."
"It's not just Blizzard's forums though. Almost every forum I
know that allows anonymous comments is filled to overflowing with
abusive nonsense. Whether it's GoComics (http://www.gocomics.com/);
local newspaper online forums; social bookmarking sites like Digg
and Reddit; developer mailing lists, or, alas, my own blogs and Web
sites, all too often instead of intelligent conversation about the
subject du jour I find non-stop ranting, sweating, and insults. Oh,
and the occasional bit of spam."